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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 20 Mar 2012 (Tuesday) 13:42
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Paul C Buff softboxes the way to go?

 
CrayonNinja
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Mar 20, 2012 13:42 |  #1
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Right now I'm shooting with Alienbee's and I've been renting/using friends softboxes and modifiers while I saved up some money, I'm now in the position to buy myself a decent studio set, but I'd like to know what other's experiences have been with the PCB softbox units, and whether I should go with them or just buy the $30 speedrings and use a different company.

I'm looking to buy two strip boxes, one large octa, two large softboxes, and a grid system for each one, which though PCB would cost me a total of about $860 before shipping and taxes. I'm trying to find out if there is another company that could offer more value for my money, or if this is the cheapest route to go. I also want to know if there are any quality issues with PCB products that others have experienced.




  
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gonzogolf
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Mar 20, 2012 13:48 |  #2

Buff boxes are fairly competitively priced. If budget is your primary motivator, look on ebay for sellers who carry the visico brand. I have a nicely built octobox from them that was about half the cost of one from buff or other brands, it came with a speedring for the PCB.




  
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CrayonNinja
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Mar 20, 2012 13:50 |  #3
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Budget is important in that I have other expenses and every dollar counts, but I'm not willing to put quality behind it, as in the past this has ended up costing me more. If you would vouch for the durability of visico then I'll look into their products.




  
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gonzogolf
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Mar 20, 2012 13:52 |  #4

I would vouch for the box that I got. I've only tried the one and it was very solidly built. It came with a grid for under $70 if memory serves. Perhaps get one or a set of the strip boxes to try before you go all in. If a big light source is your goal make a little room in your bodget for a PLM from Buff.




  
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CrayonNinja
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Mar 20, 2012 13:54 |  #5
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I do have a few cheaper umbrellas that I picked up a long time ago that aren't too pretty, but they do the trick. I'm making my selection on what I find I've been using the most over the past two years and the lighting setups I've been able to create to fit my style, PLM is definitely something I'm looking at for the future but it's not high on the priority list, at least until I have some sort of studio environment to call my own.




  
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bdillon
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Mar 20, 2012 14:17 |  #6

I don't have any complaints with the Buff boxes, I've been using them for a while. They're quick to set up, but the tradeoff to that is that they don't break down as small as others do.
Their strip boxes aren't as long as I'd like them to be.




  
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CrayonNinja
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Mar 20, 2012 14:27 |  #7
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bdillon wrote in post #14120521 (external link)
I don't have any complaints with the Buff boxes, I've been using them for a while. They're quick to set up, but the tradeoff to that is that they don't break down as small as others do.
Their strip boxes aren't as long as I'd like them to be.

This is important to me, I might have to look somewhere else for the strip boxes then, thank you




  
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asamimasa
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Mar 22, 2012 20:12 |  #8

Out of curiosity, are these alternatives collapsible? I'm also debating as to whether or not i want the PCB box or something else, and the collapsing design of the PCB is looking very attractive....


Gear List here

  
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JAE ­ Photography
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Mar 23, 2012 06:28 |  #9

I love the softboxes. They fold up nice and easily and are decent quality for the price.

I wish they had bigger strip boxes though.


http://www.modelmayhem​.com/1926140 (external link)
http://www.jae-photography.net/ (external link) (nsfw)

  
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Bumgardnern
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Mar 23, 2012 09:27 |  #10

I have two of the Alien Bee softboxes. They are excellent quality especially for the money. Compared to other softboxes they take up a lot more room when they are broken down. Chimera makes some excellent strip boxes that are huge.




  
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Kechar
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Mar 23, 2012 13:53 |  #11

fotodiox off amazon makes a nice sturdy softbox really low priced also!


flickr (external link) KCharron.net (external link) - 5D mark III (gripped) | 24-70 2.8 VC | 85 1.8 | 50 1.4 | 70-200 2.8L
[LIGHTING: 3 Einsteins, AB400, CyberCommander, 2 VLMs w/2 spare bats, 2 64" PLMs, 24x32 softbox, 22" BD, grids and diffusers, Avenger stands and boom.]

  
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Stuart ­ Leslie
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Mar 23, 2012 14:22 as a reply to  @ Kechar's post |  #12

I am finding the PCB softboxes very useful. I set mine up and break down for each shoot so the setup speed is important and these are very fast. I don't even take the difusers or grid off anymore, just a corner to access the release knob.


Gear: Canon 5D III, 5D and 7D | 300 f/2.8L IS | 70-200 f/2.8L IS | 85 f/1.8 | 17-55 f/2.8 [COLOR=navy]| 24-105 f/4L | 10-22 | Zeiss 35 f/2 | TS-E 24II | Alienbees
SmugMug Gallery (external link)
Model Mayhem (external link)

  
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feetdown
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Mar 23, 2012 14:26 |  #13

I just bought 2 fotodiox 24"x36" soft boxes WITH speed rings for $62 of Amazon...Very nice quality


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5D MkIII, 70-200mm f/2.8L, Canon 50mm f/1.2L, EF 24-105mm f/4, EF 300mm f/4, 600 Ex-rt, 580EXII & a bunch of other stuff.

  
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MrScott
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Mar 23, 2012 14:33 |  #14

Stuart Leslie wrote in post #14140397 (external link)
I am finding the PCB softboxes very useful. I set mine up and break down for each shoot so the setup speed is important and these are very fast. I don't even take the difusers or grid off anymore, just a corner to access the release knob.

Fotodiox vs. PCB - PCB 'release knob' is a lot better than the Fotodiox umbrella tension pin. However, I do really like the FD modifiers. Here are some links.

Amazon (external link) Fotodiox vendor for EZ-Pro boxes
Pro Studio Solutions (external link) vendor

While the SB's can be purchased with a compatable AB ring. It is quite a bit heavier than the OEM PCB ring of same 'deep' mount design (not really an issue, just sayin').

On the other hand, this ring from Kacey (external link) is a perfect fit that mounts an AB or Einstein flash tube more flush within the Fotodiox SB.




  
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Jay.
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Mar 23, 2012 22:36 as a reply to  @ MrScott's post |  #15

I own PCB's 47" Octabox. Does me well. Really good light.




  
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Paul C Buff softboxes the way to go?
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