umbrella or softbox for travelling?

Started Apr 11, 2013 | Discussions thread
chasg
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,329
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Re: umbrella or softbox for travelling?
In reply to littlegrumpy, Apr 15, 2013

Personally, I'd prefer a "softbox-like" light source vs. a brolly. I like the control and efficiency. Either a softlighter (or the lastolite version, which is easier for us to get here in the UK) or an actual softbox. I have two of the ezybox's but, for packing purposes, I think I'd prefer one of the softbox types that fold like an umbrella (I have a no-name one, but it's 150cm in diameter when open and quite chunky, a bit hard to hump in to the bush!).

My next purchase is going to be one of these beauties:

http://www.lightech-photography.com/en/prodotti/bank90x1202012-08-09-13-41-08-12012-09-13-13-28-53-29-detail.html

They're made using the same materials and techniques used to make technical mountaineering tents. When folded down, the largest octa is only as large as a hardcover book, and about the same weight. Pricey, but well worth it for that beautifully lit beautiful light

To illustrate the look, I point you to a google image search on "Joey L + Africa" (just the african stuff, any naked chicks or other erroneous results aren't what I'm talking about). He was using a big octa and powerful lights to get this look but, if you can get your subjects in to open shade, then a speedlight should give you enough power to get some nice modeling.

For travelling light stands, I always bring Manfrotto nanos (many copies out there too). Small, light(ish), and go up surprisingly high. I've carried them on to planes several times in the past.

You didn't ask, but for lights in the field, I've used speedlights (singles, and groups of three into one modifier to get power and high speed), Bowens monoblocs with TravelPacks, and Elinchrom Quadras, but I'm seriously thinking of investing in some Lencarta Li-on packs. Surprisingly versatile, I'm embarrassed to have written them off in the past (I had a chance for some hands-on testing recently).

Cheers!

Chas

littlegrumpy wrote:

hi,
for my next travels i want to take some lighting equipment with me. i would be interested to hear what people's experiences are regarding the use of umbrellas versus softboxes.
i assume softboxes are more sturdy and withstand wind a little bit better, on the other hand, umbrellas are easier to carry.
what are your experiences, and what equipment do you take with you on outdoor shoots?
i am also particularly interested in the practicalities of carrying that equipment around when travelling. can you take the softboxes/umbrellas and light stands onboard a plane as hand luggage etc...
(in my case i am talking about an ezybox hotshoe 24' softbox and a small umbrella)
thanks,
markus

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