Newby Question on Softboxes and camera flashes.

Started Apr 28, 2010 | Discussions thread
ArtZAngel Senior Member • Posts: 1,027
Re: Newby Question on Softboxes and camera flashes.

OK, here's the thing, if you are using your flash for fill then you don't need any modifier (except perhaps a dome to reduce any specular highlights). Fill flash shouldn't create it's own shadows so there is nothing to soften.

As far as a softbox vs an umbrella in terms of softness using a shoe mount type flash, there may or may not be a difference. If the softbox has an internal baffle, then you will get softer light than with an umbrella alone. Without the baffle, you might get slightly softer light since the light is bouncing around inside the softbox prior to shooting forward. But at that point you might really be splitting hairs. The other advantage to the softbox is that the lighting is more controlled in where it goes whereas an umbrella simply throws it all forward.

If you are using this as your primary light source your biggest issue outside is could be lack of power. An umbrella will rob you of about an f/stop or so. A softbox with a baffle maybe two or more. Not that you can't use them, but you just need to be aware of the limitations. In bright light, one of the best things you can use is a simple reflector. Remember, the larger the light source the softer the light. A reflector will be much larger than either a softbox or umbrella.

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