Buy The Per­fect Soft­box­es Guide Contents

What is a Soft­box? I What does a Soft­box do? I Soft­box or Umbrel­la? I How big should a Soft­box be? I My Rec­om­men­da­tions


Buy The Perfect Softboxes Guide

Any­one involved in pho­tog­ra­phy knows that light plays an incred­i­bly impor­tant role. But not only in pho­tog­ra­phy but also in video shoot­ing, even illu­mi­na­tion of the motives is an impor­tant role. Pho­tog­ra­phers in stu­dios, often use light trays for this pur­pose, which are also called softboxes.

In the fol­low­ing, I would like to present to you some tips and rec­om­men­da­tions as well as advan­tages of these area lights and give you some help­ful hints for your first pur­chase of a softbox.


What is a softbox?

A soft­box is a spe­cial attach­ment for a flash head or stu­dio light­ing. It con­tains a wire­frame, which is lined with reflec­tive mate­r­i­al on the inside and is com­plete­ly cov­ered with fab­ric. The light inside the box is reflect­ed and direct­ed. The box can be square, rec­tan­gu­lar or octagonal.

Soft­box­es can be up to sev­er­al cubic meters in size and are there­fore often placed on sep­a­rate stands. The light can only exit through one open­ing of the box, which is cov­ered with a light-col­ored fabric.

Apart from large soft­box­es on sep­a­rate tripods, there are also small­er soft­box­es for mount­ing on a cam­era flash.


What does a softbox do?

We use a soft­box to achieve an even illu­mi­na­tion of a sub­ject. This allows us to pre­vent unwant­ed shad­ows and the light appears soft­er over­all (which allows a soft­er tran­si­tion to the shad­ows). By using sev­er­al soft­box­es from dif­fer­ent sides, you can almost com­plete­ly avoid shading.

Softboxes in a photo studio


Where can I use softboxes?

Large soft­box­es are main­ly found in pho­to stu­dios. But also for pho­tog­ra­phy and video at home, I can use soft­box­es. Soft­box­es are not over­ly expen­sive in the basic ver­sion, and they make pic­tures and videos look real­ly professional.

They are per­fect for motif and mod­el pho­tog­ra­phy, por­traits and videos with objects or peo­ple in the foreground.


Which is better, softbox or umbrella?

Instead of a soft­box, an umbrel­la can also pro­vide even illu­mi­na­tion of a motif. The dif­fer­ence is that with a soft­box the light source is reflect­ed from behind, while a reflex umbrel­la is mount­ed in front of the light source. This way the light is direct­ed in the oppo­site direc­tion. The main advan­tage of an umbrel­la is that the light is bun­dled in the mid­dle and can thus be direct­ed direct­ly at a motif. The umbrel­las can be dif­fer­ent col­ors, e.g. gold, sil­ver or white and thus also influ­ence the col­or of the light.

A trans­mit­ted light umbrel­la can also achieve sim­i­lar effects to a soft­box, as the dif­fu­sion is also equal and does not fix on one point.

With a good mix of a soft­box, a reflex umbrel­la and a translu­cent umbrel­la an almost even illu­mi­na­tion of the motif can be achieved. In most pho­to stu­dios you will find all three vari­a­tions, semi-pro­fes­sion­als and begin­ners pre­fer to use softboxes.


How big should a softbox be?

Soft­box­es are avail­able in many dif­fer­ent sizes. In the hob­by area size of 60 x 40cm is com­plete­ly suf­fi­cient. Of course, the required size depends on the desired illu­mi­na­tion area.

For por­traits, small soft­box­es with a diam­e­ter of 15cm to be attached to the flash can be inter­est­ing. Larg­er motives should be illu­mi­nat­ed with larg­er softboxes.


Which light sources are used for softboxes?

A light source must be installed in a soft­box. Both con­tin­u­ous light­ing and a flash can be used. Pho­to lamps can get very hot, but pro­vide light for a longer peri­od to adjust the align­ment accurately.

A sys­tem or attach­able flash can also be used as a light source.


How far does a softbox reach?

The range of the soft­box depends on the pow­er in watts of the pho­to lamp used. Some soft­box­es only reach 1m, oth­ers reach 10m.

The light comes from the soft­box in so-called square ratios. At a dis­tance of e.g. 3 meters, only 1/9 of the light reach­es the sub­ject. At 4m only 1/16 of the light reach­es the subject.


My recommendation for Softboxes



This is a sin­gle soft­box at a basic price. It is per­fect for begin­ners and helps you to take bet­ter pictures.

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This is a Soft­box­es kit for begin­ner. You’ll find 2 Soft­box­es and the light bulges you need. The box­es are at 50 x 70cm — per­fect for a video or prod­uct shooting.

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This is a more pro­fes­sion­al kit, what cost you a bit more mon­ey. You’ll find 2 Soft­box­es at 50 x 70cm for Por­trait, Prod­uct or Fash­ion Shootings.

View Item


Softboxes: My conclusion

Soft­box­es help to even­ly illu­mi­nate my motif, no mat­ter if it is a pho­to or video. A light source, e.g. a con­tin­u­ous or flash­light is installed in the so-called light tub from behind, which throws light on the motif and thus pre­vents shad­ows from form­ing. This effect can be inten­si­fied by the use of sev­er­al soft­box­es or reflex umbrel­las and thus vir­tu­al­ly pre­vent the for­ma­tion of shad­ows. They are a good source for cre­at­ing suit­able light and can be pur­chased in a sim­ple ver­sion from around 30 bugs.


I use soft­box­es main­ly because I can also shoot videos and pho­tos in the evening or dark­er rooms with­out the image appear­ing dark­ened. Day­light can be imi­tat­ed with suit­able light bulbs, which makes work­ing at night much more comfortable…

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