Buy The Perfect Softboxes Guide Contents
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.
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
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…