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"Softbox" flash attachment - anybody tried this?

 
 
otter
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      03-18-2012
On Mar 18, 9:13*am, Alan Browne <(E-Mail Removed)>
wrote:
> On 2012-03-16 00:24 , otter wrote:
>
> > On Feb 28, 7:39 pm, Peabody<(E-Mail Removed)> *wrote:
> >>http://www.ebay.com/itm/150720657330

>
> >> So it's a little softbox thingy that you mount on your flash. *Just
> >> seems like it might come in handy to soften things a bit but still
> >> not throw light everywhere. *I just wondered if anyone here had
> >> tried such a thing and whether it was useful. *At $9 delivered, not
> >> a big risk, I guess.

>
> >> Actually, I was thinking of using it for backdrop lighting if it
> >> doesn't cost too many stops.

>
> > Here's another low cost alternative:

>
> >http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-...g-Lightsphere/

>
> I've bought and made devices for flash head softening. *What is "wrong"
> about that one is the material is too transparent and a lot of light
> will be wasted to the back and sides. *That's not so bad if there's a
> white wall behind you, but a better solution can be found.
>
> Even the Gary Fong device is wasteful. *It is nice in the sense of
> portability.
>
> --
> "I was gratified to be able to answer promptly, and I did.
> * I said I didn't know."
> * * * * * * * * * * * * * *-Samuel Clemens.


You can probably figure out ways to modify the design to address that
concern. It worked well enough for me that I didn't feel the need to
do anything more.

I should mention one problem I ran into. They sell these translucent
drawer liners at Lowes. One side is smooth, and the other side is
bumpy. On the first one I made, I made the mistake of putting the
smooth side on the inside. That didn't work too well, as the smooth
surface just reflected the light, and not much came out the front.
However, once I reversed that so the bumpy side was on the inside, it
worked great.
 
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nospam
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Posts: n/a
 
      03-19-2012
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>, Wolfgang
Weisselberg <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> > one of the better deals i've had was an iphone case for under 25 cents,
> > delivered. usa sellers have similar cases in the $30 range. call it $25
> > for easy math and it's 99% savings.

>
> That's a bad deal. You'll have to buy an iPhone to use it.


i already had the iphone but the case is a pouch and works for anything
of that size. in fact, i don't have an iphone in it.
 
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David Dyer-Bennet
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      03-19-2012
Alan Browne <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

> On 2012-03-16 00:24 , otter wrote:
>> On Feb 28, 7:39 pm, Peabody<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>>> http://www.ebay.com/itm/150720657330
>>>
>>> So it's a little softbox thingy that you mount on your flash. Just
>>> seems like it might come in handy to soften things a bit but still
>>> not throw light everywhere. I just wondered if anyone here had
>>> tried such a thing and whether it was useful. At $9 delivered, not
>>> a big risk, I guess.
>>>
>>> Actually, I was thinking of using it for backdrop lighting if it
>>> doesn't cost too many stops.

>>
>> Here's another low cost alternative:
>>
>> http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-...g-Lightsphere/

>
> I've bought and made devices for flash head softening. What is
> "wrong" about that one is the material is too transparent and a lot of
> light will be wasted to the back and sides. That's not so bad if
> there's a white wall behind you, but a better solution can be found.
>
> Even the Gary Fong device is wasteful. It is nice in the sense of
> portability.


It's like a "bare-bulb" flash, where you just remove the reflector. It
sends light everywhere, to make the whole room sort of a soft-box.

All of these things waste immense amounts of light of course.

You're probably wrong about transparency; the layers of material in the
bubbles are going to diffuse the light rather a lot.

I admit one of the first things I thought of is putting aluminum foil
inside on the back to direct more light forward.
--
David Dyer-Bennet, http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed); http://dd-b.net/
Snapshots: http://dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/data/
Photos: http://dd-b.net/photography/gallery/
Dragaera: http://dragaera.info
 
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Ryan McGinnis
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      03-22-2012
On Tue, 28 Feb 2012, Peabody wrote:

> http://www.ebay.com/itm/150720657330
>
> So it's a little softbox thingy that you mount on your flash. Just
> seems like it might come in handy to soften things a bit but still
> not throw light everywhere. I just wondered if anyone here had
> tried such a thing and whether it was useful. At $9 delivered, not
> a big risk, I guess.
>
> Actually, I was thinking of using it for backdrop lighting if it
> doesn't cost too many stops.


These things are magic when used on a flash that is off-shoe. You can
either use a hot-shoe cord or, my preference, a wireless flash system. You
hold the flash in one hand, the camera in the other, and you move your
flash (with lightbox) around to get the lighting you desire.

I know at least one National Geographic who uses these almost all the damn
time (while holding the flash in his hand). Natty Geo is apparently on a
wide-angle kick right now; BBC's Planet Earth upped the game for wildlife
photography so much that Natty Geo wants things shot up close with lenses
as wide as 28mm these days.

They do kill off a couple stops of light, but if you have a powerful flash
it won't matter, especially since you're going to want to have the flash
really close to your subject anyhow (otherwise the softbox effect won't
be very noticeable).


-Ryan McGinnis
The BIG Storm Picture: http://bigstormpicture.com PGP Key 0x65115E4C
Follow my storm chasing adventures at http://bigstormpicture.blogspot.com
Images@Getty: http://bit.ly/oDW1pT Images@Alamy:<a href="http://bit.ly"...p://bit.ly</a>/aMH6Qd
 
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Ryan McGinnis
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      03-22-2012
On Tue, 28 Feb 2012, tony cooper wrote:

> It doesn't look any better or worse than the plastic diffusers (Gary
> Fong or Sto-Fen) that fit over a flash. The disadvantage is that it
> looks bulkier to carry in the camera bag than a Fong or Sto-Fen. OK
> if you never take it with you.


Stofen does much less diffusing if you don't have anything to bounce off
of. The Fong diffusers can be simulated by using a piece of tupperware.
The Fong device is hilariously overpriced.

These softboxes fold down to be very small and thing when stored. Mine
cost around $14 and came with a small carrying bag.

> It ships from China, though. I don't really trust China shipments to
> get here, but I don't know if it's really a problem.
>


FWIW, Amazon has them too; not quite as cheap, but it ships straight from
the Amazon warehouse.

-Ryan McGinnis
The BIG Storm Picture: http://bigstormpicture.com PGP Key 0x65115E4C
Follow my storm chasing adventures at http://bigstormpicture.blogspot.com
Images@Getty: http://bit.ly/oDW1pT Images@Alamy:<a href="http://bit.ly"...p://bit.ly</a>/aMH6Qd
 
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Ryan McGinnis
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      03-22-2012
It's amazing how quickly almost all discussions on Usenet devolve into
stupid bullshit that has nothing to do with the group's charter.

-Ryan McGinnis
The BIG Storm Picture: http://bigstormpicture.com PGP Key 0x65115E4C
Follow my storm chasing adventures at http://bigstormpicture.blogspot.com
Images@Getty: http://bit.ly/oDW1pT Images@Alamy:<a href="http://bit.ly"...p://bit.ly</a>/aMH6Qd
 
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Ryan McGinnis
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      03-22-2012
On Sun, 4 Mar 2012, J. Clarke wrote:

> should be more durable than one you cobble yourself. It's one of those
> things that's so cheap it's worth a try. The big question in my mind is
> whether it includes the velcro to secure it to the flash. Some of the
> cheap ones don't.


The one that I got didn't come with velcro to attach to the flash, but
also didn't need it -- it attached in a way that the tension of the
attachment kept it securely on.

-Ryan McGinnis
The BIG Storm Picture: http://bigstormpicture.com PGP Key 0x65115E4C
Follow my storm chasing adventures at http://bigstormpicture.blogspot.com
Images@Getty: http://bit.ly/oDW1pT Images@Alamy:<a href="http://bit.ly"...p://bit.ly</a>/aMH6Qd
 
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Peabody
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      03-23-2012
Ryan McGinnis says...

> These things are magic when used on a flash that is
> off-shoe. You can either use a hot-shoe cord or, my
> preference, a wireless flash system. You hold the flash
> in one hand, the camera in the other, and you move your
> flash (with lightbox) around to get the lighting you
> desire.


Well mine is on the way, so I should be able to give a full
report soon. I think it could turn out to be pretty useful.

> They do kill off a couple stops of light, but if you
> have a powerful flash it won't matter, especially since
> you're going to want to have the flash really close to
> your subject anyhow (otherwise the softbox effect won't
> be very noticeable).


The flash isn't all that powerful, but I do have ISO
1600. I have modded two ancient Vivitar 3500 flashes
from back in the 1980s so they are now manual flashes with
adjustable power down to 1/32. Not the most powerful
flashes in the world, but actually work pretty well.


 
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