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  1. #1

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    Softbox v Octabox

    Hello!

    I am looking to purchase an Elinchrom diffuser, either a softbox or an octabox. I've done some research and can't seem to derieve a particularly satisfactory answer. Is there a difference between the two other than the shape of the catchlights in the eyes?

    Thanks!
    --Paolo

  2. #2

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    Size more than shape is important in how the light wraps around your subject.

    A small octabox is more directional than a extra-large softbox.

    The shape has more to do with the catchlights in my opinion.

  3. #3
    blansky's Avatar
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    I agree. I don't think the shape has much to do with anything except catchlights.

    In considering a softbox, I'd first decide if it's use was for head and shoulders to 3/4 or for full length.

    If for the former I'd stick with about 24x36. If the latter then get the large/extra large size.

    Remember the closer the light is, the softer it is. In my opinion the very large ones give a very muchy light when very close.


    Michael
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  4. #4
    JBrunner's Avatar
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    One consideration I have noticed, that has nothing to do with the results, is that most octaboxes are not as deep as a corresponding rectangle of the same size. I don't know why that is, but just that as a result, they take up less real estate in the studio.

  5. #5
    wilsonneal's Avatar
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    I always thought that the octabox had its light unit mounted so that it fired to the rear inside the box, reflecting off the back and this light was softer and more evenly distributed with no hot spots. The soft box designs are more conventional with the head pointing toward the front of the box. I could be wrong, but that's what I recall. This design was more expensive because of the extra bits to mount the head fully inside the box.
    N

  6. #6
    blansky's Avatar
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    Wafer, I think it was, was one of the first to offer softboxes that supposedly didn't have "fall off". While portrait photographers don't really care, and in fact like the fall off, but people who photograph food and products want a perfectly even distribution from side to side.

    I have a number of different "softboxes", and some reflect the light coming off the head back to the back of the box, while others have diffusion in between the head and the diffused front. Others just use the front panel.

    Wafer, I think was the first softbox that was not anywhere near as deep as Chimera, Westcott and Photoflex.

    Michael
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  7. #7

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    I always thought that the octabox had its light unit mounted so that it fired to the rear inside the box, reflecting off the back
    This is correct.

  8. #8
    jstraw's Avatar
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    As for catchlight, my photoflex has a mask that velcros to the front to make the shape of the reflection round.

  9. #9

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    Okay thanks for your responses everyone!

  10. #10
    StoneNYC's Avatar
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    Softbox v Octabox

    Quote Originally Posted by blansky View Post
    Wafer, I think it was, was one of the first to offer softboxes that supposedly didn't have "fall off". While portrait photographers don't really care, and in fact like the fall off, but people who photograph food and products want a perfectly even distribution from side to side.

    I have a number of different "softboxes", and some reflect the light coming off the head back to the back of the box, while others have diffusion in between the head and the diffused front. Others just use the front panel.

    Wafer, I think was the first softbox that was not anywhere near as deep as Chimera, Westcott and Photoflex.

    Michael
    I'm digging up this VERY old thread because I have both wafer and chimera and I love chimera for setup, but wafer has much better light OMHO and part of it is their plastic diffuser which has a graduated density heavy in the middle and lightening as it spreads, however the plastic can't be folded they have to roll up, I travel a lot and so the break down and setup is a huge pain compared to chimera which are super easy.

    Anyone know of a silk/cloth diffuser that is thick in the middle but graduated to thin at the edges?


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
    ~Stone | "...of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong." ~Dennis Miller

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