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Testing my new cheap and cheerful umbrella softbox

anibap

Well-known Member
D600 + SB700 + Nikon 28-105 AFD + £15 80cm Umbrella softbox...and the most beautiful model I have.

After seeing some nice shots by sancho1983 here with a cheap chinese umbrella softbox, I ordered one for experimentation. This umbrella softbox is an octabox - a chinese replica of an Apollo Orb

Few shots later I was quite impressed with it. It is quite deep and 80 cm in diameter. Has silver lining inside and only one diffusion panel with velcro.

I have been using a shoot through umbrella until now and a couple of advantages I have already noticed with this cheap umbrella softbox are

1. Much reduced or zero specular highlights since the flash is firing opposite to the diffusion panel and only reflected light is hitting the panel.

2. Lights is quite directional and can be shaped better than shoot through umbrella in certain scenarios

3. More softer light than umbrella

As for the Umbrella softbox - being cheap and chinese it is not robustly made, but feels like it can handle some light abuse. It folds and opens up pretty well and has an opening for the speedlight mounting inside. I used my Calumet (Manfrotto inspired) umbrella adapter on a lightstand and setup is easy. The diffusion panel quality is not great but it works well. The velcro is cheap quality, but seems like it will survive. It is quite lightweight and comes with a simple bag. For £15, it is good for people who are learning light modifiers and non pros on budget.

Here's few shots I took to test the umbrella softbox in a casual manner. I didn't even bother to change my lens to my 50 mm or 85mm 1.8 primes as I was just testing with some objects. It is then my daughter said she could pose for me before going to bed. You can see it is not even set at a 45 deg angle and was quite low close to the floor.

1.
DSC_4752A by Anirban.acharya, on Flickr

2.
DSC_4748A by Anirban.acharya, on Flickr

3.
DSC_4751A by Anirban.acharya, on Flickr
 

Dancook

Distinguished Member
Probably the pp applied

actually it's the direction of shadows and position of catch lights which make me think this.

What I know about light positioning is usually 'rule of thumb' type stuff - and rules are made to be broken :)

(Oh and when I meant low, I meant height wise)
 

anibap

Well-known Member
I don't know if it's by choice, but my first thought is that the lighting is too low.

actually it's the direction of shadows and position of catch lights which make me think this.

What I know about light positioning is usually 'rule of thumb' type stuff - and rules are made to be broken :)

(Oh and when I meant low, I meant height wise)

Dan, you are right about the light being too low in height, but I think you guys didn't read the last paragraph of my post - I wasn't really taking pictures seriously. I was just testing objects at a low height with the light stand at its minimum height and then came my daughter. I could have adjusted the height, but it was more like casual testing.

Having taken these pictures, now I can think of breaking rules sometimes as I like some of them. :D

Here's few shots I took to test the umbrella softbox in a casual manner. I didn't even bother to change my lens to my 50 mm or 85mm 1.8 primes as I was just testing with some objects. It is then my daughter said she could pose for me before going to bed. You can see it is not even set at a 45 deg angle and was quite low close to the floor.
 

Dancook

Distinguished Member
That's probably why I didn't mention it the first time I checked the thread when I actually read it :D when I came back I had forgot. Well you have a fantastic model to work with :D have fun
 

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