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DIY softbox for portraits

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Willieera View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Willieera Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: DIY softbox for portraits
    Posted: 07 August 2014 at 09:06
I made a softbox that mounts onto my speedlight on camera, and was wondering what i could use to diffuse the light best as a material.

Here is a photo taken with the softbox attached using xerox white paper to defuse the light.



The design, (sorry photos taken with iPhone)





 



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stiuskr View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote stiuskr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 August 2014 at 12:20
Post moved to the Lighting sub forum.
Rob Suits Jr.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote sybersitizen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 August 2014 at 13:07
Originally posted by Willieera Willieera wrote:

... was wondering what i could use to diffuse the light best as a material.

There aren't that many options. Other than paper, there's cloth (try a handkerchief or pillow case) or a thin plastic panel (white or maybe clear with little pyramids for diffusion).
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Tezzating View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Tezzating Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 August 2014 at 16:58
Cooking parchment (AKA cookie sheets, grease/wax/butter paper) could all be used. They are much thinner for better light transfer and will tolerate the heat of the flash much better.

I experimented with a similar aparatus for a while.. then went and bought a light stand and umbrella instead. The results are much more satisfying

Edited by Tezzating - 07 August 2014 at 17:10
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Post Options Post Options   Quote stiuskr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 August 2014 at 17:28
If you're gonna do it, do it right. Rosco makes a variety of diffusers with different characteristics, here's a link to B&H for all of the sheets they have to offer.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?atclk=Format_Sheets&sts=ma&ci=24480&N=3943751008+4261834020&Ntt=roscoe

They used to have sample kits with all of their diffusers, grids, and color filters in two sizes, 1"x3" and 3"x6" but I can't find them listed right now, might be in there somewhere though.

Edited by stiuskr - 07 August 2014 at 17:36
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Willieera Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 August 2014 at 10:24
Thanks all,

I used this last night at a shoot, and have mixed emotions with the results, but to be fair i always feel that way with outdoor fill flash. I could be over critical and trying to make artificial light be natural in difficult situation.

I am however not going to give up,
 



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Post Options Post Options   Quote rickztahone Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 August 2014 at 00:46
I believe many of us go through this problem at one point or the other. DIY is fun, but after a while you realize that in order to get a pleasing shot, the diffuser made would be impractical to carry around.

My suggestion would be to get stand, a bracket and a small-ish diffuser and fire off camera. It is really like night and day difference.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote CuriousOne Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 August 2014 at 07:09
http://4l4agu.wordpress.com/2014/07/29/why-cheap-softboxes-suck-and-how-to-make-perfect-onepart-i/
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Willieera View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Willieera Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 August 2014 at 07:35
Thanks all again for the feedback.

I replaced the xerox paper with wax paper, the results were very satisfying. There are still things i would do to improve on the box,but as for now I quite pleased with the light.

Will post some of the wedding photos where I used the softbox this past Saturday soon.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Tezzating Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 August 2014 at 18:14
Glad to hear it worked ! You could try lining the inside of the box with tin foil to increase light transmission.. and a larger box will always help distribute the light more softly
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Willieera View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Willieera Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 August 2014 at 15:07
Ok, finally getting to the image where I used the softbox with wax paper.



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Edited by Willieera - 15 August 2014 at 15:10
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ffrolvaag Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 August 2014 at 16:05
As noted above lining the inside with foil will help light transfer. My preferred DIY material is using white plastic shower curtains. They are very cheap (~$3 US) and come in a larger size (roughly 72" x 60" or 210cm x 150 cm). That gives you options for large panels, but it can be cut down to size as needed. It is much more durable than any paper products.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jlav Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 September 2014 at 23:14
I think the question I have is what do you want the softbox for?

Are you using it for fill light? In which case, what is your primary light? The samples you have posted have dark backgrounds which produce deceiving results.

As a rule, your primary light needs to be off of the camera unless your into harsh light. A diffused fill isn't bad when you can balance it, in which case it looks like a pretty good softbox. If you want this to be your primary light however, then I would just start saving for a good one. A decent portable softbox with a hotshoe attachment is not very much money these days.

If you're really tight on money, I've used a set of these for 5 years now: http://www.linkdelight.com/T2O-Wireless-Flash-Trigger-Kit-wAdapter-for-SONY-Minolta.html
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