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03-24-2015, 07:36 AM   #1
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lighting modifier - why brands matter

I haven't been able to find a clear answer, so maybe someone can help me out...


I'm currently going through my studio gear and changing it all up. Currently I am slowly retiring my Elinchrom heads for Profoto heads for studio and mobile use (just picked up my D1 and ordered a B1)

Now I'm looking into modifiers.

I'm comparing:

Profoto

Elinchrom

Light-tools

Strobe Pro

I'm curious how the different boxes actually are in use though. What is the quality of light difference? I know some may spill or not control the light as good as others, but what about the actual quality of the light. If I mix and match will one brand be warmer or cooler than the others?

As for quality of construction, I've done my research and I'm pretty happy with any of them. I just don't want to go into bankruptcy spending the money on Profoto boxes because well... their 30% more expensive once you add the speedrings compared to the competition.

My findings so far have nothing to do with the quality of light, but I'll share what I have seen.

Profoto - haven't touched them. too expensive with the recent Canadian pricing adjustment, don't include a speed ring.

Elincrom Rotolux - Easy tear down and setup with the articulating rod system. Stitching is really good, comes with really nice bags, speed ring could be used as a weapon. Actual fabric feels like it could tear easily on a branch if caught outside. They bounce really good when they hit the ground. I've been using them for a few years. Elinchrom Speedrings included with the price.

Light-tools - Fabricated right here in Edmonton, AB. Probably the best constructed boxes I've ever seen and touched. External material feels like it could stop a bullet. No speed-rings included with purchase, but include a basic fabric bag. Tear/down setup requires you to pull the rods out of the speedring every time, slowest setup/teardown I've seen so far. Wholesale priced, great warranty, great customer service, priced a bit lower than Elinchrom once you buy speed rings. Can fit egg-crate grids.

Strobe-Pro - No idea where they are made. Very easy setup that is much like an umbrella, even faster/easier than the Rotolux system. Materials are between Light-tools and Elinchrom in terms of durability. Stitching is my biggest worry. Priced stupidly cheap with speedrings! ($160 CAD for a 60 inch box with Profoto speedring!) So I can buy 3 or 4 for the price of one of the others mentioned. The light from the 36 inch octa I'm borrowing now is pretty warm. Can fit an egg-crate grid to the front.


Seems silly to spend $5000 in lights and then cheap out on boxes I know. But we're pentaxians!

03-24-2015, 12:16 PM   #2
bmw
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I can't comment on the build or other specifics, but if I may make a suggestion? Because of the cool/warm colour temp variations, I would tend to want to use modifiers from a single manufacturer so there's consistency. I don't like to mix colour temps with multiple sources hitting one subject. That would suggest buying into a "system", which in turn suggests choosing someone who has a broad range covering all your current and possible future requirements.

Otherwise, I dunno. I haven't much personal experience with different softboxes. I would try really hard to avoid hardware that needs speedrings, having seen what happens when a poorly made sb rips from the tension, and the general annoyances about putting them together and taking them apart. I love the softboxes that set up like an umbrella.
03-24-2015, 01:14 PM   #3
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I don't have any experience with those (except a short time with Elinchrome) but especially in Canada, Amazon sells Fotodiox which are very inexpensive, well made, and have the EZ-Pro design which makes them quick and easy to assemble-collapse. I'd at least go with such a design, it makes using a softbox on location so much simpler.
03-24-2015, 04:46 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
I don't have any experience with those (except a short time with Elinchrome) but especially in Canada, Amazon sells Fotodiox which are very inexpensive, well made, and have the EZ-Pro design which makes them quick and easy to assemble-collapse. I'd at least go with such a design, it makes using a softbox on location so much simpler.
Your both describing boxes very similar in design to the strobe pro boxes... Which are for sure the easiest to setup and tear down
QuoteOriginally posted by bmw Quote
I can't comment on the build or other specifics, but if I may make a suggestion? Because of the cool/warm colour temp variations, I would tend to want to use modifiers from a single manufacturer so there's consistency. I don't like to mix colour temps with multiple sources hitting one subject. That would suggest buying into a "system", which in turn suggests choosing someone who has a broad range covering all your current and possible future requirements.

Otherwise, I dunno. I haven't much personal experience with different softboxes. I would try really hard to avoid hardware that needs speedrings, having seen what happens when a poorly made sb rips from the tension, and the general annoyances about putting them together and taking them apart. I love the softboxes that set up like an umbrella.


03-24-2015, 08:54 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wired Quote
Light-tools
If the construction is as good as you say and they are local with great customer service, then that would be my choice. If you are traveling and have to assemble/dissemble for every shoot, then construction is a big deal. Most of the gear I have damaged has come either in transport or setup/take-down.
03-25-2015, 06:38 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
If the construction is as good as you say and they are local with great customer service, then that would be my choice. If you are traveling and have to assemble/dissemble for every shoot, then construction is a big deal. Most of the gear I have damaged has come either in transport or setup/take-down.
yes, the boxes are just impeccable with their construction. It's quite impressive really. The problem with them is that they do not break down as easily as other boxes. Need to release the rods from the speedring every time which I find takes up valuable time (and can be quite frustrating). Just swapping from rod-assembly style rings to rotolux rings for my Elinchrom boxes cut down my setup/teardown time by 15 min at the start and end of every session (for 3 boxes) granted I'm one to fold everything up really nicely too. So saving 30 minutes of valuable studio rental time at $70 an hour so I can shoot more is quite nice.


I'll probably purchase one just to see if there is a way I can adapt the speedring/rod setup from the Strobe-Pro boxes over to the Lightrein, they both use Bowens rings so in theory....
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