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02-11-2016, 03:17 PM   #1
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Light Modifiers

I have a number of Yongnuo speedlites and I'm looking for some new modifiers that would work with them. I've been using a 24" x 36" softbox with a grid, reflectors and shoot-through umbrellas.

Reflective umbrellas seem like an obvious choice. They're cheap, portable and easy to assemble. I'm seeing a lot of Paul Buff PLM recommendations and some Photek Softlighters. I'm mostly doing headshots or head-to-waist shots - for full body I assume I would need a 51 or 64 inch modifier? A number of them look like they don't have a front panel diffuser or grid so there might be more spillage onto the background and less control of light. Paul Buff sell the diffusers separately. They're good for studio which is where I'm playing the most - but they would be obtrusive outdoors and won't stay in place with wind and without a sandbag. You can't angle them down on your subject as much as softboxes but I can get a boom stand/arm for that.

I see octoboxes used in a lot of shoots. The light is versatile and more even than umbrellas, and softer than a beauty dish. The latter seems aimed moreso towards close-up portraits and gives an edgier more contrasty-look with more fall-off that you have to compensate for.

Grid spots for flashheads seem cool because they're easily portable. I like that you can control the width of the light to highlight a portion of the image like a snoot. They seem to be good for backgrounds as well as I like to use color gels or white light to make it pop more.

This is my basic understanding of modifiers and I'm curious if you guys have a preferred one or any recommendations.
I'm not really looking to spend more than $100 for a single modifier but I'm open to any suggestions.

02-11-2016, 04:53 PM   #2
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I have one of these: 37in speedlite softbox

I also have a different brand of one of these: SPEEDLITE SOFTBOX

They're both great, set up and break down quickly and easily, very portable.
02-11-2016, 06:20 PM   #3
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I bought a set of 48" umbrellas that can either be reflective or shoot through. So far I have only used them as shoot through umbrellas. They cost 2 for $25. For full body portraits you might want a larger umbrella, but a 60" convertible umbrella should be well under $50. These are an old standard light modifier.

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