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Light softbox


Richard Tadman
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20 hours ago, Richard Tadman said:

Can anyone recommend a large Light Cube Diffusion Soft Box Kit  for shooting coins, electrical kit and general memorabilia please?

I've been very disappointed with the run of the mill soft boxes which are neither robust nor functional.  Thanks

Richard,

 

For that last thirty years I've only used PHOTOFLEX boxes.

 

Chuck

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53 minutes ago, Chuck Nacke said:

Richard,

 

For that last thirty years I've only used PHOTOFLEX boxes.

 

Chuck

Them too. I'm not familiar with their light cubes so I didn't mention them. But I wouldn't hesitate. I don't know who stocks them in the UK now- like Chuck I've had mine 30 years.

Edited by spacecadet
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10 hours ago, spacecadet said:

Them too. I'm not familiar with their light cubes so I didn't mention them. But I wouldn't hesitate. I don't know who stocks them in the UK now- like Chuck I've had mine 30 years.

I should add that after over twenty years of using PhotoFlex lighting equipment, they recruited me to promote their equipment.  One medium box that I still use was purchased in

1986 and a "Half-Dome" about the same time.  I now use mostly PhotoFlex "Octadomes" and the original support rods were a problem, but the replacement rods have been fine for 

a decade.  I am not paid to promote Photoflex but they have over the years provided me with equipment.  As a well-known portrait photographer said " If you can not make a decent portrait with PhotoFlex Octadomes you really should find another line of work...." All of the portraits I have on Alamy were done with PhotoFlex boxes or Octadomes and NORMAN

lights.  I was a friend of Bill Norman.

 

I am not a product photographer, but "Great Light is what is needed."

 

Chuck

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1 hour ago, Nigel Kirby said:

Have used Bowens square soft boxes for the last 25years.

 

Nigel

I'd assumed OP wanted a light cube, which Bowens don't make, but he does mention soft boxes as well.

Incidentally today's Bowens isn't the company of old. The brand was bought out of liquidation and they're made by Godox.

https://petapixel.com/2019/02/20/is-bowens-really-back-yes-and-its-manufactured-by-godox/

Edited by spacecadet
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I used to use Photoflex boxes along with Norman strobes but about ten years ago, I needed a lighter, more portable strobe light system and so I switched to White Lightning (a U.S. brand....may not be found in the U.K.) and I use their own brand of light boxes...my fave is their 42inch diamater octobox for people.  I still have some Photoflex boxes that are adapted to my White Lighting via a speed ring but don't them very often.  They were the gold standard back in the 80s and 90s.  Most of my photog friends are now using the Profoto system.  I know it is excellent but very pricey compared to what I use...at least double the cost

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https://ae01.alicdn.com/kf/HTB16.GYt1OSBuNjy0Fdq6zDnVXaT/12-x12-inch-30x30-cm-Photo-Studio-Shooting-Tent-Light-Cube-Diffusion-Soft-Box-Kit-with.jpg_640x640.jpg

My guess is that the OP wants something like this.

 

Buy the cheapest you can find, they're all the same. Over time it will yellow though. They all do. Only some a bit faster than others.

I have one and can honestly say I almost never use one. Nor my horribly expensive Foba cove. (But I do have plans for that one.)

Most shoots have to be solved individually. Just when you have to do coins on a regular basis, it pays to have a dedicated setup. Which is not with a lightbox. Or maybe a very very small one.

With coins there are basically three schools: light from the front and light from the side with a negative or black fill and extreme rim light.

Here are the three setups at work:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDntzJtGwgA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lflzUgd6NKc

http://alwi-mocind.blogspot.com/2013/12/how-to-photograph-coins-using-dark.html

No aliexpress lightbox in sight. I prefer the one with the tin cans and the 2 sheets of paper.

 

wim

 

 

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1 hour ago, wiskerke said:

https://ae01.alicdn.com/kf/HTB16.GYt1OSBuNjy0Fdq6zDnVXaT/12-x12-inch-30x30-cm-Photo-Studio-Shooting-Tent-Light-Cube-Diffusion-Soft-Box-Kit-with.jpg_640x640.jpg

My guess is that the OP wants something like this.

 

Buy the cheapest you can find, they're all the same. Over time it will yellow though. They all do. Only some a bit faster than others.

I have one and can honestly say I almost never use one. Nor my horribly expensive Foba cove. (But I do have plans for that one.)

Most shoots have to be solved individually. Just when you have to do coins on a regular basis, it pays to have a dedicated setup. Which is not with a lightbox. Or maybe a very very small one.

With coins there are basically three schools: light from the front and light from the side with a negative or black fill and extreme rim light.

Here are the three setups at work:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDntzJtGwgA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lflzUgd6NKc

http://alwi-mocind.blogspot.com/2013/12/how-to-photograph-coins-using-dark.html

No aliexpress lightbox in sight. I prefer the one with the tin cans and the 2 sheets of paper.

 

wim

 

 

The second, with the black, then white paper is really cool. Simple, inexpensive and effective. He built a better mousetrap.

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Whilst on the subject of coin photography, this site has some pretty exhaustive comparisons of different macro lenses:

 

http://www.coinimaging.com/macro_lens_tests.html

 

Those translucent collars that vets put on dogs to stop them scratching can be useful for photographing small stuff, or improvise your own version.

 

Edit:

I see they're called 'Elizabethan' collars, how quaint

 

Edited by Harry Harrison
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40 minutes ago, Harry Harrison said:

Whilst on the subject of coin photography, this site has some pretty exhaustive comparisons of different macro lenses:

 

http://www.coinimaging.com/macro_lens_tests.html

 

Those translucent collars that vets put on dogs to stop them scratching can be useful for photographing small stuff, or improvise your own version.

 

Yes a great test site. Check his hall of fame and play around with he magnification.

 

Maybe a collar for a cat is smaller. I prefer a simple sheet of paper nowadays. In analog days I had a drawer full of matte polyester that was used in architect and screen print studios. Great stuff. I still have some snippets left.

 

wim

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2 hours ago, Chuck Nacke said:

My apologies, I mistakenly thought Richard was asking about larger soft boxes.

 

for a small box, less than a foot across, just make it yourself, not hard or expensive to do.

 

Chuck, 

 

This was my idea initially as well.

And they are a lot more useful than the Aliexpress boxes. Aka light tents (right Betty & Michael!). Although those do serve a purpose.

 

For softboxes my favorite brand is Wafer (by Gary Regester). I have only one small one. The others are some old Bowens ones, a couple of odd Westcotts and some Chinese no-brands.

If you ever have to set up a permanent studio, consider a couple of Broncolor Cumulites. At the moment they can be had for very little. Last month I was offered 2 for free, and I must admit I was tempted. Perfect even light and a very nice feathering. But huge.

 

wim

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9 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

I call them light tents, not softboxes. I’m still not sure what he’s wanting…lightbox….light tent….

 

I call then light tents too.

 

Softboxes are for putting on lights from small flash to super studio lighting systems to modify the output.

 

Allan

 

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