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Best Softboxes To Have Proper Illumination Control During Photoshoots
Last updated: 22 Oct 2021
Lighting is the major factor that one needs to focus on while doing any type of photoshoot. You need to keep in mind that the illumination in the area should be more natural and not focused so that the features of the subject can be captured easily. And to get that perfect lighting in the room, you can leverage one of the best softboxes in 2021. They are light modifiers that are used to control the illumination, allowing you to soften the light source as per your requirements and take perfect shots.
You would be glad to know that various professional photographers use them for different types of shoots and consider them as essential equipment. Fortunately, there are innumerable such light diffusers available in the market, but not all of them are meant for you. That’s why we have filtered and reviewed the top-notch photography softboxes that can help you tackle any lighting issue during the shoot.
Comes with two CFL bulbs, each producing an output of 800 Watts
Includes two stands with a height adjustability range of 27 to 83 inches
Strong locking system that gives stability to the stands
This softbox kit is specifically designed for professional photographers who are planning to open a studio. It contains two softbox windows, two adjustable height stands, two E27 CFL bulbs, and a tote bag for storing all essential items.
The E27 light bulbs effectively produce a soft light, which is then enhanced by the Nylon softbox. Both CFL bulbs require a power of 85W to operate and generate an output of 800W, which is ten times more than any ordinary bulb. Due to this, the life span of these bulbs is more than 8000 hours. Besides, the embossed stone eliminates any chances of light loss and helps in controlling the illumination of the room.
Both light stands have a height range of 27 to 83 inches and are perfect for doing all types of photoshoots. As the stands are made with high-quality Aluminum alloy, they are light in weight as well as portable.
If you are more into portrait shooting, then this square softbox is perfect for you. It would focus the lighting majorly on the subject and prevent any kind of illumination loss. Besides, this softbox is durable and can easily fit with any 660 LED panel. The fabric softens the bulb light and removes any shadows from the model.
Besides, the magnetic rods and locks allow you to expand the light modifier to a full extent with proper stability. This square softbox also comes with attachment straps so that you can connect it to various light panels easily. Thanks to its foldable structure, it won’t take up much space in your bag. Moreover, it is perfect for both indoor and outdoor shooting and is highly preferred by video bloggers and product photographers.
You can adjust the softness level of light with the removable diffusers
Dimensions: 16.26 x 12.71 x 4.33 inches
Carrying an entire softbox kit for outdoor photography is difficult, and this product is designed to overcome this issue. It is an octagon-shaped softbox that allows you to do fashion shoots, close-ups, portrait photography, and more. Besides, it contains external diffusers, which gives you complete freedom to adjust the softness level of lighting.
This softbox also has an umbrella-shaped body made with high-quality, dense Nylon that works as a proper reflective surface. The silver coating on the internal side prevents light loss, whereas the black body makes sure there are no shadows on the subject.
Apart from that, it contains universal mounting screws so that you don’t have to buy any extra connectors to attach light panels. Due to the umbrella shape, it becomes easier to broaden the light source without using any flash.
Contains a muslin cloth that acts as a background for photography
Four adjustable light stands with proper locking mechanism
Two softboxes of 24 x 24 inches each
E27 sockets for connecting with various light sources
This softbox kit is specifically designed for studio photography. It comes with four light stands, a light holder, CFL bulbs, umbrellas, a muslin backcloth, and a softbox. Each piece of equipment is made as per industry standards and would help you get the perfect shot.
The light stands have a height adjustability range of up to 79 inches and contain tripod bases for better stability. They also come with holders where you can attach the CFL bulbs for a proper light source. Each bulb generates a power source of 200W and provides more natural lighting.
Besides, the two softboxes in the kit soften the illuminating source to make sure there is no light loss or shadows on the subject. The umbrella also helps in broadening and diffusing light properly.
Buying a softbox is not an easy task, as there are certain things that you need to know about them, like, their construction, build material quality, portability, etc. That’s why we have noted down all these important aspects that will help you in selecting the one that meets your requirements.
What Factors Should You Look For In A Softbox?
When it comes to softboxes, the construction quality matters a lot. Most of them are built with high-density Nylon that works as a perfect light diffuser. It helps in softening the illumination while removing any shadows that might fall on the subject. Besides, you also need to pay attention to the expandable rods that are used to alter the size of the softbox. If they are not sturdy, then it would become difficult to use the light diffuser properly. Hence, make sure to go for a softbox that is made with high-quality Nylon and has expandable rods made with Aluminum alloy.
If you are an expert in studio photography, then you don’t have to worry about the portability of the equipment because in this case, softboxes need to have a stable immovable base.
However, for outdoor photography, you need to have a compact softbox that is light in weight and easy to carry. It would help you to capture your subject’s best features without the need for flashes. There are various such light diffusers that have a foldable structure and can easily fit in any bag without taking much space or weight.
Softboxes come in small, medium, and large sizes. The difference in size helps in determining the quality of the light. A large softbox is bound to broaden the light beam into a soft illumination with no shadows while the smaller one helps in generating harsh light with definition and shadows, which is usually required in concentrated photo shoots. They help in creating more depth on the subject.
Besides, a medium softbox creates a moderate light source with proper definitions and no shadows. They are perfect for outdoor shooting where you don’t need any flashes and can easily capture a nice shot.
You would get four types of light diffusers in the market —rectangular, square, octagonal, and strip softboxes.
Rectangular light diffusers are mostly used in landscape shooting, where you need to capture the entire scenario and not just focus on a single subject. Besides, you can rotate the softbox to get proper vertical shots of the scenario.
Square light diffusers are specifically made for portrait photography, where the center of focus is a single subject. They help in defining the features of the image properly by adding more definitions. These softboxes are also used in small studios with limited space.
Octagonal softboxes are highly preferred by photographers as they are made for indoor as well as outdoor photography. You can go for portrait shooting, close-up shots, fashion shooting, and more. Due to its shape, the light source softens and gives off a more natural look.
What Is The Difference In Softboxes And Umbrellas?
Both umbrellas and softboxes have the purpose of softening the lighting in the room. They use a single source of concentrated light and expand it onto a larger surface. Though the function of both of them are quite similar, there are some differences that ultimately help in deciding which one is better for you.
Firstly, umbrella diffusers are portable due to their easy foldable structure. You can carry them easily in your bag or kit. On the other hand, most softboxes come in sets and are a bit difficult to fold due to their material.
Umbrella diffusers work on generating defined lighting with a bit of depth to enhance the subject’s features. But, softboxes produce flat lighting that helps in achieving a natural light in the studio. Due to this, the captured image looks more flattering and unedited.
If you go for an umbrella diffuser, you won’t be able to have much control over the lighting due to its shape and functionality. But, in the case of softboxes, you get complete control over the illumination and can easily adjust it as per your requirements.
How Much Does a Softbox Cost?
The cost of a photography softbox falls in the range of 35 USD to 70 USD. Softboxes are made of high-quality material that helps in softening and broadening the light source. Due to this, the cost of manufacturing increases. However, the cost of light diffusers also depends on whether they come in a kit or as a single piece. Though a softbox kit is extremely helpful and comes with all essential equipment, they fall in the higher price range.
On the other hand, single-piece softboxes are not affordable and easy to carry but also have a universal fitting. You can use them with various light panels without any compatibility issues. It is better to go for a single-piece softbox as it would help you to save money and buy other essential gadgets.
What Are The Advantages Of Photography Softboxes?
Softboxes are designed to enhance the subject’s features so that the quality of the image increases. Apart from that, there are various other advantages that these diffusers have, which we have mentioned below.
With a compact softbox, you can get instant lighting anywhere at any time. You don’t have to worry anymore about getting a perfect light source for capturing images. There are several diffusers that are compact, portable, and don’t have any complicated installation process. By getting one of these portable diffusers, you would be able to take images whenever inspiration strikes you.
Easy Product Photography
You might have seen those flattering product images of your favorite brand that have proper depth and perfect lighting. With the help of a softbox, you would be able to practice your product photography skills at home. They don’t need much space for installation yet give you complete control to adjust the room’s lighting and enhance the features of your subject.
Softboxes also help in creating professional videos by focusing more on the subject and not on the background. Various famous video bloggers invest in these light diffusers to create the perfect lighting and remove shadows from their videos.
How to know what softbox size is perfect for me?
Before selecting a softbox, determine the type of photo shoot that you want to perform. If you want to do close-ups and product photography, then a small softbox will do the work. But, for landscape and full-body shoot, you would need a bigger one that can fully accommodate the scenario.
How can I control the lighting level in the softbox?
To control the lighting level in the softbox, change the source of light. Use a single beam light and let the diffuser absorb and broaden it as per the surface area.
What type of softbox is perfect for a small studio?
There is limited space in small studios, due to which you cannot accommodate a large softbox. In such cases, it is better to go for compact and portable diffusers that can easily attach to any stand regardless of its height.
Jordan and his wife own a small business that they run from their home. With a toddler underfoot, they’ve learned a lot about what equipment and organization helps to keep their business running and their home office setup family friendly.