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Thread: Off brand profoto softbox?

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    Senior Member Erik Five's Avatar
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    Off brand profoto softbox?

    Hey

    I have some different profoto stuff, but no large softbox. The Profoto ones is about 1200-1300$ over here and I was thinking of checking if what else there is out there of high quality stuff that doesnt cost an arm and a leg. Ill fork out the extra cash if I need to, but just want to check my options first. So what other good options is there than the original ones?

    Thanks

    PS: If you have one for sale, please PM me

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    Super Duper
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    Re: Off brand profoto softbox?

    Quote Originally Posted by Erik Five View Post
    Hey

    I have some different profoto stuff, but no large softbox. The Profoto ones is about 1200-1300$ over here and I was thinking of checking if what else there is out there of high quality stuff that doesnt cost an arm and a leg. Ill fork out the extra cash if I need to, but just want to check my options first. So what other good options is there than the original ones?

    Thanks

    PS: If you have one for sale, please PM me
    IMO, the Elinchrom Octa box with a Profoto adapter is the best big modifier ... short of a Broncolor Parabolic which would cost you all of your limbs.
    It's basically a huge umbrella which makes it easy to set up and tear down

    Another favorite is the Plume Wafers ... but they do NOT set up and tear down quickly or easily.

    http://www.plumeltd.com/waferrect.html

    The cheapest really big box is this "Wall of Light"

    http://www.backdropoutlet.com/WALL-O...tinfo/SCW1000/

    I use this in my studio ... but it can be folded up and transported on location very quickly. For a crummy $250. it's actually built pretty well and has eyelets that allow you to suspend it. Not the same light quality of a regular softbox where you can control the specular level with baffles and diffusers, but it produces a huge soft light like a north facing picture window. The one I have is twice as big as the one listed here ... but now I can't find it on their site.

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    Re: Off brand profoto softbox?

    Have to agree with Marc on the Elinchrom Octa with Profoto adapter. I looked at their 39" one, thinking small portable, but quickly opted for the 53" model to handle things quickly, with great light, and not much cost compared to other options. Their bigger 69" or 74" models would be even better, and that is the size I believe Marc is using.

    Also, the Plumes put out gorgeous light for sure, but are a total PITA for easy set up and break down. Fantastic for the studio, but not a lot of fun if you need to be more portable.

    For 3'x4' size, I also use Westcott softboxes with a Profoto speed ring. Some folks are not as fond of them, but I have found them to be very reliable, producing very nice light, can add egg crates or other diffusers as needed, and still not breaking the bank on cost.

    For ease of set up and break down, plus great light, the Elinchrom Octa is still my choice. (Thanks Marc for the urging earlier on.)

    LJ

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Off brand profoto softbox?

    I like Octa's too and also prefer Elinchrom's -- they just work and they're pretty lightweight -- and if you use the Elinchrom QR ring, they assemble in a snap, literally!

    For rectangular boxes, I always preferred the Plume wafer banks, but they're pricey. The wafer is shallower than most softboxes, but still throws an incredibly even light -- not sure how they do it, but they do, and of course you can tune the fall-off with the baffles. A few years ago, I discovered that Calumets "Illuma" series is virtually identical at about 1/3rd the price -- plus Calumet keeps all sorts of spare parts in stock, like inner baffles, rods, covers, etc...
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Super Duper
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    Re: Off brand profoto softbox?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    I like Octa's too and also prefer Elinchrom's -- they just work and they're pretty lightweight -- and if you use the Elinchrom QR ring, they assemble in a snap, literally!

    For rectangular boxes, I always preferred the Plume wafer banks, but they're pricey. The wafer is shallower than most softboxes, but still throws an incredibly even light -- not sure how they do it, but they do, and of course you can tune the fall-off with the baffles. A few years ago, I discovered that Calumets "Illuma" series is virtually identical at about 1/3rd the price -- plus Calumet keeps all sorts of spare parts in stock, like inner baffles, rods, covers, etc...
    Jack, the Wafers are even because of the printed baffle according to Gary at Plume. I guess it works like a center filter.

    Are the Illumas easier to set up? I would not even begin to think of taking the Wafers on location.

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    Re: Off brand profoto softbox?

    Quote Originally Posted by LJL View Post
    Have to agree with Marc on the Elinchrom Octa with Profoto adapter. I looked at their 39" one, thinking small portable, but quickly opted for the 53" model to handle things quickly, with great light, and not much cost compared to other options. Their bigger 69" or 74" models would be even better, and that is the size I believe Marc is using.

    Also, the Plumes put out gorgeous light for sure, but are a total PITA for easy set up and break down. Fantastic for the studio, but not a lot of fun if you need to be more portable.

    For 3'x4' size, I also use Westcott softboxes with a Profoto speed ring. Some folks are not as fond of them, but I have found them to be very reliable, producing very nice light, can add egg crates or other diffusers as needed, and still not breaking the bank on cost.

    For ease of set up and break down, plus great light, the Elinchrom Octa is still my choice. (Thanks Marc for the urging earlier on.)

    LJ
    Yeah, mine is a 6 foot Octa. that I got years ago. The head faces inward on a really sturdy mount so some of the Elinchrom issues with their mount are pretty much nonexistent. This is the fastest big box to set up I've ever used. It's the monster stand you need that makes it awkward to deal with alone.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Off brand profoto softbox?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Jack, the Wafers are even because of the printed baffle according to Gary at Plume. I guess it works like a center filter.

    Are the Illumas easier to set up? I would not even begin to think of taking the Wafers on location.
    Yes, very easy to set up -- the Illumas have a special rod that is thin fiberglass at the outer end so bend easily for mounting, but still enough spring to hold them tight
    Jack
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    Re: Off brand profoto softbox?

    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Off brand profoto softbox?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Yeah, mine is a 6 foot Octa. that I got years ago. The head faces inward on a really sturdy mount so some of the Elinchrom issues with their mount are pretty much nonexistent. This is the fastest big box to set up I've ever used. It's the monster stand you need that makes it awkward to deal with alone.
    Thought so, Marc. This Octa today goes for nearly $1K, plus the stand, as you mention. It still looks to be the best bang for the buck in this very large size. In the end, it was just a little too big for what I need(ed) at the time, but it is still on my list of possible adds for later....when things start to pick up again (fingers and toes crossed).

    The 69" Octa is about $340 and the 53" is about $290, based on B&H prices today. Both of those have the head mounting from the back as normal softboxes, so there is a bit more stress on the mount, but the Profoto+Elinchrom set up seems to work really nicely.

    LJ

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    Re: Off brand profoto softbox?

    Back in my student days, I made my own big diffusers from pvc pipe and sail cloth. Buy some cheap black fabric for the back sides of the box and use the sailcloth (which you can buy from a sail maker and use seconds) for the front diffuser. If I felt ambitious I'd sew a tunnel for the PVC supports, but if not, I'd just clamp the cloth to the pipes. Not fancy but cheap and extremely flexible.

  11. #11
    ddk
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    Re: Off brand profoto softbox?

    Don't know what size you're looking for but I just ordered myself one of these;

    http://cgi.ebay.com/softbox-for-FOR-...3A1%7C294%3A50

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    Re: Off brand profoto softbox?

    Here is that sort of "wall of light" that Marc talked about. It was designed as a shadowless backdrop, but can be used as a very large softbox.

    http://www.lastolite.com/hilite-backgrounds.php

    It is collapsible and looks pretty portable. I imagine you could suspend it from sturdy stands if you needed to use it as an overhead, like for shooting autos and stuff, but as is, it would probably serve as a pretty large softbox to light a pretty big area, depending on the power of the flash units pumping into it.

    The device that David linked to looks like something one could easily make themselves with standard scrim frames and reflector or diffuser material, which is the other thing I was thinking about. Just build a big scrim frame and fire a couple of flashes onto the backside of the diffusing cloth to create a large source. One guy, Ed Pierce I think, built an 8'x8' unit with a bunch of fluorescent bulbs inside, and on wheels so that he could move it around in his studio. That seems a more permanent solution, while the Lastolite thing could be more portable or at least easy enough to break down and store when not using. Just some thoughts. All depends on how big you need it to be, and how much light you need to use for whatever you are shooting. The big Octas can focus and throw quite a bit of light pretty efficiently, while the more "wall of light" type devices will probably require a bit more Ws input to achieve same results, since they dissipate the light so much.

    LJ

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    Re: Off brand profoto softbox?

    Quote Originally Posted by TRSmith View Post
    Back in my student days, I made my own big diffusers from pvc pipe and sail cloth.

    I used foam core board and duct tape, myself.

    One of the better full length, evenly lit lighting sources I made (for use with B&W film) was a 4-ft, dual bulb florescent light fixture from Home Depot, lined with reflective mylar from Tap Plastics, and barn doors made from some throw away black plastic shipping cases. For awhile there I was really into florescent lights for portraits.

    The hardest part about building any light box is making it look like professional quality if someone is paying to sit in front of it. I never underestimated the value of that perception.

  14. #14
    aprillove20
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    Re: Off brand profoto softbox?

    Anyways, prefer Elinchrom's.

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    Re: Off brand profoto softbox?

    Picked up some Creative Light (offshoot of Profoto) boxes, including the 5' Octa a number of weeks ago (used with Profoto lamps)- highly recommend them.

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    Re: Off brand profoto softbox?

    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    Picked up some Creative Light (offshoot of Profoto) boxes, including the 5' Octa a number of weeks ago (used with Profoto lamps)- highly recommend them.
    I'm curious if these are made in China ?

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    Re: Off brand profoto softbox?

    According to the boxes - designed in Sweden, manufactured (like most folks these days) in China. Nice units, well designed, construction is very nice. Material is akin to a heavier version of what's used in Elinchrom boxes.

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    Re: Off brand profoto softbox?

    The one CL review on amazon sites them as hard to assemble, rods don't fold in half and are therefore harder to transport, no sleeve inside box to hold rod, caps fall off ends of rods and 700K cool shift.

    I guess you still get what you pay for.

    I have to laugh at the videos on the CL web site noting how two of the flush front boxes can be placed side by side to create a larger, seamless light source. You've been able to do that with a Chimera for a decade or two.

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    Re: Off brand profoto softbox?

    I had a long well-thought out and biting reply to the above "I read one review on Amazon" childishness, but I'll just go with "If you prefer ____ buy ____ " and a and leave it at that. Love it when new members add such value to the community.
    Last edited by robmac; 4th June 2010 at 05:00.

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    Re: Off brand profoto softbox?

    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    I had a long well-thought out and biting reply to the above "I read one review on Amazon" childishness, but I'll just go with "If you prefer ____ buy ____ " and a and leave it at that. Love it when new members add such value to the community.
    Doing my best to help out.

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    Re: Off brand profoto softbox?

    On balance, here's a favorable CL review from PDN. http://tinyurl.com/29tpawp

    I still stand by my original comment, you get what you pay for. Doing what Chimera has done well for decades is, well, a tuff act to follow.

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    Re: Off brand profoto softbox?

    Old thread but would like to ask same thing, i am also looking for a sofbox for my light, i have Hensel Pro Plus and i would like to buy cheap softboxes for it in small or medium size [maximum 80cm or 30in], i would like to buy 2 softboxes, i also have Profoto Head that i may think to get a softbox for it even i am happy with beauty dish with it, so any recommendations?
    Tareq

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    Re: Off brand profoto softbox?

    I've looked at the Creative Light stuff (never used them). Seems nicer than Photoflex, but not as flexible/long-term durable as Chimera.

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