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Cheap Softboxes


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#1 M Joel W

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Posted 20 December 2007 - 08:30 PM

I was looking to pick up a rifa light, but they are too expensive...

I have an old lowel DP light that's gathering dust, so I figured I'd buy a cheap softbox off ebay. I've used a few Chimeras (24X36, 36X36) in the past...would these compare (and work with a DP light). Or would the output be less intense and not as shapely?

http://cgi.ebay.com/...1QQcmdZViewItem
http://cgi.ebay.com/...1QQcmdZViewItem

Thanks,

-Matt
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#2 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 20 December 2007 - 08:54 PM

Their construction is probably extremely cheap, they won't last. If you want cheaper than Chimera, go with Photoflex.
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#3 Kiarash Sadigh

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Posted 20 December 2007 - 11:46 PM

What's your application for this? Does it involve a lot of travelling? if you're setting it up in the corner of your studio and leave it there then it might be fine, but if you want repeated set ups then you definatley want something sturdy that you can rely on. Even Riffas are kind of fussy...you have to be careful with them. Let us know if by any chance you end up buying them.
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#4 Michael Nash

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Posted 21 December 2007 - 01:15 PM

I was looking to pick up a rifa light, but they are too expensive...

I have an old lowel DP light that's gathering dust, so I figured I'd buy a cheap softbox off ebay. I've used a few Chimeras (24X36, 36X36) in the past...would these compare (and work with a DP light). Or would the output be less intense and not as shapely?

http://cgi.ebay.com/...1QQcmdZViewItem
http://cgi.ebay.com/...1QQcmdZViewItem

Thanks,

-Matt


That looks like a still photography/strobe setup. The speed ring probably won't fit a Lowel DP, and the softbox may not hold up to the heat of an open face.
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#5 robert duke

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Posted 21 December 2007 - 04:29 PM

That looks like a still photography/strobe setup. The speed ring probably won't fit a Lowel DP, and the softbox may not hold up to the heat of an open face.


These are crap. I bought one to make a garbage box light. It worked great but the softbox was crap. the rods are too thin, the material is not heat resistant, the speed ring only fits some strobes. the speed ring melted with a 250w globe.

save your money.
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#6 timHealy

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Posted 21 December 2007 - 05:03 PM

Rifa lights are great and light weight. Mo Flam has a bunch of them in his kit. Russ Engels uses Half Domes a lot for the same reasons.

If you don't have money to buy some professional gear you could easily may soft boxes of any size you want with foam core. Typically the foam core with whit on one side and black on the other. You basically need a box with diffusion covering one end and the black side out and the white side in. You could mount a 750 stud on it and out it on a grip stand and then bang your Lowell Dp or any light through it.

You could easily add a piece of batten (1 inch by 3 inch wood) to make it more rigid. You could also make small soft boxes with medium mogul base porcelain sockets and use anything from a 60 watt bulb to an ECT. Mount it on a small piece of batten and put a stud on it and you again can mount it to a grip stand or anything you want.

The "professionals" build stuff like this all the time so you are only limited by your imagination and electrical experience.

Best

Tim
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#7 M Joel W

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Posted 21 December 2007 - 05:26 PM

Thanks for the advice; I suppose I'll either build something or save up for the photoflex.
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#8 robert duke

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Posted 21 December 2007 - 05:43 PM

Dan Cornwall uses "billy boxes" or garbage boxes. He takes a small file box or paper box and lines it with aluminum foil. installs a socket and zip cord, around the face he puts velcro and keeps some diffusion cuts with matching velcro. He mounts a baby pin to the back of it and voila. A small super cheap softbox. He used these a lot on Black Snake Moan.
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#9 Matthew Buick

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Posted 21 December 2007 - 06:47 PM

Their construction is probably extremely cheap, they won't last. If you want cheaper than Chimera, go with Photoflex.


Wow! I've been watching something very much like this on ebay, good thing I came here. I'll probably go down the Chimera road, I want something that will lst a while.

I'll also need a Chinaball, I think you are the expert on these thing, Jonathan? Is there anything you'd care to recommend?
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#10 Freya Black

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Posted 21 December 2007 - 06:49 PM

Dan Cornwall uses "billy boxes" or garbage boxes. He takes a small file box or paper box and lines it with aluminum foil. installs a socket and zip cord, around the face he puts velcro and keeps some diffusion cuts with matching velcro. He mounts a baby pin to the back of it and voila. A small super cheap softbox. He used these a lot on Black Snake Moan.


What do you mean by "around the face" Robert?

It sounds intresting!

love

Freya
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#11 Pete Von Tews

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Posted 22 December 2007 - 04:10 AM

I just picked up these softboxes (36" x 36") from ebay and so far, so good. I set them up mounted to a pair of lowel omni's (600watt). The construction is OK, and the "speed ring" fits OK on the lights. They have some weight to them, and do hold up on the stock lowel stands, but really, a c-stand would be best.

I had the softboxes powered up for close to an hour to see if they would melt or whatever. I just got a very light burning/melting smell (not as bad as it sounds), but everything held up. Tomorrow I will probably test these on a job, and later this week try shooting some product footage. Not bad for 70$
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#12 robert duke

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Posted 25 December 2007 - 06:34 PM

the front edge of the open side of the box.
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#13 Darryl Richard Humber

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Posted 25 December 2007 - 07:13 PM

I worked with Cornwall for years and he (and Bryan Gunter) used fileboxes on EVERYTHING. They are very versatile, and work great. Just be sure you put enough foil in them or they'll become, as we used to call them, 'fireboxes."
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