Tag Archives: softbox

LED Softbox Test

[Note: This is being published as a “work in progress”, so I will be adding photos, framegrabs and video clips over the next few days, as I have time]

I heard about a new make of LED softboxes which seem to be being used by some photographers and though it would be good to test them and see if they live up to their claims. I contacted the distributors and was sent 2 to test. In addition I asked for dimmable transformers.

I tested them with both a stills camera (the Canon 5D Mark II) and a video camera (Red Epic).

Size and Packaging

Each panel comes well protected in a thick cardboard box with foam corner protection and a foam front panel protector. The size of the packaging is 66cm x 63cm x 5.5cm._MG_3181

The panel itself is very thin (about half the width of a £1 coin) _MG_3185 and measures 595 x 595mm square _MG_3184

The only connector is a socket into which you plug the transformer. You can either use a fixed brightness transformer (supplied with the unit) or buy a dimmable transformer (as shown here) _MG_3182

Colour Temperature

The box and specs claim they are 4500K. However in testing they turned out to be closer to 4100K.

Intensity

I took a series of photos with the light at 2m, 1m and 0.5m from the subject (a black/white/grey card). The ISO was set to 800, the aperture was f/2.8.

Full-at-0,5m,-_MG_3180 At 0.5m, the shutter speed was 1/1250th.

 

Full-at-1m,-_MG_3179  At 1m, the shutter speed was 1/500th.

Full-at-2m,-_MG_3177At 2m, the shutter speed was 1/125th.

Video Flicker

coming next

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Equipment Used

I often get asked what I use for lighting and remote triggers, etc. so I thought it would be useful to list it here along with links to where it can be bought.

[The prices and links are valid as of July 2014]

Flashguns

I have 3 of the Yongnuo Flash Speedlite YN-560 II flashguns.

They have more than enough power for studio use. I usually have the keylight in a softbox on half power and shoot at f8 at ISO100.

They are available for £36.39 each from amazon.co.uk
or the newer version (with built-in wireless triggers) are £45 each, also from amazon.co.uk

Radio Triggers

I have 4 of the Yongnuo RF-603 Radio Triggers. Each one can act as either a transmitter or receiver, so you need one more than the number of flashguns you want to trigger.

They are £21 per pair from amazon.co.uk

Softboxes

I have a 120cm/47″ Octagon Softbox with grid
These are currently £45 on eBay.co.uk

I also use 2 rectangular 60x90cm Softboxes with Grids. I got mine for US $43.98 (approx £26) each on eBay.co.uk, but they seem to be currently out of stock. The next best I can find is this one on eBay.co.uk, which is £32 plus £12 postage.

Flash holder/light stand adapter

To attach the softbox and flash to a light stand, I use a Black Adjustable Flash/Shoe/Umbrella Mount/Holder/Bracket. These are £7.28 from the seller ukpartsdeal on eBay.co.uk

Remote Cable Release

To trigger the camera remotely (to avoid camera shake) and also to use for taking time lapse sequences, I use the Yongnuo MC-36 C3 Camera LCD Timer Control Shutter Remote (for 5DII and III, 7D and various others). This is currently £19 on amazon.co.uk