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Lastolite Ezybox Speedlite

BraveheartBraveheart Member
edited August 2013 in flash & lighting
Hi,
Just got myself one of these things for when i need to use on camera flash and can't bounce.
How much light will i lose when it is attached ? Does this mean it is only useful for waist and up shots, ie close ?
Therefore how far away can i use it effectively ? I know i can put it on a stand off camera too. I use a nikon sb-700 gun right now.

Comments


  • "How much light will i lose when it is attached ? "

    -depends. Not more than from bouncing. Maybe a stop or so.

    "Does this mean it is only useful for waist and up shots, ie close ?"

    -Oh no. You can light up a whole group of people!

    only available light: image

    using additional available light: image

    "Therefore how far away can i use it effectively? "

    -Closer is softer and you loose less light. Farther away gives "harder" light and you need more power. Neil has articles on the inverse square law/ light fall off. Distance also depends on the conditions/environment and camera settings such as f stop and ISO
    .
    http://neilvn.com/tangents/bounce-flash-photography-and-inverse-square-law/

    and

    http://fstoppers.com/photography-made-easy-inverse-square-law


    Rudy
  • Rudy,

    Did you light that entire group with just *one* 24"x24" soft box? If yes, where was the light placed?

    Also, I'm confused by your statement that "closer is softer." If the light is placed further from the subject, shouldn't the fall-off be less dramatic? I guess I'm interpreting less dramatic fall-off as softer light, but maybe a light placed closer to the subject is softer because the size of the light is bigger, relatively speaking? Thanks for any clarification you can provide.

    Justin
  • Falloff is less dramatic the further you go back but that has nothing do to with soft light. Soft light is all about the "size" and "distance" of the light source to your subject.

    I know that a softbox 50' away from a subject will not work but just go with it for the demo.

    Light runs in strait lines.

    image

    Only way to get light behind the head is with a black hole.

    image

    Now the light source is close enough that the light sprayed out at the outer edges can get behind the subject.

    image
  • TrevTrev Moderator
    edited August 2013
    Succinctly put Zenon.

    Where it helps to have the light further back and less fall off is with large groups and 3-4 rows of people. If light is close, you will get nice exposure on the front row, but the fall-off of light will be more dramatic to the back, up to a stop+ of light which is pretty severe.

    An easy way to remember how light falls I go by the rule of thumb, every 1/3rd of a meter is a 1/3rd less light or 1/3rd of a stop.

    1ft. = roughly a 1/3rd of a meter, and you move back by around 1 meter [3ft] you lose on average 1 stop of light.

    Now move the light back, adjust power to suit, and the actual fall-off between front row and back will be reduced quite a bit so you get more chance of better exposure across the rows, reducing it pretty much to even or maybe 2/10ths-1/3rd stop.
  • This makes more sense now -- thank you Trev & Zenon. I'm trying to put this all together for an upcoming shoot of a family of four, two adults and two kids. The shoot will be outside, so bouncing light is difficult and I'd like to light the family with a soft box. I'm unsure about how close to position the soft box. Too far and the light becomes too hard. Too close and the light fall-off may be too dramatic from the first person to the last. What's a good distance in this situation? Thanks ...

    Justin
  • TrevTrev Moderator
    4 is no problem at all, generally around 2-3 meters [6-10ft] will suffice.
  • hey jcgoodson,

    yes, that was one 24x24 soft box (about $35 from amazon and it is very good) and it was about 7 feet high and right behind me. And the soft light explanation has been covered nicely. You can actually do this with your phone. In the dark, take your phone and bring it close to your hand that is near a wall (not touching) When the phone is further away, you will see the hand shadows on the wall. As you get closer to your hand with the phone, the shadows on the wall will no longer be an outline but will begin to soften. Same for any light source....

    Rudy
  • Sorry if I posted this link in a another thread. I could have linked it. I go to the lake for 3 days and I can't remember where I was 3 days ago. I think understanding fall off or the inverse square as a strobist is just as important as understanding the relationship of ISO, shutter and aperture for non flash photographers. Like Trev said plays a big role in group photography.


  • Thanks for the tips guys.
    The Ezybox I was referring to though is the SMALL one, about 8" square.

    Iain.
  • That's what I thought from your first post. Being delivered to my house as I write this is a Fotodiox 8-inch Octagon softbox, which I am hoping to be able to use in situations you describe. I'll let you know how it goes. I also picked up a Lumiquest 80/20 Pro-Max system (used on EBay), but I haven't used that yet in any "live" situations. I picked both of these up on the real cheap, which is good because if they are virtually useless to me, I'm not out all that much.

    Dave
  • Braveheart - the jury for me is still a bit out, but I took a number of shots using my new Fotodiox 8-inch Octagon on-camera softbox, and my Lumiquest 80/20 ProMax. Right now, if I couldn't bounce and had to choose a flash modifier, it would be the Lumiquest. Why I say the jury is still a bit out is I was taking shots of myself, and couldn't quite get positioned to show big shadows when using direct, unmodified flash. I want to do more tests. The on-camera softbox wasn't bad, but initially wasn't as good as the Lumiquest.
  • Thanks guys
    I suppose when it comes to softboxes, bigger is always better.
    I will probably use this small one for closer in stuff fill flash if I can't use my BFT and bounce it.

    Cheers
    Iain
  • I have the 8" square Lastolite.  It's useful when you aren't allowed to set up the larger 2-foot softbox.   Because the 8" softbox is smaller, you do have to bring it closer to the subject to get soft light.
  • Stephen - do you have any experience with it on-camera?
  • StephenStephen Member
    edited April 2015
    dbruno, keep in mind that I don't shoot professionally.  So, read the following with that in mind.

    I have used the Ezybox speedlite on-camera several times after I bought it, both as directional flash and pointing the flash straight ahead.  I normally never point the speedlite straight ahead at the subject, since that produces the least flattering light.  However, I wanted to test this scenario compared to a bare flash pointing straight ahead.  When pointing the flash straight ahead at the subject, the Ezybox speedlite does soften the light noticeably, but not to my satisfaction.  When I use directional flash with the Ezybox speedlite on it, it works well, but I didn't feel this was really a significant improvement compared to directional flash with just the black foamie thing.  In the end, I went back to on-camera directional flash without the Ezybox speedlite or off-camera flash with the Ezybox speedlite.

    I did an "oddball" photo with the Ezybox speedlite off-camera like this:
    http://stephentang.deviantart.com/art/Scary-Stories-Told-by-Paine-265641913
    I don't think I would have gotten the right amount of lighting if the flash was bare.

  • TrevTrev Moderator
    edited April 2015
    Stephen,

    I love the lighting on that shot, got the 'Hollywood' horror genre about it, perfectly lit and composed, great colours. Well done.

    The fact you say you don't 'shoot professionally' belies the fact you are very good as I have seen some of your other work, and believe you me, you would knock the socks off of some of the 'professionals' I have had the mis-pleasure of seeing over the years.

    Only last Saturday, I was shooting a wedding with bright open light (sky/sun/rocks/sand/sea) behind the couple, they were in shade on a deck and I had two off-camera lights set up along with on-cam flash to bump it up a tad more, then I see this woman who was a friend of the bride shooting with her  28-300 kit lens, NO flash, and when I asked her how she was getting on with no flash, her response was: Oh, I had to fiddle around a lot but I got great shots.

    Well my answer (in my head) was bullshit she did, then I found out later she was actually a 'professional' and friend of the bride, I wonder why she did not get the job.

    But sorry, I digress, just had to share that tidbit.
  • Stephen - I was just curious about your experience on-camera, professional or not. I purchase a Fotodiox 8" Octagon softbox which I was intending to use on-camera with direct flash, looking for something to help out when I couldn't bounce. I did a bunch of test shots with it, and my jury is still out. I need to do more work with it. As I don't read a lot of comments on here from folks using the smaller softboxes, I was curious to hear what you thought.

    Dave
  • StephenStephen Member
    edited April 2015
    Trev,
    Thank you for the compliment!  It means a lot to me to hear this coming from another excellent photographer like yourself.  I am never quite sure where my photography skills stand in the photographer spectrum, so receiving a validation from someone working in the field is a confidence booster!  

    dbruno,
    These days, if I need to do on-camera flash, it's directional with the black foamie thing.  If you do this, you'll always get at least even/flat lighting on your subject.  This is still preferable than pointing the on-camera flash forward even with a softbox.

    Here is an example of on-camera bounce flash: http://stephentang.deviantart.com/art/Rita-Repulsa-421070437
    The subject is too close to the wall, which is causing the hard shadow (which I generally do not like), but it was a crowded event with other people taking pictures.

    Here is another example of on-camera bounce flash that turned out better in my opinion:
    While I intentionally added some vignetting on the edges in post-processing, the light fall-off in the background is real.

    If you must shoot the on-camera flash forward, use the Lastolite 8" softbox if that is all you can use.  The photo will be better than without the softbox, but it won't look "impressive."  (impressive as in it probably won't "wow" people)
  • You may not be a 'Pro' Stephen, but your pictures are better than most of the so called 'Pros' where I live.

    Iain
  • Thanks for the compliment, lain!  

    I credit that to Neil's fantastic resources. :-)
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