60 inch umbrella

Discussion in 'Lighting Equipment' started by michael_radika, Mar 22, 2018.

  1. I have a question I have to Nikon sb-80dx flashes will I be able to get decent light out of a 60 in silver reflector umbrella?

    Will I have enough power maybe putting the two flashes together to get good lighting and of a 60 inch umbrella or am I wasting my time?.
     
  2. Not wasting your time. The quality of the light will be good. The quantity is the question. Need a flash meter to measure it. A rough assumption is that 2 stops will be lost, compared to the guide number of the flash. Guide numbers from the manufacturers are optimistic so the real way to answer your question is to measure. Hard to predict with accuracy. 2 Speed lights should be enough. 1 speedlight could work but is situation dependent and the umbrella would need to be close to the subject.
     
  3. The main issue with using small speedlights in big umbrellas, is getting sufficient spread of light from the flash to evenly 'fill' the brolly.

    No point having a 60" brolly if only a 40" circle of it is illuminated. To fully fill the brolly, you either have to pull the flash right back on the stem, or drop the wide diffuser in front of it. Either way, IME it's not as satisfactory as using a smaller brolly closer to the subject.

    Two flashes pointed slightly apart might fill the brolly. It's a cumbersome arrangement though.

    I'm reminded of seeing a demo of an 8 foot parabolic. It's a shame that the monolight being pointed into it only filled about two-thirds of the reflector. There are some idiot salesmen around!

    I'm not a great fan of silver umbrellas either. They're very efficient (a two stop loss is an exaggeration I think), but the light can be very patchy, and almost always results in multiple shadows.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2018
  4. I'm going to grab me a 60-inch shoot through and a 60-inch silver reflective.

    I bought an interesting bracket from Adorama camera that holds the two flashes right next to each other on the light stand so I'm hoping my two flashes will fill that umbrella up.

    From the reading and the research I'm done and videos I've watch I do like the look of a big umbrella I think it's a it's a beautiful life the white light the white umbrella is definitely softer the I like the look of both of them, silver being a little more contrasty.

    They just seem like a very good inexpensive light modifiers.
     
    Wilmarco Imaging likes this.
  5. I'm going to grab me a 60-inch shoot through and a 60-inch silver reflective.

    I bought an interesting bracket from Adorama camera that holds the two flashes right next to each other on the light stand so I'm hoping my two flashes will fill that umbrella up.

    From the reading and the research I'm done and videos I've watch I do like the look of a big umbrella I think it's a it's a beautiful life the white light the white umbrella is definitely softer the I like the look of both of them, silver being a little more contrasty.

    They just seem like a very good inexpensive light modifiers.
     
    Wilmarco Imaging likes this.
  6. One of the good and bad things about the strobes I use(and I think a lot of strobes) is that the flash tube is out in the wide open and throws light almost a full 180º. I've yet to find any kind or size of modifier that they won't fill, although of course that also means that you have to be careful in that the light can go places you DON'T want. Of course, light from an on-camera flash is directional by design, so you're always going to be fighting that. It's also worth mentioning that many lights do use a similar "flash tube out in the open" construction, but at the same time if you're dealing with monolights the head can be large enough that it closes down the light beam. On my Normans, the flash tube is nearly the same diameter as the light head itself.

    I'm in general agreement on silver, though. For most purposes, I find them too harsh for my taste. I use shoot-throughs most of the time, and prefer white-on-black for reflective umbrellas. I know the latter are less efficient than silver, but I prefer the quality of light from them.
     
  7. I had originally planned on getting a 60" umbrella.
    But after talking with the salesman, I realized a 60" umbrella is almost 5 feet in diameter. duh
    That size makes it clumsy to work around and handle, in a standard home with an 8ft ceiling.
    You don't want to be scraping the ceiling and leaving marks on the ceiling.
    And at about 5 feet in diameter, it takes up a lot of horizontal space also.
    So it was the problem of handling, that killed the 60" umbrella, for me.

    If you have the ceiling height and space, then go for it.
     
  8. In a domestic setting, the biggest umbrella I'd consider using is a 42" or 43". 48" is really pushing it in an 8 foot or 8' 6" ceiling space.

    A one metre square softbox feels as if it fills about half the volume of a small living room, making it tight to fit the camera and subject in there as well!

    Personally I like 43" softbox umbrellas that erect like a brolly but act like a softbox. They're really quick to erect, and don't spread or waste light out the back like a shoot-through.

    Plenty soft enough for a head & shoulders shot, and two side-by-side give a beautiful wrap around window-like light.

    Incidentally, the way umbrellas are measured is a bit misleading. The size quoted is across the rear curve of the brolly, making the open face about 3/4 or less in diameter. A so-called 60" brolly is only around 48" diameter, and a 48" one about 3 foot diameter.

    "One of the good and bad things about the strobes I use (and I think a lot of strobes) is that the flashtube is out in the wide open and throws light almost a full 180º."

    - That wasn't the case with the bogus 8' parabolic demo. The monolight was fitted with a standard 7" shallow reflector, and it was clear to see that the pool of light nowhere near filled the (so-called) parabola. And a 'parabola' made out of matt-surfaced flat panels? Just an expensive joke!
     
  9. I have to admit that I've never seen much point in the tiny reflectors one sees on some lights like Novatrons.

    One of the reasons why I even bother with strobes in the first place is for complete control. If I want a, I'll put it there. I realize I lucked in by buying a system(or really a few systems) but I can put anything from about a couple of inches in diameter to about a foot and a half-or just leave the tube bear so that I have its full light for any modifier I want to use.
     
  10. Hey guys thanks for all your input I already have a 43 inch white shoot through that has a black cover so I guess it's reflective white and shoot through white. I'm going to do some of the shoot through with it and I'm going to do some reflective shooting with it and see which one I prefer.

    Then I'll decide if I want to try a 60-inch it'll give me a better idea of what kind of 60-inch I want.
     
  11. "I'm going to do some of the shoot through with it and I'm going to do some reflective shooting with it and see which one I prefer."

    - The result with the shoot-through will depend very much on the surroundings. The 'wasted' light reflected from it will bounce around a light-painted room and fill shadows - but the fill light will be tinted by any coloured surface it hits, and the reflected light will make it near impossible to control the depth of shadows.

    Outdoors of course a shoot-through is simply a light-wasting reflector/diffuser.

    Basically a shoot-through takes away a lot of your control over the light. And to me that's a big drawback.
     
    Charles_Webster likes this.
  12. Reflected shooting is better known as indirect which is the softer than shooting through the umbrella. Shooting through the umbrella will have more of a hotspot which will make the light more direct. As far as your question will a speed light work with a 60" umbrella the short answer is yes. You can use a speed light with a 10ft umbrella. The long answer is I have no idea what your taking pictures of or whether or not your in a controlled environment or not. Shooting indoors at higher ISO and using fast lenses you can use just about any modifier with a speed light. If you have specific requirements such as shooting at lower ISO and using slower lenses plus shooting in mixed lighting conditions you will have some lack of power issues when using a speed light.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2018

  13. I'm shooting a bronica gs-1 film camera slow lenses slow speed film mostly indoors portraits.
     
  14. Your lack of power will be your biggest problem. What are you currently doing? What are your settings? What are the results? What don't you like? What do you want to do?
     
  15. Well right now I own to Nikon sb-80dx S I own a 45 in shoot through white umbrella. I have a Wescott 26 inch Octa box.

    I would say 70% of the time I would be shooting in doors like in a garage portraits fashion fashion and portraits is what I love.

    I prefer shooting in black and white I love black and white film but I shoot color too.

    Just from watching a bunch of videos and different things I see the bigger the umbrella the softer the light the better the light so I thought I might want to move up to a 60-inch and an back and forth between the 60-inch in the 45 inch.

    So I'm really trying to get all of my gear together I finally solved the problem of controlling my flashes with radio trigger blah blah blah blah ,now I'm working on getting modifiers.

    So I think today I'm going to go pick up my 60-inch umbrella and play with it and see if I get the results I'm looking for.

    I also have a bracket that holds two speedlights so I can shoot two speedlights together for the 60 inch.
     
  16. Your not giving me any useful info to evaluate your current situation. You can have 20 different umbrellas, what I need to know is what are your settings on your camera and how close are the lights to your subjects. Are you happy with your results?
     
  17. Michael, with due respect, having a hotspot inside or outside the brolly makes very little difference. As far as the subject is concerned the light source is pretty much the same in size and shape. And a hotspot means that the light isn't 'filling' the brolly, which is the very point I made about wasted reflector/diffuser area.

    The only real difference is whether the speedlight blocks part of its own light from the subject, and this depends on the angle that the brolly is pointed at.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2018
  18. I understand Joe. I've been watching a lot of videos on umbrellas with two flashes or three flashes in them basically adding a third flash only adds a half more stop of power you would have to add aa fourt flash to get a full stop more power.

    I'm trying to get this whole thing set up and get my bracket and test everything out to see how this works.
     
  19. Let me see if I understand this right I'm taking some shots outside with the umbrella. The ambient light measurement from my Sekonic L 358 is telling me f8 at 1/60 of a second.

    So if I want to do fill Flash I need to be somewhere around F 5.6 at a 60th of a second with the Flash. It's a good starting point my my meter will tell me what the combination of ambient light is to fill Flash.

    I was reading the whole thing on my meter it's basically kind of how they explained it to me am I on the right path?

    Unfortunately film cameras aren't like digital cameras where I can just blow pictures off and keep shooting until I get it just where I want it with the fill Flash little tougher on a film camera I'm going to go through a lot of Polaroids.

    Now I'm starting to think getting an inexpensive digital camera for the exposure and the fill flash to look at it before I shoot it and then shoot it with my film camera because Polaroid film nowadays it's just too it's $2.50 a shot that's going to add up in a hurry in the long run to be cheaper to just buy an inexpensive digital camera for my exposures.
     
  20. Not exactly, that would be for indoor or studio readings. Outdoors with ambient you will use the percentage reading on your meter. The percentage is reading flash to ambient. Now there is a lot of variables that need to be accounted for that varies with each situation. You will need to practice to see how much of a percentage of flash fill you like. 50% May not look the way you think. I have shot a lot of images with 10-20% fill. If you subject is back lit you will need to do a much higher percentage even as High as 90%. You will need to practice.
     

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