What kind of Reflector/set should I buy?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by jettlich, Dec 4, 2011.

  1. I am an amateur (sometimes professional :)) photographer, who's been using a DSLR (Nikon D90 at the moment) since 2004. I mostly shoot images of people outside, spontaneously, currently using the 50mm 1:4 lens. I love natural lighting and am thus not a fan of often using my mount-on flash nor my flash-on-camera. I wanted to get a Reflector to fill in with some light on faces when necessary.
    What kind, color, size, brand of reflector would you recommend? I thought it would be easy to just add a white general reflector to my Christmas wishlist, but whether on BH or amazon, there is a massive slew of options!
    Thanks for your help.
    Jenna
     
  2. My most used reflector thru the years has been a white poster board either held by someone else, proped against a handy rest or taped to an extra tripod or lightstand. Simple and costs just a few cents.
     
  3. I'm hoping to put one on my Christmas list, too. Like you, I am overwhelmed with the possibilities. I've used a foam core board, but it's hard to manage and hard to carry around. I would like one that collapses. My first choice is a Lastolite TriGrip reflector/diffuser set. The Lastolites are more expensive and I haven't decided if the extra cost is worth it.
     
  4. The 'fold-up' ones are common and cheap on eBay and not much more expensive in your local store. Mine is silver on one side and gold on the other. Nice for warming things up when I remember to take it along.
    By the way, for those of us who had trouble folding a road map correctly, there are actually a number of YouTube videos showing how to refold them. ;)
    Just the other day, I saw somebody who recommended wearing a white shirt for close in work.
     
  5. On folding collapsible photographic equipment:
    JDM, if I may take a moment to brag on myself: I can fold a road map. :) And with the help of my teenage son and some practice, I can now fold my Lastolite Ezybalance card. All by myself!! Therefore, I think I am ready for a collapsible reflector. But I'm going to keep my teenage son nearby just in case.
    Jenna, we have a camera store in town and I think I'm going to send my husband there to buy one. You might call B&H and get a recommendation from them.
     
  6. For under $50 (taxes included), I use a 41 inch Westcott 5 in 1 Reflector.
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/501357-REG/Westcott_301_5_in_1_Reflector_Disc.html
     
  7. The three most popular colors are white, silver and gold. The white reflects the least light but is softest. The silver reflects the most light but can be a little harsh depending on whether you're reflecting direct sunlight vs a cloudy/hazy day. The gold warms up the flesh tones but you have to be careful not to overdue it. I would start with one that is white on one side and silver on the other for the most flexibility. Westcott and Photoflex are two good brands, but these are so simple that just about any brand would do fine.
     
  8. Adorama's Flashpoint brand reflectors are a great value. I got this one for Christmas last year:
    http://www.adorama.com/FPPR5122.html
     
  9. Well, actually I can fold a road map too, but I confess that my collapsible light 'box' defeated me until I saw the YouTube video. :) The reflectors are not all that hard.
     
  10. I have a couple of the Lastolite Tri-Flips that I like really well - an 18" and a 30". The different 'skins' make it versatile and fun to experiment with. I like the brand and think it's well made and worth the money. I also like their diffuser material the Tri-Grips are based on.
    A lower-cost solution would be one of the other brands like Impact, which will basically accomplish the same thing but maybe a little less conveniently and is probably less durable.
     
  11. Whoops - double posted. I hate Wi-Fi...it's so slow.
     
  12. I like the white and silver ones. I prefer white outdoors and in good light, silver in very low light (indoors). I find the gold ones too strong in colour. Maybe a gold/silver mix is okay but I have not tried it. I would rather buy two or three, or five, cheaper ones than one or two expensive branded ones. I got a "high quality" branded one first (it was not a Lastolite but another well known brand) but soon one of the rivets holding the metal ring came loose and the ring became odd shape and the fabric was not entirely flat anymore (despite the manufcaturer or dealer claiming it to be "guaranteed flat"), then the silver coating started to peel off. It looked very miserable next to the cheap Chinese copies that cost a fifth of its price and have lasted much better. I have about 15 of them in different sizes and colours. Oval shape is good for people pictures. Big round one can be used as backround for headshots.
     

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