What type of diffusion material?

Discussion in 'Lighting Equipment' started by eddie g, Apr 12, 2006.

  1. No one...(and I mean no one) not even the manufacturers know what
    the white translucent material is which serves as the diffusing
    front panel on a softbox. Oh, don't get me wrong there are many
    good guesses. But I have spent the last one and a half hours doing
    deep advanced searches on the net. This is indeed the biggest
    mystery in photography. I don't think the softbox manufacturers
    manufacture their own material. My guess is that they buy it from a
    fabric manufacturer. Let the guessing begin!
  2. It is not that important, is it? Some materials diffuse more than others, that's all; pick one that suits your needs/means.
  3. Try Ripstop Nylon at your favorite fabric store. Not Top Secret.
  4. Alot of it is made at the Dupont factory in Nashville(Rayon City). Rosco also sells some diffussion material that is close to that

  5. my guess is that some use polyester and some use nylon. I know some use sailcloth but sailcloth can be many things like dacron.
  6. I took a trip to my local hobby/fabric store and picked through the scraps. For about US$5, I brought home 4 different kinds of white, translucent cloth of varying thickness and sheen (and two black silks and a red velvet). I've been playing with these bits to get different looks, and when I find something I like, I will go back with the sample and ask for more of it.

    Try hitting some upholstry suppliers, industrial liquidators, and even your local *-Mart, buy some odds and ends, and give it a shot. Chances are you'll end up with a small library for various situations.
  7. I just got an email response from one of the softbox manufacturers and Elinchrom uses what Elinchrom calls " Tested polyester ".
  8. I wonder what that test might be. Anyway, my Elinchrom diffusion screens feel a lot softer than the Photoflex or Chimera screens...whatever that means.
  9. I tried the fabric store route, but what I thought was white was very much a blue white. So you definitely need to experiment.

    I'v had much better luck ordering rip-stop nylon in various thicknesses from kite suppliers.

    That said, though, the next time I fiddle around I'll probably just buy some Rosco stuff.
  10. Alien Bees responded to my email inquiry and said they use Nylon. Chimera responded to my email inquiry and said "Chimera Cloth, a dacron type fabric". Plume said "Nylon geige goods that are then crushed and flattened by a sail cloth die so that (wind and) light cannot come directly through the fibers".

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