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Old Sep 13, 2007, 4:58 AM   #1
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I am looking to photograph (music band) group shots (indoors & outdoors) and also some indoors individual portraits.

I plan to use my 580Exii with either an umbrella or softbox on a stand. I also have an 80cm white reflector I can use. I understand a softbox will give a softer, more diffused light quality, but then an umbrella can project more light output. I am unsure, however, if my 580EXii will have enough output to work with a softbox.

Can anyone give some advice, upload example photos, and if so, recommend any particular makes/brands that I should look at.

Any advice greatly appreciated!
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Old Sep 13, 2007, 9:47 AM   #2
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Either modifier works well to soften the light.

A 580 might work with a small softbox but it dosen't have much power to start with some experimantation would be needed :-)

I believe you would also lose all automation since the flashes sensor is blocked by the softbox or umbrella.

Not really difficult to learn using full manual exposure.

How much light you lose depends on the softbox, its size, and its internal baffles, my Chimeras and PhotoFlex boxes drop the light by about 3 stops.

Have you looked at Strobist?

In particular
has a lot of information to get you up and flashing

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Old Sep 14, 2007, 7:55 AM   #3
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Umbrellas don't provide the degree of diffused light you get with a softbox, but for a group shoot like yours I'd think a couple of big umbrellas would be much easier to handle. Umbrellas are cheaper and easier to store as well. You can make softboxes (I made a small one for food product shots), but they're difficult to move around, and need to be large to do much good at diffusion.

softbox inside view

softbox outside view

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Old Sep 14, 2007, 7:55 PM   #4
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You'll probably want a dedicated strobe at some point. I am no expert but you did not specify shoot through Umbrella, Softbox, or Brolly box. A large shoot through is very much like a soft box but is often larger at least for the money a good deal. Others can point you all sorts of places. One popular one is Alienbees.com has a lot of nice inexpensive strobes and gear in question to go with. Others might have many other favorite places too for the other gear,
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