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10acgal Mar 22, 2005 8:47 PM

I am about to purchase my first strobe, Alien Bee 800. I am unsure which umbrella to get. I am torn between the silver/white and the shoot-thru. This will be my main light and I am planning to use my Sigma 500 as a slave for fill. Shooting mostly family portraits for now.

Thanks for your help!


CastleDude Mar 24, 2005 2:14 PM

For your first get the shoot through.

Two reasons.
1-It gives you a poor mans soft box.

2- White is less harsh than silver so it tends to soften the picture. This is advantageous for portraits (softens wrinkles and skin blemishes).

Umbrellas are cheap .. Check out ebay, cheap ones are $10 or less each. I have had really good results with them.

PeterP Mar 24, 2005 2:47 PM

I like the Eclipse umbrellas

They are reversible, the black cover can be taken off and then the umbrella can be turned around and used as a shoot through.


Mar 24, 2005 6:38 PM

I agree with both replies (& the larger the better). The Eclipse is especially nice as the ribs are covered so they don't show up in image reflections. Here's a pic taken with my 60" Elipse reflecting off her glasses...


(A softbox gives you a rectangular or square reflection...not always a bad thing if you are trying to achieve a "window" looking reflection).

10acgal Mar 24, 2005 8:52 PM

Thanks for your help. I've ordered the convertible shoot through. Black cover can be removed - 48".

Mar 24, 2005 9:32 PM

In case anybody is interested...these are excellent too!

I think the question came up in another thread too. These are similar to the halo-mono type of light diffusers...

Both are great for a rounder, wrap-around type of lighting.

pingree35 Mar 25, 2005 1:47 AM

I have had good luck getting nice skin tones with a silver white umbrella. The shoot through gave me skin that looked dull.

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