Today I finally received a couple of brackets I was waiting and an addition softbox I had purchased to start experimenting with my 600EX-RT flashes in Soft boxes. I will be experimenting with a couple different sizes and shapes from one manufacturer just get an idea of outcome.
I understand I am going to look 1 to 1.5 stops of light from my Speedlite units while they are in the softboxes.
One of the things I am attempting to see if the difference in light spread with a rectangular box. Of course things will be different again with an Octodome, and different again with an umbrella. Also very different if they are used with an unbrella with a light diffusion sock.
I feel Canon has done us a great favor by releasing the 600EX-RT because I think it will be less complicated to control the flashes in these different setups.
I hope I am correct in my thinking!
I am sure there are others out there that have experimented along the same lines as I have. Please post your comments in regard to your experiences with the 600EX-RT and light modifiers. I am very interested in your findings.
There are lots of varients on soft-boxes. Some have an extra internal diffuser panel (optional -- you don't have to put it in) but that eats a bit more light. I think Westcott has an Octabox that has an optional beauty dish insert.
The 600EX-RT has a diffuser panel that slides out and hinges down in front of the flash to increase the spread of light. When I use the flashes in a soft-box I use that diffuser panel.
I bought a couple of Lastolight EzyBox (speedlight version) -- mostly for portability (they have a 24" version that I mount on a monopod and have an assistant hold it to sidelight subjects even wile I'm "on the move". I have a 30" size but I feel it's just a little too big to be mobile (it works, but considering it's only an extra 6" taller and wider it seems a whole lot bigger.) But I do like how much better the light looks from a soft-box.
The awesome thing about the Canon "RT" suffix flashes is that they can go inside a full enclosed soft-box and you can completely remotely control flash menu settings from the on-camera menu (no need to touch the buttons on the flash -- so no need to open the soft-box to get access to it.)
Tim I am familiar with the Wescott products. I personally have Photoflex. Right now I am setting up a 12x16 xs LiteDome and a Medium Light Dome which is much larger. I also have a Small Octodome and a Medium Size Octodome as well. The rest of my studio boxes are just way too large.
I do think my experience in my Studio will give me good jump on the learning curve once I start to understand the Canon Flashes better.
Westscott makes the Apollo and the Rapid Box. Both of those appear to be interesting products based on an umbrella type assembly. I believe its the Rapid box that has the small Beauty dish adapter plate.
Then you have Photek which make the Softlighter II which is also umbrella based which can have the addition of a Sock attached.
Paul C Buff designed what call a PLM in different sizes and I hear a lot of good things about that. Its also umbrellas based in my opinion with a Sock that can be added to it.
So there is lots out there if you look. The whole key is getting the right combination and that will work with your gear.
I am still learning my 600EX RTs and how to control them so it will be interesting.
Since my last post on this topic I have added a 3 foot Photoflex Octodome and the Extra Small Octodome with is an 18 inch Octodome. So far I have only tested the 3 foot. I also was able to get the proper speed ring I needed to mount the special flash bracket I needed to mount my 600EX to my Photoflex Medium Multidome.
So about two days ago I combined the 3 foot Octodome with Multidome which is 32"x 24" and was able to get some nice results. Then I added the x-small Photoflex LiteDome to the Mix last night. So far so good.
I am using the ST-E3-RT to control everything and the exposure looks good. Right now I am shooting with the diffusion panels out. I am working to find my comfort zones working with the Hot shoe flashes for my portable studio setup right now.
I also am waiting on 3 Photoflex 30inch umbrellas to arrive. It will be interesting to see what the results will be using those compared to what I am doing now. After that I will probably move to working with the Westcott products until I figure out what is going to most effective for the lighting work I want to do.