Monday, June 11, 2012

Monday Modifier: Photek Softlighter Series

I've reviewed a couple 43" umbrella's that make nice portable round softboxes, but the Photek Softlighter adds a new dimension.  I saw them in use a few months back on CreativeLive with Matthew Jordan Smith and he couldn't stop talking about them.  60" on the large version, and the diffusion panel is removable so if you truly need a "grenade" blast of light, you don't need to swap out the modifier for an umbrella.  They claim that 10 strips is better then an octagon's 8, but you'll have to make up your own mind on that.  I didn't have a similar size octagonal softbox to compare.  I only was able to shoot with it briefly.

The one complaint I did have, unlike the Apollo Orb, it does not have a recessed edge.  You can't control the light with this as you can with an Apollo, the diffusion panel is edge to edge and tends to bleed where a recessed edge would give you more of a cut off point.  An advantage it has over the Orb, however, is the back cover can come off and it becomes a shoot through umbrella.  Three modifiers in one.  Actually, I witnessed another photographer placing a second one at the models feet and having her hold the shaft and using it as a reflector.  A tad expensive as a reflector for my taste, but I guess that classifies as a 4th use.