LumiQuest Softbox III flash diffuser test

Found in: TestsLumiQuest
Jun 17 2009
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Lumiquest Softbox III

LumiQuest Softbox III (best flash diffuser rating: 8.22) is a very easy to use flash accessory. All you need to do is just put it on and shoot through. (Please refer to LumiQuest Softbox III review for more details about its design.) There is, however, something to watch out for - the flash zoom. Even though the diffusing screen of Softbox III is center-weighted, it may still produce a hot spot, which causes uneven scene illumination and shadows harsher that you might want.

To better understand how the flash zoom affects the image, we conducted a test. We took sample shots with the flash zoom set at 105mm, 50mm, 24mm, and 14mm (14mm frame coverage requires the use of the built-in wide-angle diffuser.).

The shadow softness is also affected by the distance from the light source to the subject. We performed the tests from 2 feet and 6 feet distances.


Text 1: Hot spot

LumiQuest Softbox III flash diffuser test: hot spot, flash zoom at 105mm LumiQuest Softbox III flash diffuser test: hot spot, flash zoom at 50mm
105mm
50mm
LumiQuest Softbox III flash diffuser test: hot spot, flash zoom at 24mm LumiQuest Softbox III flash diffuser test: hot spot, flash zoom at 14mm
24mm
14mm

For the hot spot test, we set flash power to manual to have a fair comparison. As you can see, the 24mm and 14mm settings produce the most even light dispersion, and in the case of 14mm (wide-angle diffuser), there is some additional loss of power.


Text 2: 2 feet

LumiQuest Softbox III flash diffuser test: 2 feet, direct flash, flash zoom at 50mm
direct flash, 50mm
105mm
LumiQuest Softbox III flash diffuser test: 2 feet, flash zoom at 105mm
50mm
LumiQuest Softbox III flash diffuser test: 2 feet, flash zoom at 50mm
24mm
LumiQuest Softbox III flash diffuser test: 2 feet, flash zoom at 24mm
14mm
LumiQuest Softbox III flash diffuser test: 2 feet, flash zoom at 14mm

Text 3: 6 feet

LumiQuest Softbox III flash diffuser test: 6 feet, direct flash, flash zoom at 50mm
direct flash, 50mm
105mm
LumiQuest Softbox III flash diffuser test: 6 feet, flash zoom at 105mm
50mm
LumiQuest Softbox III flash diffuser test: 6 feet, flash zoom at 50mm
24mm
LumiQuest Softbox III flash diffuser test: 6 feet, flash zoom at 24mm
14mm
LumiQuest Softbox III flash diffuser test: 6 feet, flash zoom at 14mm

Conclusion

As you see, there is a rather significant difference in how LumiQuest Softbox III softens the shadows depending on the flash settings. It's probably a good idea to always have your flash on manual zoom to avoid unwanted changes when you adjust your lens zoom. (Note, however, that if you use the built-in wide-angle diffuser, the flash zoom will stay put no matter how you adjust your lens.)

So, it turns out that you have a bit of control over shadows softness when using LumiQuest Softbox III. For the softest look, put the wide-angle diffuser on or select the minimum zoom setting of your flash. To add harshness - increase flash zoom.

Also, don't forget that bringing the softbox closer to the subject changes its relative size and gives you softer looking shadows.

Also read: LumiQuest Softbox III flash diffuser review

If you have any questions or comments, please post them below.





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