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What is the difference between soft box and light diffuser?

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Illya Pushkar
What is the difference between soft box and light diffuser?
on Oct 4, 2015 at 12:53:59 am

Hello fellow creaters!

I m looking to buy lights for video and I do not know whether I need to buy a lighting kit with soft boxes or a diffuser. What is the difference between the two? I appreciate your input.


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Aaron Star
Re: What is the difference between soft box and light diffuser?
on Oct 4, 2015 at 7:35:38 pm
Last Edited By Aaron Star on Oct 4, 2015 at 7:36:05 pm

What lights are you looking at specifically?

Diffuser I have seen used with the latest LED panels to attempt to unify the LEDS multiple shadow issue. But a diffuser might also be refer to a 4x4 frame of opal,250, or 216 in front another light.


Softbox could be an overhead fixure, or stand mounted fixture designed to control the output large soft source. It could also refer to a Chimera with diffusion mounted to another lamp, or a rig like Mole Richardson's "Softlight".

It really depends on what you are looking at, marketing terms used, and camera guy, or gaffer is using for terminology.


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Illya Pushkar
Re: What is the difference between soft box and light diffuser?
on Oct 6, 2015 at 12:40:31 am

Thank you for your response. I will be using LED lights to shoot promo videos for 2 businesses in the area as well as run and gun documentaries and short films. I am new to video. Do you know what is the best way to learn the technical side of making a good quality video? Some folks say I should simply experiment but I am concerned that I won't attain a high level of skill relying solely on my experimenting. I appreciate you time and feedback.


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Mark Suszko
Re: What is the difference between soft box and light diffuser?
on Oct 6, 2015 at 4:22:38 pm

You're asking people to collapse years of schooling and experience into an easily digestible pill you can swallow to be immediately skilled. It doesn't work like that.

This is an interactive web site that will teach you by direct example, rudiments of how to light well, and what various lighting tools ans settings can achieve in the way of "looks". It's just dipping a toe in the water, but it may help your immediate problem by showing you actual setups and their relative effects.



http://lowel.tiffen.com/edu/

You don't necessarily need to buy their products off the bat. one can make a softbox out of a hard light using foam core panels and a sheet of diffusion material, for example. You can bounce a hard light off a reflective white, gold, or silver card or sheet of foam core, and get a nice soft light effect.

A soft box contains a diffuser on the front, emitting face, while containing "spill" from contaminating the rest of the area you're shooting in.

A diffusion panel or "silk", will be used to soften any hard light source placed behind it.

While LED lights have many advantages, they can be a little harsh because they represent an array of tiny point sources, each throwing it's own shadow, when what you want is a broad, large, single-point source to make a soft, flattering light, like sunlight thru overcast cloud, that wraps around a subject, making wrinkles disappear and smoothing skin, while not leaving harsh shadows.


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Illya Pushkar
Re: What is the difference between soft box and light diffuser?
on Oct 7, 2015 at 1:01:00 am

Thank you very much for your elaborate answer! It is very helpful. I am sorry that you got an impression that I want to swallow a pill that would make me know everything. My question was 'what is the most practical way of learning?' There are different ways of learning things (school, internship, or practicing). I just wanted to know others opinion. Also, I do not see what is wrong in wanting to learn things faster. If someone has free time, ability and drive - why not? Everyone chooses their own comfortable pace.


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