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Photography Q&A: Real Questions. Real Answers. by Zack Arias

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Which softbox—28″ or 50″?

Q: ZACK, I’M LOOKING AT BUYING MY FIRST SOFTBOX. I’M DEBATING BETWEEN THE 28″ WESTCOTT APOLLO AND THE 50″ APOLLO. NOT REALLY SURE WHICH ONE TO GO WITH FIRST. I MAINLY STICK TO PORTRAITS, HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS, AND COUPLES. THOUGHTS?

A: These are different enough that some thought needs to go into this process of which one to buy.

The smaller the light source, the harder the light will be. The larger the light source, the softer the light will be. The rule of thumb when using a softbox is that the maximum working distance from the subject should be no more than twice the diagonal measurement of the face of the softbox.

Huh? Measure the diagonal dimension of the front of your softbox. The 28″ Westcott has a diagonal measurement ...

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