Impact has introduced 26 new softboxes in multiple sizes with rectangular, square, strip, and octagonal form factors. The standard Luxbanx softboxes are intended for strobe use and feature white interiors and removable front and inner diffusers. The Luxbanx Duo softboxes feature silver interiors and a removable front diffuser; most models also have a removable inner diffuser. The Duos also offer vented, heat-resistant construction; select models can handle hot lights up to 2000W and all are strobe compatible.
Also available for all Luxbanks: 40° fabric grids for enhanced light control. Grids add a quality of directionality, meaning the light goes where you want it—and have a slight tunneling effect that keeps light away from areas of the setup where you don't want it. This is particularly important when creating subtle lighting effects on the background. The recessed front faces that let you the mount the grids have an added benefit insofar as their flat front edges allow you to "feather" the light more easily. Imagine a softbox placed 45° off axis to a subject and tilted 45° down. As you gradually rotate the box toward the subject at a more acute angle, there's a point where you're at the border of light and darkness that produces rapid falloff and a very painterly look. Another great use of feathering is lighting a whole group with a single softbox. Starting at one end of a line of subjects (say from camera right) as you feather-light the end subject you're actually skimming across to the furthest subjects with a surprisingly even result.
Anatomy of a Softbox
All softboxes are capable of containing light, and this immediately cuts down on spill light that might raise the ambient light level and cause unwanted reflections in shiny objects and eyes. Softboxes are all descended from the silks and scrims on frames that are always seen on film sets.
Impact quite literally has a Luxbanx Softbox for everyone, whether you're shooting with strobes or hot lights on a small tabletop or in an airplane hangar. The standard Luxbanx are made to exacting standards with white interiors, removable inner baffles and front diffusers. The diffuser and baffle can be used together for maximum softening of the output. Removing the inner baffle will give you a more crisp light quality with higher contrast, while shedding the front and inner diffusers turns the Luxbanx into a large reflector with maximum brightness and contrast.
Heat Vent Flap for Duo Boxes
The Luxbanx Duo line takes compatibility a step further with heat resistance and a textured silver, high-output reflective interior. Most Duos have removable diffusers and 4 forward-opening vents to dissipate heat. All Luxbanx come with an extra aluminum Flex Rod in case of mishaps on the road. The larger Luxbanx softboxes have heavy-duty Flex Rods.
Rectangular-shaped softboxes are the go-to, diffused-light-shaping tool for most photographers. They can be used for just about anything, from key lights to fill lights. There's always a little falloff on the top and bottom with the larger boxes, which works out well for full-length to head-and-shoulders portraiture.
Speaking of size, the rule of thumb is the larger the subject, the larger the softbox recommended and, while space is always a consideration, if you're looking for soft wraparound light, there's nothing like a big light-bank, close up to your subject. Contrary to popular opinion, close is not harsh, brighter yes, but not harsh. In fact, the further away you pull a softbox from your subject, the harder, or more specular, the light quality becomes. Ultimately, the size-to-softness ratio is relative to the scale of your subject; a 12 x 16" softbox is a pretty big source to use for lighting a 3-inch figurine.
Square softboxes are most popular in the portrait studio, and are probably the ideal shape for head-and-shoulders portraiture. This shape's larger surface area offers increased "light wrap" around the subject and is simple to feather in any direction due to its symmetrical design. Square softboxes are very useful in tight quarters, too. A 40 x 40" softbox is a lot easier to hoist and angle 45° downward than a 36 x 48-inch softbox. Turning the latter on its side is no solution, since you'd be bathing your set in a 4-foot horizontal swath of light, probably washing away any subtle effects you had on the background. Square softboxes also gang up well to create a wall of light.
Simply put, an "Octa" light source is a softbox with eight sides. Its rounded shape casts natural looking catch-lights in the eyes of portrait subjects. Usually used as a key light, Octa softboxes are ideally suited to groups, portraiture, and fashion. Its large surface area creates its signature wraparound quality of light—more pronounced as you move the Octa closer or go up in size. The smaller sizes are great for location work and can do anything an umbrella can do and more. Grids are an especially beneficial addition, yielding a controlled, aesthetically pleasing effect.
This thin, rectangular softbox's narrow shape makes it ideal for use as a rim or hair light without affecting other parts of the image. An ideal feathering light tool, Luxbanx Strip Softboxes make optimal use of their recessed front-diffuser design. Mounting one of Impact's 40° grids to a strip softbox dramatically increases your control, comparable to painting your subject or surface with light. The light from a strip softbox is flattering and suitable for everything from beauty and fashion photography to jewelry and makeup shots.
One interesting technique used in fashion is to configure three strip softboxes in a triangle that the photographer shoots through like a huge ringlight, or "tringlight," if you will. The shadows are almost completely eliminated and the model’s features are pleasantly flattened out, drawing attention to the eyes. Other uses include up-lighting a background or wall, placing on the floor to emulate footlights, and lighting cyclorama backgrounds. Luxbanx Strips also create long, elegant highlights on glassware and reflective objects, and are the perfect accent light to render thin, shape-defining lines on cars, motorcycles, and bikes.
For more information on Luxbanx softboxes, stop by the B&H SuperStore in New York, speak with a sales professional on the telephone at 1-800-606-6969 or contact us online via Live Chat.