Softbox grid
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Old 04-18-2011   #1
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Default Softbox grid

What's the rationale behind putting a grid on a softbox?
What is the effect of the grid on the light?
Why would one use a grid on a softbox?

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Old 04-18-2011   #2
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Default Re: Softbox grid

In a nut shut, to constrain the spread of light. Like on a beauty dish you can put on different degrees of grids pending on the look you want. So instead of lighting going all over you can narrow it down and make a nice spotlight look.
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Old 04-19-2011   #3
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Default Re: Softbox grid

I understand that I would use a grid to create a narrower beam, to create a spotlight-like look. For that, wouldn't I use a grid without a softbox?
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Old 04-19-2011   #4
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Default Re: Softbox grid

You use a grid on a softbox to narrow the areas being lit by the softbox... WITHOUT penalizing the soft diffused look that the softbox puts out. Placing a grid on a bare light is taking a harsh undiffused light and making it narrower.
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Old 04-19-2011   #5
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Default Re: Softbox grid

I use a gridded softbox to contain/restrict the lit area of a scene. Without it, the light can spread to other areas that I don't want lit as much. I could use an umbrella, and save myself a bunch of money, if I wanted the light to just go everywhere.
Grids for your front lights are used to keep the light off the background. This is especially useful when you are using gels on the background, and don't want the color of the gel washed out by the output of the front lights.
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Old 04-19-2011   #6
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Default Re: Softbox grid

Related question: To contain/restrict the lit area of a scene, why a grid on a softbox instead of barn doors on a softbox?
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Old 04-19-2011   #7
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Default Re: Softbox grid

My experience has been that a grid on a soft box changes the softness and quality of the light making it similar to the light from a smaller soft box and it also reduces the amount of light. By narrowing the angle of the light with a grid you lose some of the wrap around quality of the light from an un-gridded soft box.

If I need to keep light off the lens or an area of the set or the background, I use a flag or flags. Flags are similar to barndoors when the flags are positioned right next to the soft box. Flags are more useful than barn doors because that you can adjust the sharpness of the cut of the light by placing a flag closer to the subject and farther from the light.
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Old 04-19-2011   #8
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Default Re: Softbox grid

A grid gives a direction for the light to follow.

A soft box softens the light, making it less harsh, more pleasing.

If you want a focused soft light, combine the two.

Useful for having a background not affected by your soft box.
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Old 04-19-2011   #9
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Default Re: Softbox grid

Quote:
Originally Posted by Narsuitus View Post
Related question: To contain/restrict the lit area of a scene, why a grid on a softbox instead of barn doors on a softbox?
I've never seen barn doors for a softbox (doesn't mean they don't exist), but I think by the time you attached them, it could really amount to a lot of weight. Grids usually attach via velcro strips, and are very light in weight.
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Old 04-19-2011   #10
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Default Re: Softbox grid

Some of the higher end soft boxes have barndoors available. They attach to long velcro strips on the sides of the softbox. They do add weight. Barndoors


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