Choosing a Softbox System

After I settled on the right off-camera lighting system for me (Profoto), I needed to choose between Glow (an Adorama brand) and Profoto (specifically their OCF line) for a system of softboxes. As with the lighting system choice, I wanted a range of light modifiers that worked together and in the same general way so as not to complicate things by having to remember how each of a variety of different softboxes was assembled and adjusted.

Profoto Logo

Once again, I was faced with the large cost difference between Glow and Profoto equipment. Profoto is undeniably good equipment, but the price can be hard to swallow. In the end, I went with the old adage ‘buy once, cry once’ and will be using the Profoto OCF system.

That system includes softboxes and their accessories, of course, but also includes an ingenious system of magnetic grids and gels that can be easily mounted to my B2 light heads. It is even easy to gel their softboxes with that same system (much better than taping a cut gel sheet to the back of the softbox somehow). The OCF system is tailor-made for their mid-sized strobes, such as my B2 set. For one thing, they are made a little lighter than the Profoto studio RFi softboxes.

A good basic set of softboxes are the 2′ Octa, 3′ Octa, and 2′ x 3′ softboxes. The 2′ Octa will mostly be used in one-light setups that are done fast and loose. I’ll have two speedrings so I can use two softboxes at once, and at least two gel and grid holders. With them, I’ll be getting a selection of gels for color correction (CTOs and CTBs) and two gel rings to accept whatever cut colored gel sheets I may choose.

No doubt, over time, I’ll end up adding another speedring, a couple of different grids (they come in 10°, 20°, and 30°) grids, and more gels. I could use a couple of deep parabolic umbrellas with diffusers, but those may well be by Glow – there’s not much to an umbrella and diffuser.


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