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Author Topic: DIY Profoto Hardbox  (Read 17004 times)

bwphoto

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DIY Profoto Hardbox
« on: January 30, 2010, 11:33:04 am »

There was a thread here before regarding the Profoto Hardbox.  It was questioned weather or not there was a mirror system inside the box.  None of the photos show the inside back of the box but someone here confirmed there is no mirror, just a black box.  For over $800.00 that seemed a bit steep.  I wanted a way to create sunlight and the hardbox seemed to be the answer.  I was at Home Depot this morning and saw a stovepipe tee and thought this might just work.  I picked it up for $40.00 and mounted it to a Profoto ring and gave it a shot.  I am trying to find a modifier that created nice sharply defined shadows and I think this does it.  It should work great for fashion and product photography.











I just tested this an hour ago just to see if the light is what I am looking for.  I am now going to make some modifications to get it the way that I want.

Enjoy,
Brian
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terence_patrick

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« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2010, 04:46:30 pm »

How wide is the beam using the stovepipe? I noticed there was a bit of a spot on the first shot of the kid - not sure if the light is just close or the beam really narrow. The hardbox puts out a fairly wide, even beam, relative to distance from subject.
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UlfKrentz

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« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2010, 06:42:00 pm »

Quote from: terence_patrick
How wide is the beam using the stovepipe? I noticed there was a bit of a spot on the first shot of the kid - not sure if the light is just close or the beam really narrow. The hardbox puts out a fairly wide, even beam, relative to distance from subject.

The Hard Box should not form the light, it is just preventing that the light is bounced off all the walls and ceiling (getting a lighter shadow) when used indoor.
You can easily achieve that with a few cutters and use the head without any reflector/modifier. It is important to have the small lighting source as small as possible and have it not to close to your subject. Everything close to the flash tube will reflect some light (even if it is black) and make the shadows more blurred. You usually won´t need anything outdoors, just use the open head. Using an open  fresnel (without the front lens) is working quite well, too. If you only need shadows in one direction you can perfectly use a linear flashtube, we have used that when we wanted to have the shadows of a ventetian blind.

Cheers, Ulf

bwphoto

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« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2010, 07:43:05 pm »

In the first one the light was about 6ft. away.  As is, the angle is fairly wide but I may cut the front lip off to give an even wider spread.  But as is, you can buy pipe reducers to attach to the front to get a snoot effect.
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K.C.

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« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2010, 01:22:26 am »

Remove the glass dome from your head and use a reflector of your choice to get a hard light. Like you created in the shots above.

The hardbox is for creating a point light source. Different because the matt black interior of the box means you're source is the flash tube and nothing more.
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K.C.

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« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2010, 01:23:43 am »

Quote from: william
For dark hard shadows and small pinpoint reflections, I'm finding that the Magnum reflector positioned about 8-10 ft from the subject works pretty well.


But not what the hardbox would look like.
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bwphoto

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« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2010, 07:30:07 am »

The hardbox and Magnum reflector do produce totally different results.
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william

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« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2010, 09:21:40 am »

I wasn't suggesting that the magnum and the hardbox produce the same results. I wouldn't know because I've never used the hardbox. Rather, I suggested the magnum as one modifier that might achieve what the original poster said he was looking for, which is a modifier that "created nice sharply defined shadows" for "fashion and product photography."

Quote from: bwphoto
The hardbox and Magnum reflector do produce totally different results.
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UlfKrentz

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« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2010, 01:03:21 pm »

Quote from: william
I wasn't suggesting that the magnum and the hardbox produce the same results. I wouldn't know because I've never used the hardbox. Rather, I suggested the magnum as one modifier that might achieve what the original poster said he was looking for, which is a modifier that "created nice sharply defined shadows" for "fashion and product photography."

That comment was from the original poster...

The magnum creates crisp light but as proofed in your example has very blurred, quite soft shadow edges not beeing sharp defined.

@bwphoto: The original Hardbox has a lot of ventilation holes, as you will use higher flash energy be aware of the heat.
May be you should try a greater diameter of your pipe and close the opening a bit, sort of aperture, that will be better for the sharp defined shadows as well.

Cheers, Ulf

william

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« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2010, 01:51:04 pm »

Okay.  Example deleted since the OP said that it wasn't what he was looking for.  

Quote from: UlfKrentz
That comment was from the original poster...

The magnum creates crisp light but as proofed in your example has very blurred, quite soft shadow edges not beeing sharp defined.

@bwphoto: The original Hardbox has a lot of ventilation holes, as you will use higher flash energy be aware of the heat.
May be you should try a greater diameter of your pipe and close the opening a bit, sort of aperture, that will be better for the sharp defined shadows as well.

Cheers, Ulf
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bwphoto

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« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2010, 01:58:19 pm »

Ulf, the pipe size I have here now is 7" but I am going to get the 8" version.  I have not found any problem with heat, but I do not leave the modeling light on.  Like I said, you can get reducers to mount to the front to reduce the opening down to about 6".  Haven't tried that yet but will soon.  I have yet to see any other modifier that gives sharp shadows like this is producing.

Thanks,
Brian
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