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Old June 19th, 2004, 09:14 PM   #1
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Brand recommendation: Collapsible Reflectors?

Any recommendations for a particular brand of collapsible reflectors?

Notes:
I was going to pick up a 5-in-1 set at B&H.
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Old June 19th, 2004, 10:14 PM   #2
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Be careful of the inexpensive 5 in 1 reflectors. The covers don't always fit tightly. With out a tight fit the reflections go all over the place.

I'm a Westcott Illuminator fan.
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Old June 20th, 2004, 11:21 AM   #3
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I picked up a 32" 5-in-1 reflector on Ebay for about $35 including shipping. I was really surprised with the quality.
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Old June 20th, 2004, 01:36 PM   #4
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Regardless of brand, make sure that whichever one you get has a white side. Silver and gold have their uses (they are more punchy than white, good for distance or extreme contrast) but white delivers the most "natural" effect.
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Old June 20th, 2004, 11:40 PM   #5
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Agreed. I use a couple of PhotoFlex 5-in-1's, and I don't think I've ever used the gold or silver/gold side. Silver's good and white's good, but the translucent silk-like version gets a lot of use too. I wish that instead of full-gold, it had a black side. That would make it overall more useful.
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Old June 21st, 2004, 01:28 AM   #6
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What does the silver/gold panel look like, Barry? Is it checkerboard?
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Old June 21st, 2004, 09:29 AM   #7
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The silver/gold side looks more like thin strips of each woven together. I usually use that as my fill for interview setups. It just slightly warms things up a bit.
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Old June 21st, 2004, 12:26 PM   #8
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Right. I haven't used the disc versions, but I use a "checkerboard lame" (sorry, I'm not good at doing foreign-language accents, and I don't quite know how that one is written anyway--just pronounce it "la-may" and it will hopefully make sense) on 12x12 or 20x20 frames sometimes. The nice thing with this combo is that the cool and the warm sort of neutralize each other, and you end up with a punchier fill than you can get from a white bounce, which is useful in limited sunlight.

Barry brought up an excellent point, which is the need of a black side (aka solid). I use such a thing regularly as negative fill, something that everyone should explore if they haven't already. Sometimes it's not about adding light, it's about subtracting the existing light--shooting in flat light (such as cloudy mid-day) can give you nice saturated, even tones in video, but if you want to model it a bit, bringing a solid close to one side of an actor's face to knock down the exposure can be really beautiful and elegant.
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Old June 21st, 2004, 01:53 PM   #9
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Lastolite are the best I've used...mine were bought in 1982 and are still going strong...

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Old June 24th, 2004, 06:02 PM   #10
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I haven't bought the 5 in 1's, but I picked up some of the double sided silver/gold refletors off eBay dirt cheap.

I think I paid 20.00 for a 42" reflector.

Otherwise I use the big "show cards" that I purchase locally. Unfortunately those are a little more delicate and require special handling.
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Old June 24th, 2004, 07:17 PM   #11
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I use a mix of Photoflex discs and art board/foil for oversized locales. I've found the discs have held up pretty well; I have a 22" white/gold one I started using when I was doing still portrait photography in the 80s that I still use today. The gold side has some rub-off but not enough to make it unuseable. The only nit to pick is the old Photoflex disc cases were a much stronger cordura than the ones they ship now.
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