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Choosing Between a Softbox or Scrim

Home Lighting

As photographers, we have a huge selection of modifiers at our disposal. Some of the more traditional ones such as a softbox or a scrim may seem somewhat dull, but they both offer very different and useful qualities of light when used correctly.

Choice paralysis is a very real thing when it comes to lighting modifiers; not only are there many different brands and types, but within each type, there are also many different sizes! Although I own a plethora of modifiers for my commercial work, when it comes to my personal taste, I have limited it to just three items: a softbox, spill kill, and scrim or a soft light (kind of like a beauty dish had a love affair with a scrim, but they don’t make these anymore).

In this video I compare a standard 80×120 Godox softbox to a bare bulb and also Broncolor P65 reflector on a studio head through a scrim and then to a Broncolor Hazylight 2. I used the same pack and head for all of the images and set the white balance of the camera to a constant so that any changes in colors were caused by the modifiers.

I then go on to talk about the different ways in which you can use each of these modifiers and how and when I would personally deploy each one. The great thing about photography, though, is that there are no right and wrong answers; it is just a case of working out how to make your image look the way you want it to look.

What are your go-to modifiers ?

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