UPDATE November 18 2018
I opted to use this modifier during a recent ballet shoot for a SF Ballet student. Lately I have been so impressed by the quality of light Glow modifiers produce. The Deep Beaded model is no exception. The flexibility to focus the light by pushing or pulling the strobe further in or out makes these a inexpensive alternative to focusing arm modifiers. I’d estimate they achieve 60-80% of what focusing rod modifiers can produce in terms of light quality and versatility. Part of the reason I surmise is the texture of the silver fabric in this modifier. It is much like my beloved Elinchrom Rotalux Deep Octa, pebbled.
Both of the shots that follow were taken with the strobe ‘mid focused’ into the modifier. I wanted the punch of contrast combined with a softness for the mood of the shot.
UPDATE May 13 2018
I recently used the Glow 65″ Deep Beaded Silver Umbrella on a commercial shoot. My decision to use this modifier over my normal focusing rod modifiers had to do with the unknown. Although I knew what the client wanted, I had no idea of the area where we were to shoot the session or whether I had to move from spot to spot. Breaking down and setting up a modifier could have presented a potential issue with time, so I opted to use the Glow. I was very pleased with the results as is the client. The beaded texture of the modifier is something I prefer as it adds more contrast to the images.
Wow! I’ve read about ‘deep umbrellas’ for some time now and have tended to “poopoo’d” them. Sure higher end companies like Profoto manufacture deep umbrellas, but for their price point I’d rather go with an octabox. I had been a huge fan of PCB’s PLM umbrellas and still utilize them from time to time, but had made a move to more ‘professional’ (bullshit word btw) modifiers like Parabolix. I love the look of focusing arm modifiers produce. Punchy, yet soft when you want soft. Focused when I want focused light. I now find ‘normal’ softboxes boring in what they produce and when I want to keep spill with softboxes, I’d have to use grids. Not so with a focusing arm modifiers. This deep umbrella prevents “spray light everywhere” situations like normal umbrellas and non gridded softboxes.
Prior to using focusing arm modifiers my go to octa was the Elinchrom Rotalux Deep Octabox 39″. The light that modifier throws is magical. So when I saw the Glow was offered in the same ‘pebbled’ texture silver interior fabric as my beloved Eli 39, so I opted for that model. BTW I continue to use the Eli 39″ in both a diffused and focusing arm configuration. During a client’s session they allowed me to use the Glow 65″ in some ‘test shots’ with their talent. I used it as the key light, camera right for two of the actors. The fill light was camera left and I was using a 69″ Elinchrom Oct which I have adapted to use a focusing arm. In this configuration I had it in the fully flooded position. In another post I have displayed my shot using the 69″ Eli with a focusing rod.
The actors are in costume for the play “The Elephant Man.”
So the question is, would I use the Glow instead of the Parabolix, CononMark or Zeppelins. The simple answer to that question is ‘no’ I have yet to find a single modifier that can do EVERYTHING well. BUT when choosing the right tool for the right job I would not hesitate to use the Glow Deep with pebbled silver interior. As a matter of fact I plan to obtain the two smaller units as well. The ROI and ease of setup and striking of an umbrella is undeniable. What The Glow line has done is mitigate the down sides of the lowly umbrella for a price that presents an unbelievable value. And for me no matter how ‘cheap’ a piece of gear may cost, if it doesn’t produce EXCELLENT light when I’m using it, then it doesn’t get used.
For people on a budget I cannot think of a better modifier to use. And for people who make their living shooting, it’s an incredible tool to add to your bag.
Mark, thanks for the review and your demo photos as well as the back links to earlier reviews. .. and also the link to the $$$$$$$$ Broncolor 222 video.
One of the things i saw is in the broncolor video, when defocused it created a ring light effect. Are you able to make that effect with the Glow? I cant do it with a PLM soft silver which makes a nice diffused light. Im wondering if either the beaded PLM or this Glow will get closer to the ring light?
First off I would kill for that studio! OMG so much space, wonderful environment. To do a dance shoot in there….! Anyway to get to your question, yes I have been able to replicate the Bron 222 Para’s ring light effect with PCB’s older on axis 86″ extreme silver umbrella. His mounting system is no longer offered. BUT I had to modify the umbrella so that I can use it not fully open when I want the ring light effect. I don’t have time to do that for a few weeks to post here, but now that you’ve asked I’ll put it on my todo list. I have found that using my 69″ Elinchrom octa with focusing arm produces light comparable to the video I shared. I say comparable because I have NOT used a 222 as a direct comparison. But the ability to stand in front of a large modifier to get the same affect is something I have done quite a bit. Hope this helps.
Thanks for the kind words on the studio, Mark and if you are ever in Iowa, please plan on using it as long as you need… a thank you for al you’ve shared. Great news on the PLM, too I’ll wait and see that post.
For the images in your update, did you use a single AD200 to fill up that Glow 65″ or were you using two of them in the twin head AD-B2? Were you on full power? Thanks in advance.
Michae, in the images of the three people on the top of this post I used only ONE AD200 in an AD-B2. Canon 1/80th f4.5 ISO 100. Power on the AD200 was set at 1/16th power. Hope this helps.
Yes, it does, thank you. I picked up the 51″ beaded silver and used it with an AD200+translucent diffuser on a shoot. The quality of light was excellent. I’ll be picking up another to pair them up for location shoots when I want to travel light. I greatly enjoy your gear reviews. Keep them coming.
Do you like to place the shaft such that the outer rim of the umbrella is in line with the point on the strobe where the bulb meets the body?
It really depends on the type of light I’m looking to produce. If I want soft light then yes placing the strobe head in alignment with the edge of the outer rim of the modifier is the way i do it. If I want a more punchy/contrast light I move the strobe bulb in toward the inner part of the modifier. Best for you to experiment BEFORE using it for shots to determine what mood you are trying to achieve. Also don’t forget that the distance your modifier is from the talent along with the size of the modifier will also determine the quality of light you obtain. Hope this helps.
Again your name comes up when I am researching equipment! I really appreciate your insights and love your work! I have questions on this modifier (I bought two 51″ in flat silver).
1. When using the AD200 or AD600 what are you using around the bare bulb to fill the umbrella (if anything)
2. The 65″ is huge and I am tempted to buy one, but do you think a 51″ can do a full body shot?
Thanks and when you are in Orange County look me up!
Hey Frank I have family in the OC so when I come visit I will ping you. I use nothing to reflect into the umbrella. I tried initially but found that the quality of light is not nearly as good for my taste than just a bare bulb. The modifier is so efficient that the 200 is fine for most indoor work. The 51″ is definitely large enough for a full body shot of a single or two people as long as they are in close proximity. I do like the 65 as I tend to feather it when I’m using it for full body work. If I ever figure out a way to use these with a focusing rod I may become a billionaire! LOL