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Glow Easy Lock X-Large Deep Beaded Silver Umbrella – Updated November 18 2018

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.

The general setup for both of the shots below. The Deep is my key light. The three v2.0 Saberstrips are my hair and rim lights powered by AD200s.

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.

Using the Deep as a fill light fully focused combined with the three v2.0 Saberstrips as the key lights.

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.

Glow 65 Beaded as key light camera left. eVOLV200 in the AD-B2 was the light source.
Glow 65 Beaded as key light camera left. eVOLV200 in an AD-B2 was the light source. Saberstrip was the hair rim light camera right behind the subject.
Glow 65 Beaded as key light camera left. eVOLV200 in an AD-B2 was the light source. Saberstrip was the hair rim light camera right behind the subject.

Original Post

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.”

The softness, control and contrast using this is very similar to a focusing arm modifier. The ability to control spill is wonderful. Only adjusted for color balance and contrast. You can obviously see her wig netting. I like to post stuff out of cam so you can see the modifier’s results. 600Pro was the strobe
Slight adjustments to angle produce wonderful results. 600Pro was the strobe. 

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.

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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?

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.

Hi Mark.
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.

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?

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!