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                   Friday, October 24, 2008 - 5:15PM

Softboxing a Tota

By DAN ROBINSON
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25 Years of Storm Observing
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Lowel Tota lights are known for being fairly powerful yet uncontrollable lights by themselves. However, adding a softbox to one of these lights actually yields results on par with a comparable setup using more expensive fixtures. So here's how this works. Attaching a softbox to a Tota is made possible with an adapter called a 'speed ring':


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The light's stand mount attaches to the speed ring post:


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The softbox (this is a Photoflex medium silverdome) then sets up like a tent, with the support rods under considerable pressure to maintain the shape of the fabric. This makes softboxes somewhat difficult to set up and take down, as it takes a good amount of force to get the rods seated in the speed ring.


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The Tota's softbox on the stand without the front diffusion panel, showing the inside reflector and secondary diffusion screen:


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And finally with the front diffuser, ready for use:


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Hot-light softboxes are somewhat expensive, as their fabric is made of fire-resistant material. So despite the fabric being right next to the Tota's 750 watt bulb, it will not burn or melt.

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The following comments were posted before this site switched to a new comment system on August 27, 2016:

Exactly what I was looking for! A Tota in a softbox. How did it turn out function/light wise? Great post anyway. Thanx.
- Posted by Peter Wittinghoff from Sweden
Thanks Peter, I have been pretty happy with the results. The light output looks great, and the softbox stands up very well to the heat buildup. The only issue I have is that the speed ring makes the power cord connection difficult - a problem that I have heard others mention as well. Other than that I am happy with this, and glad to find a good everyday use for a Tota light.
- Posted by Dan R. from Charleston, WV

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