The Elinchrom 74″ Octabank is the “go to” light at StillMotion Studios. We use it for shooting portraits, headshots, fashion, groups and vehicles… Well, actually just about anything you would want to photograph in studio.
Also known as “The Beauty Light” it measures over six feet across. In the studio it is mounted to a heavy duty stand that can reach nine feet. The stand is on wheels which makes it easy to move the light around the studio. We secure all this with a couple of sandbags to prevent any possibility of the rig tipping over.
The set-up is powered by a radio triggered Elinchrom 600 watt second monolight. The light is mounted inside the octa and fires into the reflector rather the outward like a normal softbox. This causes the light to reflect out the sides of the octagon creating beautiful soft light that wraps around the subject.
The front diffuser is made very well and is easily added/removed from the front of the octabank. In practice we typically use this light with the diffuser on when shooting women, and the diffuser off when shooting men. Without the front diffuser the resulting light is a bit more contrasty, which is more flattering on men.
One of the unique features of this setup is that the photographer can actually stand directly in front of the light without effecting the flash. This is because the light fires out the sides of the octabank rather than straight out. When shooting this way it allows easy interaction with the subject as opposed to directing from behind a softbox.
The 600ws monolight at full power, combined with the front diffuser, at 100 iso we can get as much as f:16, though we typically shoot around f:8. That much power allows us to place the light a good distance from the subject if we want to light a large area. At the lowest power we can get down to f:2.8 if bokeh is desired.
The Elinchrom Octabank retails for around $1200, add in the monolight, stand and radio receiver and the setup tops out over $2400. Of course, it is included in most of the studio rental packages we offer.