The Westcott Umbrella Diffuser for Parabolic Umbrella is a white full stop diffuser that fastens to the front of the 7.0' White, Silver or Black/White Parabolic Umbrellas via hook and loop fasteners. It yields a quality of light similar to a very large Octabank.
Reviewed by 3 customers
This is a simple device, but it has to fit properly to be useful, and it does just that. Some tips, place the diffuser over your mounted strobe first so the light stand column and strobe stick through the hole in the diffuser. Then mount the umbrella followed by fitting the diffuser to the umbrella, rotating as needed. It is easier than trying to put the diffuser on the umbrella first, especially by yourself, and helps keep the diffuser and umbrella off the floor/ground keeping them clean. For speed lights it can be better to mount the lights directly to the umbrella shaft rather than to the light stand swivel mount. This works well with the triple speed light mounts with the speed lights going between the umbrella and the swivel mount. Add a small counterweight on the far end of the umbrella shaft. Use a heavy duty metal swivel mount as this modifier is too heavy and large for plastic mounts. Some strobe mounts are too flimsy for this umbrella in which case the strobe is hung from the umbrella shaft and the shaft attached to the light stand with a separate heavy duty metal swivel mount. Forget outdoor use unless zero wind and with an assistant to guard/hold the umbrella/light stand. Sandbagging the stand will not be enough even in a light breeze.
This set up gives you the quality of a huge soft box at much less cost. Though designed for the Westcott 7' umbrellas, it also fits perfectly on my generic brand 6' umbrella. I'm using it with a silver umbrella to photograph group portraits, as well as full-length portraits of brides, etc. where I need broad, soft and even coverage over the whole frame. With the silver umbrella it gives more contrast than a white or translucent while still being soft. Like the description says, it functions like an Octabank at a fraction of the cost. As a professional photographer, I've used Westcott products for decades, and this is absolutely professional quality.
I invested in the Westcott Diffusion Panel to get the professional large soft octabox look and the price of this item fit into my budget. I have used the product in an immediate shoot once I received it and I was very happy with the quality of light produced.