Impact 7′ Parabolic Umbrella Review

This review is for Impact’s 7′ Parabolic Umbrella. A parabolic umbrella is a 16 panel umbrella that produces a soft and large light source when used with strobes. When open, the umbrella is huge – this one has a 7 foot diameter – and results in extremely efficient light transfer.

Impact 7 foot parabolic umbrella

Impact 7 foot parabolic umbrella 2

1) Product Specifications

Dimensions (open diameter): 7′ (2.1 m)
Collapsed size: 44″ x 3.0″ (112 x 7.6 cm)
Material: White diffusion
Weight: 2.9 lb (1.3 kg)

2) Packaging and Field Use

The Impact 7′ Parabolic Umbrella comes with a carry case. The case is of good quality and protects the umbrella from damage while making it easy to carry around on location.

Impact 7 foot parabolic umbrella 3

3) Usage

This light modifier is a breeze to use. It is ready to use within seconds (unlike my octabox which takes a minute or two to set up with all the velcro to attach) and the parabolic umbrella folds up into an incredibly compact size which makes it easy to store and easy to carry on location.

A parabolic umbrella is pretty much idiot proof if you are looking for a soft, even, flattering light. And it’s great for time when you are only using 1 light source.

However, you need a large shooting space if you are planning to use the parabolic umbrella. In the sample photos below I was shooting in a huge warehouse against a white painted wall. I have tried to use it in my small studio apartment, but I find it is just a bit too big for that. In my small studio, an octabox works better because it is a little more compact when set up.

However, the price of the parabolic umbrella is less than a third of what I paid for the octabox, and I do like the light I get from the parabolic umbrella. So if you have a decent sized space, the parabolic umbrella will be a cost effective solution for producing soft and beautiful light.

4) Samples

The bottom four images were taken with the Canon 5D Mark III with the Canon 50mm f/1.2 lens using the parabolic umbrella as the only light source.

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These bottom five images were taken with the Contax 645 medium format camera + Zeiss 80mm f/2 lens and Fuji 400H film. I used the parabolic umbrella as the only light source.
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5) Summary

This might just be my most favorite light modifier yet. It is such a large and soft light source and is compact and travels easily. I was impressed at the price as well — this light modifier packs a big bang for your buck.

6) Pricing and Where to Buy

The Impact 7′ Parabolic Umbrella is regularly priced at $89.95 and is available at B&H Photo Video.

Impact 7′ Parabolic Umbrella Review4.5Laura Murray2013-06-02 17:05:29This review is for Impact’s 7′ Parabolic Umbrella. A parabolic umbrella is a 16 panel umbrella that produces a soft and large light source when used w…
Build Quality
Handling
Value
Features
Size and Weight
Packaging and Manual
Photography Life Overall Rating

Comments

  1. 1
    ) Kafkiano

    Guauu ! The model is extremely beautiful.

  2. 2
    ) Egami

    how is it compared to wescott 7′ parabolic one….another question..some of your lovely pics shadow on the background and other not, have u changed the position of the umbrella or u have changed the its distance form the model to get shadowless background,

    • Hi Egami! Thank you for your comment.

      As for wescott, I have not tried it, but I assume they are all similar.

      All my pics have shadows on the background (all of the model). I didn’t take the product shots (images without the shadow). I kept the parabolic umbrella the same distance throughout the shoot. But I myself moved around to crop in tighter, etc. I know some people do not like shadows on the wall, but I personally do. I like shadows because to me it gives depth and not such a stark white appearance. But that is just my personal preference. Th model was about 2 feet from the wall and then the light source was about 5 feet from her.

  3. 4
    ) K Youngson

    What was the brand/model of the light you used and at what wattage?

  4. 5
    ) frank

    I’ve been soooo frustrated with the advertising of the mayor photography accesory manufacturers lately…
    When they say that this umbrella las an open diameter of 7 feet are they measuring the arc of the umbrella or the open face…. I am looking for two 7 foot OPEN FACE umbrellas with diffusers…

    Can some one pllllease answer this Ive been all over the web looking for this answer.

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