(Courtesy of B&H)
So what are boom poles doing in stills photography? Well as you can see in the images provided. It is often used by celebrity portrait photographer, Annie Leibovitz. Is it essential? No... but if you in intend to use the Softlighter II often like Leibovitz and myself you will probably find the Softlighter useless without it.
You see the Softlighter II is a great lightshaper. It fits all categories of my "Must Have" list. Great quality of light, easy to to setup, and unlike great lightshaping tools from Profoto, the Softlighter is greatly affordable (I now own five of them).
You see the softlighter is based on the theory that the closer the source of the light, the softer the light will become upon hitting hte subject. The only thing that is different is, due to the construction of the Softlighter, as you pull out from the subject, the light falloff is very dramatic. In Photography, this may be a great thing. Often, photographers spend a lot of time controlling light, and with the Softlighter, it gives you just that. But back to the Gitzo Gb3360, well this is where the GB3360 finds its place. Because of the fact that you are always using the softlighter up close to the subject. A light stand may not do the trick in many occasions. This is where a boom may be handy. A boom would also allow you to reposition the Softlighter at a quick and efficient pace.
Often booms are something Photographers don't want to spend too much money on. Afterall, it has no resell value, and it doesn't have any great significant impact on your lighting, that is until now with the Softlighter. I must admit, I first bought a Cheapo boom, and I can tell you that not only was it a waste of money and time, but I have no use for it do to the quality and weakness in strength of these inexpensive boom poles. I have now put the boom pole aways in hopes that someday I will find it useful for a shoot which only allows me to work with strobes.
The thing with the GB3360 is that it is quite strong and durable. I am attaching a EX600 Godox head onto the boom (which weighs around 3 lbs) and a 36" Softlighter Umbrella (I am sure although the 60" Softlighter may make things for your assistant more uncomfortable but the GB3360 will still be able to sustain), and yet I do not feel that it is giving any pressure to the boom pole. It's not the lightest boom pole I must say, but it's definitely not heavy.
I would definitely recommend this product to anyone that is considering to use the Softlighter as a Key source in their photography. In fact, I think you cannot do without a boom or an arm extension of some sort if you use the Softlighter. Price wise this is not cheap, but for its quality I find it reasonable. I purchased the product at Zhao Xiang Guan (HK, TST) for $1700.
6 Sections Allow greater sturdiness, and also a stronger boom
Very far reach (12 Feet/366cm)
Not the lightest boom pole (especially if you have tried carbon fibre)
If you are using heavier equipment like (2X" Beauty Dishes) you may need something even stronger