I've primarily use a 27" Elinchrom beauty dish, 24" Paul C' Buff beauty dish, or an Elinchrom Rotalux Softbox Octa 135cm as in-studio lighting when I go for a 1 light editorial or beauty lighting setup.
Recently, one of my studio mates purchased a Paul C. Buff 47" Octabox. I tested the modifier on my Paul Buff Einstein E640 studio strobe as an alternative to the larger octa & beauty dishes. For comparison I used it in a 1-light setup both camera right & on axis to the camera.. I wanted to achieve a more directional but still diffused light. Here is the setup:
The light is mounted on a Kupo C-Stand for stability. The Einstein is powered by a Vagabond Mini & triggered with a set of Elinchrom Skyports. For this test I shot against a Fashion Grey seamless from Savage Paper. I marked a spot 8' away from the sweep. This is where I had my model stand. I had the front of the octabox approximately 3' away from my model. The light was mounted slightly camera right and about 7' high. Also, to avoid any light bounce off the white walls I had 2 black foam core panels mounted on both sides of my model about chest high.
For this test my camera settings started in my normal setup of f/9, 1/160, ISO 160. I did decrease my exposure compensation through the shoot from -0.5 to -1.0. Also, because I wanted to process some of the images in B&W I increased my aperture to f/8 to bring more light to my model's face when using B&W (the back of my camera is set to monochrome when I envision B&W).
Overall, I've happy with the results. The light softer than the beauty dish both because of the size of the light and the fact that it was closer than I normally have the beauty dish. Also, it appears the light is more directionally because of the depth of the octa versus the beauty dish. I'll have to do a side-by-side to confirm. Next up I'm going to test a 27" Octa.
A few photos from the test: