Light Tents

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by macdsean, Jul 5, 2008.

  1. macdsean

    macdsean TPF Noob!

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    I have been getting into some product photography and have been isolating products against a white background. To this point I have been using a white piece of paper outside in a shady area, to get a pure white background without harsh shadows.

    I have been very happy with the results, but would like to have more control over the lighting for my products. I have been looking around at different light tents. Has anyone here used a light tent before? Do they help out a lot with product photography? What brand do you prefer? So far I am thinking about an EZCube.

    Anyway, thanks for the help.
     
  2. Freedbaby

    Freedbaby TPF Noob!

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    I wouldnt waste your money buying one....if you have the time and desire just build your own. I bought one that came with some fancy lights but I think it was a waste of money. I am about to build one that fits my needs better.

    If you do a u-tube or google search for do it yourself light tents or light boxes you will find several good ways.

    Freedbaby
     
  3. Phranquey

    Phranquey TPF Noob!

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    Built my own 3' cube from PVC, went to the fabric store and bought sheer white cloth to drape across the top and down the sides, and hang any color paper or cloth you want from the back. It's perfect for setting up on the pool table, coffee table, kitchen table to shoot, and easily comes back apart for storage in the closet. Total cost...about $25.
     
  4. macdsean

    macdsean TPF Noob!

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    What do you guys use for lighting the tent? Do you need to buy expensive studio lights (if so which ones) or are there other alternatives? I know that you can just take it outside and use sunlight, but I was hoping there is an inexpensive solution that allows me to shoot indoors at any time of the day.

    Thanks for the advise on building your own light tent. Sounds like a good idea.
     
  5. Freedbaby

    Freedbaby TPF Noob!

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    Like I said I bought the fancy waste of money kit that came with 2 Smith Victor lights. I now realize you can go to Lowes or Home depot and buy those industrial work lights that have an alluminum housing and come with a clamp. They come in 8" 10" and maybe one size bigger. Just make sure when you are picking the bulb, you consider the temperature of the light. You may need to buy some 5000k bulbs from the camera store....it depends on what you are shooting. Just make sure that the bulbs you use are all the same so it doesnt give you white balance issues.

    If you want to make it look fancy, you could mount those lights and paint the outside of the housing flat black or something.

    Good luck.

    Freedbaby
     
  6. Freedbaby

    Freedbaby TPF Noob!

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  7. macdsean

    macdsean TPF Noob!

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    Thanks. Can I just use an ordinary compact fluorescent bulb (the energy saver type) in this light? I believe those are low heat bulbs.
     
  8. Freedbaby

    Freedbaby TPF Noob!

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    You can but some of them, depending on the temperature of the light which I think can be explained as color (kinda), will throw off your white balance. I have never been able to find 5000K bulbs as Lowes or HD.

    I believe the temperature of the bulb is measured in Kelvins. I use a 5000K bulb in my lights which is supposed to be a "true" daylight. I still fight white balance but I think I just dont have enough light in my box. Mine is a bit big for shooting jewelry, which is what I shoot. That is another think to consider, the size of what you are shooting relative to the box.

    Freedbaby
     
  9. RyanLilly

    RyanLilly No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Just get the ones sold as "daylight." Usually you can find some at lowes or Home depot, not a huge selection though, so you have to search the shelves, the brand I uses are in a Blue package I think. They do cost about 2-3 times more than the cheap ones though.
     
  10. Computer_Generated

    Computer_Generated TPF Noob!

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    If anyone's got some examples of their 5000k lights I'd love to see 'em! Specially setup with their box. Ive been doing the picture thing with the paper like stated above and like it! If it works out better with that setup I'd like to look into it too! Here's what mine turn out like:

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Some cheap used flashes would give you a good WB and control over your exposure without worrying about ambient creeping into the picture.

    This is my creation, it cost like $3 in parts from lowes and it's still a bit elaborate. You could just go with a roll of paper and an armless chair or make yourself a light table.

    I had to re-bend the support bar so it extended out farther. The nice thing about this is that it attaches to a light stand so you can adjust the height. The ambient was exactly what I was shooting in.
    [​IMG]

    My results.

    I was shooting with a Vivitar 285HV($90 new), a Canon 580EX II($400), and three pocket wizard PII's ($188 each). That's a bit over kill if you're just doing a basic setup, but it's part of my kit already and you could go with some used sunpak 383s($50ish?) and something cheap like sync cables or optical slaves if you're just going to be using it in a controllable environment.

    There were shot at probably about 4:00PM with sunlight streaming into the living room. One flash was using a shoot through umbrella for a nice big light and the other was shooting up and bouncing off the ceiling to help control the shadows.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It all depends on how you want to do things I guess.
     
  12. Computer_Generated

    Computer_Generated TPF Noob!

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    Nice setup, I think you've even motivated me to build my own. ;) Your results turned out so much better. I didn't realize the ambient light until I compared your results to mine.
     

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