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Old 11-26-2012, 07:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Looking for a new light box for product shots.

Hi guys, I'm looking for a new light box to use in product shots but I'm not really sure what to look for. The box I use now is homemade and it is getting a little to small for what I need. I'm looking for something a bit bigger and a bit more "professional" (you would cry if you saw this box). I'm also considering alternatives to using a light box so any suggestions would be welcome.

The dimensions on the box I currently use is 30x20x20 and I mostly do shots of markers and other small bits.

Please keep in mind that I know very little of anything about photography as it is still something new to me.
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'd say personally just build a box that's big enough. I find a great way to do it is to use just cheap plywood for the for the bottom and sides. then buy a good quality white sheet and stretch it out over the frame so there are no wrinkles then tak it in place on the table you'll have the box sitting on with pushpins or simply weight it with something heavy so it'll stay taught. Reason i'd say go for this approach vs a built lightbox is 1) it's cheaper and 2) you could buy multiple sheets and customize the box for the particular product you're shooting not to mention if the sheets get dirty for whatever reason you just bleach them and they're back to perfect white again easily.
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'd say personally just build a box that's big enough. I find a great way to do it is to use just cheap plywood for the for the bottom and sides. then buy a good quality white sheet and stretch it out over the frame so there are no wrinkles then tak it in place on the table you'll have the box sitting on with pushpins or simply weight it with something heavy so it'll stay taught. Reason i'd say go for this approach vs a built lightbox is 1) it's cheaper and 2) you could buy multiple sheets and customize the box for the particular product you're shooting not to mention if the sheets get dirty for whatever reason you just bleach them and they're back to perfect white again easily.
This. I use a homeade "lightbox" as well (though its more triangular shaped, and not constructed very well... really, its just enough to get by as a seller of used goods who doesn't care all THAT much) and the great thing about it is that I never feel bad about having to change the setup or playing with it more to get it just right for what I need. I think Falcon's description is spot on for somewhere to start.
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Is there any type of cloth that works better than others? I've tried it in the past and didn't have much luck with it. The fiber / weave was pretty noticeable in the photos and made it a pain to get out. I don't really mind what the interior looks like as long as I don't have to spend 30 minutes picking the marker or part out of the background. I PS it all white when I'm done anyway, like this:

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Old 11-26-2012, 11:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I got this method from Mike Deep.


Take a speedlight, set the exposure to 30 seconds on a tripod, and manually pop the flash off at different locations around the photo to control the shadows. I use a piece of large poster board with foam board as a tool to bounce the light around.

Take a piece of glass and stick it under the marker and you'll get a reflection that looks great.



I prefer to use a more low-key style but that's just me. I made a light box out of PVC a while back and stretched a muslin around it and I use a seemless paper roll as the back drop. I can pop speedlights around manually through the muslin and get really soft light.




To get that super high key look you want, just over expose the background with a speedlight.

I did photoshop that shot a little bit, but the whole point of that shoot was to try and perfect this method. I actually use a bed sheet that I lit up with a speedlight.
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Old 11-27-2012, 02:02 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I have a box very similar to this except the lights in mine are on opposite ends of the box. Is there a reason why some boxes have their lights facing through the front of the box?


This is actually closer to what I use except I'm using some funky light stands that don't have a "bowl".




I'd like to build the same light box that I already have, just bigger, and maybe better? As Falcon16 had suggested I may try using plywood or something to give the box more support. As it is now at 30in across it is starting to sag a little.
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:02 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Looking for something a little more SR1 sized?
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:23 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Looking for something a little more SR1 sized?
Hah, not quite.

I'm having a hard time getting good angles of markers that use our 14"+3" barrel and sizer combo. They make the marker much longer in length by about 4"-6". I just need a box that is a little bit bigger to accommodate those.
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:44 AM   #9 (permalink)
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You really don't even need a box at all. You can do it, with just white seamless and 3 lights. First off, do you or do you have any flash systems at all? Or are you just using standard lights as in the two pictures above?

Also the difference between the two pics above are the bottom one is using two pieces of white translucent pieces of cloth which allow the lights to go through them, thus "evenly" spreading the light and softening it.

The top photo, they are using just whiteboard and bouncing the light off the sides. That is why they are having to run the two lights through the front.
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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You really don't even need a box at all. You can do it, with just white seamless and 3 lights. First off, do you or do you have any flash systems at all? Or are you just using standard lights as in the two pictures above?

Also the difference between the two pics above are the bottom one is using two pieces of white translucent pieces of cloth which allow the lights to go through them, thus "evenly" spreading the light and softening it.

The top photo, they are using just whiteboard and bouncing the light off the sides. That is why they are having to run the two lights through the front.
The camera has flash but I'm not using it. I have lights on opposite ends of the box that pass through translucent cloth.

Elmer's Foam Core Board is what I use for the box along with some white wrapping paper for the background.
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