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Lamp suggestion for softbox

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I'm an almost complete photography nub. I'm looking to give my for-sale item pictures a more professional look on the cheap - best bang for my buck. I don't mind a little DIY.

I'm looking at this 48-inch cube tent, but I'm not sure how big and how powerful of a lamp I need. I'm assuming I just need two, one for each side? Should I get one for the top too?

The tent being able to pack away with a slim profile is a big plus, so I'm probably not looking for a DIY tent.

Thanks.

CowboyStudio 48-Inch Soft Box Lighting Tent
Edited by Kaldari - 2/1/13 at 11:52am
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post #2 of 9
I take pictures for my mothers buisness and honestly, a softbox made out of a cardboard box will serve you really well for the $10 it will cost you. Just search DIY softbox / lightbox on google, you'll find plenty of guides. It won't be portable, but that's just what I would do. If you can afford the tent though, go for it.

Get three clamp lights from Home Depot and pack of ccfl bulb with the highest lumen rating as well (I got a pack of 4 for $9, no heat, tons of light). One for each side and one for the top, the top light will help even out any shadows the side lights make.

If you have an unlimited budget, go for flash. It would take a while for a beginner to learn how to use flash properly, but the results are excellent. Also, YouTube will have tons of guides on product photography.

I'm no expert, this is just what I've learned over the past few months of shooting.

Good luck!
post #3 of 9
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post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by S3ason View Post

I take pictures for my mothers buisness and honestly, a softbox made out of a cardboard box will serve you really well for the $10 it will cost you. Just search DIY softbox / lightbox on google, you'll find plenty of guides. It won't be portable, but that's just what I would do. If you can afford the tent though, go for it.

Get three clamp lights from Home Depot and pack of ccfl bulb with the highest lumen rating as well (I got a pack of 4 for $9, no heat, tons of light). One for each side and one for the top, the top light will help even out any shadows the side lights make.

If you have an unlimited budget, go for flash. It would take a while for a beginner to learn how to use flash properly, but the results are excellent. Also, YouTube will have tons of guides on product photography.

I'm no expert, this is just what I've learned over the past few months of shooting.

Good luck!

Thanks for the good info. +rep


I did. I also looked at this kit, which seems to be about the same but is cheaper and higher rated. I don't think the set will give me quite enough like though. That's why I'm asking for opinions.
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post #5 of 9
I made my light box by going to a goodwill store and ikea. Just find some nice size picture frames and put a big piece of white paper in it and then a few lamps from ikea.
I stole the idea from... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qk5hHNsAcec thumb.gif
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rit View Post

I made my light box by going to a goodwill store and ikea. Just find some nice size picture frames and put a big piece of white paper in it and then a few lamps from ikea.
I stole the idea from... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qk5hHNsAcec thumb.gif

It was a funny video, if nothing else. Thanks.
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post #7 of 9
Just thought I'd like to point out, in my opinion, the result you get from these miniature lighting tents is not much better than that you can get from photographing objects against a white sheet of paper. Here are some pictures that I think turned out quite well, considering that it was very easy to construct and costed close to nothing to create.



post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Ya, those shots look great. I guess the main thing I'm looking for is ease of use, and I don't mind spending a nickel for it. The tent kit is really slim when packed away, comes with multiple background colors, and it also serves as a light diffuser on whatever side I want to put a light. Since the whole thing is enclosed and white, it also reflects and refracts the light so it can bounce around for a little more evenness.

I haven't actually ordered anything yet, so I may still look into a DIY box/tent. I'm just mainly looking for lighting suggestions right now. If I did go with a 4'x4' tent like in the OP, would those lamps linked a couple posts up be adequate, or should I go for something a bit higher wattage?
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post #9 of 9
Unless you need continuous lighting and if you already have a couple of off-camera flashes, a cardboard box with sides cut out and lined with tissue paper or thin fabric and a flash on either side work beautifully.

I was looking for lamps and a box a while back, but thought I'd try something simpler first. I just lay a large white poster board down so that half of it is on a flat surface and the other half is against the adjacent wall (without bending or creasing it). Use your flash as ceiling bounce and voila: seamless, bright backdrop.

6844609399_a31d33889f_n.jpg
Portrait of a Lens by Largamente, on Flickr
Edited by Faraz - 2/7/13 at 10:04pm
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