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Looking at a light box

Hi folks, im looking at getting into more product shoots. As an ameture i dont want to spend loads, so do you think something along the lines of this would do the trick or could you recomend something better for the money?
speedlight 580ii ...
Posted: 10/31/2011, 20:56:09 PM
Do you mean a light tent? I'm very new at this, but when I got enthused about product photos I splashed out on a medium sized cube thinking it would solve all my problems. It gives you decent isolation when you prop it up on something so light can get in from underneath, but you get one type of light: flat. This is great for some things, but you'll want directional light to create definition in most of your objects. The cheapest way to go is just a sheet of white posterboard on a sunny day. Prop the board up somewhere so it is flat in the foreground, and bends up behind your object. Time of day dictates quality of light. I currently just use a roll of white seamless paper, which was like $20 US and does the trick for most shots. This leaves a little bit of shadow, so if I want an absolute perfect isolation I use a sheet of Plexiglass about 6 inches above the seamless paper, sneaking light in from underneath at about a 45 degree angle. It all depends on your setup, too. I have three strobes to monkey around with, but if you only have one strobe, or none and intend shoot products outdoors, then a tent may be the best option. Related to product photography, I can't recommend shooting tethered highly enough! I use Sofortbild on my Mac, but there are other free options on the web. Also, look into free focus stacking software, as many products just can't be captured properly unless you stack or use a lens with movements.
Nikon D90, 105 mm 2.8 VR
Posted: 11/01/2011, 08:04:47 AM
I've owned a light box, and I currently own an acrylic shooting table. In all honesty, the best setup I've had is simply a roll of poster paper purchased from the craft store. Here in the U.S. you can buy a roll of 12 feet or so and put it on a backdrop stand (or make your own stand to hold it) and it works great.

I was at another photographer's house last week that specializes in commissioned corporate work. He uses two saw horses, white poster board, and a large piece of glass. He also uses poster board as reflectors.

Save your money.
Posted: 11/02/2011, 20:39:07 PM