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Subject: "WHAT SIZE LIGHT BOX FOR TABLETOP ?" Previous topic | Next topic
largebore Silver Member Nikonian since 17th Jan 2011Wed 19-Dec-12 01:59 PM
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"WHAT SIZE LIGHT BOX FOR TABLETOP ?"


Clarks Summit, US
          

I am looking to buy some lightboxes to use with Nikon Speedlights for tabletop use.

I photograph stuff for my wifes ebay.. So the products vary from jewelry to a tea service.

I would say max area is 3 foot by 3 foot...

I see that light boxes come in many different sizes and levels of diffusion.

<1> What size light box makes the most sense. 30 x30 inches ?

<2> Should the light box be silver lined ?

<3> Do I want max diffusion or not.

Frankly, I would just as happy with some recommended set-ups for this use. Brand, style size etc...

<4> Do two Nikon 700's make the most sense ?


Thanks

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Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: WHAT SIZE LIGHT BOX FOR TABLETOP ?
NenBikonian
19th Dec 2012
1
Reply message RE: WHAT SIZE LIGHT BOX FOR TABLETOP ?
largebore Silver Member
19th Dec 2012
2
     Reply message RE: WHAT SIZE LIGHT BOX FOR TABLETOP ?
jrp Administrator JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources
20th Dec 2012
3
          Reply message RE: WHAT SIZE LIGHT BOX FOR TABLETOP ?
largebore Silver Member
20th Dec 2012
4
          Reply message RE: WHAT SIZE LIGHT BOX FOR TABLETOP ?
NenBikonian
20th Dec 2012
5
          Reply message RE: WHAT SIZE LIGHT BOX FOR TABLETOP ?
largebore Silver Member
20th Dec 2012
7
               Reply message RE: WHAT SIZE LIGHT BOX FOR TABLETOP ?
jrp Administrator JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources
20th Dec 2012
8
          Reply message RE: WHAT SIZE LIGHT BOX FOR TABLETOP ?
mfphoto1
20th Dec 2012
9
          Reply message RE: WHAT SIZE LIGHT BOX FOR TABLETOP ?
jdroach Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded. John exhibits true Nikonian spirit by frequently posting images and requesting comments and critique, which he graciously accepts. He is an inspiration to all of us through constant improvement in his own work, keen observations and excellent commentary on images posted by others. Donor Ribbon. Awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014
21st Dec 2012
10
          Reply message RE: WHAT SIZE LIGHT BOX FOR TABLETOP ?
largebore Silver Member
09th Jan 2013
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Reply message RE: WHAT SIZE LIGHT BOX FOR TABLETOP ?
mfphoto1
20th Dec 2012
6

NenBikonian Registered since 30th Sep 2011Wed 19-Dec-12 07:06 PM
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#1. "RE: WHAT SIZE LIGHT BOX FOR TABLETOP ?"
In response to Reply # 0


Roswell, US
          

No need to unnecessarily spend your hard-earned pesos on a storebought solution when the DIY option is just as effective:

http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/07/how-to-diy-10-macro-photo-studio.html

Works perfectly well with one flash and magnificently with two.

Cheers,
Ben

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largebore Silver Member Nikonian since 17th Jan 2011Wed 19-Dec-12 10:12 PM
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#2. "RE: WHAT SIZE LIGHT BOX FOR TABLETOP ?"
In response to Reply # 1


Clarks Summit, US
          

>No need to unnecessarily spend your hard-earned pesos on a
>storebought solution when the DIY option is just as
>effective:
>
>http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/07/how-to-diy-10-macro-photo-studio.html
>
>Works perfectly well with one flash and magnificently with
>two.
>
>Cheers,
>Ben


Great idea on the DIY light box. I guess my terminology was wrong.I meant a softbox that goes over the lights to diffuse them.

I am not fond of the light boxes as they are hard to work with with a a long lense and it is difficult to keep reflections off the front of the object..

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jrp Administrator JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources Charter MemberThu 20-Dec-12 01:27 AM
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#3. "RE: WHAT SIZE LIGHT BOX FOR TABLETOP ?"
In response to Reply # 2
Thu 20-Dec-12 01:37 AM by jrp

San Pedro Garza García, MX
          

You were misinterpreted (including me, sorry).
Lightboxes do not mean light tents.
Yet, light tents are the best way to get diffused light into a product.

I use a Photoflex Light Tent with 3 or 4 SB-800/SB-900.
One on each side, one in the back and sometime one on the top window.



Photoflex now calls them LightRoom.

A newer basic kit is called the Igloo, a light tent with two stands and two tungsten lights.


If you are set on considering lightboxes, softboxes, they do come in a large variety of sizes ans shapes (the least of the problems), the variations that may be more important are the how and to what they will be attached unless you are thinking of buying a complete kit.



The advantage of a softbox is that it may be used for portraits too.
You will need a lightstand and an adapter to set the softbox and the flash with the ability to tilt them both.
However, a single softbox will not yield the "surrounding light" effect of a light tent that both diffuses the light and bounces it inside the tent.

These are some general rules of thumb for softboxes:
- For the best diffusion,(softer light), the larger the softbox the better (and the closer to be subject the better)
- Silver-lined softboxes make the most of the available power of the light source.
- Some manufacturers call "Max diffusion" to the ability to have one or two layers of translucent cloth between the light source and the subject.
Experts can tell you how good this is. I don't have one of those.

If you are looking for top quality, check Profoto

Have a great time
JRP (Founder & Administrator. Nikonian at the north-eastern Mexican desert) Gallery, Brief Love Story, The Team
Join the Silver, Gold and Platinum members that help this happen; upgrade. Join your personal web site to the Nikonians WebRing
Make sure you check our workshops at The Nikonians Academy and the product catalog of the Photo Pro Shop

Attachment #1, (jpg file)
Attachment #2, (jpg file)

  

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largebore Silver Member Nikonian since 17th Jan 2011Thu 20-Dec-12 02:13 AM
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#4. "RE: WHAT SIZE LIGHT BOX FOR TABLETOP ?"
In response to Reply # 3
Thu 20-Dec-12 02:28 AM by largebore

Clarks Summit, US
          

Ok, light box, light tent soft box...

Ok, I guess my dilema is I am trying to decide which direction to go.
As I mentioned I am essentially shooting stuff for my wife to put on ebay. Runs the gamut from small jewelry, macro shots of details, thru metal objects, cermamics and up to tea service sets in size.

Economics do not really enter into the equation as I guarantee I will spend more on the equipment than she will make on ebay

So I am really just doing this for fun and to help her.

I currently have a couple of photo floods in reflectors and a light tent. It is fairly small and I think the version that jrp illustated would be much better.

However, I like to shoot with a Nikkor 200M micro so getting in tight and close in the box is not an option.. So when shooting objects that need some front lighting, the option of sticking the lens into a slit in the front is not possible. So I have been struggling with trying to get some front light in without all of the reflections.

Lately I have just been shooting with a tent and living with some of the reflections. But I want softer light.

I was going to stick with tungsten and add a soft light box to them but then changed my mind and was thinking of buying 3 sb700's and stands and soft light boxes. In searching around I am now looking at a complete set up of 400w AlienBees with softboxes and stands....

Alternatively, I guess I can just get a shorter micro lens.

Still now sure of the best way to go.. Obviously sticking with tungsten and a nice tent is cheaper, but I am way open for thoughts on the best way to go. Budget wise, I will go $1500 for the complete set-up..

????????????????





Not reallhy

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NenBikonian Registered since 30th Sep 2011Thu 20-Dec-12 04:18 PM
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#5. "RE: WHAT SIZE LIGHT BOX FOR TABLETOP ?"
In response to Reply # 4
Thu 20-Dec-12 04:26 PM by NenBikonian

Roswell, US
          

Michikon,

I'm with you on wanting to play and have fun with this and, if you can afford and want to buy a couple of softboxes to do this, then you'd have a couple of nice accessories that would provide you more versatile use in the future than just for eBay product photography. If you think you'd use them that way in the future - go for softboxes. I'd assume that a couple of Lastolite 24"x24" exboxes would probably do the trick...you just need a couple of light stands to go with them.

If, however, you only anticipate doing product photography with this setup, then I'm not sure I understand how using your long macro lens would necessitate moving away from the DIY solution I suggested. At minimum, you might simply try that as an option to see if it fulfills your needs. With the DIY solution, the entire front of the "tent" is open (unlike with a true light tent) and so you can shoot up close or from a slight distance. The ability to get more or less light on the front of your object shouldn't be a problem because that will largely depend on where you position the product...further forward will reduce front-light, further backward will produce more front-light. I've seen many folks use that very same solution for brilliant product photos of expensive watches, jewelry, etc. Since it costs almost nothing, you might make one and see how it works, then decide to move upwards based upon your findings.

Still though - a couple of large-ish softboxes and a seamless white background (white posterboard will do just fine for small products) will give you a kit that you can use for many other things beyond just product photography (and, if I were in your position and had the funds...this is what I'd do just so that I could justify the purchase of more toys).

Cheers and good luck,

ben

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largebore Silver Member Nikonian since 17th Jan 2011Thu 20-Dec-12 05:36 PM
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#7. "RE: WHAT SIZE LIGHT BOX FOR TABLETOP ?"
In response to Reply # 5
Thu 20-Dec-12 07:58 PM by jrp

Clarks Summit, US
          

Yea this whole thing is just for my amusement.. Hopefully the fever will runs its course before I buy anything..

But back to the light tent.. My problem may be that the tent that i have is too small, maybe a much larger one will allow me to get some light on the front of the objects by moving the them back into the tent. Additionally, as the front opening is relatively small it is tough to shoot at an angle as the tent blocks my view.

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jrp Administrator JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources Charter MemberThu 20-Dec-12 08:15 PM
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#8. "RE: WHAT SIZE LIGHT BOX FOR TABLETOP ?"
In response to Reply # 7


San Pedro Garza García, MX
          

For $1500 I would go for a larger light tent and more speedlights and commander.
I also started with a medium sized and now also have a large size one.

One thing could be important to mention. When taking images of objects inside the tent, I seldom use a macro lens, because of the thin depth of field. It is best to use a regular lens.

The other point is that you don't have to slide the lens into a slit of the tent.
The front "door" can be left open without any problem to the image. Just reorient the tent so minimal light is coming into it.
Most of the product images at the PhotoProShop are made this way and usually at night.

For example:

Have a great time
JRP (Founder & Administrator. Nikonian at the north-eastern Mexican desert) Gallery, Brief Love Story, The Team
Join the Silver, Gold and Platinum members that help this happen; upgrade. Join your personal web site to the Nikonians WebRing
Make sure you check our workshops at The Nikonians Academy and the product catalog of the Photo Pro Shop

  

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mfphoto1 Registered since 29th Oct 2005Thu 20-Dec-12 08:50 PM
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#9. "RE: WHAT SIZE LIGHT BOX FOR TABLETOP ?"
In response to Reply # 4


Cincinnati, US
          

If you want to go this route I would get the SB700's. The photo floods get to hot and usually require a longer exposure. The alienbees seems to me you would only be using for this project but the 700's can be packed and carried with you for any of your flash needs. Wescott also makes softboxes for speedlights. Checkout the Apollo speedlight softboxes listed on this page http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?atclk=Compatibility_Strobes+Only&ci=1337&N=4100994401+4291117703+4118238598.

I personally use SB800's and 600's for all of my tabletop work.

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jdroach Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded. John exhibits true Nikonian spirit by frequently posting images and requesting comments and critique, which he graciously accepts. He is an inspiration to all of us through constant improvement in his own work, keen observations and excellent commentary on images posted by others. Donor Ribbon. Awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 21st Mar 2009Fri 21-Dec-12 01:36 PM
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#10. "RE: WHAT SIZE LIGHT BOX FOR TABLETOP ?"
In response to Reply # 3


Milwaukee, US
          

Very helpful info...thanks.

jdroach, a Milwaukee area and sometimes Chicago area Nikonian.





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largebore Silver Member Nikonian since 17th Jan 2011Wed 09-Jan-13 07:10 PM
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#11. "RE: WHAT SIZE LIGHT BOX FOR TABLETOP ?"
In response to Reply # 3


Clarks Summit, US
          

>You were misinterpreted (including me, sorry).
>Lightboxes do not mean light tents.
>Yet, light tents are the best way to get diffused light into a
>product.
>
>I use a Photoflex Light Tent with 3 or 4 SB-800/SB-900.
>One on each side, one in the back and sometime one on the top
>window.
>
>
>
>Photoflex now calls them LightRoom.
>
>A newer basic kit is called the
>Igloo,
>a light tent with two stands and two tungsten lights.
>
>
>If you are set on considering lightboxes, softboxes, they do
>come in a large variety of sizes ans shapes (the least of the
>problems), the variations that may be more important are the
>how and to what they will be attached unless you are thinking
>of buying a complete kit.
>
>
>
>The advantage of a softbox is that it may be used for
>portraits too.
>You will need a lightstand and an adapter to set the softbox
>and the flash with the ability to tilt them both.
>However, a single softbox will not yield the "surrounding
>light" effect of a light tent that both diffuses the
>light and bounces it inside the tent.
>
>These are some general rules of thumb for softboxes:
>- For the best diffusion,(softer light), the larger the
>softbox the better (and the closer to be subject the better)
>- Silver-lined softboxes make the most of the available power
>of the light source.
>- Some manufacturers call "Max diffusion" to the
>ability to have one or two layers of translucent cloth between
>the light source and the subject.
>Experts can tell you how good this is. I don't have one of
>those.
>
>If you are looking for top quality, check
>Profoto



OK I GAVE UP ON EXPENSIVE STUFF.

This is a pretty cool light tent..
I am sticking with tungsten lights and either

<1> This light
<2> Soft boxes and some sort of light table
<3> Light scrims

Any thoughts on the best approach ?

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mfphoto1 Registered since 29th Oct 2005Thu 20-Dec-12 04:56 PM
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#6. "RE: WHAT SIZE LIGHT BOX FOR TABLETOP ?"
In response to Reply # 0
Thu 20-Dec-12 05:04 PM by mfphoto1

Cincinnati, US
          

When I was in school I made my own diffusion panels using wood and translum. Now I use PVC pipe and translum or cardboard boxes and translum. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/46170-REG/Savage_55418_Translum_Diffusion.html/BI/4775/KBID/5289/

If you are using a box line the box with black paper, or to make the the light a little more intense line the box with tin foil. Insert your flash and you are good to go. If you are lining the box with black paper aim the flash towards the translum. If you are lining the box with tin foil aim the flash towards the tin foil.

Size wise you are only limited by the size of your box. Good boxes and a variety of sizes can be found at packing stores, like Uhaul, UPS stores, Fedex, and some storage facilities have a good selection of boxes.

The reason I like to use translum is that it doesn't change the color of our light.

Here is a quick how to I found online.
http://eyedance.blogspot.com/2009/04/diy-soft-box-strip-light.html

(I never thought of just spray painting the inside of the box, way easier)

"Step into my world and see as I see"

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