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Cheap Diffuser Materials... what's best?


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Finally built my poor man's light box but having trouble diffusing the light. Read lots of threads on here where people have used wax paper, parchment paper, tissue paper, tracing paper, white cloth (shirts, sheets, sheer curtains)


I have 100 watt full spectrum CFL bulbs. 4 of them in 8" round reflectors. Want to diffuse the light coming into the light box.


What is the best, cheap, material to use?


Please advise; thanks!

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I suggest tracing paper, but there are other factors to consider.


The best thing is to experiment. Get a notebook and take notes on the following:




diffuser material

light source

distance of light from diffuser (for each light)

distance of miniature from diffuser (for each light)

then camera settings (distance, f-stop, shutter speed, etc.)


Play around with those and change things up. See how those pics come out and find what you like the best.


But always remember the sunscreen (10 points to first to name the song)

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I use a translucent plastic sheet cut to fit my lighting setup. I have looked at (used) cloth and paper options, but ended up being too clumsy and ended up damaging them eventually. Of course, the paper and cloth worked fine for fluorescent bulbs, but I'd be careful if using halogen or incandescent.


Heck, depending on the light, plastic could melt or discolor due to the heat.... so perhaps I'm indirectly recommending fluorescent bulbs no matter what... of course true-light bulbs vs. any with too much color bias.

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You can get 2x4 ft plastic diffuser material at Home Depot or Lowes. It is meant for florescent light fixtures. Less than $10, I think, is that cheap? A roll of tracing paper would be more I suspect.


There is a material called "interfacing" sold at cloth stores. (Or once there was... :down: ...I'm old.) "Pellon" was a brand name of the stuff. It was white, sold by the yard, nylon/rayon synthetic material, more solid than tracing paper, less solid than white paper. I have thought of trying that.


I intend to try one or both of the above when I build mine. (Unless I find I have a roll of tracing paper stashed someplace. A stashed roll costs $0.00 ::): )


Did you paint the interior of your box white? Any surface inside the box that is black or dark brown will soak up light instead of reflecting it back toward the mini. Also remember that you could always do two layers of a material if one was not enough.

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Spray painted the inside of the box with what was left of my old spray one white primer; glad I found a use for that before I tossed it! Also lined the bottom and back with white card stock then the back wall with extra layers of white tissue paper as my background.


Used some white tissue paper we had laying around and mounted it to the sides of the box to diffuse the light. A 100 watt full spectrum CFL on each side and two on top. I'm happy with the results but it's pretty delicate stuff. Likely switch to something more durable when this stuff rips. Here's some pics!






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