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Lightbox time....


SamuraiJack
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So before I drop money on Foldio 2, I was looking at Amazon and it appears light boxes are on heavy sale right now putting them in the same price range

 

Square Perfect 3085 SP200 Professional Quality 16-Inch Studio In A Box Light Tent Cube for Quality Photography 16x16x16

 

Shutter Starz 3086 Professional Quality Studio Prophotoz Kit Light Cube Product Photo Tent 20x20x20

Square Perfect 3090 Professional Quality Premium Studio In A Box Light Tent Cube for Quality Photography (a 30 x 30 x30 and a 12 x 12 x 12)

 

Anyone have thoughts on any of these?

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None of them works much better than a cardboard box with the sides and top replaced by diffusion material. (Cardboard boxes are free, diffusion material is very cheap, and seamless paper for that small a subject is either free or cheap.) The biggest advantage of premade boxes (generally) is that you can fold and store them moderately easily.

 

Mostly, you want a deep box, so that you can wrap light around the front while still keeping the subject far enough from the background to minimize shadows.

 

I will reiterate that if you don't understand exactly what a lightbox gives you that bare lights and a seamless background don't, you probably don't need a lightbox.

 

("Better pictures" isn't the answer, btw. That's only true if you understand both the advantages and disadvantages of that light modifier. If you set up the box, lights, and subjects as shown in any of the advertising pictures, you will get mediocre photos of minis at best.)

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None of them works much better than a cardboard box with the sides and top replaced by diffusion material. (Cardboard boxes are free, diffusion material is very cheap, and seamless paper for that small a subject is either free or cheap.) The biggest advantage of premade boxes (generally) is that you can fold and store them moderately easily.

I've seen threads on other websites about DIY lightboxes and a lot of people agree that they're just as good as dedicated light tents.

 

Really, the most expensive bit is the lamps.

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For lamps, as long as the bulbs are matched in color and have a decent CRI (color rendering index ... a measure of how close the lamp comes to an ideal black-body radiator), any lamp that can put the bulb where you need it will work. I tend to use goose-neck desk lamps for minis, because they're easier to wrangle than external flash with light modifiers.

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My wife and I got a joint gift of one this Christmas a 16x16 folding box. The appeal was it actually used lightbulbs as opposed to the built in lights of the Foldio, and had we known we probably would've bought one ourselves if it hadn't been given to us (US-CDN $ conversion, having something now as opposed to in the future, and the hassles of dealing with a courier over postal services are other reasons).

She does food blogging and we have bad natural light - none in winter - so it's an improvement for me and essential for her.

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