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Review: No Name Light Tent

A light tent or cube  is a nice tool for everyone who is planning to take product photos.
Product photos are very irritating if they were taken in front of a disturbing background. Badly lighted products are often full of unwanted reflections or shadows.  Last year I searched on eBay for some photo equipment and discovered a cheap 50x50x50cm light cube. It was only 13€, so it has to become mine. I’m very satisfied, but there is one negative thing.

It’s a no name product, but you can find it in various sizes all over the internet. The tent (or cube) is made out of white nylon and comes with backdrops in white, red, black and blue. Some come with light sources. Some (like mine) don’t. The tent is easily unfolded.  Velcro holds the backdrops in place.

The one big problem is the material. The tent is stored folded in a small bag. That means, every time you unfold it you have to iron at least the backdrops.

How to use it?

  • Unfold it.
  • Place it on a bright surface. The nylon is slightly transparent so a dark surface will shine through.
  • Chose a backdrop and iron it carefully. Place it in the tent and try to avoid sharp edges.
  • You’ll need some light sources. I use two old wireless flash guns. One on each side. Daylight bulbs or even the sun are useful too.

 

lightbox_setup

You can get some good results using a 20-70mm kit lens. If you can get your hands on a F/2.8 lens which produces a nice bokeh effect, this is the way to go.

lighttent_object

So, now you’re done. All pictures are taken and your spouse wants to get the table ready for dinner. But how do you get the tent back in the small bag? Well, thanks to YouTube you will. Thanks to Gavin Hoey for this enlightening video:

http://youtu.be/WfkMGUFPz4I

Conclusion

Light tents don’t have to be expensive if you don’t use them on a regular basis. They are easily set up and don’t need too much storage space, but a smoothing iron is needed. Please don’t let it get too hot. Yes, one can get good results using some bedsheeds and white cardbord as backdrop, but I like the easy setup and the small all in one package.