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Thread: Light Tent Help

  1. #1
    RockNGoalStar's Avatar
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    Light Tent Help

    I know I haven't posted a lot but I am here daily to check out other people's work and constructive feedback - I am loving the site and the community, in which I hope to be much more active in the future as my photography progresses. At the moment I consider myself a complete beginner, but this site is helping me pick things up.

    Anyways, on to the reason I am posting...

    I run a small business selling dental and surgical loupes online. The photos I currently have on my website are pretty poor (they are from the manufacturer) and I really wanted to update them. I bought a cheap light tent off Ebay and a metre of velvet from the local haberdashery store, to use as a backdrop, however I can't seem to get the lighting right. The fact that I do not have lighting equipment maybe the issue here

    The thing is, I do not want to spend a great deal of money buying decent lighting that I will not use much so i was wondering if anyone could offer some alternative suggestions. Maybe a few angle-poise lamps from IKEA and some 100Watt light-bulbs perhaps? Are there studios I can go to to use their lightroom equipment? (I live in Islington in Central London).

    Any suggestions will be gratefully received.

    Thanks in advance,

    Tom

  2. #2
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Light Tent Help

    Hi Tom,

    I'm sure a lack of organised lighting is probably the cause.

    I have a set up at home with goose neck desk lamps - they're ok for a start, but ultimately, anglepoise would be better, assuming you mean the sort that gives a good range of height and positional adjustment - although you'll need a larger table top to work on for those.

    I use 30 and 60W bulbs, which are about the maximum you can safely put in that size lamp anyway, or you'll risk burning yourself or starting a fire

    You will need a tripod though, my exposure times at 200iso vary between 2 seconds (lit through sides of tent), to say 1/20s (something small lit directly and close up). I have 3 lamps and 4 bulbs (2 x 30 and 2 x 60, so I can vary the brightness and position, the whole lot came to about 15 from Asda but as I say, anglepoise would be better, but you won't get them for 3 each!

    Get lamps with switches on the head or base, not in the cable, (as I have), because that's less convenient.

    Take a WB shot, I use a WhiBal card, at each session, and again when lights move from being direct to shining through tent-side. Set camera's WB to either Auto or Tungsten, then fine tune that with the WB exposure in RAW conversion.

    I'm sure I have left something out, so please anyone else, jump in with more.

    Good luck,

  3. #3

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    Re: Light Tent Help

    Hi Tom,

    Some examples of what you have already and what you're managing to shoot would be a good start ... pretty hard to say what's going wrong unless we can see it for ourselves.

  4. #4
    PopsPhotos's Avatar
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    Re: Light Tent Help

    Keep in mind that you can get "full spectrum" flourescent bulbs which will more closely match any flash you use. Whatever light source you use (tungsten, flourescent, halogen, strobe) use ONLY that type for your shot. mixed lighting will drive you nutzo.

    Pops

  5. #5
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Light Tent Help

    Quote Originally Posted by PopsPhotos View Post
    ~ mixed lighting will drive you nutzo.
    Unless you're shooting 'monochromo', or 'black and whito'

    (Pops is right; I should have said something like switch off the room lights if they're bright and/or don't let it also be flooded with daylight from a window)

  6. #6
    RockNGoalStar's Avatar
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    Re: Light Tent Help

    Thanks a lot to all of you for your input... I will let you know how I get on!

    Cheers,

    Tom

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