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Help please! Best \"small product\" desktop light tent?
Old 05-16-2005, 05:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
Kurt_Gearheart
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I have a client with a *large* number of small objects to photograph.

[img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img] (yayyyyy clients!!!)

Most items 10" or under, just a couple 13", majority are 6".

Many items heat sensitive - full range of colors, not too reflective, color accuracy important, shadowless ideal. Client will want black background for many items... procedure when using a light tent?

I like these things and have heard great things about the company - http://www.plumeltd.com/cocoon.htm

Other recommendations or suggestions or thoughts? Anything less expensive but as good?

Using a D70 and an Alien Bee for capture. Also have Lowell 1000 watt hot lights.

Prefer to just get something pro rather than self-create something second rate.

Thanks!
 
 
Re: Help please! Best \"small product\" desktop light tent?
Old 05-16-2005, 08:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I just took this rig apart so I can't make you an image right now but I shoot small products fairly often. If you're starting from scratch the Plume tent is probably the way to go. If you already have a large shoot through panel, some stands and a way to fabricate a table, try this:

I have a home made shooting table with a white acrylic sheet, works like most shadowless tables you see in catalogs. Mine goes together with clamps so it knocks down for when I need the space. For straight catalog work (white BG, no shadows) I put a single strobe underneath and aim it at the subject, sometimes feathering back just a little. Then I put a 4'x8' lite panel with a white silk just above it outside the frame and shoot lights through it from about 8' or 9' up (huge, soft light source, no fall-off) You can move the lights, play with the feathering and what have you to get your subject to look the way you want.

If you have trouble with crappy looking reflections you can control them with black reflectors (to more or less shape the reflections) or with an extension tube and a long lens so you can back off the subject and lose yourself and your camera in the background.

If you're shooting something light in color that has a little height (likesay a doll or a vase), graded backgrounds make for nice images.

The light tents work nice, I've use one with jewelry. They're main purpose is to make your light source BIG and soft. They have the advantage of making the light wrap around the subject too but with a bottom/back light you get the same basic effect on small subjects.

Good luck.
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Re: Help please! Best \"small product\" desktop light tent?
Old 05-16-2005, 09:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi Kurt:

I shoot mostly commercial product work. I've had and still have different light tent types of setups. It's one of those things that you get and forget. With the exception of the highly polished watch or jewelry, they are TOO flat. If you don't want to buy one, just remember that the closer the light source, the less extream the highlights. I'm getting back to my martini.

-Craig

www.craighphoto.com

A couple of samples of my work:






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