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Shooting tents/product photography
Old 01-03-2007, 01:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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OK, so what can you guys tell me about these shooting tents and what to look for and what to avoid? In the past, I've read some posts from folks here that do some small product photography. My wife has really gotten into making jewelry in the last year and she has some needs to have original designs photographed for stores and a possible website.

I know nothing about shooting tents except that they offer a very controlled way to light products, like jewelry, and capture the best images but I now have the need to buy one. On a sidenote- this is cool since it's the first photographic tool my dear wife has ever insisted I buy!

All advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Re: Shooting tents/product photography
Old 01-03-2007, 02:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I bought one of the 3'x3'x3' ones off eBay several years back. It cost about $30. I use it quite often. It works like a champ. Here is macro photo of a set of bits taken in the tent:

http://www.rfredricksmith.com/bitsmacro.jpg

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Re: Shooting tents/product photography
Old 01-03-2007, 02:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks RFS, that's certainly cheap enough. I can't imagine there's too much to know about them but I've seen them on B&H for $50 to over $500 so like everything else, I thought there may be something to quality I am missing here. I'll check out eBay.

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Re: Shooting tents/product photography
Old 01-03-2007, 02:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm sure there are quality differences, but I don't think it makes much difference for this type of deal. You could even make your own. Just get a few pieces of PVC and some connectors and build a cube and then throw a white sheet over it and you've got your own tent on the cheap. Here are a couple of links for the do it your selfers.

http://www.pbase.com/wlhuber/light_box_light_tent

Or download Dean Collins Tinkertubes book for all sorts of lighting stuff:

http://www.software-cinema.com/page/tinkertubes

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Re: Shooting tents/product photography
Old 01-08-2007, 10:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The only suggestion I'm going to make is don't buy a light tent that is too small. The 3x3 size somebody else has quoted should be more than adequate.
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Re: Shooting tents/product photography
Old 01-08-2007, 11:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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There is an advantage to having a small one also for very small objects. You can get better results wiith a 12" x 12" x 12" one in some cases. Again, they are fairly cheap so several could be owned. As I said, I use the 3'x3'x3' one. But I built a small one using the tinkertubes concept.
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Re: Shooting tents/product photography
Old 01-09-2007, 08:11 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I picked up one from eBay as RFS suggested and it came yesterday. I unpacked it but didn't have time to set it up and check it out. Seems pretty nice for the price ($35+ $19 shipping) on first glance. shipping was ridiculous but what you'd expect from the big auction. I'll post some images after I use it this weekend. Thanks again.
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Re: Shooting tents/product photography
Old 01-09-2007, 02:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I make it a policy to always report excessive shipping to eBay. They are slowly beginning to crackdown on this practice. The primary reason that sellers do it, is to lower the amount of the purchase price that is subject to the final value fee that eBay charges. So by using excessive shipping charges they make more money that they don't have to pay a fee on. So this is why eBay will look into a complaint more than they used to.

It's also a competitive thing. I see some sellers who will have a product priced an 99 cents for the starting bid and $15.00 shipping. Another seller will have the same product at $12.99 and $2.99 shipping. If the first seller creates the ad properly, the $15.00 shipping will not directly show up, and thus they get an advantage. Anyway, as eBay buyers we all have to be alert to these marketing ploys.

Hope you enjoy the tent. Look forward to seeing some examples.

Cheers,
rfs
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Re: Shooting tents/product photography
Old 01-09-2007, 10:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks RFS, good info as usual. Never even thought of reporting it since I just made the best informed buying decision I could make. Interestingly, there were units that were more money, with less shipping that totaled more than what I paid, and looked like less of a product. Everybody's got an angle on selling their wares don't they!
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