Enthusiastic people and beginner photographers will be interested in such equipment for subject photography. With the help of such lightboxes, they prepare material for a product (description of WB, Ozon lots, etc.), take photos for a hobby or for the purpose of selling in photobanks. I needed a similar “photo studio” of my own for the convenience of shooting the unpacking of household appliances and a number of gadgets. I share my experience and show how it looks.
The realization of the need to purchase equipment for his own photo studio came gradually. Before that, there were several compact lightboxes (cubes with sides of 40, 60 and 80 cm), which were an easily assembled structure made of a frame and reflective material. In the kit, as a rule, there is a backlight and photophones. As a result, the choice fell on a rather expensive and large lightbox set measuring 200x120x100 cm. The mass of the kit is about 18 kg (!). For comparison, below is a bag from a Travor F80 lightbox (80x80x80 cm in size) and a set of two studio lamps with stands (bag below).
The package includes steel stands (16 pcs + 1 pc), plastic mounting corners, background clips, three PVC photo backgrounds, light diffusers, LED light panels, power supplies, reflective fabric for the box. That is, the kit has everything you need to start. Assembling is quite simple — first the racks are connected into a cube, then the reflective fabric is fastened.
Racks of different sizes, since at the base there is a rectangle of 100 x 120 cm, and for the vertical there are meter-long composite racks. The frame is relatively light and strong. The fabric has the shape of a cube sweep with sides 200x120x100 cm. Sewn-in plastic zippers along the entire length of the faces are used as fasteners. The background is mounted on a separate horizontal stand.
For convenience, Velcro is used, provided at the junction of the faces. I note the presence of technological holes for lighting wires. There are also wide “pockets” in the side walls for access or installation of additional light on the sides.
This is what the assembled lightbox looks like in the “lying” position. Collecting one is real, but inconvenient. The rigidity of the racks is sufficient, but the frame should not be subjected to excessive loads.
Now light. The kit includes 8 (!) LED light panels at once, providing lighting inside the box. The LEDs (96 pcs per panel) are applied directly to the aluminum substrate, which provides not only rigidity, but also the removal of excess heat during operation. Mounting method — using two magnets to the steel racks of the frame. The kit includes power supplies with regulation (from 7 to 12 V at the output, current stabilization up to 2 A). But cable management with a similar amount of wire is not provided. It turns out quite inconvenient — you will need 2–3 network extension cords, because each light panel has a separate power supply with a plug.
Despite the declared brightness at the level of 12000 lx, I got about 2200 lx when measured in the center on the bottom of the box. Naturally, the illumination depends on the location of the sources, you can “play around” with the grouping or placement of light panels. There is no flickering from the LEDs, which is very nice.
But in the end, the light was not enough for me. Additional LED panels, halogen lights or triggered flashes can be used. I chose additional studio lighting in the form of a kit with diffusers and stands.
The kit is supplied in a bag, the set includes two stands, two diffusers with an E27 base and a power cable, as well as two LED lamps with a remote control and a power of up to 70 W. It is possible to adjust the color temperature of the glow and brightness. One remote works simultaneously with two lamps, which is very convenient.
An example of the location of regular light panels inside the frame, as well as the appearance of additional light with racks. With additional lighting, it became quite comfortable to work.
Optionally, you can use colored background lighting. There are many options, as a rule, these are various RGB sources that allow you to adjust the desired light temperature or choose the color of the glow. In the photo, one of these kits is an RGB Light Stick in the form of a “stick” with a remote control and a built-in battery.
The built-in display allows you to set the modes directly, or can be controlled from the remote control. There are ready-made modes, including color alternation, as well as setting the RGB glow with setting the intensity for each component.
Such illumination can be used to obtain the desired effects when glowing against the background. By the way, the rack from the kit has a ball head, which is very convenient. Mounting method — 1/4″ thread. An example of one of these “artistic” photos can be seen in the title picture in the review.
So, the lightbox is assembled, you can get to work. The relatively large size of the working area of the impromptu “photo studio” makes it possible to film the unpacking of household appliances in any form, with a set or as an assembly. The light used (no flicker) makes it possible to shoot video directly in the lightbox.
Take care of the surface of the photophone. because finding a replacement PVC version measuring 1.6 by 2 meters will be quite expensive. The photo shows a black background from the kit, which is suitable for obtaining contrasting shots of equipment with a light color scheme of the body.
I certainly liked this lightbox as a turnkey kit. Received, unpacked — and calmly work. It is convenient that there are spare plastic corners in case of breakage. There are three photophones in the kit at once, and not fabric ones, but dense plastic ones (PVC), which are quite expensive separately. On the other hand, there are obvious downsides. The assembly takes a decent time, and it is inconvenient to constantly disassemble and assemble. It’s easier to collect once and leave for use. Further, from the base of the fabric there is a rather noticeable chemical smell, which should still disappear. Above, I pointed out the lack of light, indeed, for a work area of this size, there are not enough complete LED panels and additional lighting elements or a high-quality flash will be required. Of course, for photos of most household appliances and gadgets, a smaller lightbox (meter by meter or 80 x 80 cm) will suffice. But in a large version, it is quite possible to shoot in full growth, and also, using the appropriate filters, use the Chroma Key technology.
Link to lightbox 200x120x100 cm from the review. Of the useful points, you can add rotational demonstration platforms here — convenient “twists” for shooting presentation videos or animations. More detailed models of equipment for subject shooting can be viewed at the link.
Examples of reviews of lightboxes 80x80x80 cm (Model F80) and 40x40x40 cm (Model F40) can also be viewed at the links. For other tests and reviews of gadgets, see my profile and the links below.
Thank you for your attention!