Daily Archives: January 7, 2007

Building a light tent – part 3, results

In the previous two posts in this short series, I decided to build a light tent, and then assembled the parts. In this final post, I’ll present some of the initial results.

Once I’d got the light tent assembled, I put up my tripod, pointed my Canon EOS 350D into the tent, and I was ready to go…

Stack of stonesThe very first shot I decided to try was a still life of some pebbles I picked up in Cornwall in the summer. I went for a light blue backdrop, for no particular reason other than impulse – although I think I might try it again on a darker background at some point, since the light colour of the stones doesn’t seem to work all that well on light blue.

Gnome Pixie Flex TLR

Next up was this old twin-lens reflex camera that I’d found in my mother’s loft a while ago. I think this shot is a little flat, I could probably do with some spot lighting, but I was just wanting to reel off some initial shots to see how the setup worked.

 

Leningrad 4I particularly liked the way the light meter came out, since it had a bit more of a shape to it.

 

 

 

Pentax ME close

I switched to a plain white background. Close-up shots appear to work nicely. I think this shot of the Pentax ME is an improvement over the one I took previously.

 

 

Overall, I’m very happy with the results so far. I’ve only used the 18-55mm kit lens, so clearly I can play around with others. I do want to try out various other backgrounds and lighting setups, but I can see that I’ve got plenty to occupy me on rainy days now 🙂

Improvements to be made:

  • Get a tripod with a pan/tilt head, since my current one is pan only. Recommendations gratefully received. I currently have a cheap Velbon, which does the job but is not very flexible.
  • Use stronger lights. Bill Huber, the author of the original instructions on the light tent, suggests 100W flourescent, with the smaller lamps that I currently use more for spot use or highlighting. I need to see what I can find.
  • Buy a macro lens. Any recommendations for an affordable macro for a Canon 350D?

You can see more of the results in the Vintage Cameras set I’ve just uploaded to Flickr, or by searching on the light tent tag I’ve added to the photos. Please have a look and let me know what you think, either by commenting here, or leaving notes and comments on the photos themselves. I’ll be posting something about the cameras themselves at some stage.