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Thread: 'No Frills' $75.00 home studio tent/lightbox

  1. #21
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    Oct 2001
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    Bentonville, Arkansas, United States
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    Coop....FWIW....I know how difficult it is to come up with a good idea for lighting knives....I've been doing it for about 3 years now....Your idea is a good one and improves on what I've been doing in the past:

  2. #22
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    Oct 2002
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    Success, Missouri
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    Thanks Coop,
    I've been using a "Cloud Dome" and it works fair on folders and small fixed blades but too small for bowies. Also it was expensive and I wouldn't recommend it to anybody. I'm going to build one of these but I still want you to shoot some of my really good knives, I'll get a couple to you before the NY show in March.

    Don Hanson lll

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
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    East Tennessee
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    3,192
    With a homemade setup you can change the size to fit about any object. Want to shoot pics of a sword? Just build a bigger box. Pretty simple.
    Greg

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Simi Valley, CA
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    3,140
    Coop,

    Wow! Oops! Excuse me whilst I extract my foot from my mouth. Coop, I was going to email you an apology, but I might as well just do it publicly. I'm sorry, I did not mean in any way to demean your efforts nor minimize all the time you spent researching your project nor the likely better results yours will yield. I'm sure your rig will produce better pics with a good photographer and probably even with a rank amature like me.

    I have only ever owned one camera that's not disposable, a 2mp Nikon Coolpix 775 that I bought a couple years ago. I have an obsessive personality that causes me to get in very deeply once I take in interest in something and gettting even mildly serious about photography is something that I've always conciously avoided as I can tell that if I did get into it, I'd end up spending thousands of dollars and in the end have a closet full of cool accessories that I'd never use. With photography it seems that there are endless amounts of accessorizing to be done and many levels of precision to be achieved by the skilled and knowledgable. I'm not one of those guys, but love things that I can accessorize (like my machine shop!) .

    I posted the link about the American Recorder kit as it seems perfect for someone like me who occasionally wants to shoot a pic of something small like a knife but is bugged by the shadows and glare. The kit seemed like a good solution to me as it's something that folds up in a small self contained package for storage. I live in a tiny house and every inch I can save is important. I hadn't considered the importance of the white temperature of the lamps although now that you mention it, it makes sense to me. I don't know about lighting, but I know in TVs and video, it's important to have 6500K white temps for proper color balance. I have no idea what's appropriate for photography. I'm sure the kit is a significant compromise as compared to your rig and I apologize for comparing the two as though they were equal efforts.

    RogerP, I have not used the unit nor do I have any parge bowies, but I suspect it would be a bit cramped for a 15" knife. From my understanding American Recorder is developing a 24" unit that should retail around $200.00 but is not available as yet. In the interest of full disclosure I should note that while I have no financial interest in American Recorder, I have been friends with the owner since he only made cassette cleaners. He's a real nice guy and was quite proud of his Photo Studio in a Box.

    There, all the cards are on the table. Hopefully now I can remove my foot from my mouth, and Coop's boot from my ass (where it belonged).

    John

  5. #25
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    Mar 2004
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    Tucson, AZ
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    That setup really shows the difference a good picture can make. Now I'm wishing I bought that Larry Davidson. Beautiful knife.

  6. #26
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    Mar 2001
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    Edmonton,Alberta,Can
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    Thumbs up

    Great post Coop.I have tried every combination of lights in my house with less than satisfactory results.You have given me a project for the weekend.Could you explain what,why and how the different light temps effect the final picture?
    Thanks!

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Connecticut
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    10,575
    John,

    I fully appreciate your apology and understand how easily it is to try to help--without thinking it out to much. Damn if I don't do it all the time, myself. And, I get called on it. That little setup is really a good value for some. I wish your buddy well.

    We're cool. I'd buy you a beer anytime!

    The distinction in 'Kelvin' numbers that I am aware: 2800k or so is normal incandescent tungsten filament bulbs. What we use all the time indoors. It has the benefit of adding a nice warm glow to a room.

    The drawback in photography, is that translates into untrue colors with a familiar yellowish tint to the entire photo. (That's the 'nice warm glow')

    The GE 'Reveal' bulbs are the same variety, but have a bluish coating (filter) on the glass, which helps remove the yellow. I think they are one step above. Somebody with more knowledge than me can fill in the technical details.

    Lastly these new line of fluorescent bulbs have the ability to have a number of various warmth and cold lighting outputs. The 5000K-6500K range is supposedly what normal 'daylight' is to the eye. And in my experience, they are correct.

    I say they are 75watts, but they actually are the equivalent of a 'normal' 75w bulb. I think they are around 20w. Hence the energy savings as well.

    In response to Tom Mayo's query, I laid a piece of mirror contact papaer on the backside of my 'kicker' board. Look for yourself:



    So, I think it really makes a big difference.

    And this thread would be unfair in not rementioning the best 'Low Cost--No Frills' photo thread that PhilL started. This thread is a followup for those that MUST shoot indoors.

    If you have a setup worth showing, add it in here. The more we visually see the setups the easier it is to grasp.

    Coop
    Jim Cooper - Capturing the Artistry and Significance of Handmade Knives. • Makers & Clients: Read Post 815 •
    • SBC on Instagram • SBC on Facebook •

  8. #28
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    Sep 2000
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    Coop,

    Excellent post and inspiration for someone like myself - who wants to take better pics in winter but doesn't want to spend so much money.

  9. #29
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    May 2004
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    Pine Barrens of NJ
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    This is all well and good, but when I take picture of one of the knives I made I want less detail. I don’t want everyone seeing what a lousy job I did. I think I'm going to buy a smoke machine.

  10. #30
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    May 2000
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    Bavaria
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    Coop - is this what you mean by "warm glow?"





    Thanks for sharing your knowledge. Like many others here, I've been struggling to do justice to the knives in my collection, and had all but given up. I intend to make good use of your tips and I really appreciate your taking the time to put this post together.

  11. #31
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    Oct 2001
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    Connecticut
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    Perfect! Thanks.

    He he he! A knife that pretty can look good with ANY glow. But that's what I'm talkin' 'bout...

    That's a good shot anywho.

    Coop
    Jim Cooper - Capturing the Artistry and Significance of Handmade Knives. • Makers & Clients: Read Post 815 •
    • SBC on Instagram • SBC on Facebook •

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
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    Baltimore, Maryland USA
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    Hey Coop-

    I just finished building a near-replica of your light box. I found the lights at Home Depot...Made by Commercial Electric, they are 19w - 75w, fluorescent, and in BIG letters say "DAYLIGHT"...on the back of the package they identify as 6500k.

    Up until now the only really "decent", clear pix I've gotten were with the daylight coming through my kitchen sliding glass doors (and my Walmart, "upside down", translucent storage box as a diffuser). So since building the light box last night I've had a real learning curve...(and I'm trying to learn to use my new 8 Meg Nikon 8700 as well. After 6 years of my 2 meg, Olympus 2020 it's quite a change). Hopefully after a couple of weeks of practice I'll be able to produce at least some half-way decent photos.

    I was under the weather for some time and have been keeping kind of quiet. But I've been following your highly educational posts here...Thanks for all your help.


    Dennis Greenbaum

    Yeah Baby!


    BTW- I was having the same problem as Tom with that front shadow...I was thinking of a way of filling in the from the front...Thanks for the mirror idea!
    Last edited by Osprey Guy; 01-13-2005 at 01:25 AM.

  13. #33
    Thanks Coop, Cant wait to build one.

  14. #34
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    We were continuing this discussion on the KN forum and the question about color correction on even the daylight balanced bulbs was hashed. I have a 'Lights of America' 'Fluorex' work lamp rated at 65w(500w?) @6500k.

    Here is a shot I took with it at 1/60 sec, f-2.8/ and white balance set on 'auto'. It's about as close to the original as I would hope for. Look at how clean and white the blade is. No post editing of the color whatsoever.



    The screw-in lights are the same deal, only you need more of them. There is STILL not enough light for me to work consistently with, but for the non-pro this doesn't get any better. Why pay more?

    Unless you shoot it outside on a cloudy day....

    Coop
    Jim Cooper - Capturing the Artistry and Significance of Handmade Knives. • Makers & Clients: Read Post 815 •
    • SBC on Instagram • SBC on Facebook •

  15. #35
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    Nov 2003
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    West Virginia for now
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    Just stumbled onto this thread... and WOW!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

    This is just too cool. Thanks again for talking the time to share this with me/us. Keep up the good work and I'll have to buy a camera so I'll have an excuse to build this

  16. #36
    thanks for the info about the LOA Flourex Worklight. Does it have a screw mount for fastening to a light stand? I have written LOA to find out if they are selling the device in Canada. I'll try to also contact Home Depot near me.

    This is just what I'm after to use with a new little device I bought in Oct. As you know, I have long been a proponent of using the daylight flourescent bulbs when doing knife images and things work out well.

    Your setup for the light box is great too and who knows maybe I'll redo mine but then again mine works.

  17. #37
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    Oct 2001
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    Connecticut
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    Hi Murray, thanks. This setup will NOT replace yours--heck this is a copy of what you have been prompting for years. I just made it up with even easier components just to jumpstart the project.

    Look on eBay for 'Fluorex' lamp you will find a ton of them. They sell them to folks who grow dope among other things. Really. They are listed in the agriculture section because they are good *cool* indoor growing lights. Look under 'Dope'...

    The screw-ins do the same job. You just need more of them and they are readily available.

    Again, I am really pleased folks are getting something out of this as well. Thanks.

    Coop
    Jim Cooper - Capturing the Artistry and Significance of Handmade Knives. • Makers & Clients: Read Post 815 •
    • SBC on Instagram • SBC on Facebook •

  18. #38
    I forgot to mention that I like the idea of the white garbage bags. Much cheaper than my spandex. for a permanent setup, I like what you have done. Mine packs for storage or moving to another location but I'm working on something else and the light you mentioned looks perfect as long as I can mount it on a light stand.

    If all goes well, I'll post the setup at another time.

    I'm going out to pick up my copy of Knives 2005 today and will stop at Home Depot also and see if they have the light here in Canada. I did look on EBay but did not find that one but will try again.

  19. #39
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    Location
    Connecticut
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    It's 'Fluorex' not 'Flourex' :)

    The 500w lights are ALL Over eBay. Three for $72.00

    Coop
    Jim Cooper - Capturing the Artistry and Significance of Handmade Knives. • Makers & Clients: Read Post 815 •
    • SBC on Instagram • SBC on Facebook •

  20. #40

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