I purchased a package deal from the folks at EZ Cube and got both
the 12" and the 20" tent. I had been flatbed scanning my things,
primarily for a visual record for future reference. And most of the
time a scan was perfect.. no focus issues, right up close n
personal.. it was all I needed as a reference to make a matching (or
another) piece if need be.
I purchased the EZ Cube when my small artisan group decided to put
up a little website and I needed a good "representational" picture
for our home page. I messed around with various set ups for a week or
more with black velvet, display devices, risers, you name it.. and
still had nothing usable. My brother, an amateur photographer,
suggested I take a look at the EZ Cube website and try to incorporate
some of the suggestions outlined there. After a short bit of time
perusing the about the cube, I created a makeshift cube
with a vanity stool and a white sheet... viola! Great shot!! Took me
a few hours. Since I had long been thinking of a website of my own -
and knew that if or when I finally could afford to do it right,
"doing it right" would mean better images than those a flatbed
scanner could provide - I sucked it up and purchased the package deal
through the vendor's EBay Store (I think the shipping was free that
way, I can't remember).
I'm still experimenting with it - and most of the limitations are
mine, not the cube's - but the results are so much better looking
than my scanner images, I've been using it more and more (slowly
building up a little website repetoire of repeatable pieces). The
sparkler light made a huge difference in more than a few images..
both the flatbed scanner pics and any I tried straight on with
daylight or my shop's full spectrum lights would reflect back the
light source, and not being a Photoshop expert, I could never make
the reflections go away. I had a flashy "cha cha" bracelet with lots
of silver and shine which I tried repeatedly to photograph, in
multiple ways - after getting my cube, I hauled it out and tried
again, and the results were spectacular.
I can't remember now how many of the risers were included in the kit
(two, I think) but I purchased whichever version wasn't included and
now own the clear, white and black platforms. I use the clear most
often, only because I haven't yet gotten around to getting some black
paper to put in the cube for the purpose of avoiding reflection from
the top of the cube. I use the 12" cube when I can lay a piece
directly on the riser; the 20" cube has been useful when I wished to
display the piece on a tall display bust.
I know many folks who have created their own, cheaper, versions of
the cube .. something a little easier to haul around than my
makeshift vanity stool and white sheet.. and if you can do that,
great. But I found it tremendously helpful to get everything in one
tidy package.. the lights, the cubes, the correct bulbs, the risers,
etc. I love my EZCube. And the guy who sells them is extraordinarily
helpful. His site is full of tips for taking professional-looking
jewelry photographs, and he's more than willing to help if you've
got an issue. I sent him the representational photo I took with the
vanity stool set-up.. the one that prompted me of the value in making
the purchase.. and he returned it with a little Photoshop tweaking
and a short screen-captured tutorial on how to do it myself.
Great product, great customer service. I'd highly recommend it.