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EZcube lightbox vs. Rio's infinity board


#1

This is a great question. The EZcube lightbox and the Cloud dome are
lighting solutions that allow you to take great pictures. These
light diffusers allow very even lighting without harsh shadows or
distracting reflections in your items. One of these systems with a
good camera that takes close up shots will give very good shots of
your product. You will need a couple of external lights, like the
Ott-lite, that are color corrected for the full spectrum of light so
you get good reproduction of the colors from your item.

The Infinity board fits inside the EZcube units and gives your
product a gradual tapering off of the light in the background. This
way you don’t have a distracting background taking away from your
jewelry. In some of the more professional looking shots you’re going
to see a light gray background by the piece gradually getting darker
towards the top of the photo. The infinity boards help create this
pleasing visual effect. The lightbox and Cloud dome help control the
light and eliminate distracting reflections and hot spots often
seen.

All of these products are available at Rio Grande. I would be
honored to assist anyone who needs a little help in this area, with
the selection of the right product for your project.

Phillip Scott GG
Technical Support
Rio Grande
1-800-545-6566


#2

I can’t speak of the cubey thing but I do have a cloud dome. I
dislike the camera bracket… doesn’t hold well to the cam(I have to
shim it with folded business cards) and it just seems overly
under-engineered, “Let’s try a few more really, really long screws,
Tom”, misses the mark in other words. The extension is wobbly, which
defeats the purpose of a studio set-up, right? To change batteries
mid-shoot I have to dismantle everything…PITA. Also, the dome only
works in vertical or off-vertical configuration, really limiting,
you could not shoot a pendant on a bust for example.

Apologies to RG, you’ve gotten a lot of my money over the years, but
the cloud dome doesn’t quite cut it.


#3

Thanks for all of your responses! I’m glad that I asked the question!
Now that you said it Brian, it makes total sense that the infinity
board and the lightbox work together and not separately. I’m leaning
toward that option but the photo studio in a box from cyberguys.com
is an interesting idea. Does anyone have any experience with that
product? And Kushlani, I checked out your website to see the
photography and I have to say that I love your work! The images are
great of course, but I like your style! Just had to share that.

Alaina Burnett
www.alainaburnett.com


#4
I'm leaning toward that option but the photo studio in a box from
cyberguys.com is an interesting idea. 

Yes, we tried it at a local guild meeting. You would need to buy a
better back drop than what comes with it.

The whole point of any light box is just to diffuse the light. Any of
these cubes do that. Other than that the issues aRe:

  • does it fold? Do you need it to fold?

  • does it have a nice clip for holding your backdrop, if you want
    that

The lights are a separate issue.

The cyberguys price for the tabletop studio with lights is the
lowest I’ve seen anywhere. Don’t see how you can go wrong with that.

The lights are maybe adequate. You could always upgrade your lights
later.

Elaine
http://www.CreativeTextureTools.com


#5

Thanks for your thoughts Bill. I think I’ll go with the EZcube. I
like the versatility of it and I’ll be able to use a lot of
different things for the backdrop which is nice. Thanks for all of
the advice both on and off Orchid everyone!? You all have been so
invaluable through the years!

Alaina Burnett
www.alainaburnett.com


#6

I’m researching that subject for a long time. In the beginning I was
scared with prices for such equipment ( especially here in Brasil) so
I decided to built my own studio ( but is still under development). I
don’t believe in spend money with plastic and pices that you can make
it easily and cheap. But I visited cyberguys.com and I think that
they give a cheap and good solution. I would use a standard floor
tripod, and buy extra table top lamps.

I’m anxious to buy it during Tucson trip, and hope that it will
increase considerately the quality of my pictures. radudesigns.com

Vlad Radu Poenaru
braziliangems.org
Tucson - Feb. 4-9 2009 GJX #2408 Brazilian Hall


#7

I’ve been using the Tabletop Photo Studio from Hammacher Schlemmer,
currently $99.95. I like the size, a 20 inch cube, for photographing
jewelry and wouldn’t recommend anything smaller because you don’t
want the cube sides or joints in the photo. I do wish the lights were
brighter, but you get what you pay for (I bought this last year when
the price was lower).

The 2 sided backdrops are a bit of a cheat. You’ll need to turn the
cube upside down to use the reverse side - not very desirable. I
went to a local fabric shop and bought a yard each of silk and velvet
in the colors I favored. I also found the camera stand of limited
value - I take several shots of each piece from various angles so I
don’t like to have the camera anchored while I photograph, a personal
preference.

Mary Partlan
White Branch Designs


#8

Thanks for the thoughts Elaine. Storage is always an issue, so being
able to fold it would be nice but it’s not necessary. Having clips
or grommets to hold up a backdrop is definitely something that I
need. One thing I like about the EZcube is the accessory kit that
you can get to allow you to suspend things like earrings and
pendants. I’m still going back and forth between the EZcube and the
set up from cyberguys but I’ll be making a decision this week so I
can get used to the equipment and practice before I have to submit
my shots! The only other issue I have to make a decision on is
whether or not to get the black or white plexi platform that I saw.
I think I should be able to just get a piece of plexi somewhere
locally a little cheaper, so I’ll be investigating that.

Alaina Burnett
www.alainaburnett.com


#9

I have an EZ Cube and love it. After YEARS and hundreds of $$ buying
photo equipment I think it has allowed me to get resonably nice
pics. Here are some picture sample s and info on my Blog:
http://tekaandzoe.blogspot.com/search/label/Photography I also got a
Canon Rebel XT…that I luv to. Michelle Teka and Zoe


#10

Mary, I totally agree about getting the 20" model. I have a bust
that I may use from time to time for necklaces and it’s just under
12" wide so I definitey want some breathing room! I’ll look into the
set up that you’re recommending! There are so many options out there.
I really appreciate the direction I’m getting from you all!


#11

Early in building my business and somewhat forced to frugality at
the time, I built my own substitute. On a plywood base, I framed a
small cube +/- 18". I then covered the open cube with a disposable
plastic backed paper drop cloth. This material is the thickness of
rice paper or tracing tissue, but with an even grain and bright
white in color. The plastic backing gives the material more strength
and durability. I then lighted the box with inexpensive task lights
equipped with 6100K CFL’s.

For backgrounds I used gradient filled monotone rectangles created in
MS Powerpoint and printed on satin or mat photopaper with my inkjet
printer. With a 5 and then 7 mp digital camera, I was able to capture
images of sufficient quality for acceptance into local outdoor art
shows. Lighting is the key. For faceted materials, I also use a small
LED spotlight some distance away from the box at an angle where the
direct reflection of the spot will not reach the camera but the
internal illumination will pop the facets.

Bill Carlie
Night Heron Studios


#12

Hi Billie,

I will try to build a similar light box. Thank you for the tips. If I
could produce work as beautiful as the pieces I see on your website,
I’d want to show them in the best light, too. Where do I obtain “task
lights with 6100CFL’s,” whatever those are? And the LED spotlights?

Larry


#13
"task lights with 6100CFL's," whatever those are? And the LED
spotlights?

If buying non-photographic lights, some people have had good luck
with Ott lights, which are nice to have anyway.

If you read the articles on ganoksin on Small Scale Photography by
Charles Lewton Brain, those are very helpful.

I followed Charles’s advice to create my first jewelry set up, you
can see a picture here:

http://tinyurl.com/btncj6

In that picture, the set up uses blue bulbs. The light housing that
you put them in can be obtained quite cheaply at photography stores.

That post also includes links to where to buy backgrounds, etc.

These days, I use a different set up, a copy stand with halogen
lights (there’s a picture of that floating around on the internet
somewhere), which also works quite well.

The whole light box thing is pretty simple. Get enough light, diffuse
it in some way. That’s it!

Elaine
http://www.CreativeTextureTools.com


#14

Larry,

I will try to build a similar light box. Thank you for the tips.
If I could produce work as beautiful as the pieces I see on your
website, I'd want to show them in the best light, too. Where do I
obtain "task lights with 6100CFL's," whatever those are? And the
LED spotlights? 

The original reference was to a 6100 k CFL and is a reference to a
Compact Florescent Lightbulb that is 6100 degrees on the kelvin scale
(6100k). This is the usual measurement of a light bulb’s color
temperature. Warm colors (yellowish) would be below 3000k, with cool
colors (blueish) above 5000k. In between is referred to as
full-spectrum.

With light bulb vendors who offer a full choice of bulbs (try
Internet, NOT Home Depot or Lowe’s), you will choose from (a) Type of
bulb (cfl, LED, incandescent, fluorescent, halogen, etc.); (b)
Brightness (number of watts); © Temperature (kelvin degrees); and
(d) base size. Search Orchid archives for recommendations on which
kelvin degrees are best for lighting in displays and/or lighting in
photos for diamonds, colored stones, white gold and/or yellow gold.
When you buy lighting fixtures, make sure that they will work with
the variety of replacement bulbs that you have selected.

Jamie


#15

I have just bought a small lab from cyberguys.com for $50, and a
track with 3 lamps from Homedepot for $35.

When I will arrive in Brazil I will test it.

I prefer to spend my sweated money with a good camera and lenses.
Now I have a Kodak DX7590 with macro lenses, but I’m looking for a
Nikon D60.

If it will doesn’t work, probably the problem is behind the camera.

Vlad R. Poenaru - still in Tucson


www.braziliangems.org


#16
I'm looking for a Nikon D60. 

If you have a Nikon (I have four!), they offer GREAT customer
support! If you have trouble with your settings you can call them,
and they will walk you thought what you might be doing wrong. Super
folks to deal with. Support numbers and e-mail on their web site.

Just a very satisfied customer!

Beth Wicker
Three Cats and a Dog Design Studio
http://www.bethwicker.com


http://bethwicker.ganoksin.com/blogs/