the DIY 30 second light tent

Ever had an assignment that you needed a light-tent for, say a product shoot – but didn’t have one handy?  Yeah, me too.  I started searching around for some material to put together a DIY one and then it occured to me – isn’t the center panel of a 5-in-1 reflector basically the same stuff?  And already stretched around a nice springy frame too – perfect for an instant light tent.  After a few aborted attempts, I hit upon the following.  You will need

  1. the center diffuser from a full length 5-in-1 reflector
  2. 4 clamps
  3. a piece of matboard (or something else to make a nice sweep)

In short – bend the diffuser so it makes a nice arch, and clamp it to either side of a table.  (best to do 2 clamps on one side, then the other).  use the matboard as a sweep under it, and light as desired.  Voila! instant lightbox  (caveat: not quite as good as a “real” lighbox, but if you don’t have one and don’t want to spend the $$$ for one it’s a good substitute!

here’s how it looks:



8 thoughts on “the DIY 30 second light tent”

  1. Very smart solution, I never thought of using the reflector/diffuser that way, beats buying another thing when you already have what you need. Thanks for the tip and the very instructive pics.

  2. That wire inside the reflector is making me problems. Cross cut of mine is ‘I’ shaped and metal is very hard. Is yours an ‘o’ cross-cut, or you just band it till it’s parallel with the table, and use hard clamps?

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