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Posted: 3/26/2009 7:23:08 PM EST
I spent all my money on body (cnaon 40d) and lens (24-70L) so cannot afford a real softbox, but I wanted to see what you guys thought about this setup and if there is an easier/better way to take indoor pictures of firearms on a budget.

I stopped by Joann's fabric store and got a couple yards of a very light white cotton to act as my diffuser. I also got some black "picque" cotton for my backdrop. I stapled the white fabric ~8" from my undercounter task lamp and played around with a bunch of ISO settings, apertures, and speed. I found iso 400, 1/25 and 2.8f seemed to work the best. Even though my lens is fast, I still had to get pretty low on the shutter speed. No tripod, just handheld, so the pics are not as sharp as they could be with this lens.

I'm very new at this, so any feedback is appreciated.

here's the setup:

the results:

Link Posted: 3/26/2009 8:04:12 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/26/2009 8:06:56 PM EST by Phil_in_Seattle]
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 8:09:56 PM EST
Originally Posted By Phil_in_Seattle:
You need to do a custom white balance for those shots, other than that good job.

After a bit play around with changing the distance between your diffuser and the light source as well as moving the diffuser further and closer from the subject.

You're going to want a tripod pretty quickly with that low powered light.

thanks, I do see the custom wb settings on the camera but have never used them. The desk lamp above has 3 30w halogen bulbs, what settings would you suggest I start out with?
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 9:54:31 PM EST
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 10:31:48 AM EST
That looks like a very nice and simple to make softbox. Looks outstanding.
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:21:19 PM EST
You mean a light box. this is a softbox.

You need flash to bring out the detail (will be sharper as well) instead of shooting wide open with available light.

Link Posted: 3/29/2009 11:38:59 AM EST
Thanks for the input guys. Update: I got a cheapo tripod at Ritz (holds 11lbs though) and came across a bargain-bin box of stone tile at home depot for $4. I decided to bring a little more light from the sides so draped the fabric on the sides and aimed the little lights at the scene. I'm still having trouble getting the right WB and pic is coming out a little pink. The guy at Ritz didn't know what a "gray card" was, go figure. I'll try the alienbees site recommended above.

I did play around with the flash as suggested to get more detail and went with a second curtain at 1/2"5 @f22. I used the 2second timer so that I wouldn't move the camera while firing.

Here's the overall setup:

Final pic, unretouched:

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