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124 of 126 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2010
After laying out plans to build a light tent using PVC pipe and adding up the cost I decided to do some internet shopping for a "store bought version". With the cost plus the over all size, weight and ease of storage being major inputs for my consideration I found the variety of collapsible light tents to be most desirable.

Having considered the various sizes materials and accessories of the various tents and reading through the comments on Amazon and several photography forums I decided to give the Cowboy Studio 30" soft box light cube a go. (I opted for the 30" version because it's easier to work with too big than too small...).

This particular light cube does not include lamps which makes it less expensive of course and was one of the features that helped in my selection. Reason being I have some 8" clamp on work lights Troy EL2211 6-Ft Clamp-On Work Area Spot Light I use in my shop and after installing 40w CFL 6500k bulbs in them and clamping them on opposing sides of the table I set the tent up on I have found they work perfectly! (I believe you can buy these work lights in any home improvement store for $5-6$).

I have read several comments made by folks who were unhappy with the lack of instruction and seeming confusion of how to open the cube for use and or collapse it for storage. Living here in the desert of Arizona many of us use the collapsible nylon sun shades in an effort to keep our car interior cooler in the summer time and they are very similar to this photo tent in the method of opening and closing them. In addition I see that the Cowboy Studio web site has printable instructions for the setup and take down of the tent here [...] , (although I do admit I am uncertain as to why they do not include them with the tent)? ALSO, for those who are extremely challenged when it comes to such things there is a video to walk you through it on you tube, of course... [...] (Folding an EZcube)

Having used it for some time now I must say I am very satisfied and have no reservation at all in promoting it to one and all that are in the market for a light tent of any of the various sizes they are available in. AND, at just $35 this light tent is an outstanding value.
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73 of 74 people found the following review helpful
on July 21, 2012
I was originally going to buy a 12" unit for smaller items (I already have a 48") Luckily the 12" was out of stock when I went to place my order. This unit was $6 more and I am very glad I got this instead of a smaller one.

Lately I have been on a "de junk quest" We're in our mid 40's and its amazing how much crap you buy over the years. When I was younger and had no kids I used to collect die cast cars well those have been sitting in boxes for at least 8 years so its time to just get rid of them and just sell off all the accumulated crap that does nothing but take up space.

The quality of the product is pretty good I don't collapse mine at all i just set it inside the bigger one and it stays on a table in the corner of the basement I throw a sheet over them to keep the dust off.

I can see how some people complain about closing it as when I opened it up it expanded quite forcibly so you do need to be careful when closing it as to not damage one of the internal wires.

The colored inserts that come with are nice they do require a light ironing as others have said. The one thing I will warn you about is that this type of product requires ALOT more light than you currently are using. To understand why you have to realize that this diffuses direct light and dims it considerably so you will need to add a few spotlights to ensure adequate lighting. I went down to Home Depot and picked me up a three of those old fashioned metal clip work lights that cost $10 each then found the biggest cool white CFL bulbs I could and for $40 have a great lighting package.

If your doing ebay auctions this type of product is a must have. I would recommend any of the cowboy studio pop ups as the 2 I have are serving me very well.

LASTLY AND MOST IMPORTANT!

Plan ahead what are you photographing? if its bigger than lets say a 12oz can of pop YOU NEED A BIGGER TENT!

Here's why, Lets say you stick a 1 liter bottle of soda (the big ones), when you take your picture your going to see the edges of the tent. So as another example lets use a barbie doll as an example 15" tall about 10" wide and 2" deep. Placed inside a 17" tens you would see both edges of the tent so instead of seeing your product and a nice colored background you're going to end up with your product an inch of the colored background AND the white edges, the sides and the white top of the tent (it makes for a terrible picture).

As a general rule I would say your item should not be bigger than 1/3 the size of the tent. So if the tent is 17x17x17 your item should not exceed 5 1/2" in any direction.

IF you are willing to edit the pic and fudge a bit MAYBE you can go to an item 1/2 the size of the tent. Remember your goal is to not photograph ANY part of the tent just your product and the colored background that its sitting on.

Hope that helps!
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90 of 94 people found the following review helpful
The CowboyStudio "24in Photo Tent" is exactly what was needed for our product photos. We own a small business and do all of our own product photography. The results were somewhat hit-or-miss since getting the lighting just right could be very challenging. Using a Photo Tent eliminates a lot of the guess work and helps to produce consistent results between shoots, and it also saves me a lot of time fixing things later in Photoshop. Here are my observations:

Included;
* 24"x24"x24" Photo Tent
* Front Screen w\Slit (attaches with Velcro and allows lens to poke in the box)
* Red, Blue, Black, and White Back Drops (attaches w\Velcro)
* Carrying Bag w\handle

Pros -
+ Good Quality; the material is thicker then expected
+ Easy to Setup; the box literally springs in to shape when taken out of the bag
+ Works Great; material diffuses light and eliminates shadows just as expected

Cons -
- Hard to fold back up
- No Instructions; CowboyStudio emailed shortly after we ordered and it included a link to the folding for storage, but not on the use of the product

Misc -
* Backdrops should be ironed or steamed before use to remove creases
* Look for the two small eyeloops on the inside top sides (bottom has the Velcro), these are useful for suspending light objects with fishing line
* We made our own Back Drops by cutting fabric to the same size as the ones included and attaching Velcro to the same points

This is a great Photo Tent and is a real value for what you get!

Highly Recommended!

CFH
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on July 29, 2010
I was using a homemade cardboard box with tissue paper sides to photograph my small bicycling accessories that I make. My previous light box worked fine, yet I wanted to be able to pack everything up and store it instead of having this huge box taking up space all the time.

The Cowboy studio light tent works as described, and my pictures are still awesome with it. I miss being able to rearrange my product without having to carefully lift it up and put it back down and then smooth any wrinkles of the velvety background, yet the size and compact storage of this light tent are worth the nuisance.

I also ordered the 24" as a present for a friend. I received the 30" white backdrop with a stain and my 24" tent was missing its 4 colored backdrops. A quick email to CowBoy studios and they had replacements in the mail right away.

small aside, as you may read in other reviews, these tents can be a little tricky to fold back down. Easy fix, pay attention the first time you open it, don't let it just pop open on you.
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70 of 81 people found the following review helpful
on October 17, 2010
Original Order Placed on September 1, 2010

If you like this product order from Amazon. I suggest that you do not place orders for their products directly from the CowboyStudio Website.

I wanted to purchase the CowboyStudio 30" OPEN TOP Photo Soft Box Light Tent Cube (item has a flap opening on top to allow access to items in cube), which is very similar to the item pictured here. I contacted CowboyStudio asking if they would sell the product I wanted through Amazon. They said that some products just aren't available on Amazon. I then ordered the 30" OPEN TOP Photo Soft Box Tent Cube directly from the CowboyStudio Website.

Received the 30" Light Tent that did not have the Open Top feature. Contacted CowboyStudio, returned the Light Tent Cube to exchange for the Open Top Version, and received the same exact 30" Photo Soft Box Light Tent Cube with NO Open Top Feature. I also requested a refund of shipping fees due to the error their company made in shipping me the wrong product. As of this date no response and no refund.

The low prices that CowboyStudio offers for their products is great. Similar merchandise from other vendors is sold at a higher price (double or triple for similar products).

Customer Service and Order Accuracy were horrible for the order I placed. I paid the original shipping fee and additional return shipping fees, all because CowboyStudio could not ship me the merchandise that I ordered. Poor customer service. Can't trust them to get the order right on products they are selling.

I rate the CowboyStudio 30" Photo Soft Box Light Tent Cube - 4 Chroma Key Backdrops at Three Stars. In the end I kept the 30" Light Tent that did not have the Open Top. I did not want to spend additional funds as it appears CowboyStudio is unable to correct their shipping error. The Light Tent does what is supposed to do, but the metal rings that give the tent shape are really stiff and difficult to twist to return to folded up storage form. Also the metal rings apply a great amount of pressure on the White Nylon material, which in time may tear the material or rip the stitching apart. May not last due to quality of merchandise.

I will not order from the CowboyStudio website from this point on. Lesson learned. I will avoid dealing with them directly and can see that you get what you pay for. Lower prices don't always mean you are saving money. Order through Amazon, just in case there are any problems, Amazon would be able to assist you. I have never had any problems (return, exchange, refund) with orders placed through Amazon.

NSB
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on June 14, 2010
It's a little hard to get the thing to fold back up into its original size, but the material and construction make this light box worth it.
The backdrops that come with it are decent, too. They have a velvety side and a smooth side. And yeah, they need to ironed before you use them.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on January 27, 2011
Good beginners light box, especially for macro or small object photography. This will assist in taking a beginners photography to the next level. Good shadow management, even light distribution and four backgrounds from which to choose.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
I bought this for my wife to use in photographing merchandise. It is probably too big for my intended purpose of photographing handbags. My fault for not visualizing how big a 4 foot cube actually is. Regardless, it is seemingly well made and pops open like a children's play tent. One of the springlike frame sections is a bit bent, but otherwise it looks fine, and it doesn't affect its function. I'm going to have to get a steam iron out and remove the creases from the provided backdrop clothes, as the creases are clearly visible in any shot.

One thing to consider is getting enough light into the tent. Lighting needs are somewhat proportional to size and this thing is big.

Also figure out where you are going to stage the tent. A smaller tent could be placed on a table, not so much this one. Also it's a bit awkward getting into the tent to hang the background cloth on the provided Velcro strips at the back top of the tent.

The tent is so big you can use its external back wall as an impromptu backdrop for seated people as I did today when my wife needed a passport photo.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on March 30, 2011
Just what I expected, 4 backdrops, pops open (no instructions- I may never get it back into the cute carrying case).

Price is right. I made several DIY light boxes and this works much better. Time is money:) Large and roomy. I take it outside for photos with no lamps (since I live in S. California) and it worked out exactly as needed.
Frugal girl and satisfied with my purchase.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on November 1, 2011
This is definitely a table-top sized light box, and it works great. Position lights on either side, and if you can, one in the front angled down to cast a milky white glow across everything. A tad big for small jewelry, but perfect if you're doing photography of pottery, electronics, or anything else larger than a bowling ball. The included inserts work very well (steam them first to get rid of the wrinkles) although I prefer to use seamless paper.

To properly light an item in a light box/tent like this, you need to make sure that your camera is metering off of the object itself, and not being influenced by the white background. This is one of those situations where a handheld light meter will give the most accurate results, although you can also use trial-and-error or spot metering. Either way, make sure you DO NOT use an automatic setting, unless you want the luminosity of the white material to change from item to item.

Now, about the biggest item of complaint in these reviews; folding it back up. Yes, it's a hassle, and it takes a few minutes. If you force something too hard, the seams of the metal hoops can rip the material. Google the directions for storage of the Cowboy Studio Light Tent and follow them. Do it when you have at least ten minutes to practice it a few times, so that when you need to pack it up in the studio, or in a client's business, you don't break the thing or look like a fool. If you follow the instructions, you'll pick up on how the hoops collapse into themselves (much like a circular light reflector) to fit back into the pouch. Just don't force it, and when in doubt, let it flop back out.

The ability to take top-notch product shots in any environment, whether using continuous lights or strobes, is a big plus. Once you know the light/camera/product distances and light/camera settings, you'll be able to bang out shots of nearly anything consistently and professionally. You just have to be patient and read the instructions.
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