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Showing 1-10 of 431 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 456 reviews
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.


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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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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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon February 1, 2013
My first Cowboy Studios purchase, the 30-Inch Photo Soft Box, will not be my last. This product helped make my first foray into food photography both beautiful and profitable.

I've been a professional photojournalist for a number of years. My expertise, if you can call it that, is in capturing unstaged moments, & images of life on the fly. Much of my work is at scenes of accidents, fires, festivals and concerts. It was with some trepidation that I accepted my first paid job as a food photographer for one of our local restaurants. The restaurant ended up using these photos both on their website as well as in print ads. The Cowboy Studios Soft Box made my job far easier than expected.

The Cowboy Studios Soft Box came packed in a circular shaped nylon bag. It was folded and rolled in a manner that might remind you of some of the more expensive sunshades people use in their automobiles. In addition, the package included several pieces of background fabric of different colors. Opening the light box was quite simple. Pull it out, give it a little shake and a little pull and it pops into a giant white fabric cube -as if it were spring loaded.

The "door" on the front of the cube is attached by several velcro strips. The door itself has a slit sewn into it where one could easily put a camera lens through. Speaking of the door, one of my few complaints about the Cowboy Studios Soft Box is that there is no way to partially seal that slit. In my opinion, CS should have included some form of velcro closure or double-headed zipper so that photographers could fully seal the door with the exception of where they stuck their lens through.

The unit is made of a light-weight fabric that transmits light very nicely. The Soft Box does not come with its own lighting which allows photographers to choose their own light sources- be they economy clamp lights from a hardware store or multi-thousand dollar flash rigs and tripods. For my first project, I chose the economy route and purchased clamp lights and a number of CFL bulbs.

I set the light box up on the table in the restaurant's back room and positioned four clamp lights at different angles all around the box. After setting my camera up to the corresponding white balance, I stepped back and had a look and was very pleased by what I saw. The transmission of light on this unit is excellent. I didn't notice any shadows cast from the outside because of the ribbing/framing of the box and I had little problem producing a fully lit white interior similar to what one might get outside on a perfectly lit overcast day. I spent the entire evening taking hundreds of shots of numerous dishes that the restaurant chef had prepared specifically for their ads. I didn't employ any food groomers nor did we use any strange techniques you may have read about which would include anything from coloring to shoe polish to oil in order to enhance the shots. The resulting photographs are outstanding, if I do say so myself and I credit much of this to the use of Cowboy Studios Soft Box. If you'd like to see some of the results of my first foray into food photography using this light box, do a web search for M and M Italian Restaurant in Los Banos. When the website comes up, click where it says "outstanding choices" on the home page and then on the next page that comes up, click on the link that says "restaurant's photo gallery page". Look for the photos with the white background. I am particularly fond of the photos of the drinks and desserts.

After the photo shoot was over, I struggled a little bit with putting the light box away. Folding it back up so that it can fit back into the blue nylon bag is not intuitive but is a fairly easily learned skill. The trick to doing so is to use a proper twist of your wrist after making the initial two folds to perform the final collapse. The video showing this technique was found on YouTube and after practicing it 4 or 5 times, rebagging the light box became easy to accomplish.

The quibbles I have with this product are small and include the aforementioned door issue which makes shooting near surfaces more of a challenge but can probably be overcome with safety pins. I found the included background fabric to be a nice thought but pretty much useless for my purposes as it wrinkles all to easily. Another quibble I have with this product is that the light box itself is prone to slight wrinkling too. If you are using the light box rear wall as a background without direct lighting from behind, you may end up having to do a little bit of post processing / Photoshopping. Similarly, the base of the light box is made of the same fabric that the sidewalls and top are. While this would be great for light transmission if lit from below, it doesn't make for what I consider to be a perfect base / background as the color of the table you set it on will likely show through. I solved this problem on the food shoot by borrowing one of the restaurant's perfect new white tablecloths.

Despite the minor nits outlined above, I really do like the way this product is made. If treated properly, it is my opinion that the Cowboy Studio Soft Box should last for a good long while. Having never had another light box and only looked at its competition briefly in camera stores, it's my opinion that the construction is solid, the stitching is good and I'm expecting this product to hold up for a long time.

My first attempt at food photography was made much easier by using this product. Not only was the chef and restaurant manager quite pleased with the results, but the publisher of the local newspaper selected four of the shots in which to construct an ad which appeared in the Life in Los Banos Magazine. Prior to purchasing the Cowboy Studio Soft Box, I had considered attempting to build my own light box using a PVC frame and white fabric. While it is true I would have saved about ten dollars, I would have also created myself a kludgy, hard-to-transport soft box which likely would have resulted in more frustration and maybe even less attractive photos. I would recommend this product and I have continued to use it for various projects. Despite its minor shortcomings, I think the Cowboy Studio Soft Box is a great value and I'm glad I purchased it.

Note: I wrote this review with my husband who is a professional photojournalist and product & event photographer. All of the sentiments described above are his from his point of view. :-)
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on May 1, 2017
I'm actually returning the 30 inch and bought 24 inch instead. I love this tent and it is going to work perfect. Makes beautiful soft but bright white light inside and all I'm using is 4 desk lamps from Walmart. I over shot the size. It just looks like a giant cube lol I could fit 5 kids in the 30 inch. I think it's taller than 30 which is fine but the 24 inch will be Stellar size. One thing I really like is that it folds down/pops open but it's like a sturdy frame once you pop it open it's not flimsy frame like you would think. I mean you couldn't hang lights on the frame but I think of you are buying a photo TENT you should realize that and it should be a given because the material is thin/soft to allow light to come through but it is by no means cheap. I bought an 18x24 inch acrylic sheet at lowes for only 10.78 too which will sit in it perfectly to add bit of professionalism to my photos and by the way I am by no means a professional. I just started taking pictures when I opened my etsy shop in January so I have a lot to learn but this has been my best investment since far. I added a picture of beads you can see the color contrast change from first to
Second pic and keep in mind this was without any photo editing or even trying real hard plus the fact that since tent too big I could use 2 more lamps. I know the 24 inch is going to be answer to my photography problems. In closing my words of wisdom is that sometimes you have to look past any negative reviews so that you don't miss out on something you might have loved, I almost did!
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on June 23, 2012
Really easy to setup and take down, provided that you pay attention when opening it the first time.
Convenient storage pouch really helps to keep it clean during storage. Also its very easy to store due to it folding down flat into a small thin cylindrical package (2.5" x 14" diameter). Much better than my DIY light box that takes up a lot of storage space and gets dusty. The 30" cube size is great upgrade for my needs as I can use it for much larger items now, yet is still effective for tiny items.

Cons: Imperfect seams and loose threads. Didn't even bother to use the backdrops based on other folks comments and used a 24" wide white paper roll instead for a infinity background. For $35 though, these are non-issues IMHO.

I would happily pay more for something of much higher quality, but based on what I'm seeing at the local pro shops for ~$90 to $150, there is no perceivable difference in quality and only a different name brand. This is $35 well spent.

Attached is an example photo I took using this lightbox. With full noon hour sun blazing, the lightbox was placed on the hood of my car while at a race shop. I wanted to quickly get a photo of these parts before they were installed in my engine. No additional lighting was used beyond what the sun provided for this photo. This should give you a good example of the diffusing capability of this lightbox.
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on September 2, 2015
This soft box works fine for my product shots. It is reasonably priced and holds up well as I use it for on-location shoots.

Opening - As you open the soft box, firmly hold the edges to keep it from "snapping" open. That will increase its lifespan and prevent tearing.
Closing - This is a three part process. 1) Push the front, top edge back to fit inside the box until it lies next to the bottom, back edge, making a triangle. 2) Close the triangle by pulling the front top and bottom edges together. 3) Grasp the sides, one in each hand, and twist in opposite directions. The box will fold into three circles.
Wrinkles - Use a warm iron. (I used the polyester setting.) Spray with water. Keep the iron moving all the time and have some patience. a warm iron will eventually get the wrinkles out. Don't be tempted to use a hotter iron as the material can melt under high temperature.

I shoot with studio flashes and get good results. Shop lights will work fine, but don't allow you a lot of camera control to adjust things like depth-of-field. Buy the largest box you think you'll need. For most products that I shoot, I'm using the 30" box.
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on August 11, 2014
I bought the 40-inch version of this tent and it has paid for itself about ten times over already. This tent easily and consistently recreates a product setup that allows for diffused lighting with minimal shadows and a wide variety of materials. It is great for copy work or a quick and simple product shots given that the object fits within the size you purchased. You can quickly move between reflective and non-reflective objects without too much time spent in post-production. Honestly, I probably could've used one of these a few years ago but I just got around to purchasing one now.

I will admit that the first time setting up the 40-inch tent is a little bit daunting if you can't figure it out on your own because you can't easily hold the whole thing with two hands like its smaller counterparts but the concept is the same. Basically all you have to do is work your way around the cube and keep pulling on the edges of each side until it pops into place, it's made pretty sturdy so you can be a bit rough with it if you need to. If you find that one side just doesn't want to pop open try to push it in a bit and then tug it back out and it will pop into place.

To pack it up just start pushing a side inward and then the opposite side inward after it, pushing the diffusion material in along with it until you end up with one flat panel like a collapsible disc reflector. For a tent this size I usually stand it up on one side and put the tip of my foot on the end of it on the floor and twist the top edge down counterclockwise until it squishes back into a disc and fits in the bag.

This also comes with a few pieces of fabric to use as backdrop on the inside, the backdrops it comes with work great and have velcro on them to attach within the tent. I would have loved to see it come with a backdrop in grey but I had to retro fit one out of Savage Seamless backdrop paper for a couple shoots and that worked like a dream.

The zipper on the front is also great and allows you to hide everything but the very end of your lens from view if you're shooting a glossy or reflective object.

For lighting I usually put a speedlight with an umbrella on the sides and one on the top on a boom but you can probably even get by with one light for this system.

Overall, this setup is worth its weight in gold. Cowboy studio has consistently made great equipment for those of us who can't afford to buy high-end name brand photography gear just yet. None of their products have failed me and as long as my cat doesn't get to it I think this light tent should hold up for a very long time. Take good care of your gear and it will last forever. Buy the biggest version of this product that you can and you'll have one hot setup!
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on April 10, 2013
First I like to say that I don't do reviews on product very much but figured on this one I should. I figured people might want to know more about what they could get or even a chance that the company that makes this product might see this review to help improve their product for future buyers. With that out of the way here the review.

I bought this product as a way to introduce myself on how to do product like photos and figure this would be a pretty cheap way of doing so. Well lets just start out by saying that this product would have been FANTASTIC for the price if it were not for the fact the product was no only defected product but also had mold on it.

So when I opened this product and started to unpack and set this tent up I noticed some mold on the tent part on the top and also the bottom of the tent. Which I figured wouldn't be a huge deal seeing how you would use the sheet to cover that said location. Upon opening said sheet there were a big mold strip/spots ( I posted pictures of the mold on here check the pictures if you would like to see). Which was a huge let down. I don't know who's to blame on this one could have been a warehouse issue or whatnot. I am just puzzled to why they didn't bother putting in moisture absorbing silica gel bags in the packaging to keep moisture out.

So after being disappointed with that I figure to try it out with another sheet to just see what it would look. So I unwrapped and put in the red sheet (which had no mold on it thank god). To only find out that the back of the tent didn't have Velcro in the spots needed to keep the sheet in place... So not only was there mold on the sheets and a few spots on the tent but also the tent wasn't made correctly in the first place. So in the end I returned the product to amazon for a refund.

I do think this could have been a amazing experience with this product but instead I am left with me feeling that the company didn't have quality control and didn't think about product packaging.
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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:

* 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!

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on June 14, 2013
Ordering the 30" kind of seems like a no brainer, you can photograph small things in a big tent, but it doesn't work other way around right? Well, that is true but there are unintended consequences: the 30" tent is gigantic, it's like some sort of giant entity in your living room or den. But more importantly, with a 30" tent, with your light sources outside tent walls, you lose a lot of light intensity and that makes it a lot more difficult to achieve the white limbo effect you're after. For the technically inclined the intensity of the light falls off as the square of the distance increases. So if your object is in the middle of the tent and it's 6 units from the side of the tent its lit with 6 squared less lumens, not 6 times less, 6 x 6 less. The falloff of light is 36 times. There's a reduction factor of 36.

The folding issue is a pain. Not just because they couldn't be bothered to put a sheet of instructions in the package (I could do without one of the colors for a decent set of instructions) but because even when you go to the trouble of going to the website for instructions, the instructions blow. The "helpful" photographs are taken right after each tricky move is accomplished..."see? do it the tricky, counterintuitive move just like we describe so it ends up like this". Specifically, they use the term "opposite" for a 3 dimensional object, as in fold the front corner to it's opposite. Now, in a cube, is the opposite corner the corner directly behind it, below it, or the corner diagonal to it on the same plane? Or maybe the corner diagonal and on the opposite plane? oops. There's that opposite word. Yo, Cowboys! We don't like feeling like knuckleheads. Number the fricking corners in the photos, direct the action according to the numbers as in: fold corner #1 to corner # 4, holding each side twist with left wrist clockwise, while twisting with right wrist counter-clockwise at the same time. etc etc.

By the way, before attempting to fold this bugger, wash hands thoroughly. Your hands will be all over this sucker so completely (after gingerly holding by the frame edges for all other actions) that if you've been handling dusty books or whatever, the tent is now folded, yes, and filthy. Just saying.

I own a 30" model (slightly dirty) and will be purchasing a 16" model, hey, it's still the cheapest game in town.

UPDATE: There's a video on Utube that you can find by noodling around on the Cowboy Studio Website. It's not perfect, but it's much better than the written instructions. The kind of hilarious thing is that by looking at the comments it becomes obvious that there are a lot of people who have been living with this giant cube in their lives for like, weeks, because they can't fold it. I fold like nobody's business now, if it use the thing regularly. If I don't practice regularly though, folding becomes a problem again.
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