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Think twice before ordering the largest (30") version....
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.