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I'm looking to buy a smallish light tent (1 or 2 feet on a side) and there seems to be quite an array of options. Are there any that are any better than any others? Or should I just go with whatever is cheapest? I used to go to the local photo store and look at this kind of thing, but it closed a couple of months ago :(

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possible duplicate of Portable light box for shooting beer bottles – ahockley Jan 27 '11 at 5:56

I would recommend building one yourself, I followed Bill Hubers' instructions on PBase last year to photograph Jewelry and the results were amazing. One recommendation I took was to not fasten the legs or cross beams, by doing so it is easily collapsible for transport. You can then also make interchangeable beams for additional box sizes as required.

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I found these two pretty decent, with swappable backdrops. You can take a look.

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I would go with whatever the least expensive option is with the features and size that you want (e.g. interchangeable backgrounds, easy collapse, interior hooks, etc.). A light box is a pretty simple device and you can also easily make them yourself, you just require a reasonably rigid frame, some light white fabric for diffusion, and something like bristol board for the backdrop. There are a ton of examples on the web on how to do that and they work just fine though they don't shout "professional" if you're doing the photography for someone else.

Either way, unless you have really special requirements for it, I doubt that you'd find much difference in any of the options out there in practice.

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Based on my experience with lighting gear, I think that the differences may lie in ease of use, durability, and practicality of solutions. While I may be able to make a lightstand from three wooden sticks and duct tape, when I need to set up lights and don't want to worry about it I really appreciate Interfit lightstands. – che Jan 27 '11 at 18:23
@che - This isn't a device attached to a light or to attach lights to. This would usually sit on a table, lights on either side, and/or above, and the product to shoot placed inside. ShutterBug linked some examples. – John Cavan Jan 27 '11 at 18:45
I'm aware of the differences between a lightstand and a light tent :-) I was just sharing my experience with variously priced photo gear. – che Jan 28 '11 at 19:30
@che - Ah! Gotcha... :) – John Cavan Jan 28 '11 at 21:42

My light tent was cheap - it required a box cutter and a cardboard box. And a band-aid.

I got my ideas from here and here. The band-aid idea came from first aid training. ;-)

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