Picture of ~$20 Portable Lightbox for Photography
Hi there! This project came about from my hobby of collecting and trading vintage film cameras online. I needed a more professional-looking method of taking photos for my ads. I saw a couple of different 'ibles here doing roughly the same thing, but I had a particular requirement: I wanted mine to pack up easily, as I live in a dorm and have to store my stuff over the summer. Credit for the original idea goes to Tommy Jordan, the guy that shot his daughters laptop. The original posting is here, I just improved upon it.

This setup could be used for anything from macro photography to online inventory photos. I give the measurements for my version, which is about 18" by 18", but you can scale it up or down however you'd like. The whole shebang can be made for between $20 and $25, depending on if you already have the tools and some of the materials. It also takes only a few hours to make. I actually took about 9 hours to build it originally, but that's because I had to redesign it several times before I was happy with it. This instructable only covers the box itself, the lighting is up to you. I used my two incandescent desk lamps and a vivitar 283 flash, and was quite happy with the results. Also, I know it looks pretty ugly in the photos. I'm not very good with scissors.

Addendum: I apologize for the weird black spots all over a bunch of the photos. I took my D40 camping recently and the sensor got a good bit of dust on it and it is greatly affecting the pictures. I managed to manually clean it about 3/4 of the way through the instructable.
Video20122 years ago
Nice idea however, I would be a bit nervous about using a plastic shower curtain as you said the lighting source would be up to me. Light energy is for the most part heat, say in the 95% range, and I would say a shower curtain would melt if left unattended. A friend once used colored paper to color his ceiling lights in his basement, we all ran from the smokey fire that ensued! In the photography field there are fire retardant materials made for the high heat of direct lighting . The Roscoe Co. Makes soft spun diffusion and opal diffusion material that would soften your light sources without the possibilities of fire or melting smelly possibly carcinogenic plastics. Most photography suppliers sell these materials, price? Sorry, that has to do with size of the sheet, and thickness of the material. I know it will be a bit more than a shower curtain, but a whole lot safer!
Great job! Your K-1000 is awesome.

The Insomniac (author)  GorillazMiko2 years ago
Haha, thanks, I actually don't use it that much, I prefer my Canon F1. Mostly because I only have two Pentax lenses.
Since PVC can't be recycled, couldn't wood or bamboo also be used on something this small? I'm sure you already know this but you can also make large light skrims using fabric and pvc t joints for diffusing light onto a large subject(in case you need to reuse a large amount of them instead of trashing the chlorinated mess), and just put a light behind it. Maybe I'll try that out with bamboo instead.
The Insomniac (author)  SimpleSpiveys2 years ago
Indeed it could, unfortunately i'm in a very small town and such materials are not readily available. Feel free to post pics if you do make a bamboo version, i'd love to see them.
patropro2 years ago
Funny, I just threw a roll of film in my K-1000 today, then I saw this. Nice lightbox.