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What Size Light Tent do I Need?

The main thing influencing the choice of size for a light tent is the width and depth of the products being photographed and the convenience of obtaining a ready to use image where the product falls entirely against the infinity backdrop. It's therefore always useful to have a light tent with some decent extra space around the product to allow a frameable image to be taken. Orientation of the image (landscape/portrait/square) and the lens angle characteristics of the camera also have some effect.

View from above light tent showing the effect of product depth on maximum  product width.

 

Our light tent sizes are external dimensions. The tents are slightly smaller inside due to the rounded fabric corners. Products which are of shallower depth such as photo frames can be placed further back in the tent which allows a greater product width to be accommodated and still shoot against the infinity backdrop. Items which are of a similar width but deeper such a round cake, will need to be placed further forward and this reduces the maximum width which still falls against the backdrop.

A useful rough guide is the maximum width of the product can be slightly more than half the width of the light tent. Usually, a slightly taller height than this can be accommodated as the infinity backdrop covers the back wall and the floor and by raising the camera angle and shooting in portrait mode, the available area of background increases.

View from side of light tent showing the effect of height of shooting angle on maximum product height.

Maximum sizing guide

Light Tent
Size
  Maximum Product
Width*
  Maximum Product
Height*
50cm/20" 27cm 35cm
80cm/32" 45cm 55cm

*These maximum sizes are for a shallow product such as a photo frame positioned as far back into the tent as the backdrop will allow. Products on the threshold of these dimensions and/or of greater depth, may need a tent one size up.

If photographing products larger than this rough guide suggests, you may find that the edges of the backdrop show in the image which can sometimes be dealt with by cropping the image.

My product range includes both small and large items. Can I use a larger tent to shoot the small items as well?

Yes, you can use a larger tent to photograph smaller items and still get very good results although if there is a wide difference in sizing between the objects, sometimes it is just easier to have a smaller tent as well. When shooting very small items in a larger tent, generally you tend to need to pull these towards the front of the tent and sometimes this can place them at a rather low angle relative to the camera. In a tent which is more matched to the size of the item, you would be able to place the item somewhere near the centre of the tent which would offer more favourable angles for shooting and also the very best light diffusion.

The most general purpose size is probably the 80cm/32" light tent while for small and large item combinations, the 120cm/48" and 50cm/20" usually work very well together. For examples of typical items which may be successfully photographed, please see the individual light tent product page.

What about shooting clothing images?

For garments such as T-shirts and underwear and most types of young childrens' clothing, our 120cm size light tent can be used. Clothing can be laid flat on the backdrop in the normal way or hung from the internal hanging mechanism. To shoot the garment face-on when placed on the backdrop, the light tent can be turned onto its back with the door uppermost or the separate infinity backdrop angled towards the photographer.

If you need any further information on light tent sizing for your products, please just let us know.