Q. Do you recommend a certain type of camera to use with the Cubelite system?
A. No, there isn’t any one particular camera that we recommend, however please contact us for current recommendations as we are able to supply a variety of Digital Cameras. The truth is that the Cubelite works with pretty much any camera although the results will very depending on the quality of the camera you use. To ensure the best results there are a few key features to look for on a camera:
- A minimum of at least 3 megapixels, 5 or more is better
- An aperture, manual or program priority mode setting
- A custom () or fluorescent/tungsten white balance setting
- An exposure compensation setting ( )
- A minimum of a 3 x optical zoom
- A way to attach to a tripod, usually a threaded hole on the bottom of the camera
Q. How many pixels do I need on my Camera?
A. This very much depends on what you are using your images for. For Internet use you only need low resolution images whereas, when printing a brochure you will need much higher resolution images. We would advise that you buy a camera with the highest number of pixels you can afford. It's much easier to scale an image down than scale an image up. We use a 5 million pixel camera which is more than adequate for website images and gives us great great 8” x 10” images.
Q. How can I work out the correct size of Cubelite to buy?
A. There’s no easy way to do this as products vary in shape and size so much. What we do advise our customers to consider is the overall dimensions of their tallest, widest and deepest product(s). This will certainly help point you in the right direction. It's also worth considering whether you will ever want to photograph a group of products in the same shot. This will have an impact on your maximum dimensions.
With each of the Cubelite’s there is a working area that gives the best results. For instance, although it might just fit in, you could not photograph a 3ft x 3ft x 3ft box in a 3ft Cubelite. As a rule of thumb deduct 12 inches from each dimension of the Cubelite to give you a safe working area. So, in a 3ft Cubelite you would be reasonably safe photographing products up to 24 inches tall, wide or deep. Bigger objects would be possible depending on their overall shape.
Q. Should I choose Fluorescent or Tungsten Light?
A. The choice of fluorescent or tungsten bulbs is purely personal but in our experience the modern Fluorescent bulbs win on several points for product photography:
1. Fluorescent omits no heat making them perfect for photographing food and other perishable products. Also it is a more pleasant atmosphere for the photographer to work in if taking a large number of shots at one time.
2. Fluorescent consume an average of 85 watts and tungsten consumes 500 watts. Fluorescent is eco friendly and the bulbs last for approximately 7500 hours whilst tungsten bulbs only last on average 50-60 hours.
Q. What is different about your 3ft Cubelite with a removable back and base?
A. In addition to the standard specification of our 3ft Cubelite kit, this version has a removable back and base and waterproof steel rims. The removable base is particularly useful if you want to photograph a small section of a much larger product that wouldn’t fit inside the Cubelite, i.e: engine/machinery parts. Simply place the Cubelite over the top of the subject and photograph that section only. This feature is also useful for photographing subjects like wild flowers that are planted in the ground. In this context the removable back also allows you to retain the background of it's normal environment if required.
Grommeted tabs at the four corners allow the Cubelite to be staked in the ground and help block any ambient wind. The back can come off so that the natural background is visible in the shot.
People who are used to setting up store windows also find working in this Cubelite beneficial. They can drop the back of the Cubelite, unclip the background sheet, set up their scene, clip the background back up and take the shot.
Q. What do I get in my Cubelite kit?
A. In the 2ft, 3ft and 4ft kits you get:
1 x White Cubelite with blue rim
1 x Fluorescent or Tungsten light
1 x Fluorescent or tungsten bulb
1 x Telescopic light stand
1 x Adjustable Silver/white reflector
1 x White wipe clean vinyl background sheet
1 x Blue Carry case for the Cubelite
In the 5ft and 6ft kits you get:
1 x White Cubelite with blue rim
4 x Fluorescent or Tungsten lights
4 x Fluorescent or tungsten bulbs
4 x Telescopic light stands
1 x Roll of white background paper
1 x Instructions
1 x Blue Carry case for the Cubelite
Q. How do you send the Cubelite to me?
A. Each kit is shipped via Courier, contact us for delivery dates, please note carriage outside the UK is subject to an additional charge, please contact us for a price.
Q. Why is there no silver reflector with the larger Cubelite kits?
A. In the smaller Cubelites the reflector acts as a second light by bouncing the light from one side of the Cubelite, back into the subject being photographed, from the other side. Because the distance between the light source and the reflector is relatively short (either 2ft, 3ft or 4ft) this works successfully. The larger Cubelite’s are 5ft and 6ft 6inches wide and the light/reflector combination does not work as effectively so we supply lights for both sides instead.
Q. Can I use different colored backgrounds?
A. Yes. All the kits come with a white background, but we also sell a range of 55 different colored paper backgrounds. You can also use other materials such as fabric, wood, slate, metal etc. The choice is yours. In the bigger Cubelites the extra large floor space allows the photographer to create entire scenes or vignettes.
Q. Can I use the Cubelite to photograph hanging products?
A. Yes you can. Our existing customers attach their products to fishing wire then thread it through the top of the Cubelite with a needle and then attach it to something above that can take the weight. Lighter weight objects can be suspended from fishing wire strung between a front and back reflector grommet.
Q. Where can I get spare bulbs for the light?
A. The bulbs are available on our website or telephone us on 01461 206578
Q. Do I have to use a tripod to take my shots?
A. In a word, YES. No one is able to hold a camera steady enough to take consistently sharp images, time after time. A good tripod can make all the difference in the world between an image that is crystal clear and and image that looks slightly out of focus. Contact us to discuss your requirements, we can supply a variety of sizes and makes of Tripod.
When purchasing a tripod consider the types of things you will be photographing. If your items are rectangular and you have to lay them flat to shoot them, a standard tripod will not be able to achieve the proper angle to avoid “keystoning” where the top of the item looks narrower then the bottom.
Shiny products may require that the front of the Cubelite be closed to avoid picking up unwanted reflections. A standard tripod will have a hard time getting close enough to push the camera through the zipper opening while keeping all three legs on the ground.
For these situations you should use a tripod that allows the center column to be mounted horizontally. Cubelite have tripods which have this ability. Click here to learn about Cubelite's range of tripods.
Q. Why do all the images I have taken have a yellow/orange cast on them?
A. You need to alter the white balance settings on your camera. This tells the camera what lighting conditions you are working in. If your camera supports it, the best setting to use is the custom or measured white balance. Check your camera manual for an icon that looks like this then see if your camera recommends calibrating against white or grey. For total accuracy use an Ezybalance which is available through Cubelite as an accessory. If your camera doesn’t have a custom white balance feature, you should have a tungsten or fluorescent setting in your white balance menu. The camera will then recognise the fluorescent or tungsten light supplied as part of the Cubelite kit and will compensate for the color cast, ensuring the whites are white, not yellow.
Q. I cannot get the lamp to fit on the telescopic stand?
A. Make sure you have removed the black protective moulding from the top of the stand. This will reveal the brass fitting.
Q. Why is the background on my photographs grey and not white?
A. You need to alter the exposure compensation setting on your camera to brighten up the image. We suggest you start at a +1. If the image looks too dark, try +1 1/3. If it looks too light try +2/3 and so on.