Portable Light Box

 I bought this portable light-box from a company called Upkeep Yoga for fifty of those Yankee dollars. It is, perhaps unsurprisingly, not as good as they made it look in the product shots, but it's not completely worthless.

The shell is what appears to be ABS plastic, and it's supposed to be held in shape by magnets. The magnets aren't strong enough for the job, and their placement is... inexact, to say the least.

It is lit by a single USB-powered LED strip, which provides barely adequate diffuse lighting. I won't be doing any hand-held shooting under this light.

It comes with two foam mattes: one white, one black-ish. They're OK; they create an adequately seamless background. How easy they will be to clean I don't know.


I will need to do some tinkering to see how best to set my camera for use with this box. These are on the white and black mattes, without any exposure compensation at all. With the puny amount of light shed by the LED strip, the black matte required about a second and a half of exposure at ISO 200, the white matte about 1/15.


These are from the RAW files, with quick EV compensation (but nothing else) applied in Lightroom.

In summary, it's not a worthless bit of kit, but it's far from stellar. It will be of some use on the road (which is its function, after all), but it's hardly going to replace my current photographic setup.

In-camera +2 EV compensation

Auto-bracket + HDR and Levels adjustment
These two images I've taken to try out some in-camera adjustments.

On the left, the photo was taken with a +2 EV compensation.

On the right, I've auto-bracketed by ± 1 EV, merged the three exposures into a HDR image, and then adjusted the levels to get a pure white background.

Of the two, I think I prefer the simple +2 EV exposure. Apart from anything else, it looks sharper to my eye.

Zvezda KV1 (1941)

 Here'a another 1:100 scale (15mm) KV1 from Zvezda, a slightly later model than the previous one with a slightly better 76.2mm gun. ...