Posts Tagged ‘EF 100mm/f2.8’


DIY Macro Studio, Strobist-style

August 22, 2008

Following David Hobby’s instructions from the excellent Strobist DVD, I made a homemade light tent for taking macro shots.  Cost just a few dollars because I bought tracing paper and poster board for backgrounds.  The Strobist DIY softbox article is here.

Building the Light Tent

Starting with an approx. 12″x12″x12″ box, cut windows in 3 sides.  Cover the 2 side windows with tracing paper, which serves to diffuse the light from the stobes.  The hole in the 3rd side can be covered with paper as well, or used to feed subjects from the bottom.  Poster board is cut and placed in the box to serve as a seamless background.  Different colors and styles of poster board can be used to vary the background.  


To shoot, place the strobes 6-12 inches from the windows on the outside of the box.  The angle of the box to the strobes can be adjusted to light the subject appropriately.  Flashes were triggered with the Elinchrom Skyport Triggers.

Sample images

These sample images were shot mostly at 1/250sec @ f8, using the Canon EF 100mm/f2.8 Macro lens.  Flashes were set to 1/16 power at their widest focal length.  Shooting with strobes permits a fast shutter speed which allows you to get a fairly sharp photo without a tripod which speeds up your workflow.  The macro lens requires a smaller aperture than you’re used to with a normal lens.  f/8 was just starting to provide enough focus throughout the subjects. 

1/250sec @ f/8

1/250sec @ f/8 - multiple backgrounds

1/250sec @ f/5.6, glossy gray background to show reflections

1/250sec @ f/5.6, glossy gray background to show reflections

1/250sec @ f/8

1/250sec @ f/8

The ghetto light tent