What makes MyStudio® better than other photography light boxes?
Great question. If one does a Google or Amazon search for “light tent”, “light box”, “portable photo studio”, etc., 90%+ of the results will be a variation on the same exact theme: a square box made of some kind of fabric that has a straight sweep of fabric on the inside. The theory is, put your product in the box, turn on whatever lights they provided (which usually look like small flashlights on a stand) and take your photo. For some products this may work okay, but these designs are extremely limited in their application, and most, if not all of the ones we’ve seen and worked with have most or all of the following problems:
- they are not easily cleanable
- they quickly develop wrinkles and/or have visible seams in the background
- they wear out quickly from general use
- the lighting is inferior and/or extremely limited
- the user is limited to photographing from directly in front of the product
- there is very little, if any, product support or help if one has questions
- they are not made in the USA and the overall quality is cheap in order to keep the costs down
The MyStudio® difference
MyStudio® table top studios were designed specifically to offer a superior solution to the problems listed above. The owner of PRO CYC, Fritz von Tagen, was one of the premier studio photographers for over 20 years in the Northwest and was based out of Portland, Oregon. He had created and patented the modular cove systems that eventually became PRO CYC as a way to make professional cyclorama photography studios (a cyclorama, also called a “cyc”, is a room in which one or more walls have completely seamless curved transitions from wall to floor and in the corners so that there are absolutely no seams or shadows in the background). These studios were generally large enough to photograph people, furniture, cars, trucks, etc… and generally cost well north of $10K just for the studio, not to mention the lighting which could easily run several times more.
Since that time, PRO CYC has become the world leader in the design and manufacture of modular cove systems used in thousands of photo and video studios around the world, from the largest sports and news networks and film studios, to smaller production studios in schools, universities and countless independent video production facilities. These days, PRO CYC cyclorama studios are specifically used as the preferred green screen background for studios of all kinds doing virtual sets and chroma key compositing (click here for a short list of some of the many companies who are using PRO CYC cyclorama systems for their seamless background studios).
So, what does all that have to do with MYSTUDIO and table top photography? Everything, actually.
Unique Seamless Backgrounds
In 2008, Fritz saw a growing need for an inexpensive yet professional quality way to help even the most inexperienced photographers take great product photos for their eBay auctions, or countless other online retail applications that needed to have a product displayed on a clean white background. Fritz had the idea to “miniaturize” a full size professional cyclorama studio into one that could fit easily on a standard table or desktop. The design of all MYSTUDIO seamless cyclorama backgrounds is actually a scaled down model of an actual PRO CYC studio system. With the L-shape corners in the MS20 and MS32, and the patent pending U-shape design of the US31, one can photograph a product from a variety of angles and still achieve a perfect seamless background.
Moreover, the specific radii used in the corners and coves are engineered to bounce and spread the light in a uniform and even fashion all around the product. We use high impact ABS plastic on each molded background, which is the same material used in larger PRO CYC studio systems. ABS is a very lightweight and durable material, and most importantly it can be easily cleaned if/when it gets dirty, thus extending the life of each MYSTUDIO lightbox to many years of repeated use.
If one had to pick the single most important factor in a professional quality photo, and photography in general, it would be lighting. In addition to the unique cyc backgrounds, the lighting for each MYSTUDIO complete photo studio kit was also carefully designed to work with the shape of the backgrounds and to provide soft, accurate and even lighting. We specifically chose large light sources (large relative to the product size), which produces a softer light than smaller light sources used in almost all other light tents and table top systems. The positioning of the lights is also very important. Our lights are positioned at an angle to the subject (roughly 45 degrees) that creates the most pleasing look, while at the same time maximizing the amount of light that is “bounced” around the light box. All MYSTUDIO lights are 5000K color temperature, which is considered “daylight” and is most commonly used in studio photography, as it allows for the most accurate reproduction of colors. Finally, in 2017 we introduced LED lighting options to virtually all of the MYSTUDIO table top systems. The particular kind of LED lights we use have the same soft “large light” characteristics as the fluorescent lighting, but their output is 50% – 100% brighter in the same size fixture and use even less electricity. This development was years in the making, and we are very proud of the quality of the LED lights we are now offering.
Our goal is to help our customer’s take the best possible product photos with our products, and nothing less than 100% customer satisfaction will do. Unlike many other companies who just sell a light tent as one of their hundreds of other products, this is all we do and we are committed to being the best. We stand behind our products, and if you are anything less than satisfied, we will do our best to make it right. We are also committed to helping people become better photographers and to get the most out of our products. Everyone starts somewhere, and regardless of your experience level, we are always here to help if you have questions or need assistance with your MYSTUDIO products. Just visit the Contact Us page and let us know how we can help.