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The Dark Room -- Photo Editing and Picture Taking. Advice, tutorials, questions on all things photoshop, photo editing, and taking pictures of beads or glass.

View Poll Results: Which is better; Cloud Dome or Table Top Cube?
Cloud Dome 14 14.29%
Table Top Cube 84 85.71%
Voters: 98. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 2006-08-10, 7:33am
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lmorganc lmorganc is offline
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Question Cloud Dome vs. Table Top Mini Cube?

Okay, beady peeps! Tell me what you think. Which is better, and why: the Cloud Dome or the Table Top Cube? Can you only take front-on pictures with the Cube? Can you only take pictures from the top with the Cloud Dome? Opinions wanted! Advice needed!
Thx!
Leda
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  #2  
Old 2006-08-10, 7:38am
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I have the Cloud Dome, and I've only had minimal success with it.

BUT, let me say that that's mainly because of:

1. My camera (a Kodak EasyShare is NOT the best equipment for good quality digital photos, and it doesn't work well WITH the Cloud Dome, they have a list of recommended cameras)

2. I have PhotoShop but have neglected to actually load it and learn how to use it to improve my pics (which would counteract the effects of not having the "perfect" digital camera)

You can get Cloud Dome angled collars that allow you to take pics from an angle, but it's still pretty much an (above your work) kind of shot. I've not seen any attachments for Cloud Dome that permit you to take side-frontal (?) shots of your work.

For what it's worth, the Cloud Dome people have wonderful customer service and are very knowledgeable about digital cameras and photography and the art/science of photographing jewelry (and they teach classes occasionally).

I'm almost at the point of sending my work OUT to be professionally photographed, but I haven't given up completely yet! LOL!!!

I've not tried the Table Top Cube.
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  #3  
Old 2006-08-10, 8:16am
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My friend has the cloud dome so I got to use it for free. I didn't like it at all as not enough light penetrates the plastic dome in my opinion. Plus, for the price, you could buy 5 photo cubes, plus good lights, and a tripod. I just feel it is really overpriced or was so the last time I checked. Now if it was about $50-60 for the setup I would probably be more in favor of it.

I got my cube through eBay. It works pretty good, and including shipping was less than $40.

Just my 2 cents....

Eric
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Old 2006-08-10, 8:18am
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Default Cube Vs. Dome

Great info! Keep it coming!
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  #5  
Old 2006-08-10, 8:19am
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Eric,

You are correct, it IS expensive (I got suckered into buying it at a show).

If I cannot get it to work without expending more money for attachments and whatnot, it's getting donated to a local bead society and I'm going with something else.

Frank De Santis did a photo workshop with our bead society a few months ago, and he has a box that he built from scratch. You can get the instructions for free from him by emailing him (which I have yet to do).

That may be my next step. Get the 20 pages of instructions and pay someone to build it for me. His demonstration of it makes it seem fairly simple to use.

But again, none of this stuff works well if you have a crappy camera.
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  #6  
Old 2006-08-11, 4:40am
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I myself recently picked up the Bead Photography Kit from Tabletop studios
http://store.tabletopstudio-store.com/ for 275.00 This kit includes 12" and 20" EZCubes. 2 photo lights 2 different color risers and backgrounds and some prop wax for posing. I use it with a 3 year old Olympus C4000Z camera on a small tripod and I love it. I can shoot from the top or sides and get great reflective shots from the shiny black riser and background. I was going to get the Cloud Dome but when I saw what you got for the price and looked into how its used, I decided to go the the EZCubes. Now I'm glad I did.
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  #7  
Old 2006-08-11, 9:49am
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Hi Wnbrsn!

Thx so much for the info on the Table Top Cube. It is sounding more and more like the way to go for beads!
Leda
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  #8  
Old 2006-08-11, 2:33pm
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I had cloud dome before I use cubes, I dont recommend Cloud Dome because its a hassle to have to lift the dome all the time to move your item in a good position. And the result usually a bit yellowy. Me no likey.

.
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  #9  
Old 2006-08-11, 2:33pm
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I have this one:

http://cgi.ebay.com/16-Photo-Light-S...QQcmdZViewItem


That link no longer works, but it's this seller:

http://shop.ebay.com/merchant/dk_murray

I have the 16" tent and I paid around $15. I recently ordered the $12 one and received it very quickly. (I had to replace the 1st one I bought because I got it all nasty.)
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  #10  
Old 2006-08-15, 8:13pm
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I found the cloud dome is very limiting in it's 2 angle possibilities. It also took too much of the glare away so things looked matte and flat, not like glass.

I got a 'boom' for my big tripod and I can extend my camera into the light tent to get over the pieces, if need be.
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  #11  
Old 2006-08-16, 2:32am
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I've got this one:
http://cgi.ebay.com.au/12-PHOTO-TENT...QQcmdZViewItem

Excellent service from seller & very happy with it!

Rose
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  #12  
Old 2006-08-16, 11:06am
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Yup, I pretty much agree with everyone. I have a cloud dome, and the only way I've had success with it is by taking it outside and shooting in natural outdoor light. If I do it outside with my Nikon Coolpix 4300 camera, I do get great photos, however, it's a pain in the butt.
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  #13  
Old 2006-08-16, 11:13am
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I use a 28 dollar ez cube I bought on ebay and think it works pretty good.

BonnieR
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  #14  
Old 2006-08-19, 12:50pm
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I just saw this in another thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tinygrammy
I found this at our local IKEA. It's called "Komplement", item # 101.067.94 and you get three boxes for $19.99. Each box is 11 3/4 inches by 13 3/4 inches. Here it is collapsed:

You zip the back to set up:

You lift the bottom into place:

You place your light source into place and take pictures. I'm showing my Ott light on top, but I've found it works best with a light on either side of the box:
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  #15  
Old 2006-08-22, 5:16am
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Tabletop cube comes with very good lights -- this alone makes it head and shoulders better than the Cloud Dome. Additional pluses for the tabletop kit: it's lighter, it's more portable, it's more flexible/adaptable (vertical or horizontal shooting and 2 cube sizes), it comes with other cool stuff, like graduated backgrounds, two plexi stands (one black, one white) and this extremely nifty flat panel light pad which is a gas to play around with.

Here's the kit I got and I am very sorry I wasted my time on the Cloud Dome and various home-made jury-rigged setups: http://store.tabletopstudio-store.com/bephkit.html

Two essential additional pieces of the puzzle, in my opinion:
1. a tripod
2. Photoshop skills

(This is a very nice how-to info page: http://www.tabletopstudio.com/docume...hotography.htm)

JanMD
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  #16  
Old 2006-09-22, 1:47am
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I have the cube, but you know, I have found taking the pictures outside on an overcast day works pretty damn good.

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  #17  
Old 2006-09-22, 3:29am
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IMO "outdoors on an overcast day" IS the ideal and everything else is just trying to replicate those conditions! It's just that, no matter how much I practice, I haven't been able to consistently control the weather.

I agree that the setup from Tabletop Studio is the way to go (until you get the weather thing down). It's high-quality, the right stuff, not a bunch of crap you don't need. "If I knew then what I know now"... I would have just bought my lights from them right away instead of dinking around with various never-quite-ideal setups. I like my homemade dome, but if I didn't have it I'd get my dome from them too.
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  #18  
Old 2006-10-30, 10:26am
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You know, it's just like us Northwesterners to insist that we take our photos on an overcast day. Me too.

Teague
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  #19  
Old 2006-11-08, 10:49am
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I recently attended a photography class where it turned out the guy was only promoting his little table top tent, or box.

I was told by the owner of the photography store that the product that I use was actually better.

I use a cocoon system. I was told that the filtered walls are actually better than that of the table top cube or whatever you call it.

I've posted pics of what I use below. This product allows you to remove any panels from the site, top or bottom. The holes for the camera keeps you from having reflection of dark spots or yourself in the item you are taking a photo of. I really like it.
Attached Images
   
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Old 2006-11-08, 12:29pm
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For a second, I thought that was a litter box cover. Tells you where my mind is. Hey, it's the right shape.
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Old 2006-11-08, 8:52pm
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I got this awesome tabletop set up from a guy on ebay, shipped complete for like $50-60.. I now have everything I need to take awesome photos! It works GREAT!!

http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZdk_murrayQQhtZ-1

I didn't see him listing any of the set-ups at the moment but the one I bought had:

• the "Cube"
• useful and complete instructions with color picture diagrams
• white and black nylon backgrounds (sweeps) with Velcro fasteners
• two special daylight compact flourescent 10,000 hr. rated 5000k color 30w (2000 lumens) bulbs
• two (2) polished aluminum 8 1/2" clamp on light fixtures with 15' electrical cords and on/off switches
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Old 2006-11-09, 12:47pm
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He's listing a couple of the setups now, plus a taxidermied mallard. Maybe if you bought both, he'd combine shipping -- and you could use your photo cube to take lovely pictures of your stuffed duck.

(I shouldn't be rude. This is actually the guy I bought my cube from, and it's fine, and I'm sure there are plenty of nice people who would love to have a taxidermied mallard. I'm sure my cats would love to have a taxidermied mallard . . . wouldn't be good for the mallard, though.)
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  #23  
Old 2007-01-10, 3:32pm
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LOL Emily!

I wish I would have done the math before I built my POS PVC "tent"! That dumb thing cost me $35 to make, and I rarely use it because it's too bulky to keep it set up. That $50 kit looks really nice.

My son got some kitty "forts" that look exactly like the light cubes, except they aren't white, and they were $10 for two. Makes you wonder about the price of the cubes made for photography.
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Old 2008-01-12, 10:56am
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I have to admit, although i was told by the camera shop that my dome is a better product, as far as filtering light goes. I think I would prefer the tabletop tent.

I find the dome very hard to get in and out of as far as putting stuff in, taking it out, set up etc. Especially if I have to really open it up. It's a real pain.
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Old 2008-01-12, 12:31pm
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I love the 5 dollar bowl trick its easy to use and works great
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Old 2008-02-01, 9:20am
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Old 2008-12-23, 1:15pm
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Walmart has a great photo tent. It comes with several different color backdrops and 2 lights to add sparkle both with built in tripods. The whole thing is $50.00. It is located in the Camera department. They are a little hard to find so you might have to ask for them. It is well worth every penny if you are wanting a well made photo tent.
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Old 2008-12-23, 4:46pm
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The one I have can be purchased here: http://alzodigital.com/online_store/light_tent.htm
I have the 14" size. It is really nice because it folds up into a little round flat bag about the size of a saucer. It comes with a couple of backgrounds although I rarely use them. It has some clips with velcro that you can use to clip up whatever you like for a background inside it. If you want to take photos from the top you can just turn it so the opening is up. It has a front panel that velcro's on and has a zipper so you can zip it up around your camera regardless of what sort you have. Overall I thought it was an excellent buy. Very versatile, inexpensive ($22.15) and it works very well. Plus it is easy to put away and get out. You can get them in kits with lights but I just use a couple of ott lights and they work just fine.
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Old 2009-01-06, 3:13pm
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I have not had much success with the cloud dome. I bought ott lights and that didn't help all that much. I've tried 2 different cameras and neither of them fit well in the top of the cloud dome. I have to say I'm pretty disappointed with the cloud dome.
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Old 2009-01-07, 4:58pm
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This looks pretty complete...not a bad price...

http://www.thelashop.com/product.php...&cat=17&page=1
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