macro photography light box
macro photo studio

Should you buy a macro photography light box or make a macro photo studio yourself?  These mini lighting studios are great for you if you want a simple way to have success with macro lighting and don't want to go through a complex set-up each time you shoot macro.

I prefer the ones that fold up or collapse because they are easy to take down and store out of the way when not using them.

You can buy pre-built macro photography light boxes or make one yourself
This is a 36 x 36 inch collapsible light box for macro photography

Who should buy a Lightbox For Macro?

  • Merchants who sell jewelry, coins and other small items on-line frequently need photos to show off their products in an attractive way.  
  • These lighting set-ups are also great for insect and flower photography, the two biggest categories of subject matter for macro photographers.
  • Hobbyists who like a fast set-up and want to focus on composition and not waste time trying to figure out to get nice soft lighting.

features of macro photo studios

1.  They are relativity small and can be set-up in a small room.

2.  They are very affordable and you have many options on how you set them up.

2.  You can still adjust the lights on your subject fairly well by changing the direction and distances of the lights on the outside walls of the light box.

Should you use flash or continuous lighting?

best lighting for macro studios

You cannot use the built-in flash on your camera.  

If you use remote flash units of some kind you must trigger them at the time of exposure. You also can not see and adjust the lights in real time.  

You will have to try and evaluate by looking at the LCD screen after capture. With continuous lights, you can adjust the lights and get a good idea of your finished photo.

do it yourself macro photography light boxes

There are a million ways to make these on your own. It depends on how handy you are in making things with your hands and what materials you have on hand or are willing to buy.  

Here are two simplified methods of making your own.

light box method 1

Do it yourself macro photography light boxDo it yourself macro photography light box

1.Get an existing cardboard box.  

2. Cut out three interior panels and replace with any translucent material.  

This is a real cheap way to go.  make sure that you build it so that you can light your macro subject form above and from the sides.

This set-up is not fold-able or collapsible but it is pretty easy to do.  Just don't cut yourself with a sharp blade. Here is a one minute video on method 1.

light box method 2

1. Buy a sheet of Coroplast.  

2. Make folds, cut the corners and Velcro together.  The coroplast supports itself as a sturdy cube.

This requires a bit more precision with your cuts and folds but it is collapsible. Here is a five minute video on this idea.

You can also use a flexible, heat resistant diffussion paper called Cinegel which is used in the cinema world quite a bit.  You can attached it to any cubical frame you can make:

Cinegel Tough White Sheet of Light Diffusing Material

where to buy a macro photography light box

There are also a bazillion other ways to get light onto your macro photography subjects.  Below are some links on amazon showing you different lighting set-ups to consider:

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