Build a compact and low cost softbox

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Requirements for a compact softbox

After a failed attempt to buy a mini photo studio kit on Amazon, I decided to build it myself

The requirements are simple:

  • Being cheaper than the 50 euros for the Amazon Kit (1 tent with 4 backgrounds + 2 lamps)
  • Being compact enough to be able to tidy it up behind a piece of furniture or so.

The technical solution evolved to using two A4 picture frames with a LED strip inner border and with intentionally blurred front glass. The infinite background is simply composed by 2 meters of wallpaper.

Building the Softbox steps by steps:

  1. The cardboard back is removed and the included glossy white paper is flip is glued to act as rear reflecting surface (a crumpled aluminium foil might also be a solution)
  2. Cut a piece of blurry plastic film the same size of the front glass and fixed with some transparent tape
  3. The glass is put back in the frame with the plastic film on the outside (to protect a little from impacts) and it is secured with the metallic bendable locks
  4. An LED strip is cut, two 10 cm wires soldered and then glued in the inner border of the frame
  5. Some soldering and connection to a dissembled dimmer
  6. Four screws inside the frame serve as support for the back plate in which some holes are roughly cut to let the variator and the cables out.

The two Softboxes in application

LED strips

LED Dimmer

12V input and Slave output

Comparison with and without Softbox

The results are way better with these two compact DIY softboxes (actually softpannels) compared to the same shot with ambiant lightning.

Comparaison photo produit avec et sans DIY softbox

Without and with Softbox + infinite background

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