Our DIY page!

DIY Light tent by C

You may have noticed that of late we have had a lot of awful weather.

With this in mind, the other day whilst M and I were having one of our regular brain storming sessions, we were reminded of the fact we did not have a satisfactory way of photographing small items indoors, having trawled the internet we came across several home made light tents, ideal for indoor photography.

So here is our version:


Items required:

Small saw.

Fine glasspaper (for cleaning any rough edges)

Several lengths of white 22mm overflow pipe.

10 @ 22mm solvent weld overflow tees.

4 @ 22mm solvent weld overflow elbows (90 degree)

4 @ 22mm to 40mm solvent weld overflow reducers (these will be used to form feet)

All the above can be obtained from a local plumbers merchant or DIY store, but shop around for the best price.

White shower curtain or white bed sheet (a value type will do)

2 large sheets of white or coloured paper/thin card.

We managed to make this for under £25 excluding the tools.


Cut the overflow pipe into the following lengths:

3 @ 71cm, these form the top front and rear, plus bottom rear sections.

6 @ 57 cm, these form the front legs and the side sections.

2 @ 51 cm, these form the rear legs.

8 @ 4cm, the are for joining the tees to the elbows and tees to reducers.

Rather than go into long winded instructions, put part A into part B etc, I have taken some photographs to illustrate what goes where.

Elbow-and-Tee Above image, 90 degree elbow with a joiner to connect the tee.


Above image, there is a joiner between the upper tee, which is at 90 degrees to the lower one and another joiner between the lower tee and the foot (reducer)


Above image, 90 degree elbow(shown end on), spacer and tee.


Although the pipe and components are sold as solvent weld no gluing is required everything just pushes together.

Once assembled wrap the shower curtain or sheet from left to right over the top, put your paper or card inside to form a base and a background, you will now have a lovely softly lit area in which you can photograph flowers and so forth, a couple of flashes can be set off from outside the light tent to give extra light should it be required.


Above image taken in light tent using only daylight illumination.

Should you require further clarification of any point, please do not hesitate to email us at mail@gcmphotographic.com

Otherwise enjoy.





Amateur Photographer, FREE Gray card.
Review by ‘M’

Well it’s nice to get something for free don’t you think?
Not much, if anything, is nowadays! (COMMENTS?)
I use some things that are free – why not? I use a few things from Amateur Photographer myself.
So, the issue dated Saturday 16 March 2013 has a free give away. Good news.
Nice idea, however I do wish to warn fellow photographers that the grey card is not a KODAK 18% gray, which is simply the best in my opinion. However, it does not it say that it is a Kodak gray card in the write up, so fair play to them.
See below:
It’s a whole lot better buying and using a Kodak gray card. So my advice is to spend the cash on the real deal. Look after it, and it should serve you well.
However, the freeby is better than nothing at all.
I’ve not given a light meter reading to tech guy, ie ‘C’.
Because cameras and lenses do not take the same light meter readings even if they are the same brand and model. So there is no guidance from me on this matter.
My own Kodak gray card set is over 25 years old and still being used.

Techie note by ‘C’

Early light meters were unable to differentiate colour, only seeing monochrome.
They were set to read the entire scene and give an exposure that would reproduce a full range of tones, thus the exposure was based on 18% gray.
This is really only a starting point under ‘ideal conditions’.
Exposure can be adjusted to reproduce better shadow or highlight detail.
The legendary Zone System is probably the best exposure/processing system known to produce the ultimate image.


Review by ‘M’

Why do you have a Focusing rail and what do I use it for?
Read on…..

1st I enjoy close up photography – This means I like using a focusing rail, so I can compose my shot using my tripod. Then using “Liveview” on the back of my DSLR I manually focus my camera lens, using both of the control knobs on the focusing rail for very fine adjustments. Then I take my photo when everything is locked up nice and tight, with my cable release or with the camera’s self-timer.

2nd As part of my “ Panoramic ” set up – to be reviewed at a later date.

How did I choose one?

Easy – I asked ‘G’ from GCM for some advice. I then went to http://www.amazon.co.uk/ and looked up some reviews. Some camera retailers stock them, but at a price, which did not suit my budget.

So the reviews and the cost helped me choose:-

Picture A

I found a problem with the above focusing rail, in that the main focusing knob falls out very easily. The rail is useless without it. So how do I stop that from happening? Read on….


I filed a flat surface on the control knob.


Then I drilled a 5mm hole through the control knob using an appropriate metal drill. I then took any edges off using some wet and dry paper.


Then all I needed was a way of joining the control knob to the main body of the focusing rail. So looking round the house I came up with this combination.


In true Blue Peter style, “here’s one I made earlier” being used.

(‘C’ with an Editors note!)


So the focusing rail may have a minor problem with it, but this is not hard to sort out. It’s affordable too. Works fine with the above modification made to it.

Hope you found this useful.


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