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  1. #1
    Willie Jan's Avatar
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    creation of light table for macro work

    i want to make a table for macro work with a milk white surface which will allow light to pass through.

    Is it possible to use Polystyrene or polycarbonate to heat this up,
    bend it and create a table in such as way?

    Or is there a better solution for this.

  2. #2

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    Sort of like the Calumet table which is like a sweep?
    If that's what you're looking for it shouldn't be too difficult, I think they may use plexiglas.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

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    Sorry that it is in dutch, but: een objecttafel met een melkglazen pexiglas sheet er op.
    I have one in The Hague, but it is over 1m wide.
    Foba has them, for a link via NL, click here (Photal site)

    Peter

  4. #4
    Lee L's Avatar
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    Many studios use a clear glass, polycarbonate, or plexiglas tabletop and then use translucent material to make a "sweep". The translucent material could vary depending on the size of your subject. With small macro work, Rosco or Lee gels could work well (not sure what brands or sizes are available in NL), and give you a wide choice of diffusion properties and optical density at very reasonable cost.

    The "sweep" is made by resting one end of the background material on the tabletop and clipping the other end to a crossbar above the table.

    Lee

  5. #5
    Rick A's Avatar
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    I made a light table years ago. I used PVC pipe for the frame, and a piece of white plastic (I dont recall if it was plexi) it was thin enough that I didnt have too hard a time getting it to bend. I think I got the plans for it from Popular Photo(or similar) The only "problem" encountered was that plastic is petro based, and any light shone through it would be slightly orange. It is still a problem when I shoot macro using a white styro cup around my subject. I cut the bottom of the cup to fit over my lens, and set the cup over my subject for even , non reflective illumination.
    Rick

  6. #6
    Willie Jan's Avatar
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    I wil be using if for b&w shoots. I now use a light box (for slides) but the amount of light is not adjustable and it is flat. I would like to have it curved and going up at the end.

    I'm not sure if I heat the plexiglas up and bend it, that it will get wrinkled in the curve that is visible when i want a white background.
    Or the curve must be that large that it will not happen...

  7. #7

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    How big do you need the macro table to be? You can get acrylic in various thickness, the thinner material like 3mm could be forced into a curve if fixed at both ends. that should be ok for smaller items.
    Bending thicker material to a curve is not so easy as a large area needs to be evenly heated.
    Where I am in the UK there is a plastics fabricator near that can make customised items (and I can sometimes get useful bits of material from their scrap bin)

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by yellowcat View Post
    Bending thicker material to a curve is not so easy as a large area needs to be evenly heated.
    My best results for even heating have been with a heat gun or large hair dryer. It's important to work both sides and be patient so as to not overheat the surface. Also wait for it to just reach its yield point. Don't try to force it and don't let it heat much beyond its yield point or the curve is less likely to be even.
    It's best to not directly heat the entire area to be curved, as the heat will diffuse laterally. Heating the entire radius will mean that the areas you want to keep unbent will be harder to control.
    If at all possible practice first on a piece large enough to get a feel for it.

  9. #9
    Willie Jan's Avatar
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    I can make a wooden part that has the right curve and place the material on top. After that heat it until it has the form of the wooden part.

    50cm width and 90cm high would be the dimensions needed.
    I will use it for small objects from a few mm until 10 cm high.

  10. #10
    richard ide's Avatar
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    Acrylic diffuser sheets are available for 24 x 48 fluorescent fixtures made of material about 1mm thickness. This is thin enough that you would not have to heat it, just clamp it to your table.
    Richard

    Why are there no speaker jacks on a stereo camera?

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