Sanoto MK50 Lightbox

This Sanoto MK50 lightbox is the third light box I have written a review on, and will probably be the last. This is the most expensive of the boxes I have reviewed. First was my home made box which you can read about Here . Second was the Tuirel pre fab box which you can read about Here .

This Sanoto MK50 lightbox measures 20 x 16 inches and is the largest of the series. The available sizes range from 12 x 8 inches to this 20 x 16 inches. I chose this largest box because of it’s versatility to shoot small jewelry items on up to larger vintage items.

I have watched the auctions on this Sanoto lightbox on eBay for quite some time. This box was the one I most wanted to try. The auction prices vary widely, anywhere between $105-155. Since I had this box in my watch list from multiple different sellers I was lucky enough to catch one right when it went on sale for $85, so I snatched it up. Although I love this box I would still like to try the MK45 which has the lights on the front pointing back instead of the lights in top pointing down like the MK50(more about this later).

Assembly of the box was pretty simple and straightforward, but the instructions that come with it are terrible. If you have trouble assembling the light box search YouTube for Sanoto and there is a video(in a different language, just mute it) that shows how to assemble.

Below are the test pictures I shot when I received and assembled this Sanoto MK50 light box. First 3 pics are of the box itself, next pic shot before adjusting cameras white balance, and finally the final 6 pics which I actually used to post the listing for the White And Yellow Genuine Diamond Ring :

Sanoto MK50 light box

Sanoto MK50 light box

Sanoto MK50 light box

Sanoto MK50 light box 2

Sanoto MK50 light box

Sanoto MK50 light box 3

Sanoto MK50 light box

Before adjusting white balance on camera pictures will come out blue or gray. The shot above was with my camera set to everything on automatic. Pics like this are a very common complaint with this box so I thought it was worth mentioning and giving an example. More info later in post.

Sanoto MK50 light box after white balance adjustment

Same shot as above after adjusting white balance on camera, also before inserting black background. Below pics are after inserting the black background that came with box.

Yellow and white diamond ring

Yellow and white diamond ring

Diamond ring

Diamond ring

Diamond Ring

Sanoto MK50 shot of diamond ring

6 shots above are the final shots in the Sanoto MK50 light box that I used when listing the diamond ring for sale

Below are 2 pictures shot in my original homemade light box(you can read about it Here), and below that two pictures shot at the same angle in the Sanoto MK50:

Diamond ring shot in home made light box

Shot in my home made light box

Diamond ring home made light box shot

Shot in my home made light box 2

Shot in Sanoto MK50 light box

Shot in Sanoto MK50 light box

Shot in Sanoto MK50 light box

Shot in Sanoto MK50 light box 2

 

As can be seen above the pictures in both light boxes are very similar, but I personally like the Sanoto pics better because the black background is much darker.

As stated close to the beginning of this post I would still like to try the Sanoto MK45 light box. Since I use reflective black acrylic in my photos, with the MK50 I found that having the lights in the top of the box pointing down limits how far above an item I can get without getting a reflection of the lights in the picture. The MK45 has the lights in the front of the box pointing toward the back so it would be much easier to shoot pics from above. Maybe sometime in the near future I can catch the MK45 on sale and give it a try.

Pros and cons:

Pros:

  • Easy to assemble
  • Fluorescent lighting so stays cool
  • On/off switch
  • Very bright inside
  • Top and front shooting windows
  • Works well with white or black background
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Reflective sides/top will pop out of place if pushed on
  • Must have adjustable white balance on camera or pics will have blue/grey tone

I have read some reviews on this product and have noticed a recurring negative comment: “My pictures have a blue or gray color to them”. You MUST be able to adjust the white balance on your camera or more than likely this box will not work for you. I am using a cheap Nikon Coolpix L22 camera that is almost 6 years old and the only adjustment I made to the camera to shoot these photos was to the white balance. The newest model of this camera can be found for between $60-70. Every photo on this website, in my Etsy store, and my eBay store has been shot with this camera and either my homemade lightbox or this Sanoto MK50 light box. No pictures on any of these sites has been doctored by any software program, they are all shot with my little Nikon L22 and posted straight from the camera.

In closing I will say this review is my own personal opinion and reflects my own personal opinions. It is based on a comparison between my home made light box which I have been using for 3 years, and this Sanoto MK50 light box I bought on eBay. You can easily compare the pics in this post to the pics taken in my home made box by going Here.

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