$5,000 budget for Canon 5D MkII + Lens(s) + Lighting. First project = Fine Jewelry

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by BEHMER, Aug 30, 2009.

  1. BEHMER

    BEHMER TPF Noob!

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    First post. Amazing forum! This might be the place that really pushes me to make this investment for my small startup company. I would greatly appreciate any advice from any of you professional product/studio photographers!

    Ok, I am set on the Canon 5D MarkII. This camera will be great for me and the wide range of projects that I hope will lie ahead.

    I am now trying to figure out the rest of this equation with a focus on this first "Fine Jewelry" shoot which will be funding this purchase.

    Below is an example of one of her pieces which also shows the level of detail I wish to meet or exceed in the shots.

    What I am very new with is setting up a similar studio and camera setup to acheave such results.

    The one lens I also need to factor in this budget is the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM. I feel this is a good travel/recreational lens that will also work great for head shots and fashion shots in the studio?
    -----

    My main concern is getting the proper lens for shooting fine jewelry as this is very new to me.

    I am also seeking advice for the ideal lighting setup. I would love to keep things as DIY as possible.

    To get an idea of the style and size of her jewelry please visit her old...soon to be renovated website..AndreaFohrman.com

    ----

    Thanks so much for helping out the new guy around here. I look forward to hearing some feedback and making this great investment. This assignment is truly a great opportunity for me to step my game up in this awesome world of photography!

    Thanks a million!!

    -Sean B.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. JamesMason

    JamesMason TPF Noob!

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    Not to sound harsh but multiply that figure by about 4 to get what you want. Lights aint cheap and neither is glass.

    Secondly you cant just buy a crap loada gear and expect amazing results, take some time to learn, spend the cash on a course perhaps ?

    Dont mean to put a damper on things but you cant go out and buy a saw and become a carpenter overnight
     
  3. CxThree

    CxThree TPF Noob!

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    Honestly, you can get that type of result fairly cheaply. Take a look at strobist.com. In fact, here's a link to some small photography shots he did with just a cardboard box and some speedlites.

    Strobist: Food Photography Made Easy: The Lunch Box

    You can spend a ton on lighting. For some people, it's necessary. For what you are looking to do, I personally think it's not something you need. You can get great results with some minimal investment.

    While at strobist.com, check out his lighting 101 and lighting 102 modules. That will get you started.

    For reference, I have a full set of GOOD lights. My speedotron setup is the same one I see in lots of studios. However, I rarely set it up anymore. I tend to travel lightly and use speedlites to get some good results. If I need my full setup, I have it. However, I highly doubt I would get that out to shoot small rings and other items of that size. You can buy a small photo tent (Or use an old box with some tracing paper) and use some speedlites to get the same results you posted above.

    also, as for lenses, I agree with you on the 24-105. I have it and love it. You may also want to consider something like the 70-200 F2.8 and a good prime like the 50mm 1.4. That mix will give you good coverat. The 70-200 is a great portrait lens too. Depending on the size of the stuff you shoot a decent macro lens may enter the picture. Something like the 100mm macro, but I would hold off on that. Canon is rumored to be upgrading it to an L series lens in September.
     
  4. BEHMER

    BEHMER TPF Noob!

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    I do understand that Lights and glass are not cheap which is why I am trying to get away with just getting one lens on along with my 24-105.

    I can get the 5D and the 24-105 for about $3,400

    This leaves me $1,600 for the macro lens, some lights, fabric and other materials to make some DIY Soft boxes and a makeshift studio setup.

    I know that it will take time to learn this new camera (coming from 7 years with Nikon D-SLR's) but I am pretty confident I will catch on quick and start producing acceptable results for the client. I am not amateur to photography just to product/studio/macro type situations.

    I get very consumed by each client/project so I will certainly be doing my share of reading/expermenting/posting to the forum till I can get the job done right.

    I just really want to make sure I get the right lens for the job since that is such a vital piece. I can more or less play with different lighting rigs as I try to imitate the results of the attached photo above.

    Thanks for you honest input though.

    -Sean
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2009
  5. JamesMason

    JamesMason TPF Noob!

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    Sorry if i went off a bit, your post sounded as tho you had woken up this morning and thought i know, today ill become a photog. I would make a decent macro your top prority, And get/make a small light tent.
     
  6. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

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    You might check into an extension tube for your 24-105. It's a lower cost alternative to a $1k macro lens.
     
  7. Antithesis

    Antithesis No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    There are plenty of good macro's out there. Sigma, Tamron and Canon all have excellent offerings, and they tend to be among the sharpest lenses. I'd probably look at something in a short telephoto range. Something like:

    Sigma AF 70mm f/2.8 EX DG macro (Canon) - Review / Test Report

    For lighting, go to strobist like CxThree suggested (strobist.blogspot.com). You can buy a lightbox for cheap and then light it with a few strobes. You can also add different effects using just flashes and shoot-through umbrellas, but its all covered on strobist.

    Also, your better off skipping the 24-105 if your just doing studio-esque stuff. It's a travel lens and you'll have more control over what lens you need. Your better off getting prime lenses (one focal length, i.e. 50mm over a zoom). I'd start with a 50mm f1.4 and an 85mm f1.8 and fill in the gaps as needed and your budget expands.
     
  8. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Personally, I'd purchase a 5D MKII body and a 24-70 f/2.8 over the 5DII kit. Faster aperture.

    A macro lens probably wouldn't be the best for product shots of jewelery. You'll want a smaller aperture for a wider DOF. A shallow DOF might be pretty an all, but if you're trying to sell a product and only one small portion of it's in focus, then it's not going to be very appealing.

    Also, the prime recommendation is good. Primes are usually sharper than zooms. You want to sharpest pictures possible, but along with that, the 5DII is 21MP, you can shoot and downsize for sharpness.

    Ed: And I'm tempted to tell you to go with an Alien Bees lighting kit. A set of the B800's would probably be within your budget. Is it overkill for jewelery? Probably. Will in come in handy for portraiture or and future purchases? Definitely.
     
  9. 5DManiac

    5DManiac TPF Noob!

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    You don't need a 5D for great pics.

    Save yourself some money and grab a 40D and a 100mm 2.8 macro lens. Get a couple or 430EXs, some wireless triggers, and a couple of light stands. Boo-yah! Spend your money on glass versus a body. 70-200 2.8 is also popular for those kinds of shots.
     
  10. BuZzZeRkEr

    BuZzZeRkEr TPF Noob!

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    Congradulations on landing the job! Great budget to work with...I'm sure you'll have no problem acheiving those results with a 5k budget. The people who posted before are correct....you can achieve the results in the picture you posted for much less, even less than half of the allowed budget...but at least it's an excuse to get some great gear ;).

    I'm a professional photographer and shoot alot of product right out of my home. To shoot product I have found my westcott spiderlite TD5/3 continous cold light lighting system really makes product photography a joy! using the soft boxes takes away the need for ackward light tents and all you need is a paper backdrop and BINGO! here is an example a basic set up

    This is just one spiderlite TD3 off a boom arm...that will run you about $600 off of adorama or B&H new

    [​IMG]

    These results are using a Nikkor 17-55 2.8, and a Tamron 90mm 2.8 macro for close ups
    [​IMG]

    Hope you might of foun any of that usefull. Macros make great portrait lenses as well. I think of mine almost like a 90mm 2.8 prime.
     
  11. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    But that's a hotlite? Hotlites are usually not a very good option for shooting people.
     
  12. NateWagner

    NateWagner TPF Noob!

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    well, they aren't hotlights...

    scott kelby talks about them here

    Although, I would still recommend using some sort of a lighting tent, or just being careful with your reflections because you can see the softbox reflected in the jewels in the images which is the part of the purpose of the lighting tent.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 11, 2014

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