Buying new camera for Macro Photography

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by siliefly, Apr 8, 2010.

  1. siliefly

    siliefly TPF Noob!

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    Hi all,
    I am a jewellery designer/ maker and I am looking to buy my own camera and equipment to take my own photos as I am very interested about learning how to do it and think it will save me a lot of money in the long run to take my own product shots.
    I have been researching a lot but I am unsure of a lot! My budget is around €1500 in euros.
    To start I need a camera. I am thinking that I will need something that is at least 15 mega pixels? Some photos may be used for posters so I need high resolution, great quality photos. Would 15mp be sufficient?! I was looking at the canon EOS 50D ??
    Then for the lens I was looking at the canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM This looks like an amazing lens but I am unsure if I need something so good but I do want to buy the right equipment that will last me.
    Then for the flash: when researching the Canon Macro Ring Lite KIT MR-14EX 100mm 60mm 50mm Lens was recommended but this is pretty pricey I think, I wanted to spend the bulk of my money on the lens as this is the most important? I then read that a Canon Speedlite 270EX would be sufficient for flash if I bounced it off an overhead white wall or something???
    Do I have this all right? I want to make sure I get the proper stuff to set up with so that is why I am asking for your help in this forum!!!

    Thank you very much in advance ☺

    Eily
     
  2. Formatted

    Formatted TPF Noob!

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    15 MP will depend on how large you are going to be blowing the prints up. The larger the more you will need but 12 MP is enough for a A4 print.

    About the lens I have the Canon 100mm f/2.8 and its great. Just stick it on 1:1 and then move around what you are photographing to get it in focus. But I don't know if it will be good enough for jewellery. These are some of the photos I did when I first had a walk around (check out my flower set for my later work) Macro - a set on Flickr Will that be what you want?

    And to your flash, the speedlight should work well with bouncing it about a bit. I don't know if Canon flashes have wireless built in but if they do you can always set it up next to what you are photographing.

    Sounds like you have done some good research. D50, 100mm and the speedlight will be great for what you want to do!
     
  3. siliefly

    siliefly TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the reply! Had a look at your pictures there, beautiful stuff! I would like images like this for close up/ detail shots but I will also need more 'product' shots where the whole piece will need to be in focus...(like the ones of my website www.eilyoconnell.com) The photographer who took them is since gone bust!
    Do you think this particular lens is up to that? If not then is there any other lens you could recommend?

    Thanks!
     
  4. Formatted

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    To get the whole thing in shot you will just have to rack up the f-stop to f/32. ( Although having said that don't they make specialist lens that go to f/64. )

    I'm love shallow depth of field which is why I shoot most of photos like that. But when doing the macro you want the higher the f stop the better!

    So yeh the 100mm can do that but it will require lots of light and a good tripod.
     
  5. Ron Evers

    Ron Evers Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    An articulating live view screen is of great benefit in macro photography.
     
  6. Hardrock

    Hardrock TPF Noob!

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    I checked the site out and its definitely a different kind of jewelery!!! It appeared that alot of those where shot with a midrange F-stop around f8-f13 (that is mostly an assumption from looking at the pics). The ones that were in full focus were parallel to the lens. I think the 50D and 100mm macro would work great for what you are wanting. I have not used the 270 flash but the 430ex ii works great. You may also want to get a tripod to make it easier and faster for your work flow.
     
  7. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Simply bouncing a flash won't cut it. That and skip the Canon flash. For what would be ideal, you can purchase three manual speedlights for about $100 each. Then stands and modifiers. With jewelery, you're going to really have to watch the light position because of reflections and flare.

    A book called "Light Science & Magic", by Phil Hunter is a great read, but it takes a bit of knowledge on the basic manual operation of an SLR first.
     
  8. Vinny

    Vinny TPF Noob!

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    Here's a question (possibly really dumb) but why use flash and not just a lightbox? I would imagine if the light was the same type all that would be needed is to set the camera to the correct white balance, leave it there and have the the light coming diffused from the top and sides - play around with positing to get the look your are looking for. Mount the camera on a tripod and you can use any shutter speed and aperture you need to make the photos have the depth of field you want/need.
     
  9. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Light boxes still require constant lighting or flashes. The problem with a box is the consistant lighting. With jewelery, you have a lot of reflective surfaces and angles. Placing one piece in a light box and getting a the right photo doesn't mean the next piece isn't going to give you an annoying glare or flare that the first didn't.
     
  10. Vinny

    Vinny TPF Noob!

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    So if you set a 2 ft x 2 ft base with a 1 ft x 2 ft back, draped it with some material and had 3 light sources - 1 on top and 1 on each side that you can turn off or reposition when you need or want wouldn't work? Maybe light box is the wrong terminology but I'm thinking how a portrait photographer uses a light umbrella with a constant light source located in it to see if they are getting a desired effect.
     
  11. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The lighting would be very similar for each shot, regardless of whether you moved flashes or turned them off. The reason is that the material acts as a diffuser and a reflector adding a huge coverage area and providing a really flat even light. With the box, you could use umbrellas, soft boxes, grids, barn doors, snoots, or any other modifiers to create a soft light, a directional light, reposition the light to cure a reflection, or whatever else. It gives you more flexibility that way.
     
  12. DerekSalem

    DerekSalem TPF Noob!

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    Where's Bitter? lol seems perfect for him to come in here...
     

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