Macro Lens versus Manual Focus for Jewelry?

Discussion in 'Commercial/Product photography' started by HocusPocus, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. HocusPocus

    HocusPocus TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Seattle
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Hi,

    I photograph my wife's jewelry with a Canon XTI Rebel (EOS 400D) and I use the regular 18-55mm lens which came with the camera.

    One issue I have is when photographing a pair of items (such as cuff links), the camera will auto-focus on one and blur the other, example here:

    The Quintessential Steampunk Watch Movement by LondonParticulars

    I switched to manual rather than auto-focus which stopped this problem, but due to the amount of pics I need to take, this can be a slow option as I never really know how they come out until I upload to my PC.

    I was wondering if I invested in a Macro lens, if this would be able to auto-focus on both items without blurring one?

    I've been looking at this lens which seems to be reasonable, but I don't want to shell out to have the same issue with having to use manual focus:

    [ame=http://www.amazon.com/Canon-EF-S-Macro-Digital-Cameras/dp/B0007WK8KS]Amazon.com: Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM Digital SLR Lens for EOS Digital SLR Cameras: Camera & Photo[/ame]

    Any help would be greatly appreciated,
    Cheers,
    Derrick
     
  2. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Messages:
    14,604
    Likes Received:
    1,236
    Location:
    Cedar Hill, Texas
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    You just need more DOF (depth of field). What aperture are you currently using?

    Try stopping down to around f/8 or f/11.

    Or you could position the items so that they are both the same distance (or close) and parallel to the sensor plane.

    A macro lens will be sharper, but you will still have the same problem you're having now. (If you do get a macro lens, I would recommend 100mm or more.)

    Another (expensive) option would be a tilt/shift lens. You're looking at $1500+ there though. That would let you move the plane of focus so that it would intersect both cufflinks (it would no longer be parallel to the sensor).


    Simply stopping down more will likely be all you have to do though.
     
  3. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    23,099
    Likes Received:
    3,765
    Location:
    UK - England
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I agree with O|||||||O - stopping the lens down to a smaller aperture ( bigger f number) should give you more depth of field to play with and that should let you get the deeper depth to the shot that you are after.
    I will also warn you to keep an eye on the aperture and sharpness that you get, as you stop down more and more there is a limit (starts to appear around f10 but generally is only a problem after f13) beyond which whilst you will get more depth you will get softer shots no matter how well you take them. This is the result of diffraction and (on most set ups) it really starts to degrade noticeably after f13 on crop sensor camera bodies and around f16 on fullframe camera bodies.

    I would disagree on the macro lens part though - whilst I agree that you might not need one ( the shot you post looks good to my eye for the web at least) a 60mm is easily usable for the sorts of work you are doing. The 100mm will only give you more distance between the lens and the set up (you don't get any more magnification) which is only really of concern for insects when they are more likely to move the closer you get.
     
  4. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Messages:
    1,261
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Key West FL
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I agree also. Switching to a true macro lens will not magically heal your problem. What is needed is more depth of field and you get that by using a smaller aperture.

    For larger pieces, your kit zoom's pseudo-macro/close-up capability is likely to be all you need. What you need to do is force a smaller aperture using Aperture Priority mode letting the camera compensate by using a slower shutter speed or set both in Manual exposure mode. This lower shutter speed may well require that you add a tripod to your kit to hold the camera steady, if you aren't using one already.
     
  5. j-digg

    j-digg TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2009
    Messages:
    476
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Minne-snow-ta
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Yeah, non macro seemed to work well with the size of the objects you have shot in the links... if you were to use a macro lens to get closer you would actually lose depth of field because of camera to subject distance. Assuming stopping down the aperture to achieve a larger depth of field isnt enough, another option you could learn about and try is focus stacking. With a product style shot similar to the one you have posted you could maybe just focus on each of the links in different shots and then use a layer mask in post to combine them ( which is what would essentially be manually focus stacking ) leaving them both in focus.
     
  6. HocusPocus

    HocusPocus TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Seattle
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thanks everyone, this really is of immense help!

    The pictures are looking much better!

    The Quintessential Steampunk Watch Movement by LondonParticulars

    The blurring thing stopped when I changed the f stop to 11 (thanks O|||||||O) and also made them parallel.

    The only issue I have now is the horrible murky blue background - which is actually white paper in a lightbox with three 100 watt daylight bulbs (two to the sides, one on top).

    I'm using the whibal card (as recommended by O|||||||O) which has been fantastic for the most part, but its always certain cufflinks which make the background blue and I cannot get it white in Photoshop?
     
  7. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    23,099
    Likes Received:
    3,765
    Location:
    UK - England
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Try going into levels in photoshop - along the bottom of the window there should be three little dipper tools (like water dipper type looking things). One is to set a whitepoint, one a grey point and the other the blackpoint. Essentially you select the dipper tool and then click on a spot that is pure white (or supposed to be pure white) and it should adjust the colour/whitebalance to compensate.

    If you shoot in RAW mode as well you can adjust your whitebalance directly to try and get that pure white effect.

    Also a point - on the shot you posted your depth of field is just getting to be out of foucs on the far left of the shot try and get foreground in focus as much as you can - background areas can go a little more blurry, but idealy you want foreground to be in focus.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. HocusPocus

    HocusPocus TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Seattle
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thanks Overread - I really appreciate your help!

    The pictures are getting there, but not as crisp and white as I'd like them.

    Thanks for letting me know about the white balance in Photoshop, I just wish I knew why the pics have that horrible blue tinge (I use a WhiBal card which is helping but that colour is still there).

    Cheers!
     
  9. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    23,099
    Likes Received:
    3,765
    Location:
    UK - England
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    What is your lighting setup? Might be that you have a two different lightsources that have differing colours of light that is subtly affecting your shots. Another factor is your computer screen - is it calibrated using a hardware option (eg a spyder calibrator)?

    Finally as a solution try opening up a saturation layer - and then in the new window go to the dropdown menu which says master and select cyans from the list. Then desaturate the cyan only - that might help remove the blue tinge you see.
     
  10. HocusPocus

    HocusPocus TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Seattle
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I have a homemade Lightbox (in a windowless garage), with two lamps on either side and two on top as well, each with 100 Watt Daylight bulbs (I wonder if the wattage is too low?)

    I use a Canon Rebel XTI/EOS 400D and for the cufflinks, I have it set to 1/160 F11 ISO 100 Raw.

    I also use a WhiBal card which is helping to a degree.

    The weird thing is, that in the camera, all the shots look awful but once I use Photoshop auto levels, they look better, then its easy to lighten them in curves, but I'd still like to know why they're so dark in the first place.

    I can literally take one shot and they look really dark and the next photo (taken immediately after) is bright.

    Also, I removed the UV Hoya filter today and it seemed to have helped as well, but still mystified by the dark pictures?
     
  11. thespin

    thespin TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Long Valley
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Are you moving the camera or the cufflinks (which are very cool) between shoots? If no, are you inadvertently shooting in bracket mode? 100 is low ISO for this type of product IMHO.
    Learn the high pass filter in ps.
     
  12. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2006
    Messages:
    11,441
    Likes Received:
    2,100
    Location:
    Wichita, Kansas, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Just a guess here, but since the thread is 3 YEARS OLD, I'm guessing that the OP has it figured out.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

best camera for photographing jewelry

,

best digital cameras with macro lens for photographing jewelry

,

best macro lens for jewelry shots

,

camera lens for jewelry

,

camera lens for jewelry photos

,

canon rebel jewelry photography

,

how do i use macro on my canon eos400d camera?

,

jewelry

,

lens for photographing jewelry

,
what type of lens do i need for taking pictures of jewelry