Nikon D50 & eBay

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by iPanzica, Nov 7, 2006.

  1. iPanzica

    iPanzica TPF Noob!

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    Hey everyone, it's been a LONG time since i've posted here. I finally bought a new Digital SLR after selling my Canon Rebal XT a while back. I desided to go with the Nikon D50 becuase I wanted the Nikon name, and well it all is preference. Anyhow .. for a living I post on eBay. Before this I was using a Point & Shoot MAVICA and it was about a 1mp. It did the job but with the holiday seasons coming up I really want to get better jewlery pictures.

    This was my old camera with just outside lighting. (it was actaully in my patio)
    [​IMG]

    Not that great eh? So I finally bit the bullet and bought my D50. I just got it today so didn't really have time to do too much, but I did mess aroound. I noticed I couldn't get that close. I bought a Close Up Set (+1, +2, +$) Filters and when combing them it gets pretty close. But the lighting is still killing me. It is too hard to wait for the perfect time to take pictures outside. So I need to get some type of lighting gear right?

    What would you recomend? I want my pictures to look as close to the pictures you'd find on a normal Jelwery website like Zales, or Manns. I know they most likey use VERY HighTech equipment, and I am trying to do this as cheep as possible, but what would you sujest?

    Thanks again for any information you can give.

    Kind Regards,
    Michael

    PS I am going to be doing the photography in a basement, with no windows so that should help. (if i turn all the lights of its near pitch black in here even during the day.
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    A light tent would be good for shooting jewelry. You can buy them, or you could try to make one. I'm sure a Google search will turn up a DIY light tent...then use whatever lighting you need. Two lamps might do.
     
  3. iPanzica

    iPanzica TPF Noob!

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    Oddly enough I went to a store and just bought everything you told me ... here is the setup I have atm.

    [​IMG]

    it works MUCH better but I am still having a bit of a problem getting the whole ring in focus, any ideas there?

    [​IMG]

    Edit: Just for messing around I tryed it with my other digital point and shoot and it took a much better picture.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Do you have any pointers for either camera or my setup?

    Also would you recomend a 3rd light? or putting the lights a different way.

    Thanks for any reply!

    - Michael
     
  4. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Good work. Now you need to fix that wall behind the light tent. I would recommend getting a piece of white foam core and either taping it to the wall or just leaning it against the wall. That will prevent any "knotty pine" reflections from affecting your color balance.

    A third light can be used to eliminate the last of the shadows you might get in the tent but really isn't necessary - and certainly not an issue for the subjects you shoot. Two will provide even lighting as you have already learned. I use a similar setup to yours for small product photography except that I use electronic flash heads instead of hot lights. The flash heads allow me to hand hold the camera for faster work without heating up the room and myself.
     
  5. iPanzica

    iPanzica TPF Noob!

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    How can i go about fixing the depth of feild/focus of my D50? I put a white sheet up for now behind it, but I might buy a backdrop of the form core you're talking about later on.
     
  6. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    One suggestion I have is to get rid of the close up lenses. And buy a set of Kenko macro tubes. Biggest reason is anything you add to the front of the lens glass wise, will affect the picture quality (especially inexpensive close up filters). Macro tubes have no glass. They move the lens farther from the film plane (sensor) thus magnifying the image. There is nothing to degrade the picture.

    Next, you may have to adjust your white balance deppending on what bulbs you have in the lamps. Also maybe move them in closer. Or use longer shutter (exposure compensation if you are in auto mode).

    Its a digital camera. Move the lights around and experiment some. No cost to you other than time.
     
  7. W.Smith

    W.Smith TPF Noob!

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    Use a smaller aperture: the smaller the aperture, the greater the DoF. This will require a longer shutter time. Or more light.

    I 'control' highlights in (jewelry) shots by adding them in PP. For that I use Photoline32 (for Windows and Macs; FREE download; shareware).

    [​IMG]
     
  8. iPanzica

    iPanzica TPF Noob!

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  9. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    As Mr. Smith said...to get the whole ring into focus, use a smaller aperture to get a deeper DOF. This will force you to use a slower shutter speed...which will probably require the use of a tripod...but using a tripod is always good for still life stuff anyway.
     
  10. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    They might possibly work. But they do not have any lens contacts. So the camera will not recieve any information from the lens. And they will allow manual focus only. Since they do not have contacts, I don't believe on camera metering will work either. As for price they are about $140 new. You can buy them used fairly confidently as there is no glass to worry about though. I have a set of kenko tubes I bought used from Keh.com and very happy with them. I would say even $20 for those on ebay are a waste of money.

    And the advice above about using a smaller aperature for larger depth of field is very usefull. I assumed you were already at a small aperature. If you try a small aperature and find they are still a little dark. Use exposure compensation to adjust your shutter speed a little slower (+) or increase your light.
     
  11. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    I just looked at your photos closer. Are you using a macro mode on the point and shoot camera, but Program auto on the D-50? If you are, or if you are using the macro mode on the D-50 (flower symbol). Try using Aperature priority mode (A). Once in A use the command dial and select 16 for an aperature. The camera metering will then adjust the shutter speed. Now after you take a pic. Look at it closely. If everything is in sharp focus that you want and its exposed right. Remember the settings. As no matter what you take a picture of in the future. As long as the lights stay the same distance and camera at same position. Those settings will be the ones to use.

    If you don't get enough in focus. Change to f/22. If too much is in focus, go to f/11. If it seems too dark but everything is in focus you want. Leave the aperature the same (example f/16, and the shutter is 1/125). Either use exposure compensation (hold the +/- button, and with dial choose a positive compensation) to have the camera automatically adjust exposure. Or go to manual mode and set f/16 and 1/60 for shutter. That would be a 1 stop compensation.
     
  12. iPanzica

    iPanzica TPF Noob!

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    you know i don't know if it is a coincidence or not, but I did what you said with that A and the F16 and I took this picture.

    [​IMG]

    I used curve in photoshop to brighten it just a tad, but for the most part it looks really good. (I cropped the picture too) ... but I dunno if it will do this with every ring or not. It's actaully my fathers stuff and he wants to cut me off for now with switching peices, I might be able to convince him to let me do a few more later on. Any and all advice is much apricated!

    I still need to buy a tripod, I might go look tonight.
     

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