Photgraphing a ring

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by edouble, Apr 18, 2010.

  1. edouble

    edouble TPF Noob!

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    I am recently engaged. When my finance asked me to take some pictures of her ring I quickly became frustrated in being unable to compose a nice shot! I was using a Nikon D-5000 a Nikon 55-200mm lens and a Hoya HMC +4 filter.

    Unfortunately the only flash I have is the on board camera flash. When using the flash the ring was extremely glared and very difficult to even see - ISO 200.

    Without using flash a high ISO(3200) was used and extreme amounts of noise were present.

    My lighting was in fact horrible which is some of the problem. I went through numerous trial and error aperture, shutter and white balance settings but was never able to compose even a half decent shot.

    I believe I reached the limits of the on board camera flash unit unless there is a setting I have missed?

    Regardless of the lighting my capture always seemed a bit blurry and unfocused.

    Is it possible that I just do not have the right equipment to shot a nice exposure of a ring?

    Here are three "better" shot of them all even though they are horrible in my opinion.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. jeffreyamanning

    jeffreyamanning TPF Noob!

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    How far were you away from the subject? If it was closer than 3 1/2 feet, you're too close for the lens you have.
     
  3. edouble

    edouble TPF Noob!

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    I was less than 12 inches from the lens
     
  4. rusty9

    rusty9 TPF Noob!

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    you need a macro lens
     
  5. davebmck

    davebmck TPF Noob!

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    Sounds like you are closer than your minimum focusing length. Try moving the camera out to about 4 feet or so and then zooming in on the ring. You should be able to get good focus then. I'd also suggest using f/8 if you have enough light. You can also focus closer if you get an extension tube.
     
  6. cnutco

    cnutco No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yes, a macro lens would be the best. You could get a 50mm 1.8 and capture a better picture for a far cheaper price than a macro lens.

    Congrats on the whole engagement
     
  7. edouble

    edouble TPF Noob!

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    Thanks!





    I figured my equipment was the culprit. Maybe a longer focal length will help as well.
     
  8. D-B-J

    D-B-J Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    A set of kenko tubes would work. I often use a tripod, and set the ring somewhere interesting. Here's an example (im using a 105mm 2.8 micro lens).

    [​IMG]
     
  9. RONDAL

    RONDAL TPF Noob!

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    i dont think your equipment is fully at fault here.

    here's how i would do it;

    zoom to 200mm on the lens, run like a f8 and lowest ISO possible.
    if you dont have off camera lighting i would suggest ditching color and using B&W but do it all in post.

    Shoot in RAW. get some nice soft lighting from a desk lamp or something. Maybe get your wife to place her hand above a white piece of posterboard or paper.

    This will give you a nice white background, and shooting give adequete lighting for a quick enough shutter speed so you dont get motion blur.

    Once you've got a RAW file, get into ACR, and get things to where they need to be touch up wise. Then desaturate to B&W and you should get a nice photo.

    USE THE CROP IN POST TO RECOMPOSE THE IMAGE AND "ZOOM" IN TO GET THE RIGHT COMPOSITION.
    While its always best to try and do the composition in camera, sometimes you just cant, for certain reasons, and so this is why post processing was created. The RAW file will give you enough resolution to play with.

    Try a setup like this:

    The Rules of Engagement on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
     
  10. edouble

    edouble TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the advice. Within the next few weeks I will experiment some more and post up!
     
  11. Big Mike

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

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    You mentioned having a +4 filter...basically a poor man's macro lens. So as long as you can focus on the ring, you are doing OK. The quality won't be as high as a macro lens, but it should be good enough.

    You don't need flash, you don't need high ISO. All you need is a tripod. It's just that simple.

    With a tripod, you can use any shutter speed without much camera shake....and as long as you aren't shooting the ring on her hand, the ring won't be moving. Also, you can stop the lens down, to get more DOF...the shutter speed will just get longer, but that won't matter.

    Remember that when shooting on a tripod, you should use a remote release or at least the self timer. Also use 'mirror lock up' mode, if your camera has it.

    My advice is to use window light and then start playing with different ways to pose the ring.
     
  12. Alan92RTTT

    Alan92RTTT TPF Noob!

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    Your D5000 can take the shot. I had better luck with the 18-55 than I did the 55-200.

    I did not have a tripod when I tried it. The biggest issue I had was blur from a long shutter as I was using ambient light. A tripod would have fixed that.
     

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