Product Photos - Still not as sharp and even as I would like.

Discussion in 'Critique Forum Archives' started by jtice, Apr 3, 2007.

  1. jtice

    jtice TPF Noob!

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    I have been taking "product photos" for my own personal use for quite some time.
    I have had my Canon 30D for a week now, and I am really trying to get the hang of it, and work out some of the issues I have had in the past.

    I have tried slave flashes, but I still get very harsh lighting and glares from them.
    Overal I think that fixed constant lighting has done better for me.

    I have about 1000W of Halogen Shop lighting,
    with a couple 100W lamps to help if I have shadows in certain areas.

    Here is the setup I typically use,
    toward the end of the day, I had the light shining through the sheet more.
    The shop lights are very even and smooth, but I wanted to see if lighting up the sheet would make light hit the subject from more angles.
    The sheet just ends up blocking alot of the light output.
    [​IMG]

    Here are a couple examples from last night.
    Not horrible, but certainly not anywhere near what I am after.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    They just dont seem to have that professional look.
    And can be a bit soft in places. I tried to add a bit of sharpening,
    but I can only add alittle before I start to see artifacts from it.

    What are my main problems here?
    What are these photos lacking?

    Thanks for the help
    ~John
     
  2. jtice

    jtice TPF Noob!

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    Seems by uploading to my gallery, I am loosing the EXIF data? bummer

    Here is a bit more info.
    Canon 30D (set to jpg at 4 sharpness)
    Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3

    Kept the Av at 8.0 or more
    100 to 300 ISO

    ~John
     
  3. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I suggest cleaning the fabric you lay the things onto first... then clean the objects: see the display of that camera).

    Is it just me or do these look a bit grainy? try low iso if you did not.

    as for the light.. am i right you are mixing different lightsources wich produce different colour temperature? if so, you will have a hard time getting a decent white balance.

    what lens are you using?
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    What lens are you using? What aperture are you shooting at? What ISO?

    I see that you are using a tripod, are you using a remote or the self timer as well? How about mirror lock up?

    What is your post process work flow?
     
  5. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    oh, ok, you gave more info now ... stick to iso 100, no need to go to 300 ith a tripod and a static scene.

    don't know much about that lens and how sharp it is.
     
  6. xfloggingkylex

    xfloggingkylex TPF Noob!

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    the 18-200 lens is likely your problem. Its a very versitle lens but with that much zoom (11x) you lose image quality as a natural trade off. Thats the problem with lenses... you want something that has great zoom (meaning very wide to telephoto, max focal length divided by min focal length gets zoom X), is fast (large aperture such as 2.8 or lower) is tack sharp, and of course doesn't cost much.

    Problem is, you cant have it all, and in many cases you can only have two of them.


    Alex_B, he is using the Sigma 18-200 3.5-6.3. Superzooms aren't know for their sharpness.

    Im willing to bet that if you purchased the 50mm 1.8 mkII lens and used that you would produce MUCH sharper images, and you'd probably need to lower your in camera sharpening.
     
  7. Big Mike

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

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    The camera may be over sharpening. I suggest shooting in RAW and doing your sharpening only in Photoshop.
     
  8. Big Mike

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

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    Agreed.
     
  9. jtice

    jtice TPF Noob!

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    sorry, forgot to include some of that info in the first post, I added some in my second post.

    Geez Mike, Alex, do you guys live here? ;) thanks, you guys are always quick to help.

    Yea, I know, noticed the dirty screen after I took the pics,
    and I need a better back drop, that thing is a lint Magnet !

    Canon 30D (set to jpg at 4 sharpness)
    10 Second Timer
    NO Mirror Lock Set (does that really help for these shots?, never tried it)
    Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3
    Kept the Av at 8.0 or more
    100 to 300 ISO

    not much post process,,,, as I hate PP :(
    I know, its part of it all, and needs to be done, I just like the shots to be as good as I can get them right off the camera.
    Some minor exposure adjustments, and slight sharpening done, thats it.

    ~John
     
  10. jtice

    jtice TPF Noob!

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    Sheesh, you guys are fast, you posted as I was replying :)

    I tried to keep the Sigma lens at about 50 to 80mm to I wasnt at any one end of its limits.
    I realize its not a supre sharp lens, I got it for the versatility, as a walk around lens.
    I have a Canon 50mm F1.8 on the way, think that should do better?

    Camera over sharpening?
    Well, I did a test, with all 7 settings,
    0 to 2 look horrible to me, not sharp at all.
    5 and 6 start getting artifacts from it, and 7 has too many artifacts.
    So I stuck with 4

    I know that over sharpening can add artifacts, as my tests showed,
    but can it give an overal grainy look?

    ~John
     
  11. jtice

    jtice TPF Noob!

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  12. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    just did some processing on one of the images .. also shows that a better background will help alot.

    Changed the background, varied contrast a bit and slight sharpening.

    [​IMG]
     

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