Good used camera for jewelry pictures


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Nov 24, 2007
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I will be taking pictures of jewelry for my wifes E bay site. I presently have a Finpix s7000. It is OK but I have to get much too close to the jewelry and the shadows from my camera ruin the picture. That also means I cant use a tripod in most cases which I consider vital for this sort of picture taking

I am looking for a used good single purpose camera with about a 100mml lens to take pictures of jewelry. I don't need many of the newer camera features; just a good camera that gives fine detail.

I think I could get away with a camera that took 20 pictures in the 3 to 4 mega pixel range since they will be shown on the internet. Probably don't need auto focus since I believe manual focus works better. Your thoughts on both these comments would be appreciated.

Price is important since I don't think I will be taking that many pictures. By that I mean I could live with an older generation used camera with excellent resolution rather new a new one with features I probably wouldn't use.

1. Could you guys give me some recommendations?
2. Where is the better places to buy? I am not adverse to purchasing from a someone on this forum.
3. Would I be able to get a "Try before you buy" option.

My knowledge of cameras is limited so some of the items I mentioned may not be correct and would like your thoughts on the subject.

In advance, thank you for your help.
I have a Fuji Finepix S6000fd, and it takes beautiful jewelry pictures. I mean, it CAN take beautiful pictures if you have the right lighting and all. I'm not at home right now, but I'll post a couple of mine later tonight. Now, remember, I don't have great lighting or anything, so consider that when you're looking at them!
I don't know if this is important but I will be downloading the pictures to my computer.
Actually I think your current camera should be fine for web use... the problem you're having with shadows from the camera and tripod would be best resolved with lighting (you want good lighting for product shots anyway)... I suspect you'd have the same problems with most other cameras if you don't change your lighting setup.
Thanks for your comments.

The problem is with my present camera is that either i have to move the Jewelry close to the front of the shadow box which means the lighting will be not in front but more to the back of the Jewelry or I need to move the jewelry back into the shadow box to get the correct lighting but then need to virtually get my camera very close, get shadows and not be able to use a tripod.

Taking pictures of diamonds, rhinestones, etc. is a art unto itself. From what I have read you need special lighting and in some cases the light has to be directly in front (diamonds) which requires a camera that can be behind the front lighting.

Every article I have read on the subject of taking pictures of jewelry says you should at least have a 100mml lens.

I am sure there are used older very good model cameras/ with lens that meet my needs in the $300.00 or less that meet my needs. Since I will be using a tripod I can get away with a "slow" lens. However, do need some sort of 2 second delay before picute is taken.

Reviews on the Fuji Finepix S6000fd you mentioned look good but my main object is to get a used camera that I can get close ups of Jewelry while being a foot away. It would seem this camera has the same problem as my s7000; you need to get very close to the object which in many cases distorts the lighting.

How far away do you need to be to take a close up (macro) of a ring?
How about instead of getting a new camera, you get a mini tabletop tripod? It would be much cheaper and would probably solve your problem.
I have a mini tripod but still have the same problem. The camera is about 1 to 2 inches from the jewelry and gets in the way of the lighting.
Sounds like your in the market for a decent DSLR with a macro lens that will give you some working distance. You could pick up anything from a Canon XT/ XTi/ 20D, Nikon D50/D70/ D80 or any other in the group with a 100 f/2.8 macro or longer. Really depends on how far back you want to be and the type of magnification you need. The lens is more important for you than the body. Stick with a dedicated macro lens over a zoom lens with macro capability for better quality. Use a lens hood to prevent glare from the lights.
There are lighting rigs I have seen from Novoflex and others that allow multiple lighting positions for macro work. The lighting aspect for you is key, since you pretty much narrowed down the lens issue.

You are on the right track but the cameras you mention
Canon XT/ XTi/ 20D, Nikon D50/D70/ D80

You mentioned are all going to cost me over $600.00 with a 100mml fixed macro lens.

My objective is to find an older camera and lens in the $300.00 range that will just be used for jewelry. I don't think this is unreasonable.

Photographers are like computer geeks (which I am). They have to have the latest products which means there are all sorts of older cameras out there with the technology I need.
Don't get me wrong. I could easily buy a new camera but if I find what I want i will have $300.00 to spend on new lighting, new tripod, memory sticks, etc.
If that's the case, than you are going to have to find a more advanced point and shoot. Maybe in the range of a Canon S3 or a Coolpix. Any 100mm Macro lens will be in the neighborhood of $350-$600. Lenses do not depreciate in value that much. Unless they are flawed in some way. DSLR on the cheap are going to be way old, maybe a Canon 10D. But than they can still run more than $300. Dunno about image quality on it though. But for web publishing it should be fine. Check eBay and used equipment on B&H and Adorama.
Thanks for brining me back to reality. Probably will buy a new camera/100mm lens. Prefer going to my local Rowes dealer but want to compare prices with other companies. Looking for reliable enternet photofraphic on the east coast sources besides Ebay.

Any suggestions?
i have an online business and photograph all my products. IT is pretty funny, as I have been doing this a long time, you can see some of my products that I took say 10 years ago with a cheap film camera and scanned, then a cheap digi camera, then a better cheap digi camera, then a decent digi camera than a really good P&S digi camera then finally to the most recent ones with my 60mm f2.8 micro nikkor lens on my D80..... I mean, there is absolutely NO comparison.... I use a tripod, crank the len to highest aperture setting and ISO 800 no flash only available light in my office with a nice big skylight.... wow.
sorry I didn't get back here until today to post these pictures. Now, there's not really any need to critique the pictures, because I know they're not the best. I just wanted to give you a rough idea of how you could take pictures of rings. I just "painted" out the background. If I had taken some more time, it would look better, of course. But this is not bad for an ebay picture if you take the time and use a tripod for a sharper image than this one is. Plus if you show the ring on a finger, people can get an idea of the size of the piece.

Just a thought. This is done with my S6000fd



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