Lighting for jewelry (light tent & table)

platinum_diamond

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Im currently looking into putting together a lighting setup that will be specifically used for photographing jewelry. I need to give these images a professional look as it will be used for a website. ive picked up a copy of Light, Science & Magic so that i can learn how to set and arrange the lights.

I currently have a light tent but im also interested in purchasing a light table as i notice that pictures inside a light tent can be alittle...soulless?

Can someone please advise me on what type of lights i should be using? continous lights? strobes? LED? florescent? Im thinking of going with JTL for all my lighting needs, is this a good brand? I just noticed they sell certain types of kits that are convenient for me

my current equipment is: Nikon D300, lenses; Nikon 105mm f/2.8 D AF, Nikon 60mm f/2.8 AF, Nikon PB4 bellows, tripod, remote shutter release, Stack Shot Focus Stacking Rail, Helicon Focus, Photoshop CS6. i photograph all types of jewelry, from simple bands with and without engraving all the way up to larger size diamonds and colored stones, bracelets, pendants, etc.
 

tirediron

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Don't buy anything until you buy, read and re-read this. Jewellery can be very challenging to light due to the highly reflective nature of all of the materials.
 
OP
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platinum_diamond

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Don't buy anything until you buy, read and re-read this. Jewellery can be very challenging to light due to the highly reflective nature of all of the materials.

Ive been photographing jewelry for over 4 years using sub-par equipment and lighting which made my job more complicated. I was able to accomplish decent photographs using a p520 and a light tent but unfortunately i couldnt accomplish the level of quality i was looking for without spending additional time to correct pictures, and then the pictures looked alittle unnatural. My goal is to get good equipment so that im able to streamline the process of taking pictures

ive already picked up the book, and the equipment, all im looking for is advice on lighting and the types of lights ill need to really take my pictures to the next level. money is not an object but i understand that there is a limit to equipment when its no longer the equipment but the photographer. im at the level where i feel like my equipment was complicating my life, which is why i upgraded but i purchased a D300, not a D4S.
 

Scatterbrained

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I'd advise you to head over to Photigy.com. It's one of the few places on the web dedicated to product photography, with a large emphasis on jewelry and cosmetics, things that are small and difficult to light correctly. ;) Granted most of their stuff isn't free, but they have a page of free tutorials under the journal menu.
 

f64_or_bust

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I have a light tent. It sits folded up on my shelf, never used. The problem with a light tent is all that diffused light sucks the life and sparkle out of jewelry. My jewelry lighting is now primarily non-diffused hot key lights with cutters or barn doors for control, with a bit of soft fill from a reflector or two. It all depends on the piece.
 

Advanced Photo

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I use a lot of over bright cards and black backgrounds for a lot of contrast between the dark of the background and the bright reflections on the jewelery itself from the cards just off camera above and behind the subject.
It gives great results. Practice and try different angles till you find the key spots for each shape. Each piece will have its own sweet spot.
 

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