Matching angles


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Oct 13, 2015
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Hi guys,

Recently I started working at a company where I have to do some product-photography. Although I have a little experience in lighting an object and know my around cameras, I am currently facing this problem:

We need to shoot all our machines for our new website. For the navigation we want to present them in a grid. And for that it is important that they are all photographed in the exact same angle and height. The problem is that the very from about 50cm up to 200cm. Besides that, I have to build a set around every machine because they way up to 800kg. Placing backgrounds and positioning lights isn't a big issue, but putting my camera on the exact right spot is. For every photo we use a focal length of 70mm and an angle of aprox. 45 degrees away of the front of the machine.

Is there any easy, less time consuming way to match these angles? Help is very much appreciated. Because English isn't my native language I can imagine my question isn't very clear. Please ask me if you need any more information.


I have no idea of what kind of machines these are, so my idea may not work for you.

Do the machines have something like a common structure, like the frame is similar? If you can select the same points on all the machines, and temporarily attach a string to those points, then gather them toward the camera position, and where the strings meet, place the lens at that point. Envision something like the ribs of an umbrella, with only three ribs or strings meeting at one unified point in space. Use the same strings at the same length for all of the machines. Have someone hold the strings at the point in space where you must position the lens.
Hi Designer,

Thank you for your reply. Our machines kind of look the same. They are basically all shaped like a C (where the C shape is the left angle). We also made a cardboard plate with a 90° line on it and a laserpointer to pinpoint the exact position op the tripod.
But as you can imagine, since our machines vary a lot in height, it's impossible to use the same distance every time. If we could use the same distance and height it wouldn't be much of a problem. But a 200cm machine in frame would mean a very tiny 30cm high machine if we used the same distance and height every time (with matching focal point).

Our goal basically is to be able to position all the machines in line, regardless their real size.
You can simply crop the image (something like zooming closer) of the smaller machines until the apparent image size is the same as the larger machines.
That would mean a dramatical decrease in quality. And since we need to use the sample photos for print that would become a problem I think.
Just a thought, dont ever move the camera, leave the tripod where it is and raise the height of the item into the center of the frame. Think jackable table. We had these years ago that were made from the base of a barbers chair. Now mechanics have them to work on atvs and motorbikes. This way the angle stays the same and you can still be full frame in the camera, and the camera doesn't move.
That would mean a dramatical decrease in quality. And since we need to use the sample photos for print that would become a problem I think.

Depending on the size of the eventual desired print and the pixel dimensions of the sensor, the cropping may not affect the quality of the print.
If you can crop but still mantain a image size of 250-300 pixels/inch for the print, the print will be fine.

e.g. my sony A7 has a sensor that is 6000 x 4000. I can crop fully half the length and width and still end up with a 10" x ~6.67" size print.

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