New to Product Photography - Not sure which lens to use


TPF Noob!
Mar 3, 2009
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Hello everyone, I'm fairly new to product photography and I have a few questions

I currently have three 200W Strobes with Soft Boxes, and light box, and a Canon 5D.

The product I'm shooting is an electronic media converter with a pretty dull grey color, lots of metal, circuit board, etc.

I'm able to get some pretty good shots with this setup, the soft boxes and light box diffuse the light enough so that there are very few hot spots on the metal, however I'm having trouble getting the entire product into focus.

I'm shooting this at about a 30degree angle and I've tried using both the 70-300mm EF 1.4-5.6 and a 24-105mm 1.4L, but I can't seem to get the front and back of the module into perfect focus.

Does anyone have any suggestions? I'm pretty sure I need a prime lens with a better wide angle but if I can get away with the lenses I have then that would be great!

Thanks for any help!
To get more of it in focus (how big is it?) you'll want to stop your aperture down a little.
What aperture are you using now?

Try something around f/8. If you stop down too much (f/22), more will be in focus - but sharpness will suffer. Most lenses are sharpest between f/4 and f/8.

I don't do product photography, but I would think you could use the lenses you have already (as long as the focal length is appropriate). I think the lighting will be more important for something like this.
Hi Josh, thanks for the quick reply!

The product ranges in size, but 95% of the shots I'm shooting are around 4in X 6in.

I'm currently shooting on manual with a shutter speed of 125, ISO 100, AWB, with an aperture of 7.1, which seems to work the best.

I will try your suggestion of a higher aperture to see if that helps!
Just did a quick test shot. The higher aperture definately helps with the focus, but the sharpness seems to suffer a bit. Do you have a lens that would work better?
The higher aperture definately helps with the focus, but the sharpness seems to suffer a bit.

I'm afraid that's going to be an issue with pretty much any lens. It's caused by diffraction.

For a product shoot, I think you'll want nice crisp, sharp images - so I would keep it under f/11 (even at f/11, you may notice a fall-off in sharpness).

I haven't used either of the lenses you're shooting with, so I don't really know what limitations they may or may not have. The 24-105 f/1.4 L should be just fine though (it is an "L" lens, after all).

I think with carefull compostion, a little bit of it out of focus could still be acceptable.

Can we see what you have so far?

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