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View Full Version : less expensive Macro for jewelry Nikon D50



Diamondguy61
07-07-2008, 09:32 AM
I'm a novice camera guy and have purchased a Nikon D50 to take some pictures of jewelry for a catalog and some web shots. I want to get a macro lense but am unclear what to buy. I saw a lense at a camera store Nikon 105 VR Macro lens for $900 and thought "whoa, slow down." there got to be something a little more afordable if I use a tri-pod. The other problem I have is the metal is so reflective and I want to diffuse it if I can and still get a clear shot. I'd like to be able to blow up these pictures for signs/posters too. Any suggestions.

DonSchap
07-07-2008, 09:44 AM
Just as a suggestion, you might consider the TAMRON SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di 1:1 MACRO (http://www.photozone.de/Reviews/Canon%20EOS%20Lens%20Tests/45-canon-eos-aps-c/282-tamron-af-90mm-f28-di-sp-macro-test-report--review) (<- click on this link for a review) for around $400, after rebate. Sounds like that is more in your price range and the results should be precisely what you want, without breaking the bank.

Diamondguy61
07-07-2008, 10:12 AM
Just as a suggestion, you might consider the TAMRON SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di 1:1 MACRO (http://www.photozone.de/Reviews/Canon%20EOS%20Lens%20Tests/45-canon-eos-aps-c/282-tamron-af-90mm-f28-di-sp-macro-test-report--review) (<- click on this link for a review) for around $400, after rebate. Sounds like that is more in your price range and the results should be precisely what you want, without breaking the bank.


OK, this is good. I didnít realize that I could buy another brand other than Nikon. Like I said, Iím a novice, so when answering my question donít be afraid to spell it out for me. Are there other lens brands that are good also with the same parameters as the Nikon 105 VR Macro?

TheWengler
07-07-2008, 10:55 AM
There's also the Sigma 105mm f/2.8 macro and I think Nikon has a 60mm macro lens too. Neither is stabilized though.

e_dawg
07-07-2008, 11:04 AM
Sigma macros are usually very good as well. I recommend the Sigma 50/2.8 Macro when starting out for things like jewellry, as the shorter focal length gives you a bit more DoF to work with compared to a longer lens and is less prone to camera shake for handheld shots. You will, however, have to get closer to the jewellry than with a longer lens.

As for your lighting / reflection / hot spot issues, what is your lighting setup like? If you don't already have a lighting "setup", you can try the following:


Mini softbox on your flash

Ring flash setup that mounts on your lens (probably limits you to a Nikon macro though)

Wireless multiple flash setup that are positioned very close to the object from several angles or shot through diffusers / screens


Regardless of whatever lighting setup you get, though, a "light tent" (also called a light box, cubelite, covelite) designed for product photography would be quite useful... basically a white translucent tent where you put your product in the middle. One side has a hole you can stick your lens through to take the picture, but the white sides of the tent diffuse and soften whatever flash or light sources are shining on it from outside. Just search for light tent on bhphoto.com and you'll see lots of options. If you want to save money, you can even try making your own by experimenting with some nylon stocking or diffusion film.

Diffusion film can also be useful to experiment with in front of your light sources... you can get sheets of it at photo stores in the "gel" filter section.

Something to keep in mind is that all this diffusion and softening eats up your lighting power, so you will need more lighting than you think. Usually need 3-4 lights / flashes for proper product photography especially if you want control over your lighting balance and shadows.

Paradox
07-07-2008, 11:17 AM
Ring flash setup that mounts on your lens (probably limits you to a Nikon macro though)



Sigma makes a ringflash for their 105mm that I believe comes in a Nikon dedicated version, and you could probably fit the Nikon ringflash on with a suitable step-up ring provided the flash has a larger thread size than the lens.

Rooz
07-07-2008, 05:33 PM
OK, this is good. I didnít realize that I could buy another brand other than Nikon. Like I said, Iím a novice, so when answering my question donít be afraid to spell it out for me. Are there other lens brands that are good also with the same parameters as the Nikon 105 VR Macro?

you can get the 105VR for around $750. i'd consider the new nikon af-s 60mm micro at around $500. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/545660-USA/Nikon_2177_AF_S_Micro_Nikkor_60mm_f_2_8G.html

why ?

short focal length will make it easier to take pictures of small stationary objects
short focal length means it wil be easier to shoot at slower shutter speeds
it's optically superb.
af-s motor means its fast, (for a macro), and SWM super quiet.
its internal focussing...no outer barrel movement or rotation
it will double as a superb portrait lens.

Diamondguy61
07-07-2008, 07:43 PM
I'm in over load. This is all good information, I'll take it one step at a time and work out the kinks as I go. I believe I get to take a camera course and figure out the "new language" you all are speaking so I get a clue about what is being taught here and how I apply it all.
Thanks for "all" your assistance with this endeavor.
I'm sure I'll have more questions shortly.

Thanks to all.

K1W1
07-07-2008, 08:01 PM
Nobody has mentioned a tripod yet.
In Macro photography you are dealing with very shallow depth of field (the area that is in focus is very small) and the only practical way to manage that is with a tripod or some other device that will hold the camera steady. Keep an eye out for a good tripod.

DonSchap
07-08-2008, 12:27 AM
:eek: JARGON ASSAULT ALERT :eek:

Obviously the guy needs some definitions filled in, because he's new to the craft. Good luck explaining all this ... I'm going to sit this one out. ;)

Rooz
07-08-2008, 03:37 AM
I'm in over load. This is all good information, I'll take it one step at a time and work out the kinks as I go. I believe I get to take a camera course and figure out the "new language" you all are speaking so I get a clue about what is being taught here and how I apply it all.
Thanks for "all" your assistance with this endeavor.
I'm sure I'll have more questions shortly.

Thanks to all.

hmmm..not sure what part is confusing. perhaps e_dawgs post was a little advanced. if you have questions...rather than read a book, ask away. quite a few macro shooters here who can help you out.

lets see if we can break some of that post down for you...

Mini softbox on your flash:
here is an example. its just a sort of diffuser for flash light to minimise reflections.

http://store.tagotech.com/images/diffuser-inflate.jpg

Ring flash:

this is just a type of equipment that people use for macros. it gives a more even, diffused light generally than other flash. i have used these a bit and i like them.

this is the traditonal ring flash type...

http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/hardwares/classics/NikonF5/Flash/SB29/sb29sF100.jpg

you can also buy ring flash adaptors to mount to a standard flash. i have never used one, so i cant comment on how effective they are.

http://www.teamworkphoto.com/images/Flaghead%20Ringflash%201.jpg

this is another similar type of equipment to a ring flash. pretty much the rolls royce of macro flash. i have it, and its superb.

http://images.digitalcamerainfo.com/images/upload/Image/NEWS%20IMAGES/NikonComanderFlash.jpg

Wireless multiple flash setup that are positioned very close to the object from several angles or shot through diffusers / screens

this is about using multiple flash positioned anywhere you want off the camera, which are triggered by your camera's flash. not as complex as it sounds. quite easy and VERY effective.


"light tent" (also called a light box, cubelite, covelite) designed for product photography would be quite useful... basically a white translucent tent where you put your product in the middle. One side has a hole you can stick your lens through to take the picture, but the white sides of the tent diffuse and soften whatever flash or light sources are shining on it from outside.

this is a light tent.

http://www.eaglecool.com/images/tent_a.jpg


hope some of that helps.

e_dawg
07-08-2008, 09:11 AM
Sorry for the jargon, diamondguy. Thanks for adding those pics Rooz. I think it really helps. I was thinking they would be helpful, but I figured it would be a lot of work and make the post massive, so I didn't bother... thanks for stepping up ;)

Diamondguy61
07-08-2008, 09:43 AM
Thanks to all, I bought a light tent and the mini soft box for my flash. I havn't decided on a macro yet, as I want to get a good ring flash that will work with it. I'm getting that light is the key from a "good shot to a WOW shot". I'll look into this more.

As I study and am beginning to understand a bit more. I can see how this can get addicting.

JTL
07-08-2008, 09:59 AM
As I study and am beginning to understand a bit more.
You might want to read this...

http://www.amazon.com/Light-Science-Introduction-Photographic-Lighting/dp/0240808193/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1215532720&sr=8-1