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05-12-2016, 12:40 PM   #1
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Cookbook: DA70

So I'm waiting on my HD DA70 in the mail (Thanks again Parallax!)

I'm thinking about writing a cookbook (not for publication, just S&G for now...)
I love to cook, and have unique things I want to photograph. Such as home-roasted coffee in cast-iron; a home-made Vyritaus (Lithuanian Liqueur)...

Would the DA70 suffice for food/cooking photography?
I know lighting is key here. That should be covered as long as I can wake up in time to get the sun in the right spot in my kitchen...

I know most people praise macro lenses for food photography.
I just traded my DA35ltd, perhaps I'm already regretting that decision (nah, I really wanted the DA15 I traded for!)

Without going too deep into another thread I posted - I only have three lenses now - DA15/DA70/DA*300
This will be my kit for the rest of 2016.

Doubt the DA15 will do my cookbook justice...
And the DA*300, there's just not enough room in my kitchen.

So I'm left with the DA70, it has to work. If it's just not cut out for the job than I'll wait until Black Friday and consider adding a 4th lens to my bag (DFA 100 WR).

Thanks!

Hopefully I get some members in here that own the DA70 and can attest to this style of shooting.

I'll definitely be testing it this weekend once the lens is in hand.

Cheers!

05-12-2016, 01:06 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by UserAccessDenied Quote
So I'm waiting on my HD DA70 in the mail (Thanks again Parallax!)

I'm thinking about writing a cookbook (not for publication, just S&G for now...)
I love to cook, and have unique things I want to photograph. Such as home-roasted coffee in cast-iron; a home-made Vyritaus (Lithuanian Liqueur)...

Would the DA70 suffice for food/cooking photography?
I know lighting is key here. That should be covered as long as I can wake up in time to get the sun in the right spot in my kitchen...

I know most people praise macro lenses for food photography.
I just traded my DA35ltd, perhaps I'm already regretting that decision (nah, I really wanted the DA15 I traded for!)

Without going too deep into another thread I posted - I only have three lenses now - DA15/DA70/DA*300
This will be my kit for the rest of 2016.

Doubt the DA15 will do my cookbook justice...
And the DA*300, there's just not enough room in my kitchen.

So I'm left with the DA70, it has to work. If it's just not cut out for the job than I'll wait until Black Friday and consider adding a 4th lens to my bag (DFA 100 WR).

Thanks!

Hopefully I get some members in here that own the DA70 and can attest to this style of shooting.

I'll definitely be testing it this weekend once the lens is in hand.

Cheers!
I don't have the DA 70, but I am a food photographer. I regularly shoot at 105mm on FF (Canon) so 70mm on crop should be perfect. Even on FF 70mm should be fine. I don't know about the minimum focus distance or its macro capabilities, but if you can't get close enough, you should be able to crop in.

I did a shoot today with the Tamron 28-75mm on the new K-1 and it worked amazingly good. It has pretty good close focus capabilities too. If you don't mind the screw-drive and slightly slow AF, its a really good bang for your buck lens.
05-12-2016, 01:18 PM - 1 Like   #3
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The two lenses I use most for food photography are the DA 35 and the DA 70 Ltd. They both do a great job.

Here's a couple with the 70:

Orecchiette with Sausage, Peppers, & Onions in a Parmesan Cheese Bowl:


Orecchiette with Italian Style Smoked Chicken Sausage, Red Peppers, & Onions with a Pinot Grigio-Dijon Mustard Sauce served in a Parmesan Cheese Bowl with Garlic-Cayenne Bread topped with Parmesan.

Strobist info: Nikon SB-25 at 1/16th power in an Interfit Strobies 60cmx60cm folding softbox camera right. Triggered with Cybersync Triggers.

A Trio of Bagels:


Strobist info: Nikon SB-25 at 1/16 power in a 60x60cm Interfit Strobies softbox camera left triggered by cybersync trigger.
05-12-2016, 01:37 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by UserAccessDenied Quote
Hopefully I get some members in here that own the DA70 and can attest to this style of shooting.
Do you have tripod and lights? I think those are critical for cookbook. And planning ahead. Remember that the food has to look good, not taste good. Often the food you see in photos, books and brochures, is actually inedible. Frozen raw meat with caramel paint - but it looks better than actual meat! You don't have to go to such lengths, but just something to keep in mind.

Other than that I would recommend you think about extension tubes or Raynox macro filter. Just for the closeups. Non-macro primes only allow appx. 0.12x magnification, which is usually not enough for closeups. On the other hand, extension tubes can be "overkill" and force you into the macro range. But it might be something you need for a couple photos.

You have a great kit, but it is a bit widespread. I mostly use 14mm, 35mm, and 100mm - not as wide a difference (I don't do food photography tho). I also have a couple 50mm lenses. Something like an old 50mm f4 macro might actually cost about as much as a good macro filter set, and give you the middle ground you need. lol sorry to tempt you

05-12-2016, 02:48 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Do you have tripod and lights? I think those are critical for cookbook. And planning ahead. Remember that the food has to look good, not taste good. Often the food you see in photos, books and brochures, is actually inedible. Frozen raw meat with caramel paint - but it looks better than actual meat! You don't have to go to such lengths, but just something to keep in mind.

Other than that I would recommend you think about extension tubes or Raynox macro filter. Just for the closeups. Non-macro primes only allow appx. 0.12x magnification, which is usually not enough for closeups. On the other hand, extension tubes can be "overkill" and force you into the macro range. But it might be something you need for a couple photos.

You have a great kit, but it is a bit widespread. I mostly use 14mm, 35mm, and 100mm - not as wide a difference (I don't do food photography tho). I also have a couple 50mm lenses. Something like an old 50mm f4 macro might actually cost about as much as a good macro filter set, and give you the middle ground you need. lol sorry to tempt you
Interesting... I appreciate the input!

I want to make the most of my kit, I really won't be doing this enough to justify another lens purchase.
I'll have to find a way to make the coffee and liqueur interestingly "Delicious"...

On the other hand, a cheap vintage macro could be cool to play around with! lol

I do have a decent tripod and lighting would be natural. I shoot 100% natural lighting, which could be a problem with any macro attempt. Not even on-board flash (K-3ii)

---------- Post added 05-12-16 at 05:51 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by MPrince Quote
The two lenses I use most for food photography are the DA 35 and the DA 70 Ltd. They both do a great job.

Here's a couple with the 70:

Orecchiette with Sausage, Peppers, & Onions in a Parmesan Cheese Bowl:


Orecchiette with Italian Style Smoked Chicken Sausage, Red Peppers, & Onions with a Pinot Grigio-Dijon Mustard Sauce served in a Parmesan Cheese Bowl with Garlic-Cayenne Bread topped with Parmesan.

Strobist info: Nikon SB-25 at 1/16th power in an Interfit Strobies 60cmx60cm folding softbox camera right. Triggered with Cybersync Triggers.

A Trio of Bagels:


Strobist info: Nikon SB-25 at 1/16 power in a 60x60cm Interfit Strobies softbox camera left triggered by cybersync trigger.

Holy crap that orecchiette looks insanely good!

I knew asking for pictures; this would make me hungry...

Good to see the DA70 working for someone! Thank you! This was exactly what I needed to see.
05-12-2016, 05:24 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by UserAccessDenied Quote
Holy crap that orecchiette looks insanely good!
Thanks, it was delicious. One day I came across instructions for using a microwave to make a parmesan cheese bowl, and I needed something to fill the bowl and this is what I came up with.
05-12-2016, 10:41 PM   #7
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I just did a cookbook for my daughter's preschool, and also do food photography as part of my day job. I use a macro 105, a 17-70 (wide can be good for when you want a shot of the meal/whole table shot from above), as well as a 35/2.4.

Your 70mm is fast enough i reckon to give you the dof needed for when you only want to focus on certain aspects of the food. As long as the mfd isn't too long i think you'll be fine.

Daylight/shooting outside or next to a window is good for lighting. Or on a cloudy/diffuse day. Try to stay away from harsh light - all the usual tips and tricks

Best of luck!

05-13-2016, 05:11 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by wolfiegirl Quote
I just did a cookbook for my daughter's preschool, and also do food photography as part of my day job. I use a macro 105, a 17-70 (wide can be good for when you want a shot of the meal/whole table shot from above), as well as a 35/2.4.

Your 70mm is fast enough i reckon to give you the dof needed for when you only want to focus on certain aspects of the food. As long as the mfd isn't too long i think you'll be fine.

Daylight/shooting outside or next to a window is good for lighting. Or on a cloudy/diffuse day. Try to stay away from harsh light - all the usual tips and tricks

Best of luck!
What constitutes mfd being too long?
I think the DA70 is 70cm mfd.

That seems pretty long, but manageable?
I guess I won't be able to tell until I have the lens and start testing.
I think if I can get the tripod setup and just have a cable shutter I can move the plates/pans around as needed.
05-13-2016, 05:17 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by UserAccessDenied Quote
What constitutes mfd being too long?
Too long is when you have to be in the other room to get the framing you want. Or if you need to raise the camera oddly high above eye level to get the top-down angle you want. Or if you simply cannot focus close enough to get that closeup, big magnification, near-macro style photo, for example if you want just one small piece of food to fill the whole frame. Basically is like if you are trying to eat lunch with a fork that is awkwardly long. Takes a lot more effort and finesse
You will know once you start. You can do a dry test and take a couple photos of today's lunch, just so you see if you can get framing similar to the photos posted in this thread or in any cookbook reference material you might have
05-13-2016, 05:41 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Too long is when you have to be in the other room to get the framing you want. Or if you need to raise the camera oddly high above eye level to get the top-down angle you want. Or if you simply cannot focus close enough to get that closeup, big magnification, near-macro style photo, for example if you want just one small piece of food to fill the whole frame. Basically is like if you are trying to eat lunch with a fork that is awkwardly long. Takes a lot more effort and finesse
You will know once you start. You can do a dry test and take a couple photos of today's lunch, just so you see if you can get framing similar to the photos posted in this thread or in any cookbook reference material you might have
Thanks.
Don't have the lens yet, should be here tomorrow...
I'll def run a test one or arrives.

05-13-2016, 05:47 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by UserAccessDenied Quote
What constitutes mfd being too long?
I think the DA70 is 70cm mfd.

That seems pretty long, but manageable?
For close ups, look at the minimum focus distance and the magnification ratio.

DA15 is 0.15x at 18cm
DA70 is 0.12x at 70cm
DA*300mm is 0.24x at 140cm

An aps-c sensor is approximately 16x24mm, which means the DA15 can frame a scene about 107x160mm at its minimum focusing distance (16/0.15=107 and 24/0.15= 160), the DA70 can frame an area 133x200mm and the DA300 can frame an area 67x100mm.

Your DA300 can frame the smallest bit of food, but you have to be almost 5 feet back, which makes fine tuning lighting easier but space can be an issue indoors or if you're looking for a top down composition and don't have a ladder handy. If you want to photograph an area much larger than 67x100mm, it starts to get utterly impractical unless you have a large area to work in.

The DA15 and 70 are not too far off each other for their minimum magnification but you may find the tiny working distance of the DA15 awkwardly close when you're pushing up against its MFD. The perspective it offers at this close distance will also differ greatly from the other two lenses. The DA70 should give a reasonably comfortable working distance for anything from about 20cm to maybe 50cm across (depending on the space you have available).

If you were starting this thread to get justification to re-purchase that 35mm macro, I think most of us would provide moral support for that, just on principle.
05-13-2016, 02:42 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Too long is when you have to be in the other room to get the framing you want. Or if you need to raise the camera oddly high above eye level to get the top-down angle you want. Or if you simply cannot focus close enough to get that closeup, big magnification, near-macro style photo, for example if you want just one small piece of food to fill the whole frame. Basically is like if you are trying to eat lunch with a fork that is awkwardly long. Takes a lot more effort and finesse
You will know once you start. You can do a dry test and take a couple photos of today's lunch, just so you see if you can get framing similar to the photos posted in this thread or in any cookbook reference material you might have
what he said...
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