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04-22-2013, 09:52 PM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jewelry Designer Quote
Just thought you guys would like to know I took your advice, and got a better tripod.
I do not think you will regret the cost, it should last your life and be used constantly. A good tripod is a pleasure to use and becomes an invaluable tool. Cameras come and go but a good tripod lasts forever.

I just bought my wife the Manfrotto 055 carbon fiber, got a great deal on it used. I wanted something rock solid but very light for her and I am well pleased with it so far. We were out shooting together this weekend and she handled the tripod like a pro.

Here is a link that is old but still relevant when you go to purchase anything (not just tripods): Tripods and Ball Heads by Thom Hogan
We love to get 'deals' but in the long run are we not better off purchasing something once rather than 4 or 5 times and throwing away the first 4?


04-23-2013, 12:42 AM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jewelry Designer Quote
I got the Manfrotto 293 4-Section Aluminum Tripod w/ 494RC2 Ball Head & Quick Release
Well that's sorted, you should have no problems now in the tripod department.
04-23-2013, 03:41 PM   #48
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Hi jatrax, kerrowdown
I am very happy with the purchase, but I did notice on b&h site could have got a carbon fiber Manfrotto tripod with ball head for $277 uggg. But the one I got, I compared it with the carbon fiber ones while in the store, and almost as light weight. Photo guy on his Facebook group page, he reviews cameras, and lenses on Youtube, he was lucky to win two Manfrotto carbon fiber ones. He said though his aluminum one still looks like new, whereas the carbon one is showing it's age. I am going to get a case for the tripod, might take it with me to St. Particks Cathedral. Want to take pictures inside, tried before with my G2 but light is low in their so didn't come out for stained glass. Guy at Calumet recommended I set the ISO at 1600, what do you recommend for inside of church. I managed to get some of the alcoves in cathedral, but not the stained glass rose window, with new camera should be better though. Going to try the new tripod either tonight or tomorrow, got more of those earrings to re-photograph. When I work them will post to see how the tripod worked out.
04-23-2013, 04:44 PM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jewelry Designer Quote
Guy at Calumet recommended I set the ISO at 1600, what do you recommend for inside of church.
1600 would be a good suggestion for hand held. But remember once you have a tripod (and use it) there is no need for high ISO to make the exposure correct. Set your aperture for the depth of focus you want, your iso as low as you can, and then set the shutter speed to whatever you need to make the exposure correct. If it is 30 seconds, well, so what? It is on the tripod. Get a remote or use the timer function so you don't touch the camera. I've taken shots at night with no moon, no stars and got an image. With a tripod and a remote a whole new world gets opened up.

Tripods are rated by weight, whether it is aluminum or carbon fiber. I've no doubt you could get a CF one for that price but what model? How much weight will it carry? What ball head is on it? A cheap ball head is not just cheap it is totally useless and a danger to your camera.

04-23-2013, 09:48 PM - 1 Like   #50
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Hi jatrax
Tripod is amazing, got some great photos with sharp focus, and no crocked photos lol. I'm going to post a few I've worked in photoshop. Good idea about taking tripod with me to cathedral, then I won't have to boost the ISO can use 100 or maybe 400. The first photo was done at f/16, wanted to see how that compared with the others done at f/13. Does doing it at f/16 make it sharper? Best investment of $159 I spent, that's for sure, going to get a carry case for tripod.
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04-23-2013, 10:20 PM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jewelry Designer Quote
Does doing it at f/16 make it sharper?
No. Everything is a compromise. The higher your aperture number the greater the depth of field but as you go higher you start to run into what is called diffraction. This causes the image to blur, it is caused by the light rays hitting the edges of the aperture blades and getting bent a bit. This always happens but the percent of diffracted light rays to normal light rays is small until your aperture gets into the f/14 plus area. This is a very simplistic explanation and things change depending on the camera sensor and lens. The actual point where it becomes noticeable is different for different lenses and the only way to test it for a particular combination is to shoot the same image with nothing changing except the aperture. Try it and you will see as you go to f/16 and beyond things get soft.

The thing to remember is that increasing the aperture does not automatically increase the sharpness. In fact the sharpest image might be at f/8 or f/5.6 depending on the lens. But you need enough depth of focus to keep the subject entirely in focus so you have to increase the aperture number until you have enough depth of focus. But you don't want to go too far or you run into diffraction and things go soft again.

Your earrings are not very deep, so I could shoot those at f/8 maybe and get a perfectly good image. For example at 24" with a 100mm lens on a Canon T3i at f/8 your depth of focus is .4", at f/11 it is .5" and at f/13 it is .6". Not all that much difference right? But as you increase the aperture you start to run into diffraction so in this case f/11 is good as I don't think your earrings are that deep are they? Remember all those numbers change if your distance is different.

Go here: Online Depth of Field Calculator and plug your numbers in to see exactly what is happening. It really will be worth the 30 minutes to increase your understanding of this. If you are doing product shots you have to know DOF thoroughly. I have an app on my phone and use it to check most every setup to make sure I have it right.
04-23-2013, 10:52 PM   #52
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jatrax
Do the photos look blurry then? Should I got back to f/11, I thought that f/13 was good, and photos looked nice. I won't go as high as f/16. I have the first photo done at f/13, but, doesn't look any different that f/16 photo. When I took photos with my G2 on auto, camera usually got photos at f/4, but trying to get away from auto with the new camera. I think the highest the G2 could go was f/8. Have been reading the Depth of Field Calculator site. I'm getting their, they are way better than before that's for sure, and next thing when I can afford it is to get the new lights. Still don't feel I have enough light on the earrings. I don't work with diamonds, most of my designs are done with crystals, pearls, cloisonne, and semi precious beads. I also work with handmade lampwork beads, I get from different artists. These earring you have been seeing are handmade in Peru.
04-24-2013, 12:26 AM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jewelry Designer Quote
what do you recommend for inside of church
As jatrax has said, go for slowest possible settings, use that new fine tripod and a remote control to fire the shutter.

Compose the picture carefully, watch the verticals keep 'em straight, go home and enjoy the fruits of you labours, good luck with the shoot.

04-24-2013, 10:17 AM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jewelry Designer Quote
Should I got back to f/11, I thought that f/13 was good, and photos looked nice. I won't go as high as f/16.
You are fine, I was just trying to point out that there is no need to go any higher than you must to get the shot. Those look great and if they are at f/13 then stick with that. The aperture affects the depth of focus, not sharpness (except as I explained about diffraction).
04-24-2013, 11:13 AM   #55
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FYI, for flat or very small items your DOF can probably be handled with higher aperture.

For larger items like the bracelets you are likely going to want to keep everything in focus from front to back and that cannot always be done with aperture alone. (As a purchaser I don't want to see out of focus portions of the object. For jewelry soft focus often looks odd, not artistic, and can give the feeling that some flaw is being hidden by the seller.)

This means you will need to do one of two things;
a) take multiple photos with portions in focus, then "focus stack" or otherwise blend them into one fully sharp image.
b) get a tilt lens that will allow you to put the full plane of the object in focus. Won't work for very bulky objects but will work well for flat objects like necklaces that you may not want to shoot completely parallel to the sensor plane and slightly bulkier objects like rings..

If you have software that does focus stacking, or if you're good with blending layers, that is probably the cheapest way to do it.
A tilt lens can be costly, and likely of limited effectiveness for deep throated cameras with small sensors like most DSLRs... but it can be easier than focus stacking -- which doesn't always work as well as advertised. :-) :-)
04-24-2013, 03:43 PM   #56
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Hi amoringellow
You asked before what I use to photograph the earrings. Go to your local 99 cent store or home depot, get two L-brackets they use for hanging shelves. They are white, with pointed ends, 8" by 10". Get a piece of wood that will fit in your light tent, screw or nail brackets to wood. If you are lazy like me, and don't have a drill, and screws, just tape the brackets to wood lol. I got mine at 99 cent store, they were two taped together, and cost me $2.16 cents, home depot costs at least 3 dollars each. I used dental floss to go across at top, and again a few inches down, so earrings will not move around. I tried invisible thread, but, to slick, and earrings were sliding around. You will have to stamp out the thread in photoshop, which is a pain, but, earrings look better hanging, wish they had dental floss in black, would blend in better with background. Black thread is just to slippery to use. Got a lens hood for my zoom lens so will be trying some necklace shots soon, but really want to wait till I get more lights. I was just testing shots with bracelets, not really keen to re-photograph them.
04-24-2013, 05:19 PM   #57
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Brilliant. I believe I actually have those parts laying around. Now I feel stupid. :-)
Was also wondering about the thread, like you say; fishing line is slippery and stuff just slides towards the center.
That actually helps a lot.

I only do shots once every few months. Its for a thrift store, all items are donations and all proceeds help the local animal shelter -- basically we never know what or when something amazing will show up, but I need a better way to photograph the good stuff when it does come in.

When people see amazing stuff on a cluttered shelf, it goes nowhere.
When people see even average stuff photographed well, it disappears in no time.
Thanks.
04-24-2013, 09:03 PM   #58
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No problem amoringello, I actually got the idea for the stand, from watching a jewelry photographer on Youtube. He had made this stand using L-brackets attached to wood, with fishing line across. Joked that if you want one from him $500 dollars, just go to his site. Most of the jewelry photography videos on Youtube are kind of lame. Each one has a different way of photographing jewelry, they don't tell you where to position the lights, or how many to use. But if you notice, they put a sheet of black plexiglass in the light tent, to photograph a bracelet, lo, and behold, photo comes out perfect. They don't tell you what f-stop, shutter speed, or ISO they used. I've tried working with plexiglass, with no such luck, and the dust all over, try removing that with the stamp tool in photoshop. You are right about the photos though, that's why I'm going to the trouble of re-photographing some of my jewelry. The gray display neck I was using with studio gray paper background was ok with my G2, but not with my T4i. That other jewelry designer, didn't come out and say it but, pretty much said my photos were cheesy, I don't use props, she said. She is using 1000 watts of tungsten bulbs though, which does help. I'm working with daylight fluorescent bulbs, that's why I want to get those new Bowen streamlite 530 lights, 5 bulbs in each light. They also have 5 switches, so you can turn on or off as many as you want. Would be nice to intern with a jewelry photographer, or be able to have a few face to face lessons. So, I watch videos, and come on this forum to ask some questions, you guys were so right about my tripod, really was a video tripod. My dad always used what ever was at hand to fix stuff, his school of home repair motto was, when all else fails, give it a whack, it usually worked. I saw a picture of my old college photography prof online, he retired to Montana, he had his Pentax 1000 hanging around his neck. He got some amazing black and white photos with that camera. They don't make them like that anymore or my AE1, all cheap components now.
04-25-2013, 03:01 AM   #59
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Just gotta say, try to find any television or magazine add for jewelry that does not use props of some sort.
I try not to use any, as the photos are actually more photo-journalistic. i.e. I don't think I should remove scuff marks, dents, etc... if someone comes in to buy what they saw and it isn't the same it could end poorly.

That may or may not be the same for your work.

Don't listen to one person and take their word as gospel.
My suggestion is look at advertising in magazines, lots of them. These people are paid a lot of money to research what the public wants.
Advertising companies work to sell a feeling more than a product. Props and colors, half-naked people, all help create a feeling to move people to eventually buy the product.

So stating that props are being cheesy probably means; either the other photographer doesn't believe in using them due to journalistic intent... or perhaps more likely, she is really just not good enough to use them effectively and is not comfortable pushing herself to get better. A lot of photographers are less than helpful. with their comments.


If you feel like you have a vision for where your work wants to go, do it. Do it a lot until you can make it look good.
There is little in the world more satisfying than to get a successful result when everyone else said it wasn't a good idea. 8-)
04-25-2013, 03:35 PM   #60
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Hey guys
Took a photo of my neighbors daffodils, with my new Manfrotto tripod. Wanted to see how it would work in early evening. Let me know what you think, I did crop it in photoshop.
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