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08-02-2014, 12:56 PM - 1 Like   #1
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Photographing Miniatures

I started this because in our discussion we kind of hijacked another thread for which I apologize.

Some time ago I received an email asking about the setup for the Drover Caboose shot. While that shot was originally done with the Q10 which is no longer here, this Q7 will act as it’s stand in. Here is the simple setup. The 01 prime camera lens, minus filter, was approximately 5” away from the model. The camera is on plane with the model and the composition is what we call a ¾ referring to the angle of subject to the camera. The lens was focused manually on the first window on the side of the car. Fluorescent lighting, single 40 watt skin tone tube, is situated about 20” above the model and slightly behind the camera. Self timer was used to trip the shutter.

Part of that question asked me about using Macro lenses. While macro lenses are good for close-up photography they do not provide anywhere near the depth of field we need for taking such pictures of miniatures. By the way on most puter screens the image you see of the caboose is 1.5 to 2 times it’s actual size. More if have a very large screen or are zoomed in.

Denny

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08-02-2014, 01:38 PM   #2
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Nice work, and hilarious to see the gigantic Q looming over the scene!
08-02-2014, 02:24 PM   #3
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CWRailman, the trains look real. Excellent construction and photography. Fascinating.

Some questions:

1. Do you ever use focus stacking for more depth of field?
2. Ever try the miniature digital filter on the Q?
3. Any plans to try the Pentax ultrawide zoom?

thanks for sharing
barondla
08-02-2014, 03:19 PM   #4
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I'm hooked on your posts - love the shots but I'm just delerious about your models.

For the outsiders here, O-scale model building and model railroading is an order of magnitude different Gear Acquisition from LBA or GAS. In the modeling world O-scale is to HO-scale is to N-scale as 645 is to FF is to APSc. (There's also G-scale, which is outdoor garden railroading - that might be 8x10 box cameras).

I have to chuckle when I see you're using Q7 to shoot your models. I've never gotten beyond the books and articles stage in railroading.

08-02-2014, 03:35 PM   #5
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I think I have figured out what is happening, when I upload a photo it is resized to a smaller jpg and that seems to really mess up the photo sometimes. Even if I resize it first to under the 900k limit, it still reduces it to 1/3...

Anyway, this demonstrates depth of field with a M 50mm macro, real good actually, but working distance is like 6'...no good for scale modeling photography.

I think the Q really shows its stuff doing what you are demonstrating here, being able to get a much wider angle with the camera close to the model AND with good depth of field to boot. Can't really DO that with a full size camera at all without resorting to pin hole photos. The Q seems pretty unique in the application you are using it for.

---------- Post added 08-02-14 at 03:44 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
I'm hooked on your posts - love the shots but I'm just delerious about your models.

For the outsiders here, O-scale model building and model railroading is an order of magnitude different Gear Acquisition from LBA or GAS. In the modeling world O-scale is to HO-scale is to N-scale as 645 is to FF is to APSc. (There's also G-scale, which is outdoor garden railroading - that might be 8x10 box cameras).

I have to chuckle when I see you're using Q7 to shoot your models. I've never gotten beyond the books and articles stage in railroading.

O Scale is 1/4" to the foot, while HO Scale is about half of that (HO stands for Half O). 3.5mm per foot or something like that. For reference, on average, O Scale models are around a foot long and HO Scale ones are around 6" long...give or take. CWRailman is making photos that are as good as professional hobby magazine photos of HO Scale equipment. Pretty impressive.

Last edited by oscaletrains; 08-03-2014 at 11:32 AM.
08-02-2014, 03:57 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by barondla Quote
CWRailman, the trains look real. Excellent construction and photography. Fascinating.

Some questions:

1. Do you ever use focus stacking for more depth of field?
2. Ever try the miniature digital filter on the Q?
3. Any plans to try the Pentax ultrawide zoom?

thanks for sharing
barondla
Thank you for your comments on the models.

No I have not tried photo stacking. Except for some contrast adjustment or size reduction to be used on my WEB site and of course using Gimp to add my watermark, I do very little PP of my images. In a similar process of registration, I have tried HDR with the in camera processing however when I zoom in on those images I find the in camera registration produces a slightly blurred image reminiscent of what the low pass filters do. Getting away from that low pass filter was the main reason I went with the K-5IIs.

I am not sure what you mean by miniature digital filters. If you are referring to the “toy” filter, yes I have but that did not produce anything I was interested in.

If someone drops one of those Pentax wide zooms for the Q into my pocket free of charge I will definitely give one a try but right now at the prices I am seeing well..............

Having said that, I should point out that when shooting this size models with my K series cameras I seldom shoot wider than 30mm because personally I do not like the perspective I get when using anything much wider than 30mm. With the Q I really like what I get with the 01 Prime. In the past when I shot 1:1 scale doll house miniatures on 35mm film I seldom used anything wider than 50mm for much the same reason. However, if I do find one of those wide Q lenses on my door step ………..

I should point out that the Q will never replace or be able to produce the same quality shots I get with the K series. It was not meant to do that. I use it in situations where it is impractical to get the K camera into. I really like the “Tonal Expansion” special effect which I think produces an image similar to a painting. In my 07/16/2014 Blog on my WEB site I showed a picture of an 2-8-8-2 locomotive that was done with that Tone Expansion. The owner of that model liked that image so much he is paying to have it printed on a canvas type surface.



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08-02-2014, 04:39 PM   #7
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Your post reminds me of a casual observation I've made: model photos tend to look more natural when the camera is scaled down to match the scene.

This is generally impractical, but an O scale model of an 8x10 camera would match the 1/2.3" sensor of the Q. Your Q-shot scenes look unusually real to my eye, not because I can't tell they're models but, I suspect, because the scale of the camera is not entirely out of proportion.

Of course, smaller scales complicate matters. Shooting Z scale with APS-C would be like shooting the real thing in 4x5 format. Four by five metres, that is...
08-02-2014, 04:42 PM   #8
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Interesting post.

Used to do wargame minis (Warhammer and 40K)


For the depth of field (or lack of) , I will either pull back out to get more DOF and crop later or do a focus stack.

08-02-2014, 05:03 PM   #9
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Monochrome,
Thank you for the comments. If you check out my WEB site (I think you can see my home page by clicking on my name here) you can see just how that Drovers Caboose was built. In one of the photo’s on the third page of that build I show the nearly completed car with one still in unbuilt stick form. Many folks are surprised when they see that image.

Jens Lyn,
Interesting observation. Actually I used to photograph ¾” scale industrial models with a 4x5 view camera which I still have buried somewhere.

Denny
08-02-2014, 05:38 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by oscaletrains Quote
CWRailman is making photos that are as good as professional hobby magazine photos of HO Scale equipment. Pretty impressive.
That's my take as well. And the models are fabulous.
08-03-2014, 05:35 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by CWRailman Quote
I started this because in our discussion we kind of hijacked another thread for which I apologize.

Some time ago I received an email asking about the setup for the Drover Caboose shot. While that shot was originally done with the Q10 which is no longer here, this Q7 will act as it’s stand in. Here is the simple setup. The 01 prime camera lens, minus filter, was approximately 5” away from the model. The camera is on plane with the model and the composition is what we call a ¾ referring to the angle of subject to the camera. The lens was focused manually on the first window on the side of the car. Fluorescent lighting, single 40 watt skin tone tube, is situated about 20” above the model and slightly behind the camera. Self timer was used to trip the shutter.

Part of that question asked me about using Macro lenses. While macro lenses are good for close-up photography they do not provide anywhere near the depth of field we need for taking such pictures of miniatures. By the way on most puter screens the image you see of the caboose is 1.5 to 2 times it’s actual size. More if have a very large screen or are zoomed in.

Denny
Very impressing shots, nicely done
08-03-2014, 09:31 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by oscaletrains Quote
I think I have figured out what is happening, when I upload a photo it is resized to a smaller jpg and that seems to really mess up the photo sometimes. Even if I resize it first to under the 900k limit, it still reduces it to 1/3...

Anyway, this demonstrates depth of field with a M 50mm macro, real good actually, but working distance is like 6'...no good for scale modeling photography.



---------- Post added 08-02-14 at 03:44 PM ----------



I read the shutter speed you are using but what F stop are you using. IMHO With that lens it should be about F22-F32 for what you are doing and about 2.5-4 seconds exposure at your selected ISO of 200 depending on the amount of light.

Denny
08-03-2014, 10:40 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by CWRailman Quote
I read the shutter speed you are using but what F stop are you using. IMHO With that lens it should be about F22-F32 for what you are doing and about 2.5-4 seconds exposure at your selected ISO of 200 depending on the amount of light.

Denny
F8 there. I don't know if 2s would be long enough for f32. The point was really just to show that even with a good macro and depth of field(2 feet at least) the working distance was worthless for images like you are doing and that's why the Q series is SO good at it.
08-03-2014, 11:15 AM   #14
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1st photo is what it is, 01 Prime(deleted)...2nd is what Lightroom thinks it should look like on auto...

Same deal though, no matter what size the photo is, when I upload it here it resizes it and the jpg compression messes it up. I give up.
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Last edited by oscaletrains; 08-03-2014 at 11:33 AM.
08-03-2014, 11:21 AM   #15
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Ooops, wrong 1st photo, I resized that one...here is the original
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