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mr drinky

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I know there have been past threads about similar subjects, but I want to take clean product photos with a white background.

Any suggestions as far as equipment and staging the photos?

Lenses, lighting, flashes, backdrops etc? I'm buying my kit this next month, and I know a lot of you out there are pretty good photographers.

k.
 

sw2geeks

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A lot depends on the size of the objects you are shooting, if it is small, like rings and watches, they make little photo box kits for that. It would also would help to know what camera and lenses you already have before suggesting lenses and things.
 

Eamon Burke

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My wife says you can use a 24mm lens, a macro, two whiteboards and natural light and that's all you really need. Not sure if you wanted to go with more toys than that, but she's a natural light photographer--consider her method the Murray Carter way.
 

mr drinky

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My camera is a Pentax k10 and I only have two lenses right now a 50mm 1:1.4 and a 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6

The size of objects would mostly fit into a foot cube, but would also go as large as a two-foot cube for some items.

As for natural light, that sounds good and I prefer using natural light, but in the cold north, the weather and short days really limit what one can do, so I also want an artificial set up.

k.
 

jmforge

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Jim Cooper (Sharp By Coop) has a thread on Blade Forums on how to build a home made light box big enough to fit large knives from PVC pipe, CF lights and a kitchen garbage bag.:doublethumbsup:
 

GlassEye

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I would probably do a 24mm f/1.4 lens and something like this. Do you have a flash unit already? A flash, natural light and a reflector like this can get you quite a ways.
 

sw2geeks

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I think you can get by with the lenses you have, but a macro lens would be a big plus. There are lots of DYI setups you can put together using a roll of white paper and some desk lights. The little table setup that GlassEye links to looks nice. Or you could go all-in with something like this (you can run the backdrop over a small table).
 
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l r harner

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kelly got me a fold up light tent set and i have 4 CF shoplights that i mount around it how i need for the proper light
a good trypod is a good thing that way you can change your F stop and have a longer exposure to get more DOF
 

mr drinky

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Thanks guys for the input. That package lighting setup is really tempting, and thanks GlassEye for reminding me that I need a fast wide angle too;) I just picked up a Tamron macro. Found a good deal for $100 off.

k.

Edit: yeah, the tripod too...
 

mr drinky

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Ok, I think I am going to get a 24-in light tent too, but tripods are a little overwhelming. I was thinking about this Ravelli tripod. I know there are better ones out there, but does anyone have suggestions on the tripod?

I also may make the splurge on this Slik one but I am undecided.

k.
 
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WildBoar

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I've got a Slik similar to that one (it's about 10 years old now). Not the most expensive out there; they seem to be pretty good middle-of-the-road.
 

sw2geeks

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Manfrotto is one of the top brands for tripods, but can be expensive. My travel tripod is a Benro, it is a good build but not as expensive as Manfrotto. Just remember that your camera sits on top, so it needs to be sturdy. It is also good to weigh down your tripod so that the center of gravity is at the base of the tripod. That way if (when) you accidentally trip on one the legs it won't top over. There should be a hook on the center column to hook a strap to a weight or equipment bag.
 

l r harner

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i shoot on walmart crap tripods but wish for a good CF one
my need for a good mount is more for shooting stars and not for knives
 

mr drinky

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So I got the SLIK tripod as it had really good reviews, and another camera site listed it along with the Manfrotto as a good buy for the money. And I also got that all-in one lighting setup along with a wireless flash with mini diffuser for my pentax. The nice thing is that by putting it on my Amazon card I can spread the payments out over a year interest free. It eases the pain a bit.

I've also been brushing up on lighting techniques. A couple of years back I got the book, Light: Science & Magic by Hunter, Biver, and Fuqua, and it has been interesting going through that.

k.
 

sw2geeks

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Sounds like a plan, I use my off camera flash all the time when shooting food pictures in the kitchen.
 

apicius9

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Sounds like you are all set up. I would have recommended the book on lighting also, very good reference to understand the basic ideas. After that, it just comes down to playing around a lot and trying things out. I still struggle with the external lights - how many, what angles to the objects etc. But it gets better with practice. - just saw one small thing missing that I relly like to use. Getting a standard grey card that lets you manually calibrate the white balance to your lighting conditions will save you a lot of work in post processing to get the colors right.

Stefan
 

mr drinky

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...just saw one small thing missing that I relly like to use. Getting a standard grey card that lets you manually calibrate the white balance to your lighting conditions will save you a lot of work in post processing to get the colors right.

Stefan
Yeah, one book I looked at recommend that and light metering too. I was going to the let the metering go for now, but I should pick up a grey card. Plus I have to load up my photoshop software that I got for Christmas. One other thing I got was a 24-inch light tent. I read that taking that out in the natural daylight can produce some quick good results.

k.
 

sw2geeks

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It is surprising how fast you can run out of room in a small light tent, but they are great for small things.
 

mr drinky

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It is surprising how fast you can run out of room in a small light tent, but they are great for small things.
I can definitely see that happening. A lot of my items are smallish, but I thought I would start with a small tent first to see how I like them (or not).

k.
 

apicius9

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I wouldn't bother with additional light metering unless you want to turn professional, most cameras are really good with that. My 24" light tent is often a bit small for my taste when it comes to photographing knives, I was thinking about getting a bigger one.

Stefan
 

mr drinky

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apicius9;92689My 24" light tent is often a bit small for my taste when it comes to photographing knives...[/QUOTE said:
You'll just have to stick to photographing handles then ;)

k.
 

add

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Jim Cooper (Sharp By Coop) has a thread on Blade Forums on how to build a home made light box big enough to fit large knives from PVC pipe, CF lights and a kitchen garbage bag.:doublethumbsup:
Epic thread with professional photographers and great tips from hobbyists weighing in... highly recommended.
 
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