Fundamentals for close up watch photography? Help needed

Thread: Fundamentals for close up watch photography? Help needed

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  1. #1
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    Fundamentals for close up watch photography? Help needed

    HI, recently bought a Canon 550d with a Tamron AF18-250 macro lens. This being a "macro" lens I assumed I would be able to focus in close. Shooting today and it became obvious it wont focus on anything closer than about 500mm, in fact looking at the specifications thats about what it's meant to do. Don't get me wrong, it's a wonderful lens and no doubt I was naive thinking it would do all that it does and more. Mind you even from a couple of feet away and cropped to bring close up it was still a pretty impressive shot.



    I Do a lot of photography of watches, small items where I need to capture very small detail in close. Can anyone suggest a good mid price macro range lens or what size should I be looking for?


    I see someone suggesting a large F stop for more depth of field? I would have though a small F (aperture wide open) for this sort of photo


    Any advice appreciated
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  2. #2
    Member Rick B's Avatar
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    Re: Fundamentals for close up watch photography? Help needed

    Looks like you have a zoom lenses, with the macro feature.

    You need a fixed focal length lenses, with the macro (micro) feature.

    Go to this site to clarify.

    http://www.slrphotographyguide.com/b...ifference.html

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    Member JohnF's Avatar
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    Re: Fundamentals for close up watch photography? Help needed

    Hi -

    When getting down to virtually life-size or more, the depth-of-field of any macro lens is almost literally razor-thin. Hence stopping down a few F-stops is usually a good idea, but too many leads to diffraction problems, especially on digital cameras.

    You usually have to test the lens (simply by trying it out) to find the best combination of depth-of-field and sharpness.

    JohnF
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    Re: Fundamentals for close up watch photography? Help needed

    So do you mean highest F stop possible? ie narrowest aperture to get the greatest depth of field? Rgds Craig
    Omega Speedmaster pro 1985
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    Omega Speedmaster pro Mk11 Exotic
    Tissot Quadrato
    Tissot T sport
    Omega 1947 Solid gold manual wind
    Tag Heuer Aquaracer 500m CalS
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    Longines Master collection moonphase
    Tag Heuer Monaco (Non Chrono)
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  6. #5
    Member Rick B's Avatar
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    Re: Fundamentals for close up watch photography? Help needed

    Quote Originally Posted by fender22 View Post
    So do you mean highest F stop possible? ie narrowest aperture to get the greatest depth of field? Rgds Craig

    Depth of field increases with a smaller aperture. Your lenses has a depth of field scale that indicates how far in front and behind of the actual focal plane will be in focus. In the macro mode, depth of field is minimal, even when using small apertures (F16, F32, etc.).

    Hope this helps.
    I have yet to wear a watch I could not wear.

  7. #6
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    Re: Fundamentals for close up watch photography? Help needed

    One or two things to think about when choosing equipment:

    Where are your pics going to end up? On the internet or A3 size prints?

    What amount of $$$ are you prepared to spend?

    What is the end quality you need - not want?

    All these things come into play. You stated with a little cropping what you got was not that bad. So if the end product is going to wind up as an 800 X 600 pixel shot on the net you can get away with what you have. On the other hand if you want to print a high res pic of some component 2mm diameter on an A3 piece of photo paper than you have a different problem altogether.

  8. #7
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    Re: Fundamentals for close up watch photography? Help needed

    The biggest question is. How much money do you want to spend ?
    If you want to spend money on a lens you need a 1:1 macro lens.
    The Tamron 90mm is a very good lens in all mounts and is probably cheaper than the canon equivalent..
    If you do not want to spend a lot of money you can do three things.
    1) Get macro extension tubes these allow for the lens to focus more closely
    2) get a reversing ring - mount the lens back to front allows close focusing - ebay
    3) Get a close up macro set. about £15 - ebay

    needless to say the best results are obtained by getting a proper macro lens 1:1 macro lens. The close up macro set is the most straightforward option. It is possible to get pretty good results but not professional standard. If you want to dip your toe into the world of macro this is the option that I would choose. just make sure you buy a set that matches the filter size of your lens.
    other than that you need a good tripod, and cable release as you will be using small apertures which normally results in low shutter speeds.

    have fun !!

  9. #8
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    Re: Fundamentals for close up watch photography? Help needed

    One thing you might try, although a macro lens is certainly the way to achieve the highest quality, try a B&W Closeup Filter. B&W's are a little more expensive than most but produce great results. I believe I had a No. 3 to use in taking (wedding photography) photos of rings on the hands of the bride and groom. At a pro photo store, the'll let you try them out right there. Tiffin Filters are the next best, and a little less expensive... There may be issues depending on the lens you have, but a close up filter is a heck of a lot less expensive than another macro lens!

    Best...

    Jack

  10. #9
    Member AZJack's Avatar
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    Depth of Field...

    Great discussion about depth of field, which is in laymen's terms the area in front of and behind the point where the lens is focused that is also in focus. Several things affect depth of field. First, f-stop does not only govern the amount of light allowed through the lens, it directly affects depth of field (as noted above). Where f2.8 (a wider opening) will allow more light that f16, the depth of field will be less. f16 (a smaller opening) will allow less light but provide a deeper field of focus before and after the point where a lens is focused.

    The focal length of the lens will affect depth of field. A wide angle lens, with the same shutter speed and f-stop will result in more depth of field than a telephoto lens with the same f-stop and originally focused distance.

    The closeness of a subject (where the lens is focused) will also affect depth of field. Closer subjects (and thus supporting the comment above about "razor thin depth of field on a macro lens") will result in less depth of field, than will subjects (and focusing) further away.

    I know this is not the technical way to describe the above, but for light discussion of the topic, I hope it helps a little. Here is a photo of my EBEL 1911, 200mm telephoto at f5.6. The close subject focus was on the band just to the left of the face of the watch. Notice how the focus fades in and out over the length of the pocket knife to the left. The area in focus is "depth of field." Had I stopped down the lens to a smaller f-stop (larger f-stop number), the "depth of field" would have been longer over the length of the pocket knife, and watch for that matter.

    http://www.pbase.com/azsheldon/image/125808772

    For fireworks, I used f22, a very small opening allowing a greater depth of field at a distance... actually an unknown distance of where the fireworks were actually going to be in the sky...

    http://www.pbase.com/azsheldon/image/125808772

    A wide angle 18mm at f14, with extended depth of field from the foreground to the background...

    http://www.pbase.com/azsheldon/image/68627827
    Jack

  11. #10
    Member DragonDan's Avatar
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    Re: Fundamentals for close up watch photography? Help needed

    I'd suggest the Canon 60mm macro. On your crop body it will do nicely. You should be able to find it used for a decent price. It also doubles as a nice portrait lens (1.6x = 90mm).

    I usually go about f/16 for my shots. A tripod (and focusing rail if you have one) is a must.
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