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Watch/Jewellery imaging

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Is anyone with a T701 doing watch photography? Or Jewellery?

 

If so which is the best lens of the T-mount to achieve good results, and maybe more importantly what is your lighting setup, flash or studio lights. 

 

I have tried with the 18-56, an Elpro 3 and the SF26 Flashgun - but I am not 100% happy with the results.

 

I wonder if there is another more powerful flashgun that I could use or even if I could use Elinchrom D-Lite RX4 studio lights?

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That is clear if one has two or more studio lights. However it does not answer whether or not it is feasible to either use multiple flashguns with the the T, as just one SF26 to me does not seem adequate for these types of subject or whether or not I can use Elinchrom D-Lite RX4 studio lights. These lights as far as I can see are triggered by a unit on the camera wirelessly.

 

My question would therefore be reframed as to 1) What more powerful external flashes could I use to be triggered by the SF-26? Would the SF-40 be a good choice or a pair of them? I guess with the Pelinchromes I would have to go and test them in a shop with the camera.

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That is clear if one has two or more studio lights. However it does not answer whether or not it is feasible to either use multiple flashguns with the the T, as just one SF26 to me does not seem adequate for these types of subject or whether

 

I should be more concerned with the quality of the light. The light tent provides soft, more distributed and controllable light. Good luck.

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Thanks Pico, are you saying that as the light tent provides soft, more distributed and controllable light, it is not necessary to have more than the SF26?

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That is clear if one has two or more studio lights. However it does not answer whether or not it is feasible to either use multiple flashguns with the the T, as just one SF26 to me does not seem adequate for these types of subject or whether or not I can use Elinchrom D-Lite RX4 studio lights. These lights as far as I can see are triggered by a unit on the camera wirelessly.

 

My question would therefore be reframed as to 1) What more powerful external flashes could I use to be triggered by the SF-26? Would the SF-40 be a good choice or a pair of them? I guess with the Pelinchromes I would have to go and test them in a shop with the camera.

You are thinking in the wrong direction, it is not a question of blasting loads of light.

 

These things are not expensive and come with their own light set, far below 100$ usually.

Example:

http://www.redsnapperuk.com/camera-accessories/Mini_Studio_Kit.html

 

Another option is using a ring flash or ring LEDs.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/buy/Macro-Ringlights/ci/649/N/4168864821

 

The point is that you are working close and small, you do not need a lot of light, you need soft light. And a nice soft and even background.

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Jaapv, Thanks for your thoughts, well I am going to answer my own question. I was apprehensive after selling my Sony gear that the T would work with Elinchrom D-Lite RX4 and their EL-Skyport Speed. I can now report that the T works perfectly! It triggers these lights with the Skyport attached to the camera's flash port. 

 

Believe me I do agree with you about blasting light, but as these lights are adjustable I can turn down as little or as much as I want plus I have white muslin cloth that covers the light shades.

 

I have been a bit lazy and doubted whether it would work........

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Using one light, with reflector pointed towards a white wall. 

 

ISO 100, F14 at 1/160 sec with very little Lightroom work afterwards.

 

Before anyone says as this was a proof of concept I handheld so not as steady as on a tripod.

Edited by SPB2

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Possible to create perfectly good watch and jewellery images with very basic lighting - a couple of Ikea Jansjo lamps costing £10 ish each would suffice when used optimally. 

 

There is an excellent book available, "Light Science and Magic', which explains everything about lighting different types of subject matter including glass and metals - and it details the importance of selecting the correct focal length to avoid flare and reflections .. all to do with the 'family of angles'. 

 

http://www.diyphotography.net/light-science-and-magic-a-book-review/

 

… it's not just about lighting and types lights … it's also about modifying the illumination of the lights and matching the lens focal length to the subject and the lighting employed. 

 

The 18-56mm (27-84mm FF equivalent) with an Elpro 3 (1.66 diopter) should be OK for watch and jewellery imaging if used at the longer end of the zoom range … but an Elpro 1 (2.56 diopter) or Elpro 2 (4.92 diopter) would enable higher magnifications. 

 

The background for the Seiko chronograph could be much better - as could the positioning and framing. Handholding' a camera when composing a close-up image is not the best way to proceed. Using e.g. a copystand with lights/iilumination set up optimally on each side of the baseboard will enable more of a hands-free approach - and time to consider the composition and lighting adjustment as necessary. 

 

 

dunk

Edited by dkCambridgeshire

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Thank you Dunk for all the pointers, I will try the 55-135 lens next. Also I will buy an Elpro 1 and 2 when I have the chance.

 

Hand-holding I know, I was just in a hurry to see if the Elinchrom equipment would work with the T. Normally as I said it would be two lights either side of the object to be imaged and maybe one more bounced from the ceiling if white plus camera on a tripod too.

 

Thank you also for the book information.

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"matching the lens focal length to the subject and the lighting employed." - maybe the 55-135mm will be better matched to this sort of images, it is all trial and error at the moment for me.

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"matching the lens focal length to the subject and the lighting employed." - maybe the 55-135mm will be better matched to this sort of images, it is all trial and error at the moment for me.

 

 

You could probably save yourself time and trial and error by getting the book … usually available at bargain prices secondhand through the various online sellers. Just studying one or two of the lighting diagrams therein could give you a few pointers ref. best way to proceed.

 

dunk

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I do a bit of watch photography. I don't use flash when shooting with the T. Natural light thru the window with white curtains drawn. If in-door lights required, I use white paper to 'soften' the light and black paper to reduce reflections. I have a light box, but to lazy to use. If shooting with DSLR, I bounce the flash to the ceiling, lowest ISO possible. And most important, a tripod and self timer. 

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An example of watch movement photography using very simple lighting - taken with an X Vario plus Elpro lenses but could be similarly achieved with a Leica T … the wrist shot is not so good but that was a Q&D.

 

http://www.l-camera-forum.com/topic/249453-iwc-caliber-89/

 

dunk

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A minor consideration and an idea: The hands on the watch are usually displayed as 10:10. You don't want to be out of step.

However, if we all conspire to change that standard every year we are assured new assignments!

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You could probably save yourself time and trial and error by getting the book … usually available at bargain prices secondhand through the various online sellers. Just studying one or two of the lighting diagrams therein could give you a few pointers ref. best way to proceed.

 

dunk

I have ordered it.

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I enjoy the trial and error when I have the time of course which currently I do.

 

I used one lamp diffused with a white shower cap. Directly above the watch. ISO 100, F14 at 1/160 sec. Lens 55-135 at 134mm.

 

There is one area on the outer dial showing PDL LON PAR, which is of course is the light. Watch was in a white light studio box with a black back panel.

 

I would love to get rid of this bright part or reduce it, I am wondering how? Apart from that I would have been more than happy with this shot.

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