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Beautifully handled pictures. Your lighting is really well done. And why not a Leica for these pictures?There is nothing much I cannot do with my film Leicas, lenses from 35mm to 135mm, plus visoflex and bellows. Same argument for an M8. Your pictures were made through your mind's eye, the camera only saved the image you created.

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Renniman: True. I have an adapter than slides into the hot shoe and has a PC sync contact. Got it years ago to use on a Nikon 8008, which also lacked a built-in sync socket. A 10-ft (3 meter) sync cord is gaffer taped to the adapter so it never comes loose and gives me lots of room to move around.

 

LouisB: I used one Vivitar 2800 shoe-mount flash mounted in a 12 x 16 inch softbox on a stand, usually about 2 feet from the subject center, at full power**, for all the shots. I know the 2800 is voltage safe for practically any camera. The flash is mounted via a ball-head clamp for adjusting angle. Exposure is generally f/11-16, which is good - I need the DoF. No flash meter - I just chimp a few test shots for each setup to zero in the exposure via the LCD and histogram.

 

The softbox was the backdrop for the glassware shot, directly overhead for the chicken/egg shot, and rear/side for the other shots. I used miscellaneous bits of white board or aluminum foil as fill reflectors opposite the main light.

 

**actually, for the glassware, the flash was a bit hot even at f/16. I dialed back the flash intensity (and evened out the coverage) by putting a layer of paper towel over the flash head to absorb some photons.

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I used one Vivitar 2800 shoe-mount flash mounted in a 12 x 16 inch softbox on a stand, usually about 2 feet from the subject center, at full power**, for all the shots. I know the 2800 is voltage safe for practically any camera. The flash is mounted via a ball-head clamp for adjusting angle. Exposure is generally f/11-16, which is good - I need the DoF. No flash meter - I just chimp a few test shots for each setup to zero in the exposure via the LCD and histogram.

 

The softbox was the backdrop for the glassware shot, directly overhead for the chicken/egg shot, and rear/side for the other shots. I used miscellaneous bits of white board or aluminum foil as fill reflectors opposite the main light.

 

Adan,

 

Thanks for the explanations. Would an umbrella have produced roughly the same soft effect as the softbox?

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Michael - not for the backlit glass lab equipment - it required a "lightbox"-like seamless translucent surface. A sheet of frosted plexiglass - or a translucent white shower-curtain liner with no texture, stretched tight - would have worked, though.

 

For the other shots, a reversed umbrella, with the light passing through it, might work OK, although some of the reflections, like in the chicken's back, the olives, or the plastic magnetic compass, would probably be a bit different, showing the umbrella's round shape and ribs.

 

An umbrella in the normal orientation would have been a problem - the shaft of the umbrella, and the flash gun mounted on it, would have intruded into the pictures, or I'd have had to move the umbrella further away, cutting the light available for exposure, and making it more of a point light source compared to the softbox's big, close, window-like surface.

 

Softboxes have the advantage that the illuminating surface is the closest thing to the subject - the flashgun and all the hardware are BEHIND the lit surface. Generally, with umbrellas, the flash and stand are between the subject and the umbrella, which limits how close the "lit" surface can get, and means the hardware may show up in the reflections. It's possible to reverse an umbrella so you use the light passing through it - like a round softbox - but the umbrella material often is more opaque than the softbox's white membrane and cuts down on the light reaching the subject.

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