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Author Topic: Best lens for photographing product...  (Read 9193 times)

John H

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Best lens for photographing product...
« on: February 09, 2012, 11:38:23 PM »
... that is unusual in shape (antique US martial firearms: about five feet in length). Photos are taken from about three feet away. I currently have a T3i with the 18-55mm lens it came with. I am considering the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II USM Zoom Lens. However, would I be better off with a prime lens and, if so, which one? I am willing to pay a premium for the L-series lens.

Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me.

John

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Best lens for photographing product...
« on: February 09, 2012, 11:38:23 PM »

pwp

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Re: Best lens for photographing product...
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2012, 12:11:05 AM »
It's probably best you avoid the 16-35 for shooting products due to the distortion that lens may introduce. Is there an unmovable requirement that you have to shoot from so close?

90% of my product work is done with either EF 90mm TS-E  or EF 45mm TS-E lenses. The flexibility and extreme precision available with these two great lenses makes them the "go-to" lens for a very large number of product shooters.

Rent one for a week and see how you go.

Paul Wright

John H

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Re: Best lens for photographing product...
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2012, 12:22:29 AM »
I have a large light set up directly above (Calumet Nova 72 Soft Box with TravelLite 375 flash). It's difficult for me to squeeze in a gap to take the photo, so I do shoot from about four feet away.

egidio

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Re: Best lens for photographing product...
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2012, 12:36:33 AM »
I'm product photographer, prime lens will give you sharpness and less CA, but these are important only for large blowups and not for web-images or small press.
I suggest zoom like 24-105L, for photographing firearms you will need something longer if you have your studio large enough, maybe 70-200 (f4 nonIS is enough for studio)

For sharp product photography there is good old 100mm 2.8 macro, old version is good enough and you can get it really cheap these days. Try to avoid wide lens for these kind of product-photography shots.

And yes I agree with Paul, I use 90TS too, but it can be price overkill for beginners, there's amazing lens correction and perspective correction tool in ACR or photoshop, you can always upgrade to TS lens later when you will have more money, I really recommend FF camera first.

egidio

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Re: Best lens for photographing product...
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2012, 12:39:27 AM »
You should really try to accommodate your setup, so you could shoot from further away.

briansquibb

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Re: Best lens for photographing product...
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2012, 12:40:16 AM »
It's probably best you avoid the 16-35 for shooting products due to the distortion that lens may introduce. Is there an unmovable requirement that you have to shoot from so close?

90% of my product work is done with either EF 90mm TS-E  or EF 45mm TS-E lenses. The flexibility and extreme precision available with these two great lenses makes them the "go-to" lens for a very large number of product shooters.

Rent one for a week and see how you go.

Paul Wright

+1 For that

The shift feature means you can do an accurate pano as well - means you can get 1.5 x the mps into the image when stitching - so turning your 18np into 27mp image. Do that with a 5DII and you have as high a resolution than a D800 can do for a single image

The use of the TS-E means you can take from quite close to the subject

The best TS-E is the 24 II. It also doubles up as a top 24mm lens as well :)
« Last Edit: February 10, 2012, 12:44:04 AM by briansquibb »

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Re: Best lens for photographing product...
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2012, 02:17:39 AM »
on your T3i you should look at the canon 10-22 it has les distortion than the 16-35
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Re: Best lens for photographing product...
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2012, 02:17:39 AM »

Hillsilly

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Re: Best lens for photographing product...
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2012, 04:03:11 AM »
I think your photo looks fine.  The "1864" is visible.  Looks quite sharp (but being compressed, it's difficult to tell).  Just wondering where you feel it falls down?  Most Canon kit lenses should work fine for product shots.  You're generally shooting stopped down a bit (maybe f/8 or f/11), using a tripod and have full control over the light.  (BTW, if you're using a tripod, try turning IS off and see if that improves anything).  I doubt that a more expensive lens would give you noticeably better results.  If sharpness is the issue, I'd try moving back a bit and using a longer lens (at least be at the 55mm end).  For an object so long, if you're shooting at only 3 feet away, it would be difficult to get the whole thing in perfect focus.  Whereas, if you were three metres or further away, it's a lot easier.

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Re: Best lens for photographing product...
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2012, 06:43:18 PM »
Not exactly sure how it'd work for such a length other than side by side shots stiched, but the EF-S 60mm Macro is a very sharp lens. Let go of mine by necessity when I went FF, prob the only lens I've truly regretted having to let go!

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Re: Best lens for photographing product...
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2012, 07:30:58 PM »
I used my 17-55mm EF-S for close Product photography, sometimes I did not have room to back away enough to use the TS-E 90 for larger objects like your rifle.

It is also a excellent all around lens. 

I now use my 15-85mm EF-S for product photography at close range, it is also a excellent all around lens with a much longer zoom for walk-around, and 15mm is much wider than the 18mm you now have.

marekjoz

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Re: Best lens for photographing product...
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2012, 08:04:17 PM »
What came to my mind... If you're short with the space, you maybe could simply put a good quality... mirror in place where you shoot from and put a camera above the gun. This way you'll be twice away from the subject so it can help you find your sweet spot with current gear (sharpness all over the subject and less distortion to remove in postproduction). Good mirror may be cheaper than good lens. :)
BTW you achieved very interesting result with your lighting focused just in the center of the gun and not at both ends. This light has to be really strong what is visible in reflections on metal elements on the right. More ambient light would probably allow better control it but could not give such an interesting result.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2012, 08:19:02 PM by marekjoz »
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Hillsilly

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Re: Best lens for photographing product...
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2012, 09:51:51 PM »
What a coincidence.  There was a $15 "L" upgrade for your lens that was mentioned yesterday .  The results look spectacular.  Surely, this would be your first option.  :)
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Re: Best lens for photographing product...
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2012, 12:48:47 AM »
I just bought the TS-E lens last week, but I like it so far.  I also have the 16-35, and while it is a great lens, I'm not sure if there wouldn't be a better choice.  If you can get further away, it will produce good quality photos.
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Re: Best lens for photographing product...
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2012, 12:48:47 AM »

marekjoz

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Re: Best lens for photographing product...
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2012, 08:00:51 AM »
What a coincidence.  There was a $15 "L" upgrade for your lens that was mentioned yesterday .  The results look spectacular.  Surely, this would be your first option.  :)
;)
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NWPhil

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Re: Best lens for photographing product...
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2012, 11:10:07 AM »
It's probably best you avoid the 16-35 for shooting products due to the distortion that lens may introduce. Is there an unmovable requirement that you have to shoot from so close?

90% of my product work is done with either EF 90mm TS-E  or EF 45mm TS-E lenses. The flexibility and extreme precision available with these two great lenses makes them the "go-to" lens for a very large number of product shooters.

Rent one for a week and see how you go.

Paul Wright

+1 For that

The shift feature means you can do an accurate pano as well - means you can get 1.5 x the mps into the image when stitching - so turning your 18np into 27mp image. Do that with a 5DII and you have as high a resolution than a D800 can do for a single image

The use of the TS-E means you can take from quite close to the subject

The best TS-E is the 24 II. It also doubles up as a top 24mm lens as well :)

2+
for both comments - however you need a full fame body, and indeed the 5dmk2 with live view will help quite a bit.
Canon shooter, but anything goes as ammunition (L, non L, Zeiss, Leica, Rokinon,Sigma)

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Re: Best lens for photographing product...
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2012, 11:10:07 AM »