A&P OTAP: School me on how to take a specific picture v.DiamondRing

Discussion in 'Lifestyle' started by heebdawg16, Mar 6, 2007.

  1. heebdawg16

    heebdawg16 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2006
    Messages:
    48,566
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Maryland
    OT: I am going to need to take some pictures of a diamond engagement ring this weekend, and want some advice on the best ways to shoot it.

    I have the following equipment:
    Nikon D50
    Nikon 18-55mm kit lens
    Nikon 50mm f/1.8 lens
    Hoya Circular Polarizer
    Tripod

    And the following software:
    Photoshop CS2
    Lightroom


    Don't forget, I'm a complete n00b. I've used my camera a couple times to mess around with it, but I've only really gone shooting with it once. How would you recommend that I shoot it/set everything up, using this equipment? For what its worth, I doubt I will have the time (and certainly doubt the money) to pick up any new equipment between now and the time I need to shoot it. Also, I plan on shooting this indoors, and all lighting (that I know of) is incandescent, if that matters. Help me out OT! I want to take plenty of pics of this thing before I give it to the GF :x:

    Also, Any example pics that any of you have taken of rings (along with an explanation of how you created the pic) would be helpful!!!
     
  2. SenenCito

    SenenCito OT Supporter

    Joined:
    May 21, 2002
    Messages:
    15,530
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    New York, NY
    hmm im not sure if you have the proper lens for that..if you are shooting a ring im sure you would want to use a macro lens, so the detail can be better appreciated.
     
  3. BluSpecs

    BluSpecs New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    0
    You could reverse the 50mm lens and use it as a macro. you'll have to manually focus though...

    They actually make reversing rings for under $20
     
  4. 19Godfather86

    19Godfather86 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
    Messages:
    1,398
    Likes Received:
    0
    A softbox would be ideal. I generally reccomend just shooting with natural light if you don't have any real studio lights hanging around.
     
  5. heebdawg16

    heebdawg16 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2006
    Messages:
    48,566
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Maryland
    That is what I was worried about, not having a macro lens. I have been able to take some semi-decent closeup shots of like flowers/plants a few times w/ my 18-55mm lens, though.

    Basically, assuming I have no access to anything aside from whats listed...how could I best maximize the shots?
     
  6. SenenCito

    SenenCito OT Supporter

    Joined:
    May 21, 2002
    Messages:
    15,530
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    New York, NY
    ohh this is a good idea..ive never done it myself..but its definitly what you should be doing.
     
  7. heebdawg16

    heebdawg16 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2006
    Messages:
    48,566
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Maryland
    i doubt i could find that locally by this weekend? no time to get it shipped.
     
  8. Jcolman

    Jcolman OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Messages:
    43,124
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    east coast
    A reversing ring is fine but you don't need to go thru that hassle. Go to any photo shop and buy a close up diaopter. This is simply a screw in filter-like lens that comes in different "powers", usually expressed in +1, +2 or +3. You can buy them fairly cheap. Take your camera with you so that you can try them out in the store and buy the one you feel will get you the shot you want. My guess would be a +3 diaopter.

    Set your ring up on a velvet backdrop or other solid color background. Velvet works well because it won't reflect light. Position the ring next to a window so that the window light is your main source of illlumination. Place a small white card on the opposite side of the ring just out of camera frame. This will serve to bounce the window light back onto the shadow side of the ring.

    Set up your camera on the tripod and focus in as close as you can, filling the frame with the ring. Put the camera setting on manual. Set your lens f/stop to f/8 or higher (ie f/11). Adjust the shutter speed until you get a proper exposure. To find the proper exposure, place a medium grey card or object in place of the ring. Use that to set your camera to the right exposure. Remove the card or object and put the ring back in place and start shooting. Bracket your exposures (for example, if the camera says that a proper exposure should be 2 seconds at f/8, shoot a pic at that setting, then another pic at 3 seconds and another at 1 second.) Also, vary the f/stop to increase or decrease your depth of field (how much of the pic is in focus).

    Enjoy.
     
  9. BluSpecs

    BluSpecs New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    0
    Good advise from Jcolman right there
     
  10. mandarin orange

    mandarin orange OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    Messages:
    9,863
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NOVA
    good stuff
     
  11. GregFarz78

    GregFarz78 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2002
    Messages:
    64,128
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Philly, PA
    JC ftw :bowdown: this info will come in handy for me too
     
  12. Cobber

    Cobber Wanna touch my bunny hole?

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2003
    Messages:
    13,732
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    :canada:
    cheap way to shoot macro would be extension tubes
     
  13. heebdawg16

    heebdawg16 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2006
    Messages:
    48,566
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Maryland
    :bowdown:

    holy shit, Jcolman, you are the shit!!

    Just to clarify though...would you recommend doing this with the kit lens, or with the 50mm f/1.8? and also, would they have these diaopters in a Kodak camera store? (a pretty big one that sells dSLRs and lenses and shit).
     
  14. Jcolman

    Jcolman OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Messages:
    43,124
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    east coast
    I'd use the 50mm because it's a faster (allows more light) lens than the kit lens. The Kodak store should have close up diaopters. If not, check your local yellow pages for other camera stores, like Wolfcamera, nearby.
     
  15. Jcolman

    Jcolman OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Messages:
    43,124
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    east coast
    yes, extension tubes or even better, bellows would be better but those aren't really necessary unless you shoot a lot of close up work.
     
  16. mojito

    mojito New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2003
    Messages:
    62,877
    Likes Received:
    0
  17. Jcolman

    Jcolman OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Messages:
    43,124
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    east coast
  18. Redliner7

    Redliner7 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Messages:
    740
    Likes Received:
    0
    Why the 50mm F1.8 when your earlier advice recommended F8-F11? Curious...
     
  19. jared_IRL

    jared_IRL OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Messages:
    17,737
    Likes Received:
    55
  20. Jcolman

    Jcolman OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Messages:
    43,124
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    east coast
    In addition to the information in the post above this, most lenses are at their sharpest three f/stops from wide open. For a typical 50mm 1.8 lens, f/5.6 is three stops from wide open but F/5.6 is still a bit too wide open for decent depth of field. A slower lens, like a 5.6, three stops away would be f/16. Shooting at f/16 makes your exposure time much longer.
     
  21. Hippy

    Hippy New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2006
    Messages:
    4,076
    Likes Received:
    0
    use windor light like jc said, but pull a light white fabric over it to diffuse the light even more and give you softer highlights. if your tripod is good a 3-4 second expouser shouldnt be an problem at all.
     
  22. Jcolman

    Jcolman OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Messages:
    43,124
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    east coast
    Good idea if you have direct sunlight streaming in but most of the time you won't have direct sunlight. If you use a north facing window you'll always have very pretty indirect light.
     
  23. heebdawg16

    heebdawg16 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2006
    Messages:
    48,566
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Maryland

    My tripod is pretty good, atleast I think it is (seems study as hell/not prone to any movement whatsoever). Its a Bogen/Manfrotto that I was recommended by someone else in OTAP.

    Also, all windows in my apartment face south. So i don't think I'll need the diffuser?
     
  24. heebdawg16

    heebdawg16 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2006
    Messages:
    48,566
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Maryland
  25. Hippy

    Hippy New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2006
    Messages:
    4,076
    Likes Received:
    0
    you just want to avoid direct sunlight. the ideal situation would be to do this on an overcast day. basically the logic here is the bigger the lightsource the bigger and softer the highlights will become. direct sun creates a bright harsh highlight that will almost always blow out (be pure white). A nice cloudy day the entire sky is the lightsource, like a giant softbox. This is gonan give u big soft highlights which u want when doing photos of glass/metal for the most part.
     

Share This Page