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Photographing Lenses in the Studio


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11 replies to this topic

#1 Michael Erlewine

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 14:37

I want to photograph a series of camera lenses in a studio situation and would appreciate any suggestions about lighting, backgrounds, etc. I would like to show the lens clearly and have it stand out from the background. Any ideas?

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#2 Erik Lund

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 16:01

A big softbox and some rimlight, black acrylic plate makes for a nice mirror effect and complement black lenses well...

#3 Michael Erlewine

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 16:07

EriK;

That is a great idea. Black Plexiglas would probably work. Thanks!

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#4 Alan7140

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 21:59

A long time ago in a forum far, far away a similar subject came up and I revisited the black plexiglass background technique that we used in the studio for product photography almost by default in the late '70's and would be ideal to photograph lenses with.

In a darkened studio light the subject matter as it sits on the horizontal plexiglass sheet from the front, then hit a vertical white background behind the sheet with a spotlight so positioned as to reflect in the plexiglass as appropriate for the subject at hand. A black ceiling would give greater control but is not essential.

Demonstrated with a silver coin, but can be extrapolated to any object that's not too large as dictated by the size of the plexiglass sheet, the effect is this:

Posted Image

This totally avoids the double-reflection that placing the object on glass would give, and gradation and intensity of brightness of the background from pure black to intense white is fully controllable by placement of the spotlight hitting the white vertical surface behind the horizontal black plexiglass sheet, with colour equally controllable by using gels over the spotlight.

#5 Michael Erlewine

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 22:04

Thanks Fred. Will give it a try.

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#6 HansC

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 19:04

Hi Michael, i've tried this with one of my cameras, just on a white paper background. I was looking to light the object more like a person, than an object. Don't know whether it works for you.

My FM3a, lit by two flashes, afterwards curves pulled up to make white whiter.

Posted Image
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#7 Michael Erlewine

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 21:22

Thanks everyone. I tried the various suggestions, but ended up realizing I just need simple (small) images of a wide variety of macro and close-up lenses. I am going with something like this.

Attached Images

  • BB8_6342.jpg

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#8 nfoto

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 21:29

Hm. That combination looks so strangely familiar ...
Bjørn

#9 Michael Erlewine

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 21:32

Well, it ought to. I learned it from you, like most of my lens info. Your work, Thom Hogan, and Lloyd Chambers are where I get almost all the information I trust. Also, of course, I learn a lot here, which is why I am still around.

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#10 willl

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 23:31

A quick easy solution is something like this - http://strobist.blog...-shiny-new.html

Or - http://strobist.blog...-shiny-new.html

I use that setup when I'm just wanting to do something quick without too much thinking.
Here's an example I posted on flickr

Posted Image

And here's the whole setup for this shot.

Posted Image

#11 Erik Lund

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 06:43

Thanks everyone. I tried the various suggestions, but ended up realizing I just need simple (small) images of a wide variety of macro and close-up lenses. I am going with something like this.


You need to use a longer focal length, and move further away IMHO

#12 kds315

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 09:35

Well, made that for a friend of mine quite a while ago which was published in his book on Macro Photography.
I like when lenses show their glass and not just a "black hole" (could have done better on that 120mm Macro Nikkor, I know...).
Straight and very simple setup.

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  • Macrolenses_(c).jpg

Edited by kds315, 17 November 2011 - 09:39 .

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