Heavy duty camera for photographing "ebay stuff"

On 4/1/2012 7:20 PM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:


I think you are asking a bit much of the people he described. They aren't professional photographers in any reach - except that he's paying them to take pictures. A properly working AUTO setting would be better.
But I agree about the light box.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 4/1/2012 7:54 PM, Richard wrote:

also -
What they want is a JPG file - not RAW file.
RAW gives the user a lot of capability in post-processing, but that takes talent and proper software.
The more one spends on the camera itself (within reason) the better the camera does in it's own post-processing to deliver a better JPG.
AND - usually - the more options the camera offers in setting those parameters.
I stand by my Fujis... Other people love their Cannons. (My Dad was a Pentax man - Go figure)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Exactly.
As for the light box, a lot of stuff does not fit into such things.
i
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

A room painted white works pretty well, as does a large shop-made tent.
With a studio flash, there is no problem getting enough light, so great efficiency isn't needed. The objective is to have enough light so the camera can stop down (giving great depth of field). With light, the setup becomes non-critical.
Joe Gwinn
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 02 Apr 2012 09:59:15 -0400, Joseph Gwinn

Specular reflactions are a bane of industrial photography, and light tents or other diffusion can make things easier. I use a couple of sheets of drafting paper for small objects.
But the other bane is a lack of contrast, which a light tent makes even worse. So sharp lighting sometimes is needed. One recent article I wrote and photographed has three photos in it -- really pedestrian industrial illustration -- and I had to use on-camera flash on all three to avoid undifferentiated shadows.
I shot all three both ways, with diffused light and with harsh, on-camera flash. In each case, I needed the direct flash.
Something like Iggy's work probably won't allow time or expertise to play with lighting, so a light tent, or a couple of big transmission umbrellas, would be a good all-around solution that does the job most of the time. "Black-on-black" shadows are the biggest killer in that type of work and overall diffusion at least solves that problem.
The result will be some annoyingly flat photos, but that's better than shadows in which you can't see anything. If it were me setting it all up for a non-expert photographer to do the work, I'd use two big lights, each at 45 degrees from the lens axis, or maybe 60 degrees, and I'd hang really big drafting-paper sheets in front of each. The ideal is to have the sheets as far from the lights, and as close to the subject, as possible. I'd use light stands and gaffer's clips (spring clips, like big clothes pins) to hold the diffusion sheets. Sometimes I do the same thing with transmission umbrellas. Regular reflection umbrellas don't work out very well for that task because they are too far from the subject and you don't get enough diffusion.
--
Ed Huntress

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

All true, but situation dependent. But with machine parts, I've found the diffuse flat light works pretty well. My shop is painted white, and I use a studio flash pointing at the wall behind the camera.
The next step up is a ring flash on the camera, plus a white tent.
The next step is crossed polarizers, where the camera lens has a linear polarizer, and the lamps have a perpendicular polarizer. This eliminates all specular reflections, and makes shiney metal vanish. One usually detunes the setup so the metal will show just enough.
War story: Many years ago, on an Olympus Camera group, I noted that the pros photographing models all seemed to use Hasselblad cameras with big ring flashes, which flattened things, which didn't seem like a good idea a good idea with such models, and expressed mystification. The answer that came back was that the ringflash eliminated the bags under the eyes from to much partying, and too many controlled substances. Oh. Never mind.
Joe Gwinn
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 03 Apr 2012 23:01:59 -0400, Joseph Gwinn

photography, begun in London in the '60s and used off and on for decades, in which the models were made up and lighted for dead-flat facial appearance -- almost like cardboard cutouts. It went along with Twiggy-style bodies and skinny legs jutting out at odd angles. When used in b&w, they'd light up the background so much that you sometimes couldn't see where the face ended and the background began. Then some dark eye and lip makeup made the eyes and lips look like they were suspended in space.
Here's Emma Watson (today's Twiggy) with the flattened lighting but without the background effect, with a couple of eye sparkles and a pair of kickers on the hair to modernize the look:
http://www.fanpop.com/spots/emma-watson/images/18576979/title/emma-watson-wallpaper
--
Ed Huntress



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 4/2/2012 4:50 AM, Ignoramus14985 wrote:

If one is doing a lot of this, a relatively inexpensive umbrella could be a good investment. I got one that can reflect, or the black backing can be removed and light passed through it. This is similar to mine: <http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/423628-REG/Impact_UBBW30_30_Convertible_Umbrella.html
I've picked up several 60's era light bars dirt cheap at yard sales and set them up on cheap tripods, bouncing light off the ceiling.
There's all manner of very inexpensive ways to light things and soften the light to avoid glare and flash hot spots.
Jon
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 31 Mar 2012 23:47:43 -0500, Ignoramus20530 wrote:

Just a suggestion for when the load is heavy enough to warrant two photographers:
Have one guy do all the prep work, and the other one do all the picture taking. If one guy is sorting, cleaning, and arranging for picture- taking while the other guy is taking pictures and downloading, then you may well keep both of them busy all day while still needing just one camera.
A bit of time spent watching your one guy at work should give you an idea of whether this is so.
For that matter, if you've got two guys sharing the work, neither of them constantly "shifting gears" from prep to photography, you may get more than twice the productivity out of the two working together than you would with two working in parallel.
--
Tim Wescott
Control system and signal processing consulting
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You know, Tim, I think that your idea is "the winner". I really like it for many reasons.
i
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I'd just get another D80. Same interface, same media, same batteries, same lenses. They should be relatively cheap by now.
As others have said, lighting is key. There are a lot of good concepts out there for using things like cheap hardware store halogen flood lights to create a studio that works night or day, rain or shine. This site has a lot of good ideas:
http://www.diyphotography.net/taxonomy/term/163
They have designs for home brew ring lights, light tents, flood lights, etc.
Doug White
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

agreed. Then you dont need multiple spares or to worry about differnt workflows from photos from two cameras.
junk you sell on ebay doesn't move, so get a strobe and crappy reflector umbrella and you should be good.
if you're dealing with dirty stuff, skip the light tent, you'll just get it dirty and they don't clean up.
A roll of continious paper is good for stuff that's heavy and will tear things up.
calumet photographic will have anything you need in stock.
With photographic stuff, there's never a limit to how much you can spend on any item, but cheapo stuff is great for getting started.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 4/1/2012 9:07 PM, Cydrome Leader wrote:

A couple of old but clean white sheets are wonderful for backdrops and lighting reflection.
--
I'm never going to grow up.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

good for reflecting light, but they always look like bedsheets when used as a backdrop.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 4/2/2012 12:17 PM, Cydrome Leader wrote:

Well, when shooting pictures of machinery, that may not be all that bad! ;-}
--
I'm never going to grow up.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

A fleece throw from Walmart in an appropriate color actually works surprisingly well for the purpose and is dirt cheap. As a bonus, it will keep you warm in an emergency (for certain values of "warm" and "emergency").
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In the last episode of

For really small items, I've had good luck with plastic stretchy UPS shipping bags. They do good at not reflecting annoyingly, but just enough that it helps cut back on shadows.
Certainly not a professional solution, but they're also pretty much free. I wouldn't necessarily suggest this as a professional solution though.
--
This signature was randomly selected

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 31 Mar 2012 23:47:43 -0500, Ignoramus20530

Iggy, I'm pretty clueless on digital cameras, but I'm gearing up to buy my first one for professional work (it probably will be a Sony Alpha NEX-5N), and I can tell you what's been on my mind.
All of the problems I've had with cameras have been mechanical. My Nikon F is on its second set of mirror bumper-stops and its third shutter. My Nikkormat is on its second shutter release. My Schneider view-camera lenses and my Caltar have all had shutters replaced.
I pound my cameras hard. I bought my film in 100-foot rolls and sheet film in Pro-Packs. In copy work, I've shot as many as 1,000 shots per day.
I don't want another SLR. That's why I'm looking at the Sony. Its CCD chip is as large as the best SLRs and its shutter delay is 0.02 sec. Fro $30 I can get an adapter for all of my Nikon F-series lenses. I don't even remember how many I have. Now we're talkin'.
What I really don't know is the model-by-model reliability of any of them. I'm using my wife's Fuji FinePix F30 for the shots I take for online magazines, and that little sucker is trouble-free. All I can say is that I'll trust electronics more than mechanics for high-volume photography, and you're talking high-volume.
The vast majority of what I've done over the past four decades has been industrial, which is what you're talking about, and manual setup is no hardship for that kind of work. In fact, I much prefer it. You don't need features. You need quality and reliability. With the latest generation of non-SLRs with big chips, you may find something that's bullet-proof and somewhat cheaper.
Anyway, that's what's been guiding me as I search for a new camera.
Good luck.
--
Ed Huntress

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 4/1/2012 11:22 AM, Ed Huntress wrote:

Ed, I think you would be very happy with a Fuji.
Zoom lenses will never be as fine as replaceable lenses. That's a given. But Fuji really does do it right.
Moving to electronics does away with all the mechanical issues of the past.
Look for an electronic remote shutter release. OPTICAL zoom as big as possible.
In your case, RAW file delivery options. That gives you the ability to do (with UNDO!) what you used to do in the developing tank (without undo!).
Like I said earlier, I've very happy with the Fuji 8100. It's a compromise, of course. But a great one.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 01 Apr 2012 06:51:41 -0700, Gunner Asch wrote: [big snip]

This is a good list. Regarding item 9, many digital cameras come with a media cable so you can display what usually appears on the camera's small display screen on a video monitor. This can really speed things up when taking a series of product pictures because you don't have to look at a little screen while framing the picture.
Regarding the Olympus C-4000 and C-3030 that Gunner recommended, keep in mind they use SmartMedia chips, with storage limited to a small fraction of that offered by CompactFlash or SD. This might not make any difference if you only use USB for picture transfers and if you automate the camera control so you don't have to delete pictures manually. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SmartMedia - max size 128MB <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CompactFlash - max size 128GB <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secure_Digital - max size 2TB
Top speeds of SmartMedia are 2MB/s (per link above) while CompactFlash has speeds (available at higher price) up to several times faster, and SD several times faster than that. But to get those higher speeds of picture storing you have to find and buy the faster chips, and should have a camera that supports both faster picture writing and faster transfer. However, an advantage of cheaper cameras, even if slower, is that you could use more of them, and could have two or three picture angles set up for simultaneous shots.
Many Canon cameras can be internally re-programmed by user for specific purposes. See <http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK . For less radical approaches see Canon's camera-control software development kits at <http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/standard_display/sdk_homepage
...

<http://www.steves-digicams.com/camera-reviews/olympus/c-4000-zoom/olympus-c-4000-zoom-review.html ...
<http://www.ebay.com/itm/Olympus-CAMEDIA-C-4000-Zoom-4-0-MP-Digital-Camera-trade-show-/120887784538
<http://www.ebay.com/itm/Olympus-CAMEDIA-C-4000-Zoom-4-0-MP-Digital-Camera-Silver-/200737120308
<http://www.ebay.com/ctg/Olympus-CAMEDIA-C-3030ZOOM-3-3-MP-Digital-Camera-Black-/100111491
...
--
jiw

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.