Light box for object photography




Vibration is one of the big issues that can be helped with this technique. You use short exposures, but average many frames that are automatically registered. A lot of folks just use a video camera and average hundreds or even thousands of frames. Here is some free software that does this http://www.astronomie.be/registax/
I have to say, though, that I do not do this stuff myself even though I have a nice telescope and I design optics. I realized long ago I much prefer the impact of looking at an amazing thing first hand rather than a photo of an amazing thing. There is always someone else taking a much better photo than you, and they have spent so much effort capturing a great photo that they have not really seen the thing.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Some of that software, like Registax, is free. There's also software that will let you control your dslr from a laptop.
Pete Keillor
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 4/23/2013 6:14 AM, Pete Keillor wrote:

Interesting stuff there, Pete.
http://www.astronomie.be/registax/previewv6.html
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Well, I don't own a good digital camera. When I'm in Chicago, where I do most of my photography, I borrow my nephew's Nikons. <g>
I thought that some of them will take multiple exposures? Again, I don't own a good one, so I don't know.
With film, I try to do it with one of my two cameras (Calumet 4 x 5, and a Yashicamat 6 x 6) that allow it without moving the film. My F2 won't allow it; they started that with the F3.
However, I did a series of nightime architectural shots, for a portfolio, with my F2 and a 28mm shift lens. I left the shutter open in the dark and just had my assistant cover the whole camera with the dark cloth (from my Calumet) between flashes. One of those involved 13 different flash shots on one frame of film.
It really is a good technique where you can use it. With a good flashmeter, you can plan the shot very precisely.
BTW, I used to work with a guy who specialized in making still photos of theater sets, without the cast present. He "painted" with a single photoflood. One light, but it looked like a dozen when he was done. Very impressive.

Actually, for that Amada brochure, I wound up using the digital shot from a Nikon D5000. Not having used the camera before, I didn't trust it for a one-day shoot that cost me $1,000 in travel costs. You don't want to go home from one of those without good photos. <g> I previewed it on my laptop, but I wanted to see how it stacked up against film.
So I used three cameras; one each for the slide and the negative film, and the digital. They were all useable but the negative shot was quite a bit grainier than either the digital or the transparency. I shot the negative film in case the daylight fluorescents required some color correction. They did not.
Otherwise, except for a Web publication (Fab Shop Magazine Direct), I use my wife's very good, but smallish Fuji pocket camera to check composition and light balance. For the Web, I use that camera for my final shots.
I'll buy a good digital some time, but I haven't had enough need to justify it. I don't shoot for fun like I used to, and I haven't shot a magazine cover for around a decade now. I rent when I need to.
--
Ed Huntress

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

    [ ... ]

    O.K.

    Some will. I think that my D300s will do it, but I have not needed that feature so far, so I tend to forget. Time to re-read the manual, I guess. Always good to do after using the camera for a while to pick up on things you missed earlier.

    Or -- put a lens with between=the-lens shutter on the camera on a bellows, and you can do it with the F2. :-)

    Ah -- the PC-Nikkor.

    O.K That will do it.

    Tedious -- but assured of good results.

    I'll bet.
    [ ... ]

    [ ... ]

    O.K. A bit out of my price range. :-) That and the single-digit D series. :-)

    Was this a single shot, or a multi-flash one like the above? For single shot, I would expect the D5000 to be very good.
    Of course, with the Nikon gear, and a shooting budget, I would go with the Nikon and a cluster of SB-800 flash units. The camera can be set up to run all of those as a slave, and when you take the shot, it first fires a lower intensity pre-flash from each (triggered by the flash on the camera and metering it in the sensor), and then sends to each how long a flash duration is required from that one, so when the shutter finally opens for real, you get a properly balanced illumination. I've got *one* SB-800, but not a whole herd of them. :-)
    [ ... ]

    While I'm back into shooting for fun. For quite a while, I worked where classified stuff was common, and a camera was a no-no, so I did not take many shots during that period. Now I'm retired, and having fun with the digital SLRs from Nikon.
    Enjoy,         DoN.
--
Remove oil spill source from e-mail
Email: < snipped-for-privacy@d-and-d.com> | Voice (all times): (703) 938-4564
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Yes, but jeez....
You'll get a kick out of this. I have a behind-the-lens air-bulb shutter I used with process lenses on my view camera, which I used for making Tri-Mask in-camera separations for the Trenton Times. I have put that sucker in *front* of a lens on my Nikon F2 for shooting multiple exposures. It's a big interleaved shutter.
But I don't get into those gymnastics anymore.

Yeah, one of them. It belonged to my partner at Windsor Advertising. He had a gazillion lenses -- and an 8 x 10 Calumet that we used to shoot giant trade-show Translites for Canon calculators and Prince tennis rackets. They were around 20 feet wide.
Those were fun times.

A single shot with my (then) new Smith Victor daylight fluourescent scoops. I was using too many new things at once not to have backups.
I have the digital shot on my hard drive if you want to see it -- before and after I worked it over with Gimp.

Again, I spent too many years lugging 100 pounds or more of flash heads and power packs, and even my big Bowens Monolights into the field. No way, Hose-A. From now on, I'm going with the daylight fluorescents. Lots of field photographers are using them now. I'm convinced, after seeing the densitometer readings on digital images from my gray card and Macbeth Color Checker. I shot the latter in daylight and then in daylight fluorescent with the same camera. You can hardly tell the difference.

It's a great hobby. Maybe if I retire I'll take it up again.
--
Ed Huntress

>
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

    [ ... ]

    :-)

    That will do it. Or an electric shutter such as I used when building a camera from a large lightbox to 2x2" glass film -- for integrated circuit layouts.
    Though usually I was running the lightbox on a Gralab timer instead. :-) The lightbox was two neon transformers and white neon folded in square-wave shape behind a diffuser.

    Understood.

    Indeed so. My largest format at home is 4x5 -- both a view camera and a Crown Graphic (like the Speed Graphic, but without the focal plane shutter.) Yes, the 8x10 Calumet was what I used with the same light box for printed circuit layouts. Two color layout tapes, and filters for the two shots for the two sides -- we didn't try multi-layer boards. :-)
    [ ... ]

    [ ... ]

    You could not get it to my mailbox. There is a size limit of 60K (to keep virus e-mails out of a couple of small mailing lists I host.)

    The SB-800 flash units are very light -- often used camera top on 35mm SLRs. A camera bag with a half dozen of them would be lighter than my bag full of lenses. You can clamp them pretty much anywhere, or just set them on a tabletop. And no wires to string -- the camera and the flash units communicate by encoded flashes. :-)

    Pretty good, then. But probably about the same weight per head (for just the lamp and the socket) as the SB-800.

    I *am* retired, so I did. :-)
    Enjoy,         DoN.
--
Remove oil spill source from e-mail
Email: < snipped-for-privacy@d-and-d.com> | Voice (all times): (703) 938-4564
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If you have a tripod or whatever (sandbags sometime work) that will keep your camera still, you can get very good results, probably with stuff you already have on hand. If the camera (and subject) are held absolutely still, longer exposures can be used at will, reducing the need for big lights... within reason. For shooting small stuff small table top 'set' can be cobbled up on most anything.
First, get in tight, fill the frame.
If your tripod isn't rock solid, also use the camera's self timer so it can settle down before the actual exposure. Any camera/subject movement is a big deal when your in tight with limited lighting.
For lights, a couple of goose neck lamps work well, and are nimble enough to maneuver around as necessary. If to harsh, a sheet of white printer paper or cut up milk jug/s over the lamp/s can help soften things up. Similarly, a sheet of vertically folded paper standing near the subject out of frame can/will reflect enough to fill in shadows if necessary.
Read your camera manual and see if it's 'white balance' can be set/adjusted. This is often done by shooting a white surface in the setting mode illuminated by whatever you'll be using as a light source. Doing so will allow most any lights you wish, but try not to mix them. Most modern camera's try to automatically adjust the WB, but if misses, your colors can really be goofy. Regular tungsten incandescent lights will make everything look orange, fluorescents green and so on.
Also read the manual for exposure compensation info, so your predominantly light or dark shots come out properly exposed. Camera light meters always try to get a overall average (B&W) tonal value of about 18% grey. (Ever notice how many snow/beach scenes come out under exposed/dreary looking?) So if your subject/background have a lot of white, override the light meter, and tell it to over expose by a stop or two. The opposite if your dealing with a lot of dark.
Bracketing go's a long way too... shoot a bunch of shots of each item, playing with different framing, lighting, exposure compensation and whatever... so you can pick out the shot/s you like best. You can learn a lot doing so as well.
The above won't put your work on the cover of National Geographic, but will go a long way. The next step would be a basic copy of Photoshop or equivalent, and boning up on cropping, setting white and black levels, & 'unsharp mask'.
The good tripod is a must... remember you can even make up one. It's only purpose is to is to keep the camera stationary. Camera tripod sockets are 1/4-20, use your imagination!
Could go on but those are the biggies, I'm sure others will also have good suggestions as well.
Good luck!
Erik
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

More:
If you have some good natural light available, you can go a long way with it too.
Check this (overpriced) Craigs list ad I have up:
http://losangeles.craigslist.org/wst/tls/3722004257.html
The first 5 shots are in direct sunlight, either right on the cement, or handheld above it. Some exposure compensation was necessary on the ones showing a lot of light colored cement.
They were taken with a cheap Pentax SLR, but on auto mode as I was in a hurry.
Notice how only filled frame sharper images were used? Diagonally sometimes to take advantage of available frame area. IIRC, I shot maybe 15 total images, so I could pick/choose the best.
The size comparison 'gag' quarter was lit by a single compact fluorescent bulb in a goose neck lamp. The camera was on a tripod, and the back of my hand supported still on the table. The white balance was adjusted before hand, and the dark red background is literally just a colored file folder I'd put on the table. I did rotate/crop & adjust the exposure a little in Photoshop... but not all that much. Wish my hand was cleaner.
Here's some more direct sunlit handheld shots. They also got some minor Photoshop attention:
http://losangeles.craigslist.org/wst/pho/3719656633.html
See my BBQ in the first shot? It's in the lower RH corner, but camouflaged in the 'Bokeh':
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bokeh
No particularly fancy lens was used, but focused in close like this, everything in the distance gets blown way out of focus... desirable in this case.
You really don't need any strobes for eBay like product shots... as you likely have no motion to stop... unless in low light, but that's what the tripod is for.
Erik
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

True indeed. Low f-stop and slow shutter for a minimum depth of field.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 4/22/2013 1:34 PM, Gunner Asch wrote:

I think you have that backerds, hoss.
Higher F numbers mean smaller aperture diameter. Depth of field increases with f-number
Reducing _aperture_ increases depth of field.
An shutter speed is not involved (directly, anyway)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I think you completely mis-read what he said. You just _repeated_ it (correctly), except for disallowing that small apertures require longer exposure, which he had wrong and you correct.
But you were wrong about one thing: For a given 'speed' (film, CCD, anything), shutter speed IS directly involved. The smaller the aperture, the longer the exposure for a given level of illumination.
LLoyd
LLoyd
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 4/22/2013 4:35 PM, Lloyd E. Sponenburgh wrote:

For a given light level, yes, but more light can overcome that issue easily.
Low f-stop?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

commonly-used term for small F-number... ALL the film guys used that term.
"low f-stop" means "large aperture" -- Always has, but probably has no meaning at all to kids who've never used a real camera.
I'm an 'all digital' shop now, but there was a time when I had a full darkroom with all the toys. You had to, if you wanted really custom work. The local Rexall drug store wasn't going to do it for you!
LLoyd
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 4/22/2013 5:50 PM, Lloyd E. Sponenburgh wrote:

I'm sorry, Lloyd. I can't brain today. I have dumb.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 4/22/2013 5:50 PM, Lloyd E. Sponenburgh wrote:

Now that you mention it, I'm kinda wondering how to get reprints made from negatives.
Is there a way to scan 35 mm negatives to photo quality? Inexpensively?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

They will scan slides, negatives, positives b&W and color negatives etc
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=film+scanner&_sacat=0&_from=R40
They cost $15-150
The one I use:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Veho-Uk-Vfs-004-Deluxe-Film-Slide-Scanner-vfs004-/390565130137
(picked up a a yard sale for $10)
I do have an Olympus..but its got a scuzi interface and I no longer use it very often
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Olympus-ES-10S-Film-Scanner-For-PC-MAC-Rarely-Used-Works-Great-/151032359424?pt=US_Scanners&hash=item232a3aea00
Just get a can of air..or a good film brush. As enlarging/scanning will show dust, fingerprints etc etc
These were scanned negatives (B&W)..and the color ones were slides
https://picasaweb.google.com/104042282269066802602/OldPhotos
These were scanned color negatives
https://picasaweb.google.com/104042282269066802602/OldPhotosFromThe70s
I need to redo the above as they are quite dark..but the negatives were very thin...and I was just learning to use the scanner.
Gunner
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 4/22/2013 7:58 PM, Gunner Asch wrote:

I've tried scanning with my printer/scanner. It takes more than a can of air. I've had to wash the negatives - soap and water!
Then I started experimenting. Black and white might work ok - on a better scanner. I've gone to 4800 DPI, but still get a lot of artifact. And huge files!
As for color, it's problematic doing it this way. Of course the color has to be inverted, but getting any control of saturation, hue, or balance depends purely on the tools used. They work best if reduced to BW.
I have thousands of negatives. 35 MM and Instamatic. And I've given away most of the really good prints.
That 7200 DPI dedicated scanner looks interesting...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

You can save them in any file size you like.
I assume you have heard of..or are using Irfanview
www.irfanview.com
HIGHLY recommended..and it will indeed sort out and save in any format/file size etc etc you want as well as doing all the editing functions you might need.
Be sure to get the add on pack as well
And of course...its free.
Gunner
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 4/22/2013 11:45 PM, Gunner Asch wrote:

Highly recommended - and way over rated...\
IMHO :)
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.