Taking Actual size photos

Started Oct 17, 2012 | Discussions thread
Olaf Ulrich Contributing Member • Posts: 955
Re: Taking actual-size photos

Himanshusagar wrote:

I'm using Nikon D5000 and I often take photographs of jewellery. The issue I have is that I want to print photographs at its actual dimension. For example, a bracelet that I photographed is 55 mm long and 6 mm wide. I want these same measurement when I print it on paper.

Both replies you got so far (at the time of writing this) are nonsense. Ignore them.

If your subject is supposed to appear at 1:1 (i. e. life-size) magnification in the final print then you need to shoot at a image-to-subject ratio that depends on the intended print size (and on the the camera's sensor size, of course—but that's fixed for any given camera).

The Nikon D5000's sensor's size is 15.7 × 23.5 mm. Say you want to print at a size of 4 × 6 inches (postcard size). Four inches is 4 × 25.4 mm = 101.6 mm; that's 101.6 / 15.7 = 6.47 times the sensor's height. So you need to shoot the bracelet at a magnification of 1:6.47 (I guess 1:6.5 will be close enough) to make it appear in original size in a 4 × 6" print. Any decent lens should be able to achieve this (moderate) degree of magnification; no dedicated macro lens or close-up accessories required.

Rather than shooting at the calculated magnification exactly (which was 1:6.47 in the example discussed above), you may want to shoot at a somewhat smaller magnification (such as 1:7 or 1:8 for the example above) and then adjust the size in the final print by careful cropping. This would allow for very precise fine-adjustment of the image size. Getting the proper magnification exactly right in the camera is not so easy in real life.

However I guess you will find out that pictures of pieces of jewellery in original size look, umm ... bland. Boring. Unattractive. In prints, jewellery usually should be presented larger than life. So you might end up shooting a macro lens at larger magnifications eventually.

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