Jewellery Pix - blurry results: change lens (get a macro?), camera (get a D7000?), strobe or else?

Started Nov 3, 2012 | Questions thread
astralux Regular Member • Posts: 187
Re: Jewellery Pix - blurry results.

Hi there, You mention that you want razor sharp images. To get this you need a razor sharp lens that has been finely focus tuned and here the bad news starts. You are going to need a top class prime and more preferably, one of the macro lenses to get what you want. Next up your technique needs to be spot on. From the exif data I see that you are not shooting at the lowest ISO setting that your camera can handle. As nothing is moving in your compositions (at least, nothing should be moving), shoot at the lowest ISO available as digital noise will destroy any sharpness. Next up, do not shoot at higher that about F11 or so as diffraction will destroy the lens sharpness. So set up your shot, lock everything down and use longer exposures if required with continous light sources or up your light source if shooting with flash.

You will find that you cannot get the DOF that you need, but this is easily fixed with focus stacking which has been covered on DPR and elsewhere extensively. PS CS5 or 6 does an excellent job of focus stacking and the stacks are editable.

For jewelry and watches I use Perspex as a background (I think it is called something else in the USA). From black backgrounds I use 1,5mm glass that I sprayed black on the reverse side, it works well and does not give me secondry reflections for what I do.

Make very sure that the jewelry is absolutely spotlessly clean or else you will end up spending a lot of time cleaning it in PS. I wash the jewelry in denatured alcohol, rinse it in distilled water then dry with Peck Pads. Handle with cotton gloves when setting up and give the pieces a blow with a lens blower to remove any dust that settles while you are setting up. It may seem an overkill to go to these lenghts, but when you get those razor sharp images, believe me, any dust, lint or fingerprints stand out badly.

Have a lot of fun!

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