Recommended Cameras & Lens for Still-Life Photography

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TaylorTaylor New Member • Posts: 3
Recommended Cameras & Lens for Still-Life Photography

Hello all,

I new to Still-Life, and photography in general. My plans are to take still-life photos of firearms, so I was wondering if anyone has any recommendations for the right cameras and lens. Thanks!

hobbit mob
hobbit mob Regular Member • Posts: 383
Re: Recommended Cameras & Lens for Still-Life Photography
2

TaylorTaylor wrote:

Hello all,

I new to Still-Life, and photography in general. My plans are to take still-life photos of firearms, so I was wondering if anyone has any recommendations for the right cameras and lens. Thanks!

The camera matters much less than the lens for this, but you can get away with a lot with even a kit lens for what you want to do, since you can use a tripod, f8-11, iso 100, etc. basically any camera for sale today with its kit lens will be able to produce great results in that situation.

as far as lens selection goes, if you want to up the game a little, a good 24-70 or 70-200 f2.8 (or f4, since you won’t really need the extra light) will give you good quality and versatility. Which one you choose depends on where you’re shooting and how much room you have. Unless you’re only doing handguns, using a wider angle will probably be necessary to get the whole gun in frame (from a reasonable distance). However, if distance isn’t an issue, you could compress the shot more with the 70-200 and eliminate more of the backdrop.  At a point, though, it comes down to personal preference.

i shoot canon/Fuji (mostly canon), so if I were to pick something up today to just shoot still life, I’d get a used 5d mark ii or iii with a 24-105 f/4. I’d also get a tripod and a few led studio lights/strobes/flashes with a transmitter to use off camera (if I were doing it with the intention of selling/making money/doing it as a service)

if I wanted to go cheaper because I was just doing it for myself, I’d just pick up a crop sensor canon dslr (probably 60d or newer) with a kit lens (18-55 or whatever) and a tripod.

if you look at some camera brands and like one over the other for whatever superficial reason, get that one. The differences will be minuscule for what you’re doing. (I shoot fuji almost purely for their aesthetic)

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Michael Fryd
Michael Fryd Forum Pro • Posts: 14,385
Re: Recommended Cameras & Lens for Still-Life Photography
8

TaylorTaylor wrote:

Hello all,

I new to Still-Life, and photography in general. My plans are to take still-life photos of firearms, so I was wondering if anyone has any recommendations for the right cameras and lens. Thanks!

Basically, you are talking about product photography.

The camera isn't critical.  You will need a lens that allows you to get the right perspective on your firearms.

The biggest factor will be lighting.  Any time you are shooting reflective items, keep in mind that you are shooting both the item, and the reflected surroundings.

I would suggest that you start by getting the book "Light, Science, and Magic".  It will give you the insight you need to shoot products like firearms.

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OP TaylorTaylor New Member • Posts: 3
Re: Recommended Cameras & Lens for Still-Life Photography

Wow, very in depth response. Thank you very much. All this information will help out a ton. Thanks again!

OP TaylorTaylor New Member • Posts: 3
Re: Recommended Cameras & Lens for Still-Life Photography

Ok, very cool. I will check that out. Thank you very much!

photonut2008
photonut2008 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,428
Re: Recommended Cameras & Lens for Still-Life Photography

TaylorTaylor wrote:

My plans are to take still-life photos of firearms, so I was wondering if anyone has any recommendations for the right cameras and lens.

Tilt/shift lenses. Either a Canon TS-E 50mm f/2.8L Macro or a Nikon PC-E Micro-NIKKOR 45mm f/2.8D ED depending on which system you choose. I think Canon gets this more right than Nikon because Nikon has the functions offset from one another whereas it appears to me the Canon allows those adjustments to be made independent of one another.*

*  The Nikon PC NIKKOR 19mm f/4E ED can make the adjustments independently, but it costs more and is a less than ideal focal length for what you want to do.

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PhotoTeach2 Forum Pro • Posts: 12,494
Budget and WHAT ELSE do you plan to shoot ???

TaylorTaylor wrote:

Hello all,

I new to Still-Life, and photography in general. My plans are to take still-life photos of firearms, so I was wondering if anyone has any recommendations for the right cameras and lens. Thanks!

What is your budget and what else might you want to shoot, (any travel or wildlife) ???

And as mentioned, lighting is (much) more important for product-photography.

Virtually ANY camera will do for your simple request, but if you don't plan a lot of "night" (or ASTRO) work, I might suggest a Panasonic FZ1000-II as a camera w/ the most options & features that you can exploit for other purposes.

NikonNature Veteran Member • Posts: 4,723
Re: Recommended Cameras & Lens for Still-Life Photography

As noted by others, this is basically product photography. A tripod and basic lighting will be more important than the camera. Your budget also determines what direction you should go.

A Nikon D750 with a 50mm f/1.8 lens would be a great kit. Great full frame sensor and an excellent lens make for great image quality (IQ).

For a little less money, a D7200 (or even D5500) with the same 50mm lens. Crop sensor, but still excellent IQ.

Both of these would be great for general shooting as well, since you can add a 'kit' zoom lens for more versatility.

Bridge or superzoom cameras, like the Panasonic FZ1000 are a good budget option. Again, lighting is a high priority. If the product is well lit, then even small sensor cameras like this will have very good IQ.

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