Not yet another lense thread ... but a question though

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Hoef, Apr 16, 2006.

  1. Hoef macrumors 6502a

    Hoef

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2004
    Location:
    Houston, TX..... (keep walking)
    #1
    Hi, I am biting the the bullet and indulge myself with a rebel xt. The primary objective is photograph my art work (paintings, drawings). Up until now I had significant troubles because of lighting condition. I hope that with a SLR it gets easier because there is less noise. Especially pencil drawings are hard to photograph.

    What lense do you recommend? From reading the may threads, people seem to dislike the 18-50 lense kit... I like to keep some flexibility to take pictures of my newborn too so the lense should handle that.....

    Thanks for any advise
     
  2. mchendricks macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    Central Florida
    #2
    A Macro

    You should get a lens with the macro function. It also depends on how close you are getting. A 60mm might be good. I recommend the Tamron 90mm macro. It gets really good reviews and can be used as a portrait lens. With the digital crop of 1.6x for the Canon, the 60mm might be better.

    Also, if lighting is a problem, the faster ( a lower f-stop number) the better.

    Mike
     
  3. Hoef thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Hoef

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2004
    Location:
    Houston, TX..... (keep walking)
    #3
    Yeah thanks... macro is the way to go I think .... The Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 comes with macro too. WOuld this work as it satisfies my need for flexibility too!
     
  4. jared_kipe macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #4
    The Sigma 17-79 isn't a "true" macro lens. No zoom is technically a macro lens. Though my sigma 24-70mm is a super good lens, and is a pretty good macro abilities, good enough for most flower shots. My reviews http://www.sailbyair.com/photography/reviews.html .

    Some really great lenses under $400
    Sigma 18-50mm f2.8
    Sigma 24-70mm f2.8
    Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4.5 (never used it but heard its good, and seen a good review but the site is down now)

    EDIT: Also, I disagree with the lower f-stop number theory for taking photos of something really flat. Use a medium aperture like f/8 or something so you don't have to try too hard to keep it really strait. Anyway, just get a tripod... or a scanner...
     
  5. Hoef thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Hoef

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2004
    Location:
    Houston, TX..... (keep walking)
    #5
    Thanks for the suggestions ..... scanner is not an option and I got a tripod. Also, I am going to create slides from the photographs so it has to be sharp. I think artwork is the most difficult subject to photograph, but I don't want to pay expensive "professionals" anymore
     
  6. atari1356 macrumors 68000

    atari1356

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    #6
    I think a very good option for photographing both your art and your newborn would be the inexpensive Canon 50mm f/1.8 prime lens.

    It's a very sharp lens. I agree with Jared that you should use a smaller aperture like f/8... this is part of a mural for United Way (an artist painted it, then local children added their touch to it), and the photo was taken with the 50mm f/1.8 lens at f/8:

    http://www.lilybits.com/misc/right.jpg

    The lens is also good for newborns/fast moving toddlers since you can use a large aperture and get a fast shutter speed without having to use a flash. Using a large aperture also blurs out the background - which makes for nice portraits.
     
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #7
    You want a macro lens. NOT a zoom. Get a fixed focal lenght. All the zooms have some geometric distortion and generaly are not "flat field" Pay Canon's price and get a prime macro 100mm or so. The other thing you will need is lighting equipment. This is more important then and camera or the lens. You want two lights with large defusers aimed so the light hits the artwork at about 45 degree angle. One light on each side of the camera. You will also need stands for the lights and a good tripod. Idealy you would use a tudio strobe system but it's expensive. A pair of small inexpensice strobes linside the smallest size Photooflex softbox

    If the artwork is small enough you will get better much results with a scanner than with a camera

    One piece of "equipment" to get is a mirror. Put it where the flat artwork goes and adjust the camera position until the camera sees itself exactly square-on. Then swap the painting for the mirror. A grey card is also a "must have" for setting exposure and white balance.

    Copywork is actually a very exacting and technical branch of photography. It seems like it should be easy but that is untill you statr to demand the best quailty and then it gets harder.
     
  8. Hoef thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Hoef

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2004
    Location:
    Houston, TX..... (keep walking)
    #8
    Thanks for all your suggestions.... that was helpful, you can always rely on the MR knowledge!
     
  9. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #9
    Why not bring a "white" card for setting white balance? :confused:
     
  10. Subiklim macrumors 6502

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    Mar 31, 2006
    Location:
    Manhattan, New York
    #10
    lol! A Joke? (I hope)
     
  11. jared_kipe macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #11
    grey card is just as good, as long as the card is neutral. Plus since camera metering systems are made for a medium grey, then using the grey card you can set exposure too.

    Anyway, you don't really need a prime, most good zooms don't have too much geometric distortion- especially in the middle of their zoom range. And stopped down like what you want some zooms are as sharp as primes.

    EDIT: Though I just shoot RAW and don't give a F about grey cards.
     
  12. atari1356 macrumors 68000

    atari1356

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    #12
    Yes, some zooms can be just as sharp when stopped down, which is fine for taking pictures of artwork.

    However, I recommended the 50mm f/1.8 prime since the original poster said he also wanted to take pictures of a newborn.

    From my experience, when taking pictures of a child indoors nothing beats a fast prime - you get sharp pictures at large apertures, and can get very nice shots without the use of a flash. The large aperture is also good for blurring out the background - so in the photograph the focus is mainly on the child.

    So, get a zoom for the versatility - but also get the 50mm f/1.8 for indoor shots, it's inexpensive and worth having.
     
  13. cgratti macrumors 6502a

    cgratti

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2004
    Location:
    Central Pennsylvania, USA
    #13
    Check out the Sigma 105mm f2.8 EX DG lens. It's a true 1:1 macro lens and can also be used as a portrait lens (although it's not the best for protraits).

    You should also invest in a Canon flash, and Flash bracket w/off shoe card for optimal results. If your just going to be doing drawing or paintings you may want a ringlight instead. If you ever plan on doing any other type of macro work (bugs, jewelery, ect. then the ring light isnt a great option) It leaves the subject looking too flat. But if your doing flat photographing then its perfect.
     
  14. jared_kipe macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #14
    Right light- Meh, to to Target/wallmart and buy some cheap clippie bendie lights, and 2x100Watt GE reveal bulbs. Arrange them on the sides of what you're taking the picture of. It might cost you like 30-40USD. I personally have mine clipped to a stool, and I just move the stool around to whatever in the apartment I need to take pictures of. For a child a big flash like the Sigma EF-500 DG Super would be useful. I have that flash by the way, and a recently aquired Canon 550EX, the EX makes the most annoying charge sound ever (glad I'll be selling it soon).
     
  15. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #16
    Oh yeah, forgot about that. That's why snow comes out slightly grey if you don't set WB correctly, correct?
     

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