Best lens for tabletop/product photography?

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by abiggs, Jul 15, 2001.

  1. What is the most commong lens for a 4x5 for tabletop / product photography? What about for flower closeups?

    <p>

    I ask this, because my 210mm isn't providing quite enough DOF for my given distance.
     
  2. I could be wrong, but my calculations suggest that it really doesn't
    matter which focal length lens you use for doing close-up work. For
    example, a 150mm lens will give you more DOF than a 210, but it will
    have to be closer to the subject. In the end, you end up with exactly
    the same DOF for a given f-stop.

    <p>

    The only way to get around it is to stop WAY down or use whatever tilts
    and swings are possible with your setup
     
  3. 210mm is very common for tabletop/product. I've know some who prefer
    a 180mm instead for a slightly wider feel of being more into the
    scene. From a DOF perspective, the previous reply is correct, but
    the lens matters a great deal in terms of what the photograph ends up
    being. It's no different than photographing objects at a distance
    from this standpoint. If you take a photo of some 3 dimensional
    object at a given magnification with two different lenses (moving the
    camera to achieve the same magnification), the photo's will look
    different because the perspective is different. With tabletop, you
    really have to use your camera movements to get the focus you require.
     
  4. Most of the time I use the 210 but a number of times I like a 300.
    Flower close ups you might want a 135mm or a 150mm (a 150 is more
    common) but it really depends how close you want to get. If you are
    doing alot of Macro work, get a 180mm macro. If you cannot justify, get
    a set of HIGH quality close up filters (my preference is B+W for all my
    filters).
    Cheers
     
  5. Most of the time I use the 210 but a number of times I like a 300.
    Flower close ups you might want a 135mm or a 150mm (a 150 is more
    common) but it really depends how close you want to get. If you are
    doing alot of Macro work, get a 180mm macro. If you cannot justify, get
    a set of HIGH quality close up filters (my preference is B+W for all my
    filters). Not enough DOF? Are you using Strobes or hot lights? Are you
    stopping down (especially with macro!!!)?
    Cheers
     
  6. A 210 is our std. lens for tabletop, but we also use a 300 when we
    can....one thing to remember is that it's nice to be able to back off
    from the subject a bit. This will help in terms of placing your
    lights, fill cards etc. If you're right on top of the piece, lighting
    is tough. For close ups, we'll use whatever works, which is usually
    the 210 or a 150 flat field lens, on an extended rail....although I've
    used some shorter lenses, like old MP3 lenses, 75mm etc., in the past
    as well...but lighting is a real pain...as for DOF, just use movements
    & stop down...or else you might actually have to back off the piece
    and accept a smaller image as the tradeoff....it kind of depends on
    what you're shooting as well.
     
  7. My old photography prof (who makes a living shooting 4x5
    illustrative/product work) uses a 90mm for close-up tabletop work.

    <p>

    Regards
     
  8. Hi Andy

    <p>

    I prever also almost 135mm-150mm sometimes 90 mm then you have not so
    much DOF problems!

    <p>

    Good light!
     
  9. Choosing a longer or shorter lens won't solve all of your problems, but
    it will change working distance from camera to subject -- which will
    give you more opportunity to light your product...the more light you
    can get on it, the better (obviously) for stopping down. If your lens
    is too short, you will be unable to get fill cards closer to the front
    of your subject.<p> If you are photographing
    flowers, you can use swings and tilts to your advantage -- these are
    less availible when you are shooting things like cereal boxes.<p> A
    lot of product photography is done with a 210mm or so lens. If you are
    not getting enough DOF with your lens, I would increase exposure --
    perhaps by shutting off your model lights and firing strobes twice (or
    even four times). If you need just a little more DOF or multipopping
    isn't an option, just back the camera off a little and refocus.<p>
     
  10. I was taught that you measure the distance (far distance minus near
    distance) that you need to have in focus, multiply that by either five
    or seven (I can't for the life of me actually remember) and then
    choose a lens at that distance that will fill the frame.
    That being said, I usually use a 240mm (on 4x5) to give the "working
    room" to get the lighting in the right position to cover the area.
     

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