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kraftrourke
11-12-2015, 05:28 AM
Hi!

Does anyone have experience shooting jewellery with tilt-shift using bellows? Specifically the old nikon PB-4 bellows. I just bought one and it's amazing but I'm looking for a good flat-field lens. The lenses I have now are too curved like most normal lenses. I get ugly blurring the more I tilt. I think it's due to the curves of my lenses.

For those unfamiliar with tilt-shift photography or view cameras - it's a way of angling the lens to change the plane of focus - in product photography you can capture much more of your subject in focus than with a normal angle lens. For example, in macro photos of a necklace with a nice dramatic composition, only the one focus point is actually sharp and the rest of the necklace gets progressively fuzzy. Sometimes I really like when everything else is out of focus except that one specific point to highlight an area, but for certain things I want it ALL sharp. You could take multiple shots with different focus points then stitch them together, but I'd rather be making stuff than spending extra time with photoshop.

good examples and better descriptions than mine:
http://nikonrumors.com/2010/11/27/guest-post-shooting-products-with-nikon-tilt-lenses.aspx/

https://www.photigy.com/photographing-jewelry-the-lighting-setup-tips-and-tricks-plus-bonus-video/

Dennis
11-12-2015, 08:33 AM
Very interesting, but it will take more than casual read to take all this in. As an avid maker, I begrudge every minute spent on my time-consuming photography.

At the same time I recognise that whatever I show on line can only appear as good as the photography will allow.

I also recognise that some of our members are on a tight budget and must use their phones. So I have to rein in my impatience when they present blurry efforts, often the wrong way up, for our admiration in show and tell. Dennis.

kraftrourke
11-12-2015, 10:22 AM
I figure most people wouldn't have experience with it but I wanted to ask, on the chance that someone here is also into photography. My aim is to assemble a little permanent rig. Once a piece is done I can plop it down and quickly snap a few angles, hopefully needing very little attention in the computer after the fact.

ps_bond
11-12-2015, 10:36 AM
If I want improved depth-of-field I use focus stacking sw :)
TBH, the only real application I've seen for tilt lenses has been for architectural - I've not seen it used in macro, and given there's limited DOF anyway on wider apertures, I'm not sure how much benefit it'd give.
Interested to see what you do with it, but I've got a solution that works adequately for now.

kraftrourke
11-12-2015, 10:58 AM
Is there a plug-in you use for focus stacking or do you do it manually? I want to spend the least amount of time in the computer. I did stacking manually a few times and I wanted to cry. I'm not hung up on using the bellows or anything, I just want the quick and painless way to get broad DoF on larger pieces at low angles. In the links I posted there are a few good examples of what the tilt can do with necklaces.

Goldsmith
11-12-2015, 11:01 AM
I also use Nikon cameras among others but have never used a bellows attachment, I find the Nikkor 60mm Micro with an aperture of f32 gives sufficient depth of field for jewellery photos, I also use Photoshop7 for any adjustments required.

James

ps_bond
11-12-2015, 12:12 PM
Is there a plug-in you use for focus stacking or do you do it manually? I want to spend the least amount of time in the computer. I did stacking manually a few times and I wanted to cry. I'm not hung up on using the bellows or anything, I just want the quick and painless way to get broad DoF on larger pieces at low angles. In the links I posted there are a few good examples of what the tilt can do with necklaces.

Helikon Focus is the one I use. Needs to be a camera where the focus can be controlled electronically, but there's a fair compatibility list. It generally does well left to its own devices, but too wide an aperture and highlights will upset it (blows the detail in subsequent layers)
I don't usually go above f22 on the 105mm macro as then you start to see diffraction creeping in due to the small aperture.

I've also been using Lightzone lately for raw adjustment & basic editing - had considered Lightroom, but not inclined to pay subscription fees...

metalsmith
11-12-2015, 06:50 PM
I have some experience of bellows, not really tilt-shift lenses, but then my large format tilts.

Of course this results in blurring - you are altering the length the light travels. For different parts of the lens it will be longer (if tilted forwards) against shorter (tilted back). This (almost) inevitably results in blurring. The only way to limit / avoid this is to use a very small aperture and this will increase the need for either exposure times or light. It can be done and lots of architectural photography does this to 'correct' perspective.

You'll also notice that the digital 'tilt-shift effect' that can be created in photoshop & others (or more likely there is now an automatic filter to this effect) effectively applies a graduated blur to the top and bottom of the frame.

In the following image I craftily photographed an amazingly realistic slate model (as if it were full-scale) then cunningly applied a digital tilt-shift effect to make it look like a model.

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