Still Life/Product Lenses

Discussion in 'Beginner Questions' started by ParkerS, Sep 6, 2020.

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  1. ParkerS

    ParkerS New Member

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    t3i
    I have been using a EF-S 55-250 for shooting product photography for a few years now (a Rebel t3i). It works okay, but after having read up on different focal lengths I am wondering if I couldn't get a little more sense of depth perhaps and less flattening of the objects being shot with a different lens. All my work is done on a tripod with plenty of light and shutter speed to get the job done. I do like being able to step back from the objects I am shooting (maybe two to three feet), which for right now are objects about the size of a bread box generally. I shoot glass that I make and sometimes they are small objects, about 3" in diameter all the way up to no more than 18" in weight, perhaps up to 24" in width. In a few cases I will shoot multiple items, which makes the field of view larger (I have to really step back for those right now). I envision being able to perhaps shoot my work in addition to the backdrop controlled situation I have now to more natural surrounds (homes, even outside) and would like the luxury of a wider view but not so wide that there is a lot of distortion.

    I have considered a 50 mm but not having used that size in recent memory, I am not sure how it behaves. I have been looking at a EF 24-70 as a possible starting point. Now that is a zoom lens, and my assumption here is it will probably give me more macro shots than I will really need or use, but the 35-60 range of that zoom lens might be about right for a lot of things.

    Absent having a shop where I can try on lenses, does anyone know of a site that shows product examples or photos shot with different lenses along with the size of the objects being photographed? It's a bit of a spend for me right now so I want to find something that will give me a little flexibility but in a different range than this one lens I already have. It would also be nice to use it also for other things like people and outside shots, but I am trying to hone in on a lens that will give me the best bang for my buck while getting me into a different focal range for the work that I do with product. I would say that it is nice to have my camera a slight distance from the objects, simply because the glass will reflect so much sometimes, but I don't need to be as far away as I currently need to be with my current zoom, which tends to be about three feet or so for a lot of what I am shooting. My thanks in advance!
     

  2. johnsey

    johnsey Site Moderator Staff Member Site Supporter

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    5dMk4, 5dMk2, 20D, 70-200 2.8L IS, 100mm 2.8 Macro USM, 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.8, 17-40mm 4.0L, Rokinon 14mm 2.8; Pixma Pro-100
    I think you will find you want a dedicated macro lens rather than a zoom for the really small items.
     
  3. Caladina

    Caladina Active Member

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    Equipment:
    Canon M50
    Canon 18-45mm m, Canon 18-150mm m, Canon 55-200mm m, Canon 22mm m, Canon 28mm m macro,
    Sigma 100-400c ef, Sigma 18-35mm art ef,
    7artisans 7.5mm m, Laowa 100mm macro ef, laowa 9mm zeroD m, Vintage M42 Lenses:
    Ashi Super - Takumar 1.8 / 55mm,
    The following are from the canon 55-200 m mount kit lens on the M50,
    i have taken them at 55mm, 200mm, 55mm + 47mm of ext tube ,200mm + 47 ext tube.
    its just a quick set of smudges to see how much closer you can get with tubes i have deliberately not adjusted anything else iso was locked at 100, each was taken at the closest working distance the af would lock on
    obviously with iso and light added the closest images with ext tubes come out as bright as you want, i left them so you could see the tube effect on light:
    55mm
    ruler55mm.jpg 200mm
    ruler200mm.jpg
     
  4. Caladina

    Caladina Active Member

    Joined:
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    839
    Equipment:
    Canon M50
    Canon 18-45mm m, Canon 18-150mm m, Canon 55-200mm m, Canon 22mm m, Canon 28mm m macro,
    Sigma 100-400c ef, Sigma 18-35mm art ef,
    7artisans 7.5mm m, Laowa 100mm macro ef, laowa 9mm zeroD m, Vintage M42 Lenses:
    Ashi Super - Takumar 1.8 / 55mm,
    55mm + 47mm ext tube
    ruler200+47ext.jpg


    200mm + 47mm ext tube
    ruler55+47ext.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2020
  5. Caladina

    Caladina Active Member

    Joined:
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    839
    Equipment:
    Canon M50
    Canon 18-45mm m, Canon 18-150mm m, Canon 55-200mm m, Canon 22mm m, Canon 28mm m macro,
    Sigma 100-400c ef, Sigma 18-35mm art ef,
    7artisans 7.5mm m, Laowa 100mm macro ef, laowa 9mm zeroD m, Vintage M42 Lenses:
    Ashi Super - Takumar 1.8 / 55mm,
    ok i switched auto iso on just to brighten them up 55mm +47mm tube auto iso of1600
    ruler55+47ext+iso.jpg
    200mm + 47 tube auto iso of 640 ruler200+47ext+iso.jpg

    not sure if any of that lot eas any help, but i find ext tubes on a lens with natural longer working distance works really well as a compliment in wildlife
     
  6. Caladina

    Caladina Active Member

    Joined:
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    Equipment:
    Canon M50
    Canon 18-45mm m, Canon 18-150mm m, Canon 55-200mm m, Canon 22mm m, Canon 28mm m macro,
    Sigma 100-400c ef, Sigma 18-35mm art ef,
    7artisans 7.5mm m, Laowa 100mm macro ef, laowa 9mm zeroD m, Vintage M42 Lenses:
    Ashi Super - Takumar 1.8 / 55mm,
    i've re read the op and realized i may be off on the thoughts of the op, it seems you are looking for wider not so much closer zoom for the smalls,
    as you said, trying different lenses is probably the best way to go, esp if you have a second hand retailer near you or worth a trip.
    failing that if you see a recent youtube review of a lens that sounds like what you want ask if the tuber will do a ruler or more indepth vid for you to see, even if its a quick private one (leave it!!!)
    testing a 18-70 zoom might be a great way to see what focal distance on the wider end you might be looking for
     
  7. ParkerS

    ParkerS New Member

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    t3i
    Hey thanks for that! I have been trying to figure out what exact kind of compression...flattening I might get with a zoom. I have a cheap zoom lens, a 55-250 and have been using this for a while now for all of my work...but wanted to see what something else might do for the work I shoot (product). I was able to use the 55mm end of the zoom to see what that range would represent, unsure of whether or how the zoom might affect the way it flattened things out, but it seems this happens the more one zooms out. Anyway, I think it is enough for me to be willing to sink some $ into a better quality lens in a different range (24-70) just for added flexibility. I still don't understand about "prime" lenses and why they are so good for certain things, but I guess I have to stat somewhere. Your images help. Much appreciated.
     
  8. johnsey

    johnsey Site Moderator Staff Member Site Supporter

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    5dMk4, 5dMk2, 20D, 70-200 2.8L IS, 100mm 2.8 Macro USM, 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.8, 17-40mm 4.0L, Rokinon 14mm 2.8; Pixma Pro-100
    Primes are as a general rule more simple to make and you get better performance for your money if things are equal.
    For example my 50mm 1.4 and 85mm 1.8 canons which are mid grade $400 lenses are actually pretty sharp well performing primes, and they are not even L lenses. I can purchase a 24-70 or 24-105 but they are only 4.0 (maybe 2.8 on the 24-70) and over a grand for a sharp L zoom. For portraits ill take those primes so I can shoot a nice creamy bokeh for the background at 1.8. The zooms are bigger and slower and more costly and still don't get the right look. Similar story with other specialty lenses like macros and fish-eyes.

    In any event you can make your bag rather light with only 1 or 2 target lenses if its primes or a short zoom. For me the 17-40 is a favorite in the bag for this reason pared with one of my longer primes, depending on subject matter.

    Does that help?
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2020

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