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I need some help....PLEASE!
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Aug 16, 2012 14:37:50   #
jimberton Loc: Michigan's Upper Peninsula
 
i went to a live seminar a few weeks ago on product photography. product photography is what i do 5 days a week at my great day job. the photographer was using a nikon d7000 with a 24-70mm 2.8 nikon lens. he stated that if you fill over 75% of the frame with the product to be shot...then you want the highest number fstop that your lens will do...such as f22...if you want everything in full focus. ok...makes sense, i thought.

he took some great product shots and had them printed there and passed them out. the shots were awesome. he was using 3 monostrobes.

so...today i am doing some product shots. i have 3 studio strobes. i set them up like he did. set the camera on iso100, f22 and shutter speed was 1/250. i even set the brightness of the strobes with a sekonic flash meter.

i have the 7d and the canon 24-70mm2.8 L glass, so i am similar to his setup. i have 3 strobes and they are set correctly with a flash meter......

i take the photos on a tripod with a remote shutter control. the photos are exposed correctly...but they have noise and are "soft".
now i don't usually take soft photos and product shots need to be sharp.....like i always take. the photos literally suck. the photos are really not usable for my caliber of product shots. and how did i get full of noise at iso100?? i get better at iso1600 at f5.6

i lowered the fstop to f8 and f10...the photos came out awesome...of course i had to dim the monostrobes to make the exposure proper.

so big question.......why at f22 did these photos come out soft? the only thing i can come up with is that my canon L lens is crap at f22. at f8 and f10 the shots are as sharp as anything out there.

i took shots of 23 different products and they all sucked at f22.

so, did this instructor really shoot at f22? if he did, he blew the canon equivalent right out of the ball field.

or is f22 a no no on a canon $1600 lens?

i would sure appreciate some discussion on this. for the first time, i am really disappointed in my gear.

i have been taking sharp product shots for the last 7 years soft is not an option.

i have never shot at f22 before.

thanks in advance.
jim

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Aug 16, 2012 15:07:11   #
Nikonian72 Loc: Chico CA
 
This phenomenon is known as circular aperture diffraction, aka lens diffraction. This is a problem with all lasers, and with digital photography through small apertures (usually noticeable at f/22). Associated terms: Airy's Disc & circle of confusion.

http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/phyopt/cirapp.html
http://www.bobatkins.com/photography/technical/diffraction.html
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/understanding-series/u-diffraction.shtml

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Aug 16, 2012 15:26:10   #
Nikonian72 Loc: Chico CA
 
To increase DoF, have you considered "focus stacking" several images captured at larger apertures?

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Aug 16, 2012 15:58:58   #
robert-photos Loc: Chicago
 
Nilonian72 is right on the money but for us simple folk it is just never good to shoot at the extremes of any lens, be it wide open or shut down.

You might try opening up a tad to say f/16 and see what happens. Every iteration of a lens has a sweet spot where it is sharpest. My 70-200 is between f/7.1 and f/9 (my eyesight is failing to tell the difference).

Focus stacking sounds like too much PP time but may be the answer for certain shots.

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Aug 16, 2012 16:03:39   #
jimberton Loc: Michigan's Upper Peninsula
 
thanks for the info nikonian!

he aimed and shot handholding his camera and with no post processing, he printed out the shots......

he used nothing out of the ordinary....just camera and lens and shared his settings. he didn't give me any of the digital files, so i cannot back up the f22 setting.

now i have never used f22 before and i really don't have to, but i would sure like to know why his shots came out so clear. his shots were fabulous.

i just rented a d7000 and the 24-70 lens for 3 days to see if i can duplicate what he did. i will get them on monday in ups.

if it is the lens and camera.........i'll be saying bye bye to canon.

if i get the same thing from the nikon set......then he gave me bogus settings.

or is normal to get a soft photo and the smallest fstop?

i do not get noise on the 7d with iso100 at the regular fstops i shoot at. with iso100, there should never be noise. i could delete the noise in lightroom.........but that's putting a bandaid on the problem. the shots he printed had no noise.

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Aug 16, 2012 16:05:24   #
jimberton Loc: Michigan's Upper Peninsula
 
robert-photos wrote:
Nilonian72 is right on the money but for us simple folk it is just never good to shoot at the extremes of any lens, be it wide open or shut down.

You might try opening up a tad to say f/16 and see what happens. Every iteration of a lens has a sweet spot where it is sharpest. My 70-200 is between f/7.1 and f/9 (my eyesight is failing to tell the difference).

Focus stacking sounds like too much PP time but may be the answer for certain shots.


at 2.8, that canon L lens gives me awesome shots. that's wide open. looking back, i don't think i have ever shot above f10 or 11

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Aug 16, 2012 16:12:46   #
jimberton Loc: Michigan's Upper Peninsula
 
Nikonian72 wrote:
To increase DoF, have you considered "focus stacking" several images captured at larger apertures?


thanks...yes, i have done focus stacking (problem is that i take hundreds of product shots and cannot take that kind of time on each photo-and shouldn't have to...........but this instructor did nothing but aim and shoot. i should be able to replicate the same. at least i hope i can.

maybe on this canon lens i have to stay away from f22.

awhile back, it was either captainC or mtshooter that said the nikon 24-70 is way sharper than the canon L equivalent. i will soon see, as i rented a d7000 and the 24-70 lens.

i believe the d7000 would nikons version of canons 7d or vice versa.

i am not a brand fan boy. i take photos 5 days a week at my day job and i am a part time portrait photographer in the area.....if i can make my photos 50% better using a different brand, i will have to change.

we'll see what happens.......and i really have been over-satisfied with the 7d up to this point. the guy at the place where i rented the set told me i should also rent the new version of the 24-70 canon L les...series 2, i believe he said.

there's a big enough difference in these photos that i have to get to the bottom of it.

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Aug 16, 2012 16:26:36   #
olcoach Loc: Oregon
 
Jimberton, I hope you let us know what you discover. This is a really fascinating situation and I have already learned but I am eager to know how it all shakes out.

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Aug 16, 2012 16:27:24   #
Bigdaver
 
You seem knowledgeable enough to benefit, have you ever considered Tilt and Shift? That is what those lenses do.
A 45mm or a 90mm TSE, get the full area of sharp focus on your product. Focus, tilt, reframe, refocus, check tilt, refocus and stop down, refocus, and you have the best possible amount of in focus area without having a large format camera.
What your seminar described to you is a compromise at best.
I had a 65mm Hartblei, couldn't be better. Canon makes them, Nikon makes them.

jimberton wrote:
i went to a live seminar a few weeks ago on product photography. product photography is what i do 5 days a week at my great day job. the photographer was using a nikon d7000 with a 24-70mm 2.8 nikon lens. he stated that if you fill over 75% of the frame with the product to be shot...then you want the highest number fstop that your lens will do...such as f22...if you want everything in full focus. ok...makes sense, i thought.

he took some great product shots and had them printed there and passed them out. the shots were awesome. he was using 3 monostrobes.

so...today i am doing some product shots. i have 3 studio strobes. i set them up like he did. set the camera on iso100, f22 and shutter speed was 1/250. i even set the brightness of the strobes with a sekonic flash meter.

i have the 7d and the canon 24-70mm2.8 L glass, so i am similar to his setup. i have 3 strobes and they are set correctly with a flash meter......

i take the photos on a tripod with a remote shutter control. the photos are exposed correctly...but they have noise and are "soft".
now i don't usually take soft photos and product shots need to be sharp.....like i always take. the photos literally suck. the photos are really not usable for my caliber of product shots. and how did i get full of noise at iso100?? i get better at iso1600 at f5.6

i lowered the fstop to f8 and f10...the photos came out awesome...of course i had to dim the monostrobes to make the exposure proper.

so big question.......why at f22 did these photos come out soft? the only thing i can come up with is that my canon L lens is crap at f22. at f8 and f10 the shots are as sharp as anything out there.

i took shots of 23 different products and they all sucked at f22.

so, did this instructor really shoot at f22? if he did, he blew the canon equivalent right out of the ball field.

or is f22 a no no on a canon $1600 lens?

i would sure appreciate some discussion on this. for the first time, i am really disappointed in my gear.

i have been taking sharp product shots for the last 7 years soft is not an option.

i have never shot at f22 before.

thanks in advance.
jim
i went to a live seminar a few weeks ago on produc... (show quote)

Reply
Aug 16, 2012 16:38:37   #
wtompkins Loc: Northern Michigan
 
olcoach wrote:
Jimberton, I hope you let us know what you discover. This is a really fascinating situation and I have already learned but I am eager to know how it all shakes out.


Yes, I am anxious to see your results, also.

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Aug 16, 2012 17:50:39   #
jimberton Loc: Michigan's Upper Peninsula
 
thanks guys for the info..tilt shift, focus stacking...all cool lenses and techniques........but i shouldn't have to buy another lens or go through focus stacking techniques when this instructor did it with a normal camera and lens.

either the settings he gave us were bogus (i can pretty close duplicate the picture at f11) or nikon camera/lens is superior to what i have.

i have a $1600 lens..........another brand could be somewhat better, but not 5x better at f22.

maybe i am making too big a deal of this....but i was there and i have the printed photo from his card..............i know what i saw.

thanks again for all the info...i really appreciate it!!

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Aug 16, 2012 20:39:04   #
skidooman Loc: Minnesota
 
jimberton wrote:


i have a $1600 lens..........another brand could be somewhat better, but not 5x better at f22.



As a canon shooter myself, with the same lens, I would also be very interested in your results. Although I also have never had a need to go to f22 with the 24-70mm,,,I would love to know how this pans out. Keep us posted please.

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Aug 16, 2012 20:51:49   #
Nikonian72 Loc: Chico CA
 
It is my understanding that Sony makes the best sensors. I wish it were possible to mount a Nikon lens onto a Canon body, and vice versa to test that theory.

I have mixed feelings about your test of Nikon/Nikkor against Canon/Canon L: I hope you do not find it necessary to swap brands, but as a Nikon owner, I am also hoping to hear good news about head-to-head testing.

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Aug 17, 2012 00:31:58   #
BHC Loc: Strawberry Valley, JF, USA
 
Printer and/or paper? Ink? Monitor calibration? Brand of card? Brand of tubes in lights? Ambient light? Even ambient humidity in some settings can create different results. Now, combine all the variables, write them down, take a match, burn them, and do it the way that works for you!

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Aug 17, 2012 02:21:27   #
Nikonian72 Loc: Chico CA
 
Mogul wrote:
Printer and/or paper? Ink? Monitor calibration? Brand of card? Brand of tubes in lights? Ambient light? Even ambient humidity in some settings can create different results. Now, combine all the variables, write them down, take a match, burn them, and do it the way that works for you!
All of these factors are moot. Read original post. OP has acceptable results using identical settings & procedure, with only difference being f/10 vs f/22.

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