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DarkSlide

Product Shots-Point of focus

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Just a thought, when you focus on a product shot where is the best place to focus? I’m fairly new to this kind of thing and I’m wondering if you have some kind of pack shot to do and the brand name is off-centre, sometimes right at the top left hand corner, do you focus on the brand name or at the center of the subject? I’m shooting with a 70mm macro at F11-F13 full-frame, and close up, getting everything in focus is not an option. I’ve tried F16 but experience diffraction. Appreciate any comments.

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DoF extends twice as far away from the point of focus as towards you, so focus a third of the way in from the nearest to the furthest object. If you really need the DoF, maybe you can sharpen. Or move the products.

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You could try focus stacking if you have Photoshop (any version since CS4 I think) by taking several shots. Or increase the distance between the camera and the object and crop. 

 

EDIT: I just checked when we had a conversation before now recall it was last year. At the time you were using a D800E as well as a Canon.If you are still using the D800E, then you should have ample crop room so shouldn't have to go in really close. What 70mm macro lens are you using? I never heard of a 70mm macro Nikkor. 

Edited by MDM

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22 hours ago, MDM said:

You could try focus stacking if you have Photoshop (any version since CS4 I think) by taking several shots. Or increase the distance between the camera and the object and crop. 

 

EDIT: I just checked when we had a conversation before now recall it was last year. At the time you were using a D800E as well as a Canon.If you are still using the D800E, then you should have ample crop room so shouldn't have to go in really close. What 70mm macro lens are you using? I never heard of a 70mm macro Nikkor. 

Its a Sigma 70mm macro f2.8. I'm using it on a 5D Mk3. Is it necessary to get everything in focus?

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46 minutes ago, DarkSlide said:

Its a Sigma 70mm macro f2.8. I'm using it on a 5D Mk3. Is it necessary to get everything in focus?

 

No so long as the main point of interest is in focus.

 

Allan

 

 

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58 minutes ago, DarkSlide said:

Its a Sigma 70mm macro f2.8. I'm using it on a 5D Mk3. Is it necessary to get everything in focus?

Deep versus shallow focus is a creative decision. It depends on the purpose of the image. We can't make it for you because we don't know what that is- you might want it shallow to call attention to the name of the product, or deep to show detail.

 

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Another option is a bellows unit with shift/tilt, so you can have the plane of focus at an angle.  A while ago I picked up a Nikon PB-4 bellows unit on ebay for a very low price.   No auto linkage of course but it means you can use some very good manual lenses which often go for a song on ebay.  Recently, I managed to get the 105mm Bellows Nikkor lens that they made especially for bellows units (the clue is in the name...!), again for a very good price.

 

I don't know if Canon made an equivalent to the PB-4, though there is the Novoflex - but it comes with a hefty price tag. 

 

Here's one taken with the PB-4 and Bellows Nikkor (+ Nikon D7200).

 

An Evans Patent Concinnum Machine, a vintage cigarette rolling device.  Internal view, showing the brass rollers. Stock Photo

Edited by Vincent Lowe
Correction - I meant PB-4 bellows, not PB-6.

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Or, indeed, use a Canon tilt and shift 90mm lens, which is "almost" a macro (it goes to about one-third life size).  But don't expect to earn enough to pay for it anytime soon!  Personally, I'd go for selective DoF, or use a small number of stacks.  Helicon Focus is an alternative to Photoshop stacking. 

 

Chris

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On ‎21‎/‎08‎/‎2018 at 16:45, Allan Bell said:

 

No so long as the main point of interest is in focus.

 

Allan

 

 

This is what I'm trying to establish. Maybe I wasn't clear what kind of shot I was thinking of doing, my fault. If you are taking a shot of something ,say a sauce bottle or a tin of soup, 

stood up ,square on, camera parallel to subject, the brand name is near the top. do you aim to get the brand name in focus or aim for the centre of subject.

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I generally use focus stacking, but if you carry it too far you can get into trouble as the degree of magnification varies with the distance to the point of focus. 

 

Within a reasonable range of focus, in PS copy the shots onto a base layer, select all of the layers then Align them, before focus stacking (Blend command). You can achieve sharp focus over most of the subject. 

 

sprouting-charlotte-seed-potatoes-isolat

 

 

Edited by Bryan

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I have shot like you are describing, Darkside. I don’t worry about depth of field so much. I focus on the brand name. I want it crisp.

Then I shoot one of the picture on the can or whatever...tomato, or such, in perfect focus.  Then I look at both and judge which one is most effective, or fits what I envisioned. I usually do a horizontal and a vertical. I like to leave some copy space, top, bottom or beside the subject. I might have five or six shots each vertical and horizontal, to insure of getting the perfect ones. Then delete the rest.

Hope this is what you want to know. 

I’ve sold some, so they must be ok enough.

Betty

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Must try focus stacking one day. 

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23 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

I have shot like you are describing, Darkside. I don’t worry about depth of field so much. I focus on the brand name. I want it crisp.

Then I shoot one of the picture on the can or whatever...tomato, or such, in perfect focus.  Then I look at both and judge which one is most effective, or fits what I envisioned. I usually do a horizontal and a vertical. I like to leave some copy space, top, bottom or beside the subject. I might have five or six shots each vertical and horizontal, to insure of getting the perfect ones. Then delete the rest.

Hope this is what you want to know. 

I’ve sold some, so they must be ok enough.

Betty

So as long as you get one important feature in focus it should pass. Thanks Betty.

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I'm using a couple of tilt-shift options, the main one being a PC Nikkor 35mm f/2.8 shift lens combined with a Kipon tilt-swing adapter. It tilts, swings, rises, falls and shifts every which way. I also use the tilt-swing adapter (or another Kipon adapter which shifts) with a 55mm Micro Nikkor.

Lastly, I recently got a Minolta Auto Bellows III with a 100mm Minolta macro lens. Like the Nikon unit, it's often referred to as a "tilt-shift" adapter, which is not actually correct. It will combine swing with shift or tilt with rise and fall but not tilt with shift (sliding sideways). Rise-fall combined with tilt is more useful.

Having just done a bunch of work on my little tabletop studio, I'm looking forward to getting back into this kind of shooting now that the sun is heading south.

Edited by DDoug
typo

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2 hours ago, DarkSlide said:

So as long as you get one important feature in focus it should pass. Thanks Betty.

You’re welcome. I’m not a fiddly “everything must be perfect” with tabletop. I try to get the subject on the plane. Get the exposure right. Use a tripod. Fiddle with the lighting some. But my setup is not expensive. I used a light tent I made myself for a few years then bought an inexpensive pop up. The lights are continuous, with soft boxes. I think those were around $100.

Not knocking tilt and shift, but I’m not putting out that kind of money. If I could even figure out how it worked! :D

All in all, I kind of dislike tabletop. I spend way more time on an image than any normal stock shot. I don’t mind the shooting part. Hate the PP.

Betty

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7 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

Not knocking tilt and shift, but I’m not putting out that kind of money.

None of what I use could be called expensive — manual focus lenses made in the '80s, etc. However I find tilt-shift to be useful outside the studio as well as in it. For example I wanted to look down at a funkien/hosta bloom, focusing along the stalk. It would have been possible to use focus stacking, but that would mean the background would also be in focus. By tilting the lens I could make it blurry.

 

Hosta — AKA plantain lily, giboshi or Funkien — as the first flowers sprout up in spring - Stock Image

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