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Old May 28, 2010, 12:38 PM   #1
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Default Need a lens for Studio photograhpy

Hey guys! I work as a graphic designer and web designer for my uncles company which makes office furniture. Recently we purchased a Canon EOS Rebel XTi to take pictures of furniture in our studio which we built. Now the thing is that we want the quality of our pictures to be a lot better. We're using the kit lens which is a 18-55mm lens. I've read several posts but cannot decide what to get for just taking pictures of furniture in a studio. These are just some sample pics so you guys can get an Idea of what we take pictures of:



They're scaled down and sharpened a little in photoshop.

Off topic: Also do any of you guys know of any good Lighting kits? Gonna need one as well.

Thank you all for your time
Muggz
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Old May 28, 2010, 1:09 PM   #2
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Hi Muggz,

You will read a lot about Canon's 18-55 f/2.8 IS and I am sure it is a great lens. That should work very nice for what you are doing. If you have a more limited budget like I do the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 (non IS) has been working great for me on both an XSi and 50D. There is so distortion on the widest end but it looks like you can back up enough to shout at 25mm or more so that should not be an issue.

I am not real sure that quality of the images would vary much between a Tamron, Canon, or Sigma. Instead the light may be the main ticket in taking these to a higher level - like maybe different angles and light under the desks etc.. which I know nothing about.

As for the lighting there are so many to choose from but I purchased a set of B800 Alien Bees from Paul Buff last November and have been very happy but I do not use them everyday.

Andy
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Old May 28, 2010, 1:23 PM   #3
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I'm going to say you don't need the expensive lens. With a tripod you're going to be shooting at narrow apertures. Your biggest issue will be distortion because you're shooting at the wide end of the zoom. I would suggest looking at the 10-22. You don't need an f2.8 lens for that type of work - you need a wider angle lens so you have less distortion at 17mm.
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Old May 28, 2010, 1:28 PM   #4
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I'd go with the Tamron 17-50/2.8 (non-stabilized) before the Canon. The Tamron has less vignetting and less chromatic aberration (both of which would be apparent in photos of your set.) At f/4.0, they are both extraordinarily sharp, so the Canon doesn't really have anything going for it except image stabilization, which I presume isn't necessary since you'd be using a tripod, and it's got a higher price tag.
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Old May 28, 2010, 1:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCav View Post
... and it's got a higher price tag.
... a much higher price tag.
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Old May 28, 2010, 1:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
I'm going to say you don't need the expensive lens. With a tripod you're going to be shooting at narrow apertures. Your biggest issue will be distortion because you're shooting at the wide end of the zoom. I would suggest looking at the 10-22. You don't need an f2.8 lens for that type of work - you need a wider angle lens so you have less distortion at 17mm.
If Muggz is able to get the angle of view he needs with the kit lens, I don't think there's any need to get anything wider. Plus a wider angle of view would give perspective distortion. That is, objects that are closer (like the secretarial desk in #2) would look a lot bigger than objects that are further away (like the credenza in the same photo.)
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Old May 28, 2010, 1:41 PM   #7
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TCAV, my point was that the 10-22 should have less distortion at 17mm than the kit lens does. You're using the lens in it's "sweet spot" vs. using the kit lens at it's worst spot.
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Old May 28, 2010, 2:12 PM   #8
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I don't really think that Muggz is using the kit lens at it's widest, though without the EXIF data, it's difficult to say for sure. And while at 22mm, the Canon 10-22 has less distortion than the other two, it's got more vignetting than the Tamron and isn't as sharp as either Tamron or the Canon 17-55/2.8.
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Last edited by TCav; May 28, 2010 at 2:14 PM.
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Old May 28, 2010, 2:22 PM   #9
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As an asside, when you set up for shots like these, I think you should keep the lens at about eye-level for the average person (probably 5'6" or so.). That's what you did for #1 (notice that you can't see the top of the hutch) and probably #3, but I think you went too high to get #2.
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Old May 28, 2010, 4:40 PM   #10
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Lenses are important, but do not dismiss the importance of pp:

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