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Old Jan 17, 2005, 10:27 AM   #1
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First time poster. I will hopefully be purchasing a Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II within a month to use for projects on the job as a graphics projects/photographer for my employer. I had been using a Nikon 5700 5 MP digital camera. I shoot almost exclusively in a table top environment with Lowell lights. Some shots are our products hanging on a pegboard wall planagram situation. Product shots and demonstration shots, (some close-up) used for product literature, packaging, POP, and tradeshow stuff (exhibit graphics). I'd like to get recommendations for a good all-around lense that would give me great sharpness and clarity. I process my photography through Photoshop and apply some sharpening, but would prefer to start off with great images from the beginning. Should I stay with a Canon brand in the area of a 28mm-105mm, or go to the equivalent in a Sigma or Tamron (or other) 3rd party lense. Or am I better off with a fixed lense? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
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Old Jan 17, 2005, 1:10 PM   #2
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While zoom lenses have come a long way, for the really close up stuff you'll do best with a fixed focal length macro lens. Both Sigma and Canon make good ones.

Depending on how far away you need to be for the picture, I would recommend something in the range of the 100mm (Canon & Sigma), 150mm (Sigma), or 180mm macro (Canon & Sigma.) The 180mm is the most expensive, by far. Sigma's equivalent is very good for less but it focuses slower. That probably doesn't matter from what you describe using it for. It is also slightly less sharp from what I've read but still very close to the Canon. I've only used the Canon and that is a very good lens.

You might also consider getting a ring light for the close up work. If it really counts as macro, a ring light is a very good thing to have, making lighting easier. For the wider shots the lights you already have are probably good enough.

The DOF of macro work is very small, so you might also want to consider some kind of tripod. Either a good table top one or one you can put on the floor and adjust the product on the table & the camera to get things right. Hand-holding for product shots is not something I would consider.

Eric
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Old Jan 17, 2005, 1:18 PM   #3
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Those two are good suggestions, Tamron also makes a very good 180mm macro, it is also a slow focuser wihtout the USM in it.
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Old Jan 17, 2005, 1:29 PM   #4
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Thanks for the lens recommendations. As for the tripod advice, based on how I worded my original post, you'd have no way of knowing that I've been using tripods for the better part of the last 40 years, first when I was shooting regular 8mm movies when I was 12 years old.F
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Old Jan 18, 2005, 11:37 AM   #5
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Just making sure. A tripod is not something that people think of, but it can make the largest single improvement to image quality. More than a better lens or better camera body (often, but not always.)

Oh, you probably know this, but the 180mm macro is probably too much focal length for general product shots. So if you did get some flavor of that lens you should also consider getting another lens for the more general (non-closeup) shots. Its not that you couldn't do it with a 180mm, but you might find it easier with something shorter.

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