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Old Aug 7, 2008, 12:29 AM   #11
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That is only in your own personal opinion. While I am indeed a Canon XT owner with both the kit lens and the Canon F 1.8 lens I do not think it is the most effective choice of cameras for this application.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Aug 10, 2008, 12:15 PM   #12
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On the cameras that you may be considering, either dSLRs or P&S, you may want to investigate if they have a "remote capture" capability. Various brands/models have various names for the it, some have it - some don't, but what it essentially provides is the ability to connect the camera to your PC or laptop via a USB cable, thereby providing the ability to control the camera from the PC. It gives you a much larger image on the PC as compared to the rather small screen/viewfinder on the camera. I believe that Canon calls it remote capture. If the camera you select has it, take at look at it. If the selection comes down to 2 cameras, this may help you decide.

You may also consider using some sort of "lazy susan" arrangement to mount the eyeglasses on, so that you can easily reposition them for additional pictures.

You should do pretty well a lot of the cameras out there. My wife takes pictures of her guinea pigs with a blanet tossed down on the kitchen table and several lamps as arranged as a makeshift light box. She uses a 7 year old Kodak P&S (I think a DX4900) that she refuses to part with. However, her subjects always decide to go running off in several directions. Hopefully, you should not have that problem.

Also, for a dSLR in particular, where you have some lens control, you might want to consider the depth of field (DOF). DOF is the range of distance that will be in focus. If you note in Sara's images, the ear pieces at the rear of the image tend to be out of focus. This my be something you want, or you may wish only the front of the frames to be in focus - to emphasise some aspect of the object. This is something else to take in to account. There are various DOF calculators out on the web. Here is one that I like to use...


In general you get a deeper depth of field with smaller focal lengths (ie, 30mm lenses), and smaller f stops (f16). As noted, using a light box, you really do not need a very fast lense. In order to get a decent DOF, you are going to have to have the aperature set over to the other extreme, so why pay for a f1.4 or f1.8 when you will probably be using f8 out to f16. A 50mm lens at f1.8 has a depth of field of 0.03 feet (or about 1/3 of an inch) - pretty shallow. Stopping down the lens to f22 would produce a DOF of .4 feet (or about 3 inches). So I would look for a wider angle lens - say around 30mm, and these do not have to be expensive, as they are pretty common. You might even consider a zoom lens since it does not have to be fast - say something around a 24 to 50mm. That way you can frame your eyeglass frames by zooming rather than moving the tripod. That may be helpful when you want to get different angles of your objects, with out having to re-arrange everything.

There are always drawbacks to what ever decision you make. Zoom lenses tend to be less sharp that prime or fixed lenses, however they provide added flexiablity.

Another aspect that you may want to also consider is minimum focusing distance. This is the amount of distance between the camera and the object being photographed. Going with either type of camera, take a look at the minimum focusing distance that is cited in the specifications. It should not be a big deal, but just something else to consider.

Also, especially for dSLR lenses, you might want to look for a "macro" lens. This lets you get closer (smaller minimum focusing distance), then regular lenses. You may also want to split the difference and get a superzoom rather than a P&S or a dSLR. This is a hybrid - very similiar to a P&S with a bit more control - like a dSLR. Also, a number of zoom lenses have a macro capability or a smaller (or shorter) minimum focusing distance.

As Sara has shown - with a reasonably simple and inexpensive camera, you can do a lot. I might also suggest, picking up a SD card, and going in to various camera shops with a set of glasses and taking some pictures (in jpg so that you can instantly see them on you own PC with out a lot of trouble). This way you can get a feel for what you might be buying.

For your final media (both web and print), your going to have 2 extremes. On the web your not going to want to have large images due to downloading times. In print your probably not going to need anything over say 5x7 inches at the most, however you will want to go with better quality prints. In general a 5 to 6 MP camera will be just fine, and now days they all exceed this. Here is another link that I just grabed off of google...


Hopefully I did not muddy the waters here.

Just some thoughts.... Hope they help!

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Old Aug 10, 2008, 3:08 PM   #13
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you can go for a DSLR and a macro or a tilt shift lens, but imho it will be an overkill for your purposes. You are going to shoot your subject in a controlled environment and in a consistent manner, so the lighting is more important than the camera in use. For what it's worth, get a good capable compact camera - something like Canon G9 will do very well for this kind of shooting and buy a medium size light tent and a few continuous lights. Use the camera in tethered mode to make the job even easier, or you can go for a full blown sets of studio strobes, but it will be more difficult to control the light and reflections with strobes. In a controlled studio environment you can actually benefit from the smaller sensor of a p&s - you will have more dof to play with. Using continuous light you don't need to worry about noise and will be able to get good results suitable both for web catalogues and poster printing.
just my 2p. worth.
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Old Aug 10, 2008, 4:37 PM   #14
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I suppose that you'll want to have the same view under the same lighting conditions, shot after shot, product after product. Taht's why I mentioned a Still Life Photo Table. And as for depth of field, people buy eyeglass frames becasue of the frames, not the earpieces, so you might want to take advantage of the shallow depth of field that a large aperture would give you. Having the earpieces slightly out of focus would accentuate the lens frames. Also, a 'lazy susan' might inadvertantly vary the position of the product, and I think that's a bad idea.
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