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Old May 31, 2010, 6:50 PM   #1
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Hi my name is bruce baer, and i have a custom rifle shop.
We build custom rifles with some very nice wood stocks on them. What i would like to know is what camera do i need to take close up pictures of the complete rifle to put on my web site? On the average the rifles are 50 inchs long. I want people to see the detailes of the stock and action and barrel.
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bruce
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Old May 31, 2010, 7:32 PM   #2
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I think you should get a medium telephoto macro lens, and you take multiple photos, one for each area of detail you want to capture, but something long enough that you don't get a distorted perspective when capturing the entire length of the rifle, and long enough that you don't block your own light when shooting the detail. For shooting a 50" long subject with a 50mm macro lens on an APS-C dSLR, you'd need to be almost 9 feet away. Will that work for you? You can try something shorter, but it will probably make the middle of the rifle look bigger than the ends.

The tough part will be getting even lighting over the length of the rifle.
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Old Jun 1, 2010, 7:45 PM   #3
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What camera and lens do you recomond?
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Old Jun 1, 2010, 8:29 PM   #4
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Because you'll need to set up for multiple shots, one for the rifle from end to end, and oen for each detail, setting up each shot with a tripod will be a hassle. I suggest you get a stabilized body like the ones from Pentax and Sony, and get the 50mm f/2.8 macro lenses from the camera manufacturer, though the one from Sigma is also quite good. Pentax makes the K-x which is a good choice. The Sony A330, A380, A500 and A550 are roughly equivalent, and have an articulating 'Live View' display that the Pentax doesn't. That could make the detail shots easier to get. I think you should find a good camera store that has an assortment of Sony bodies to try out. The A330 and A380 are a little easier to use, but come with an 18-55 lens you won't need. The A500 and A550 are bigger and heavier (which you might prefer,) and are available without the extra lens.

But again, the key to your success willl be the lighting setup. I suggest you mention your requirements in the
Studio Lighting, Flash & Other forum.
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Old Jun 1, 2010, 9:08 PM   #5
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The sony A3xx are not that great of a camera. The A5xx series are way better cameras. The Pentax K-x is a great option at a great price point, if you were to spend the money on a A3xx series, the pentax would be a better value, and they use the sony sensor.
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Old Jun 1, 2010, 10:03 PM   #6
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Bruce-

A few questions and a suggestion.

What is your own photographic experience. Could you pull off this job with the the right camera? How about lighting? Lighting is going to play into this in a big way, as you really want to do a masterful job of showcasing your custom rifles. Selling on the internet is all about properly showcasing your product and making it easy for an internet view to readily see and understand the care and quality that goes into your rifles.

An advertising background would also be helpful as well. If you feel up to what is involved, the Olympus EPL-1 might be a camera that would work for the job.

Sarah Joyce
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