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Author Topic: New lens - what do you think?  (Read 291 times)

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John Robinson

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New lens - what do you think?
« on: August 17, 2017, 02:52:03 PM »

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I am just starting as a Lapidary artist. I 'inherited ' a bunch of equipment so I finally get my chance after 55 years of being a 'mere' rock hound. I have played around in photoshop for a decade or so and I did touch up the images I am going to upload to this page. I hope to get the resize right on the try but if page stays blank I will need some suggestion. First try is at 2000 pixels

And that was much too big any suggestions?
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vitzitziltecpatl

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Re: New lens - what do you think?
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2017, 06:13:08 PM »

Here's a great resizer. Easy to use, and has been adopted by others here on the forum already.

http://www.faststone.org/FSResizerDetail.htm

Also might try a tripod with your camera's delay timer to get sharper images, and let us see the colors you get without any editing. That might help the real photographers on here (not me) give you tips on white balance, etc.

Love what you posted. Colors like that always get my attention!

hummingbirdstones

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Re: New lens - what do you think?
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2017, 08:50:20 PM »

IMO - perfect picture size is 600 x 800 for the forum.
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Robin

John Robinson

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Re: New lens - what do you think?
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2017, 09:39:06 PM »

Thanks! "Real photographers" really? (Lol) I have 5000 digital-altered images posted on my Facebook page but I will admit that they are longer just photographs..
My computer is need of repair and I am trying survive with just an iPhone until I can acquire a motherboard for the computer, so I will have to wait on the fast stone program but thanks
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vitzitziltecpatl

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Re: New lens - what do you think?
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2017, 06:47:28 AM »

Cool - 5,000 pics. Then you obviously are one of the real photographers. I've taken thousands of shots of stones for our website - mostly opal - but am still learning. That's why I said "real" photographers. I am definitely not one... .

Hope you'll jump in on the photography questions as they're posted on the forum. We get lots of those questions at times, and can never have too many tips from those who have the experience.

John Robinson

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Re: New lens - what do you think?
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2017, 08:58:36 AM »

I do have a sense of humor, it is difficult to convey using just words on a page and I rather detest emoji.
I figure that everyone here on this forum are all on the same side, so I hope I do not offend anyone.
(Lol-I can't afford to, I need help)
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55fossil

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Re: New lens - what do you think?
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2017, 09:20:19 AM »

    Welcome.  Everyone is on a constant learning curve about something. There are experts and so-called experts in every hobby. As for not offending anyo0ne even here, I gave that up long ago because everyone deserves to politely state their opinion, even if I do not agree with it...  and vice-versa.  Toss in your pics and such and enjoy.  neal

ps;   Just having the biggest and done the mostest does not make someone an expert. Some people are naturals, some learn, some never catch on and others just know they
        are always right...
        I have found if I do the same thing wrong enough times I usually finally learn how to do it the correct way to do it, with help from here.   IMO  good luck
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jerrysg

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Re: New lens - what do you think?
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2017, 05:48:05 PM »

   
ps;   Just having the biggest and done the mostest does not make someone an expert. Some people are naturals, some learn, some never catch on and others just know they are always right... 

Yep, that's the difference between having 15 years of experience and 1 year of experience, 15 times!

Jerry
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ASO

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Re: New lens - what do you think?
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2017, 11:13:59 PM »

Yes I would agree about using a tripod and a timer as being a must. I shoot allot of opals and use a canon dslr with a 100mm L series macro lens for something smaller and you can use a 60mm for something larger.  Using a gem grading light rather than the camera light works well because you can change the color play without touching the stone or camera simply by moving the light to different angles from behind the lens.  Shoot the stone from far and then zoom in on the editing program and shoot darker then edit the light up to a natural appearance.  Good luck feel free to ask more photos on aandsopals.com if you want to take a look.   
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finegemdesigns

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Re: New lens - what do you think?
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2017, 11:25:42 PM »

Longer exposure times and narrower apertures will give you better depth of field and your stone and prongs will both be in focus. As others have stated you need to use a tripod also.
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vitzitziltecpatl

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Re: New lens - what do you think?
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2017, 07:07:35 AM »

ASO - Your photos are excellent. Don't think I've ever seen more natural colors. Reflections are something we all have to deal with, but the grading light obviously makes for some great shots.

Do you use a UV filter with your setup? Saw a blue black on your site with no purple/violet whatever in it. The sensor on my current camera has issues with UV light, whether it's in blue black opals or some roses in outdoor shots. The camera captures more of the UV light than the eye actually sees.

ASO

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Re: New lens - what do you think?
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2017, 11:49:55 PM »

ASO - Your photos are excellent. Don't think I've ever seen more natural colors. Reflections are something we all have to deal with, but the grading light obviously makes for some great shots.

Do you use a UV filter with your setup? Saw a blue black on your site with no purple/violet whatever in it. The sensor on my current camera has issues with UV light, whether it's in blue black opals or some roses in outdoor shots. The camera captures more of the UV light than the eye actually sees.

Thanks vitzitziltecpatl its nice to here that I figured out how to do something correct for once.  When I set out to build my website (still needs allot of work probably after Tucson) one of my primary goals was to create the most true and realistic representation of the opals that I sell.  As my other big goal was to educate people on opal and I don't cover photography on my site Ill let everyone on the forum know.  It took me about a year of all of my free time (that's not much), researching and testing different camera lens combos it also took allot of money. I purposely like photos with the reflections showing on the stone when shopping for opal for this reason.  I tried for a while with light diffuses but felt that it hid the lines and contours of the cab.  By seeing the way that the light bends on the stones curved edges helps you get a feel for the actual dimensions when you cant actually handle it.  I don't use any filters or special settings but the biggest thing you have to worry about is matching your regular camera settings to the specific light you use.  I use a gem grading light and one of the cool things about that is if you move the light around the stone from different angles it will change the play of color in the opal with out moving the stone or camera.  My camera is a canon 70d (very good and easy to use for video as well) you can always use a lesser camera but always use the best lens that you can't afford it makes a difference.  I use a 100mm L series macro lens for most of my opal pics but it has a very short focal range so it actually looks just like when you hold something close to your face and try to focus on it giving the illusion of depth on a small object in a 2d pic.  For a larger stone or if you want to have any blur or depth added to the shot use a 60mm macro.  Dark room, no light pollution, any light has to be behind the lens and at least a foot away, low iso and aperture with the longest exposure you can manage without the photo getting to bright after turning the contrast and brightness down in the beginning.  Don't use the zoom at all make sure you use a tripod and a remote timer.  Doing all this makes it so your cameras sensor can act more like a humans eye picking up the fine details in the stone and the pic you get is the closest to how you actually see your opal.  The photos start look good when you when you put them on a computer and then blow the stone up to the size you want, some people make all their stones the same size I keep small stones small and big stones big (sell the truth) then slowly turn the brightness up with the stone in your hand until the photo and the stone your holding match in appearance.  Doing all this I don't end up with any mohave that blue/purple that everyone ends up with, or any other unnatural colors, if you see that in my photos and videos it is actually in the stone.  Hopefully all this helps I know its allot but feel free to contact me or ask questions on the forum.
Cheers Mates
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vitzitziltecpatl

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Re: New lens - what do you think?
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2017, 07:37:26 AM »

Thanks for the info. Many people on this forum have had questions about shooting opals. Really need to retake all of ours as they were done within a month of my first experience ever with a "real" camera. At least the colors were natural.

Reflections can show a lot - especially in videos, where the moving reflection reveals any changes in dome curvature. It's one of the first things we look for when viewing a stone in hand.

Looked at gem grading lamps after your previous post. Saw at least one that advertised "no UV" output. I might try that out over the winter. Have experimented with the other settings you listed, and recent photos have improved, but not to the level of sharpness and quality I saw in yours.

Good of you to share your experience with everyone here. Thanks again!

ASO

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Re: New lens - what do you think?
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2017, 10:49:39 AM »

No worries glad to help, my camera is very good at not picking up UV because it was the first to try and capture things the way that our eyes actually see them and you can really tell when you shoot videos because they timed the auto focus to match our eyes with no chop.  I would defiantly try that no UV grading lamp especially with a different camera that picks up things my camera might not.  If you haven't tried a macro lens yet that will make a big difference.  Barrow Lenses is a good company to try photo equipment out before you by its not cheep but neater is buying allot of stuff that doesn't work for you.  Just remember that when your photo quality improves everything on or around your stone will show and trying to get a clean shot will be your next big hurdle.  With how close up you can get the stone on a screen its like looking at it with a 200x microscope.  I always use a 30x loop because a 10x is considered the standard for a clean stone but when you put the pics on your site you will always find imperfections that you cant see otherwise(it will drive you mad). 
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Rockoteer

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Re: New lens - what do you think?
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2017, 05:04:36 PM »

I have a question.  Using a macro setting I am getting what looks like small little dots of dust lightly spread over my photo.  My camera is set to a very high (in the 4000 range) pixel? setting.  This is only apparent when you zoom in.  I think it is dust that has gotten into my camera but I don't know for sure.  Anything I can do about this?
Panasonic DMC-TZ3
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