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Good lens for tabletop jewelry photography

Jason Gorst , Mar 05, 2007; 06:24 p.m.

I'm currently using a Tamron 90/2.8 macro on a Digital Rebel XTi, mostly shooting rings, pendants and watches.

I'm going to need to start shooting larger tabletop setups, and I can't use this macro prime without moving back halfway across my studio. The only other lens currently at my disposal is the Canon EF-S 18-55/5.6 kit lens.

What are my options? Should I be looking a normal prime lens like the Sigma 30/1.4? Or a shorter macro like the Canon EF-S 60/2.8? Something in between?

Responses

Leopold Stotch , Mar 05, 2007; 06:39 p.m.

The canon 50 2.5 compact macro is Canon's shortest macro lens, but its only 1:2. However, if that suites you, if may do. It can go up to 1:1 if you need it, but it requires the rather pricey "lefe size converter EF". Read a review of the lens Here. Hope that helps, if you haven't already considered it.

Mark U , Mar 05, 2007; 07:49 p.m.

The Canon 50mm f/2.5 macro is an excellent lens, and so is the Sigma 50mm f/2.8 macro. The Sigma gives you the flexibility of lifesize without the need for any additional converter - however, the working distance is quite short at 1:1. Both will give a slightly wider view than the 60mm f/2.8 EF-S macro without having to be as far away - you can be about a quarter of the way across your studio for your setups. Given what you say, I suspect you would continue to use the Tamron for the larger magnifications, and you wouldn't need the Life Size Converter for the Canon lens.

David Johanson , Mar 05, 2007; 09:33 p.m.

If you don't already own one get a 50mm f/1.8 II. $80 and very sharp. It's not a macro but you alreay have that covered. If you're shooting in a studio there should be plenty of light so there should be little need for the f/1.4.

David Johanson , Mar 05, 2007; 09:39 p.m.

This was shot with the 50mm f/1.8:

Picture

The stack was about 8" tall.

Desmond Kidman , Mar 05, 2007; 09:42 p.m.

Jewelry is so small you will be on top of it even with the 60, so I would not go any shorter. It can really interfere with creative lighting to have to be right on the subject. I would get the 60 macro or if you are flush get the Zeiss Makro 60.

Patrick F , Mar 05, 2007; 10:19 p.m.

Forget all that....Get the TS lenses (I prefer a 90, but I have the room for it) and match it with the 1.4 Extender. They give you the perspective control you need for table top. Dont bother with Macros unless you are going VERY close....the TS lenses focus close enough!

Mark Nagel , Mar 05, 2007; 11:39 p.m.

I'd agree with Patrick, I was shooting handguns, I tried with a 100mm macro and had DoF problems. I borrowed a TS and it was great. It allows you to adjust the DoF and get everything you want in or out of focus. Downside...$1k

M

William W , Mar 06, 2007; 12:18 a.m.

> I'm going to need to start shooting larger tabletop setups, and I can't use this macro prime without moving back halfway across my studio. <

I disagree with using a macro lens for such a scene.

Consider the TS-E45mmF2.8 rather than macro lenses.

You could use rings on it [if need be] and I understand it will take an extender, even though this fact is not advertized by Canon.

WW

Regards

WW

Mark U , Mar 06, 2007; 11:08 a.m.

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