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what to choose for Macro/close-up work?
Hi. I am a doll and fabric artist and am looking to purchase a new dSLR camera for marco/close-up shots of my work. I've been using a p & s, and have been able to coax good enough photos from it for my website with a lot of angst. However, recently I missed out on the opportunity to be published in a national magazine because they needed large, sharp, 300DPI images..

I've been reading up on dSLRs but find that the more I read, the more confused I become. In a perfect world, I'd like to be able to take sharp, very high resolution close-up images without a flash, without a tripod and without having to purchase professional lighting (I know it's asking a lot!) I'd like to keep it as close to $500.00 as possible. Any suggestions on a camera/lens that would address my needs?..

Comments (5)

How small is the smallest thing you are going to want to photograph?.

True macro is making the image on the sensor the same size as real life. A macro of a dime would be the same size on the sensor as a real dime for example..

If you are just wanting photos of dolls or parts of dolls then a kit camera and lens that has a close focus might be what you are needing..

Or you might add a closeup adapter between the lens and the body to allow a closer focus..

If you think that makes sense, then you must have read someone else's post!..

Comment #1

I would like to spend $500 for a car but I don't have money for a tuneup or good tires and I would like to compete in the Indy 500. I don't think that will happen either..

You need decent equipment to obtain photo quality suitable for publication. You will definitely need a tripod and lighting. You will also need experience and skill. It is not very likely that you will spend very little money, not know what you are doing and somehow manage to get adequate results...

Comment #2

Sweethreads wrote:.

Hi. I am a doll and fabric artist and am looking to purchase a newdSLR camera for marco/close-up shots of my work. I've been using a p& s, and have been able to coax good enough photos from it for mywebsite with a lot of angst..

Ah the angst. Macro photography is always angst-ridden, even with the right equipment!.

However, recently I missed out on theopportunity to be published in a national magazine because theyneeded large, sharp, 300DPI images..

That's a tall order for a low-end SLR unless you upres the images. Depending on what physical size they wanted to print..

I've been reading up on dSLRs but find that the more I read, the moreconfused I become. In a perfect world, I'd like to be able to takesharp, very high resolution close-up images without a flash, withouta tripod and without having to purchase professional lighting (Iknow it's asking a lot!).

You'll need a decent tripod, there's nothing more certain than that. You really shouldn't even be thinking of doing product-type shots without one. I wouldn't be surprised, if you did a lot of this type of photography, if you soon realised you needed special lighting too, but it might be the one thing you can get away without buying for now..

I'd like to keep it as close to $500.00.

As possible. Any suggestions on a camera/lens that would address myneeds?.

How about a 12MP Canon XSi ($725 body only) and a Canon 60mm macro lens ($370)..

You could buy used to keep costs down. Or get a cheaper lens and if you need to get closer, a set of extension tubes. Macro lens is nice to have though..

Androohttp://Androo.smugmug.com..

Comment #3

With a $500 budget you'll be pushing it to get a new DSLR and macro lens - let alone a suitable lighting set up. But, if you are prepared to compromise, you could get something like a used entry level DSLR - Canon 300D or 350D, Nikon D40 come to mind - and combine with a used 50mm or longer macro. Lenses such as the Canon 50mm f2.5 or a well used Tamron 90mm or Sigma 105mm have excellent image quality and can often be got quite cheaply. You'll also need a cheap tripod and a remote release to prevent shake and allow you to take shots at low shutter speeds when you use a low ISO to get the best quality,.

Lighting is more of a problem. I've taken many excellent shots in the diffused light of my greenhouse with no additional lighting other than a home made reflector (foil on a piece of cardboard). If you've no greenhouse a well lit north window could be used as the primary illumination and a studio set built using white foam core boards to reflect the light back onto the room side of the subject..

With care and some experimentation you could certainly get publishable quality shots using such a set up...

Comment #4

A macro lens will break your budget. A close-focusing lens with a "macro" mode or range may not get close enough for you, and might also bust your budget..

Consider the cheapest possible DSLR (even a used, older model with something like 6MP sensor should work, plus the cheapest "normal" lens (something like a 50mm f/1.8 to f/2.0, plus macro extension tubes..

For example, a used Canon Digital Rebel, 50mm f/1.8 II lens (their cheapest, but very sharp optics), and Canon (or canon compatible) Extension tube..

Or, if your DLSR and lens are cheap enough, add close-up filters like the Canon 500D close-up filter. FYI, because they screw in like other filters, you can intermix brands of close-up filters and lenses (e.g. Canon filter on Nikon lens, as long as the filter threads are the same size).

See links:.

Http://www.shutterfreaks.com/Tips/ExtensionTube.htm.

Http://www.the-digital-picture.com/...n-EF-25mm-Extension-Tube-II-Review.aspx.

Http://textblog.anands.net/archives/6.

Http://photocritic.org/macro-photography-on-a-budget/Galleries: http://www.dheller.net.

I am one of the few who decry elitism...

Comment #5

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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