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Lens for Ebay Pics: Why Nothing Fast in 26-40mm Range?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by tjdean01, Apr 20, 2014.

  1. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    842
    Feb 20, 2013
    I like to take some of my Ebay photos closeup with a rather narrow DOF. The 45 would be good in some situations but a bit long for indoors not to mention I 'dhave to boost the ISO for handheld indoor shooting. My adapted 28/2 is pretty much the perfect length and is fast enough to use indoors as well as to give me the shallow DOF I want. Does the trick if I'm listing one item on Ebay, but when I'm taking 10 different shots of 10 different items MF becomes tedious. If I still had the 20 (returned because defective and will buy another soon) I might not be writing this thread, but truthfully I want something a longer. The Sigma 30 I currently use for the job is actually right around the right length, and does good in when the subject is close for a shallow DOF, but f2.8 is doesn't give me the background blur I want when I need to pull the camera back a few feet. Plus, a f1.8 lens would give me ISO800 instead of 1600. The lens I think would work best would be something in the middle of the 25 and 45, like a 35/1.8. The 25 would probably be the best available lens for the job, but I wish it were a bit longer and also, since I plan on always having the 20 and the 28/2, I'd hate to spend $300 on a 25 just for Ebay pics.

    In the following pic the first pair of shoes is the subject but I want the back ones to be a bit blurrier and didn't feel like popping on a longer lens just for the one shot. Sigma 30 @ f2.8:

    30rmf43.


    With this pic I was @ f4 because I wanted both shoes to be in focus. But since the background is so far away, it looks fine. (In case if you're wondering, this shot was a 5-second shutter, a time span in the middle of which I quickly turned the lamp on and then off.)

    1zxr2ue.


    This is the look I want. When the subject is about the size of a camera lens 30mm @f2.8 does fine, but when there's a larger object, like an entire book and some of the background, it doesn't give me what I want as far as shallow DOF. Below is 50mm at what I believe is @f2.8. Love this shot.

    11j0suh.


    Voigtlander could get me this. Or Nocticron, Or full frame. Or 35/1.8. C'mon Olympus!
     
  2. CiaranCReilly

    CiaranCReilly Mu-43 Veteran

    481
    Oct 18, 2012
    Dublin
    Ciaran Reilly
    Why not just crop what you want from the 20mm, they're only for eBay?
     
  3. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    I'd recommend getting a lightbox or some backdrops to eliminate the background clutter. Learning to use flash or buying some LED lighting would help too to push down your ISO. The solution isn't always more camera gear. TBH, shooting product shots wide open isn't a great idea since chances are you won't get all the item in focus.
     
  4. Levster

    Levster Mu-43 Top Veteran

    I'd definitely recommend getting a light box. A cheap light box will only cost around £30, there are various sizes so prices will vary. If you don't want to use a light box then I'd recommend getting a white sheet or something like that to create a base and backdrop, your photos will look much more professional. Also, indoors use a tripod! It then doesn't matter how fast or slow a lens is: I often have exposures of 2+ seconds to shoot f8 with a low ISO. In terms of lenses I'd pick a macro, the. 35mm Olympus Macro f/3.5 sounds like it would suit the focal length you're after. You'll need m43 to 43 adapter as well.
     
  5. Levster

    Levster Mu-43 Top Veteran

  6. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    967
    Feb 24, 2011
    Viera, Florida USA
    Steve
    Even a sheet of white mat board will give you better pics. Bounce the light off the ceiling and you'd be 90% there for about $8. Another one cut in half for the sides and you're even closer. Sample the edge of a shadow, tell PS that is white and you're usually very close, very fast.
     
  7. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    All you really need is some white bristolboard and shoot outside in the shade or an overcast day. This is what you can achieve easily:

    P7010633.

    This video from digital rev is actually somewhat useful too:

    [video=youtube;qk5hHNsAcec]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qk5hHNsAcec[/video]
     
  8. FlyPenFly

    FlyPenFly Mu-43 Veteran

    448
    Feb 15, 2011
    Shallow dof shots for things I'm buying is annoying and can be misleading. Just get a cheap bounce flash and crank up the aperture.
     
  9. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    Agreed. It may look slick, but it means you can't judge the item well, because most of it is out of focus. Many defects can be hidden that way.
     
  10. CiaranCReilly

    CiaranCReilly Mu-43 Veteran

    481
    Oct 18, 2012
    Dublin
    Ciaran Reilly
    Ha, good idea!

    Edit: Of course not for mu-43 Buy & Sell!
     
  11. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    967
    Feb 24, 2011
    Viera, Florida USA
    Steve
    I'd have to say that at some point, we tend to over think this.

    This is my silver E-P3, shot handheld with the 12-50 on my E-PL5, FL600 bounced off of my white ceiling. There is a little light coming in from a slider behind me, but it is overcast in sunny Florida today. This is no set up, just a piece of ridged white foam core my wife had used for a cheerleading sign. Shot in manual, center weighted, ISO400 (since it was for web), 1/30 f/6.3. For some reason, EXIF says flash didn't fire, but it did. Maybe not fully recharged when I clicked it. 2 minutes, done. Tell Photoshop what I want read as white, done.

    When I see gear on here photographed, the BIGGEST improvement would be a brush and a can of dust-off instead of an apology for the dusty pics.

    ep3.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    842
    Feb 20, 2013
    Wow, guys, great suggestions. I was thinking I wanted fast apertures or longer lenses to throw the background out of focus so the subject would stand out. But the light box would do just that. Heck, I could make it out of cutting a cardboard box. If I had a cardboard box with an open top, would bouncing the flash that came with the PM2 be enough light? Because if I buy the $5 bouncer thing on ebay and go off the ceiling I'll lose a lot of light. I usually can't shoot in the day time; and I haven't found a tripod yet for the price I like!

    This Ebay item looks pretty tempting, but eliminates bouncing the flash. Would I diffuse flash? Or, where would I shine the lamps, through the thin walls or into the front? What about reflections?

    $T2eC16NHJIQFHHbpvrIHBRyNU1lwEQ~~60_12.JPG
     
  13. nuclearboy

    nuclearboy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    850
    Jan 28, 2011
    USA
    I roll out some white paper or I have an old white window shade that the roller failed but it creates a great white backdrop.

    I put it under a light and put a light on each side. Hold the camera still or get a tripod. Higher f-stop is nice because of the increase in depth of field. Take a bunch of photos. Change the angle a little to change any reflections that you may not like later.

    Take the photo at +.3 or +.7 EV. This helps wipe out the background. Or use spot metering for a similar effect.

    Once taken, I pop them into photo shop and change the histogram levels to ensure the background is pegged at pure white.

    This works best for electronics and camera equipment. For other items, a clean and neutral background works well too. Especially one that has some distance from the subject. In some of these cases, I shoot outdoors.
     
  14. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    967
    Feb 24, 2011
    Viera, Florida USA
    Steve
    That tent is too limiting. You can buy a lot of white paper for that. Of all the things you're mentioning, Your only costly limitation now is a flash that will bounce. Don't short sell it and buy one that only lifts up and down, you'll really need up down and swivel. Even an old, used, non-dedicated Vivitar or Sunpak that gives full range of motion would do you well. Many times, I've put my expensive, dedicated flash of full power manual, blasted it at the ceiling and dialed in the aperture to get my exposure. Then you'd use your shutter speed to dial in the ambient light for the best look (on a tripod). Getting a good mix of ambient and flash is actually a fun process in product photography. My guess is you'll amaze yourself as you go down this road. Product photography (or still life work) is very satisfying in that you get to shoot until you like it, unlike portraiture where your model gets weary or expensive, and the best smile is on the wrong exposure, etc.
     
  15. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    967
    Feb 24, 2011
    Viera, Florida USA
    Steve
  16. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    A proper flash is really cheap, I got a used Metz for £40, for 4/3rds.
    It only tilts, but a swivel would be even better.