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6 hours ago, Rasa Clay Works said:

retirement from all things "Hollywood" - it was a huge joy to sell off the cameras. I could just feel the stress falling away with each piece of gear

I am relating to this in two ways: first, my former husband is a retired advertsing photographer-shot all over the world (incl. for Getty) had much great equipment, but talks about the relief of selling it all off and letting go of the stress. Second, I have just been looking for a camera for myself for my table top product shots. (No, I am not going to ask him for advice-he will insist that Xxx's 6K body + 2K lens is the only way to go).  Likely even the  Canon w/lens mentioned above is out of my range, as a hobbyist on a short $$ leash. Pics on my website are via cell phone & basement level photo editor. Got any ideas for a servicable used setup for 1K or less?  Pls. msg. if so. Thx. 

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I have an old rebel eos and it takes shots just fine.  I got it like 10 years ago for 500, so I'm betting you can grab one for 20 bucks now.  The 100mm f/2.8 probably still costs another 500 though.  Love the camera, love the lens.  Spend a little cash on your photo box and a nice gradient backdrop.  They make some pretty decent boxes with built in diffused lighting now.

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Yeah I originally bought the setup for taking pictures of shrimp that are less than a half inch in size.  Need to be quick and bright for that.  I wish I had a flash, but I don't, so well lit with a gradient is all I can manage.

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Looking good! If I can make a suggestion- increase your depth of field so that the back of the rim is also in focus.

For most people, spending money on a DSLR is unnecessary. It's rare that we need to print images of our pots any more, and a basic digital camera or halfway decent smart phone will make images that are plenty good for display on a web page or show entry.

Ditto about not using graded backdrops. Light it correctly and you'll get a natural fade.

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12 hours ago, liambesaw said:

I have an old rebel eos and it takes shots just fine.  I got it like 10 years ago for 500, so I'm betting you can grab one for 20 bucks now.  The 100mm f/2.8 probably still costs another 500 though.  Love the camera, love the lens.  Spend a little cash on your photo box and a nice gradient backdrop.  They make some pretty decent boxes with built in diffused lighting now.

My brother still has the first digital Canon, he bought, and that was in 2004.  It still takes a great photo. 

The digital SLRs I use, in my classroom, are also getting on in age, but still work great.  I tell the students, unless we are planning on blowing our photos up, to the size of the classroom wall, the cameras we have now are just fine.

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10 hours ago, Rasa Clay Works said:

As I’ve always said, it’s the eye not the camera.  Artistically, I like a thin depth of field, but thank you. We’re doing magazine submissions currently and will be printing postcards at 300dpi for gallery submissions.

From an artistic photography standpoint the narrow depth of field is nice. But one of the most interesting parts of your pot is the lip, and it's not in focus.

There is a difference between an artistic photograph and one meant to show off the pot. For magazine, gallery, and show submissions, I highly recommend getting as much of the pot in focus as possible. They aren't going to spend a lot of time looking at the image, so you have to give them everything you can. On a piece like yours, I want to see that organic lip. On a bowl or other open forms, having the back edge in focus allows you to see the inside of the bowl.

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3 minutes ago, Mark C. said:

The whole pot needs to be in focus for what you are doing with them. They are not art photos but a realistic view of your work.

The lip out of focus bothers me.

Spoken like a potter, not a photographer. 

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Well thats not really a true statement-about me -yes I'm a potter but I have a lot of photos under my belt as some know me as a photographer .

I've owned just about all the Nikon top bodies since the 1980s F3-F5s  with motor drives housed in Subal housings from Austria shooting many many thousands of underwater shots.I now have 3 D300 bodies and two D 800 bodes for current work topside and underwater.From slides to digital.

I have about any lens you want to talk about as well-sold all my manual focus lens and now have all auto focus . 

I have sold many over the years to Calendar companies back when photos brought real money.Written a bit of articles with photos as well for dive magazines .

I'm sticking to what I said that lip out of focus bothers me.

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We are adults here  (thick skin helps sometimes) and we are trying to help one another . I'm not taking it personally. I thought what Neil said rang true and was adding my spin to that.He is right about my web photos being old  but I'm not  trying to do anything with them and I did not take them myself.Old is good for me.

My intent is coming from a good place.I know the same is true with Neil.

Edited by Mark C.

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13 hours ago, Mark C. said:

The whole pot needs to be in focus for what you are doing with them. They are not art photos but a realistic view of your work.

The lip out of focus bothers me.

I get the sentiment but also like that when a lens is narrow in its ranges that which is in focus is sharply so compared to and everything being softly in focus   Personally I kinda like the videos on a turntable to see the whole from coupled with sharp ficus stills and detail shots when appropriate. There was no dis intended in saying the  choice of shot was either biased to the pot or to the photo. Sorry it came off that way 

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Hello, and goodbye.  Seems like I've had a few days away and WW3 has been and gone.

To "Deleted User", sorry you didn't get the answers/responses you wanted.

To all the other responders, well done guys, I applaud you for giving your own time to respond to newbies, and for also sticking to your own views and principles.

You can please some of the people some of the time.

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On 11/19/2018 at 9:44 AM, Benzine said:

My brother still has the first digital Canon, he bought, and that was in 2004.  It still takes a great photo. 

The digital SLRs I use, in my classroom, are also getting on in age, but still work great.  I tell the students, unless we are planning on blowing our photos up, to the size of the classroom wall, the cameras we have now are just fine.

I have been using a number of cameras over the years to photograph pots. Most of these are range finders with telephoto lenses, original purpose was as travel cameras and they were compact with small sensors. I have moved lately to a Panasonic FZ-1000 that has a one inch sensor. It does take better shots with better detail than the older cameras.  Equipment is great at any level, and the tech has rapidly improved, but you still have to understand the difference of taking a good picture and taking a good picture of a pot. Depth of field is so important to three dimensional objects and is dependent on your f-stops. If you have an aperture priority mode it may be used well to take shots. Better yet understand how to set shutter speed and aperture in manual mode to meet your needs.

 

best,

Pres 

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I use a photo cube with color balanced lights with graduated background if I need photos.The lights are color balanced florescent screw in bulbs on small tripods .Photo cubes are cheap.Nowadays I do not need photos like in the old days. I am not doing  new shows so new photos are not really needed. Most of this stuff is on Amazon or B&H photo.

I like using a zoom lens on a tripod-that way you can control image size without moving setup.

Just about any camera can do this job . The newer smart phones could handle this job as well .

Edited by Mark C.

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Yay me! I just got a fantastic Black Friday deal on a Sony a6000 w/short and long lenses--gives me 16-210. Happy happy. My ex, the photographer, approves, so I know I'm barking up the right tree. Looking forward to doing better product shots,  plus I'll get to shoot the birds that I watch every day--and the wild turkeys, the deer, maybe the bear??? 

Here is my last out of focus cell phone selfie, showing my new best friend. I've got a backlog of items needing web-ready pics-enough to to keep me busy into New Year's. 

20181124_174624sm.jpg

Edited by LeeU

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On 11/22/2018 at 12:35 PM, Pres said:

I have been using a number of cameras over the years to photograph pots. Most of these are range finders with telephoto lenses, original purpose was as travel cameras and they were compact with small sensors. I have moved lately to a Panasonic FZ-1000 that has a one inch sensor. It does take better shots with better detail than the older cameras.  Equipment is great at any level, and the tech has rapidly improved, but you still have to understand the difference of taking a good picture and taking a good picture of a pot. Depth of field is so important to three dimensional objects and is dependent on your f-stops. If you have an aperture priority mode it may be used well to take shots. Better yet understand how to set shutter speed and aperture in manual mode to meet your needs.

 

best,

Pres 

Depth of Field, is something I try and emphasize, in both my Photo classes.  I find it, to be a difficult concept to understand.  In regards to actually controlling it, the students are generally just happy to get the camera to a proper exposure, which means they don't think much about Depth of Field.  Especially considering, that you can fake a shallow Depth of Field later on, by doing some quick selecting and the Blur Filter.  Heck, now they have built in software on smart phones, that does the same thing, to get those "Cool, professional looking" selfies...

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Yes there are tricks to get around the misunderstanding of depth of field, and most are just interested in the correct exposure. That is why when programmed cameras cam out they had shutter speed and aperture priority modes for those of us that want to control one aspect or the other and still get perfect exposure. Using aperture priority without understanding how the aperture effects depth of field does not solve the problem as the camera does not know when you need more of less depth of field or as it wants to have perfect exposure and unless you set your aperture higher you will not get the shot you need of pottery. Here though is the conundrum that many cannot rap their head around. . . . greater depth of field=higher f stops or aperture=greater need for better lighting.  Why light boxes were invented.

 

best, 

Pres

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