Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Sensibly priced close up photography.

Taking closeups does not require expensive kit, just a bit of thought.

These two pictures are of a 2mm scale wagon with 3 link chain couplers. To give an idea of scale, the wheels are 6mm diameter, the track gauge 9.42mm.

Camera is a Canon A710is, which is a typical Canon compact camera. The additional "magic" bits are:
  • Lighting box from Jessops; essentially a foldup white fabric box with a blue curved backcloth. Bright lamps are placed outside the box, and the fabric ensures a uniform light within the box.
  • Closeup lens. Canon accessory lens holder for A-series camera (about £17 from Canon). x4 screw-in closeup filter (about £4 from 7-day-shop). I also have a x2 filter lens. These allow the camera to focus closely whilst on maximum zoom and stood back over 30cm from the models. In turn, this means there is minimal barrel distortion caused by having the camera in "macro" mode a couple of cm from the subject.
  • Tripod to hold camera.
  • Camera setup: Manually set the whitebalance. Set film type to slowest available (typically 80 ISA). Set aperture to minimum, and let camera choose speed. Focus manually (at least check where any auto focus is locking!). Use timer-release option on camera to avoid any shake. If not sure about exposure, its worth trying with +/- a small amount of "EV" compensation.

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