picture question

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by UncleFudd, Jun 28, 2012.

  1. UncleFudd

    UncleFudd Active Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    Phoenix, Az
    I have noticed in the past that several of you are very successful with your picture taking and posting here on the forum. The pics of guns etc turn out very clear even the SNs, sights and other fine parts of the firearms in particular being taken and sent are seen without the flash hiding some of the content etc..

    My question is how are you able to get the pics so clear and if so are you using a "light box" or something similar? Do you make or create the lightbox and if so, is it easy to explain here for an amateur to follow. If not easy then perhaps a PM could be sent to splain how to do this.

  2. fuzebox40

    fuzebox40 Active Member

    Mar 29, 2010
    Apple Valley, Ca.
    One thing that helped me in getting better clarity was simply getting a slightly better camara. I found out it wasn't me but my cheapo 5.0 mp digital camara didn't have the pixels to take a clear close-up. Think I'm using a 10.0 now that was around $100 but paid about $50 on Black Friday and now I get twice the clarity on those close-ups and I've even found that in decent light it doesn't even need the flash in many cases.

    Of course this is not at all in the realm of professional photography. I'm just a $100 cam kinda guy!

  3. Vladimir

    Vladimir New Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Issaquah WA
    Lightboxes can help, but camera is key. MP is not everything. If you go from a cruddy 5mp to a cruddy 12mp, you just have more cruddy pixels. My Rebel XS is only 10.1mp and it takes better pictures than any point-and-shoot I have seen.
  4. UncleFudd

    UncleFudd Active Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    Phoenix, Az
    I think I have the cameras but can't seem to get it right with the lighting as I have been told.
    My pics of the critters are OK but when I try to get real close like trying to get the letters and numbers sometimes I then find it hard to get the clarity without some of the flash blinding the lens.

    I have the Nikon 5700 cool pix and a new Nikon D3X so will try both with the shortest lens to see if as you say the cameras and settings without the flash will help.

    If and when I geterright I will post for info and hopefully some background from the professionals here on this forum..

  5. Vladimir

    Vladimir New Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Issaquah WA
    I don't know Nikon but the D3X looks like it should be plenty fine. Your lens may not be proper for taking too close of photos though. It may have a hard time focusing when you get close up.

    Maybe one of the numerous more-skilled-than-I photographers on here will chime in.
  6. todd51

    todd51 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2009
    Central, Ohio
    Uncle Fudd, I don't know much about photography but what I have picked up here at TFF has made for better gun photos. I don't have any expensive or fancy camera. It is just a Fujufilm FinePix 2650 2.0 Mega Pixel unit that I have had for several years. It does have a "Macro" setting for close range (2 feet or less) and that makes for much clearer close up shots but I have to make that change in the camera's set up each time I turn it on because it cancels that setting when shut off. No biggy as long as I remember. The other adjustment that made a big difference was setting the camera to "Suppressed Flash" or shutting the flash off. With the flash suppressed you can use natural lighting or add some lighting and that way no glare from the flash. That setting will stay until I manually return the camera to "Auto Flash". The biggest aid in taking the gun photos was the creation of a "light box". It is nothing more than a frame made of some PVC tubing and covered with a bed sheet. I added some small table lamps around the outside so they shine through the bed sheet. I use a light blue sheet of poster paper for a back ground. You can adjust the quality of the photo on the camera also but I get "good enough" quality on the lowest quality setting 0.3M for my use and it keeps the file size down for email and posting purposes. If I need better quality it is just a matter of changing the camera's settings. Here is a picture of the light box. I have added a third table lamp to shine down from the top now. The bulbs are 40 watt equivalent twisty florescent type. They probably could be brighter but I had these and I am sort of a tight wad. The gun picture was taken using the light box, with the three table lamps and the camera set on the "lowest" quality setting of 0.3M, "Suppressed" flash and "Macro" were used. Also use a tripod.

    Here is a link to a web site that shows how to construct a low cost light box.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 28, 2012
  7. Woodnut

    Woodnut Forum Sponsor Supporting Member

    Jul 1, 2008
    Diamondhead, MS
    Todd, that is a great setup, and cannot be beat for cost. I have also had many problems in the past as well as now, in shooting pictures without blur and spots. I had to go back and use the factory reset defaults to my camera because I had it so screwed up. Once that was done I turned off the flash and set it to best quality and macro, then used a tripod with the self timer along with a self made light box and it is looking a lot better.
    The main thing I think in looking for a better picture is the tripod, light box, using the self timer. The self timer assures there will be no blur. When setting all this up be sure to position the lights so there is no shadows cast from any part of the gun. This will give you the best possible picture from the cheaper cameras.

    This advice has helped me in my situation. Hope there is some of this information that will help someone else. I could still use all the help I can get.

    As you can tell I am not a photographer.
  8. cpttango30

    cpttango30 Guest

    If you have a d3x you have one of the best DSLRs on the market. But what lenses are you using. If you are using a $3000 camera with a $50 lens you are going to get crappy photos.

    If you have it on a tripod turn off any vibration reduction as you don't need. You can also try locking the mirror up then snapping the photo.
  9. ozo

    ozo Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2011
    Nashville TN
    Lighting is the key 99% of the time....
    macro setting helps just depending on the exposure...
    start by moving the gun around and checking in the view finder....
    sometimes I get technical, sometimes I just 'click'....
    tri-pods stabilize the shot, but most of the time I just point and shoot
    and take several shots, then pick the best.....
    you don't have to get too kinky with your camera to get good results
    if you just practice.....but lighting is still key.
    You have the cameras to do an immaculate job.
  10. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

    May 8, 2012
    starting with a good camera that has close up capability helps, multiple focal points, auto flash and red eye.

    use multiple indirect ligght sources to minimige shadows. something as simple as a white bedsheet thrown over a lamp will provide soft non glaring light. white crayon to run over sn's helps mke them pop too. a stand or brace .. even a small monopod or tripod helps.. image stabilization will help too, if available
  11. UncleFudd

    UncleFudd Active Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    Phoenix, Az

    Todd that is what I was thinking when I said you guys get super clarity. Thank you all for the ideas. I have everything but the macro lens. Mine are Nikor but the smallest is an 28-200 so the close ups may not be possible. I also have the auto kool pix with the zoom and will try it. I had not thought of using the tripod or the timer to stabilize everything.

    I'll try some of the ideas you have given me and see how they work, especially trying to get the letters from this gun. If I am successful I'll post it in the next few days.

    Thanks so much you all I truly appreciate the help and encouragement from all of you.

  12. todd51

    todd51 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2009
    Central, Ohio
    Your very welcome. I had the same questions and got most of my answers right here on TFF. Your Cool Pix 5700 is way more camera than I have and it has macro capability down to 1.2 inches so you can get real close. Your other camera is way beyond me and too many buttons, ha. But try it with the Cool Pix before you put out the money for a lens for the D3X.
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