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wierdscience
11-07-2004, 08:36 PM
Okay,I have had it trying to figure out how to take good closeup shots of machined parts.I have a Fuji 2650,3x optical and 2.5 digital zoom.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0903/wierdscience/DSCF0005.jpg

Notice how the threads are blurred out,I used two lamps about 120* apart and a couple of feet behind the shot for light and left the flash on auto.This was the best I could do.I tried cutting back on the light and turning the flash off entirely,but then the pics were too dark.What am I doing wrong? Do I need a better camera,or just better lighting?Would I be better off with a film camera?
Also,my computer,I have a Trinitron 17" monitor,even with the resolution set to the highest setting when I bring up a pic on the screen its all grainy and pixelated and I can't use that for proofing my pics before I upload to Photobucket or another program.Is there any remedy for this?
I have several articles I would like to submit to HSM and MW,but all involve being able to take good closeups,any help?

Elninio
11-07-2004, 08:37 PM
try taking the photo from further away and using mostly optical zoom, not digital

Allan Waterfall
11-07-2004, 08:58 PM
Wierd...

It looks as if the focus not on the brass but just past it somewhere on the ways. Try a smaller shutter opening, ie. a higher "F" stop. F8 is usually the sweet spot.

Bounce flash is better for shiny things. Failing that a bit of white tissue over the flash to diffuse it.

Digital zoom is a waste of time.

Allan

Elninio
11-07-2004, 09:04 PM
if you get a peice of paper (thicker paper is good ) and bend it at a 45 degree angel and put in front of the thing that makes the flash, it will deflect the light so it doesnt make it too bright, but it will still illuminate

Lew Hartswick
11-07-2004, 09:53 PM
I have a Fuji 2600 and have done alot of closup
shots. I use the available light in the high
school shop and a tripod. Turn off the flash.
I was going to atach one but don't see how to
do it here. The Macro and zoom get down to
about 10 inches nicely.
...lew...

darryl
11-07-2004, 10:00 PM
Part of the problem is getting the focus to the right distance and keeping the setting there. Something where there's a range of distances to objects, like in your picture, you may have to temporarily point at a flat surface with some detail on it, and use manual focus, then keeping that setting, hold the camera the same distance from the object you want the picture of. If other components of the picture are out of focus, oh well. Disable the flash and light your scene well, that should give you a better result. Avoid light reflections from anything within the camera's view. Of course, the camera must remain very still when photographing fine detail. Don't use digital zoom at all, and try not to image something close where the length of the object will transcend the focal distance. Only a part of it will be in focus.
The only other thing I can suggest is to experiment more by imaging sharply detailed items to get a feel for what the camera can auto adjust on properly.
This is all coming from a relative newbie in photography, but that's what I've been doing to get the feel of my digital.

J Tiers
11-07-2004, 10:07 PM
First of all, if yours is at all like my Canon A70, don't use zoom for close-ups. It works much better without, I found. You can be closer, and get a better pic, at the cost of depth of field, meaning that only a short depth is focused. If you want just the threads, that is no problem.

Then also, see if your camera has a close-up mode. Mine does, signified by a "flower" symbol on the display.

Also, in close-up, it may have a "focus box", which on teh A70 is one or more green boxes that show up on teh picture display indicating what has been focused on. I try again until I get the right item focused on.

Usually holding the "shutter" button halfway down will make it focus without actually taking a pic.

I find the lighting has no particularly great effect on focusing.

Here is a pic of a part that you can see the short depth of focus on. If you DO use zoom, you can get deeper focus, but you have to also be farther away.
Focus is on far side. The part is about 0.6 inch diameter. Taken in bad light, with no zoom. Close-up mode.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0803/jstanley/chatpart.jpg

This one used zoom, from more distance. The focus is deeper. Stll in close-up mode. The square hole is 1/2 inch.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0803/jstanley/watts1s.jpg




[This message has been edited by J Tiers (edited 11-07-2004).]

jaybird
11-07-2004, 10:28 PM
Move one of the lights to the tailstock to get more contrast/shadows on the treads and maybe softer light above the part and no flash. Also move the camera back and use the zoom.

I also like the bent paper idea.

BillH
11-07-2004, 10:33 PM
Last time I tried to use Macro mode to take a close up shot, my cameras auto focus would not work. I never realised how much not having a manual focus sucks!

J Tiers
11-07-2004, 10:49 PM
If the auto focus won't work, you are probably too close, and maybe are trying to use zoom. back up a bit, or take off teh zoom.

Smokedaddy
11-07-2004, 11:09 PM
I don't think the image is that bad, you probably don't understand dept of field (as someone mentioned above). You can clearly see a few things in the background are in focus. You just need to lock in on the threads focus wise and change the lighting a touch and turn off the flash. If you have the option (mode) for closeup(s), then use it. Don't use digital zoom either.

Check this out:

http://www.pbase.com/image/25827236

http://www.pbase.com/smokedaddy/image/27847163

It take a little practice and usually more than one shot to get it right. Even then, you sometimes simply don't. I'd also suggest you download this program:

http://www.xat.com/internet_technology/download.html

Select the image optimizer program (first one on the list). Very easy to use. Be more than happy to help you out with the program too. Everyone I know uses it to drastically reduce the size of their images. There's nearly no loss of quality (viewing wise of the image on the Internet or a viewer). It's also a great idea to optimize your images before sending them to othere for viewing. Why send a huge 3 to 10 meg image when you can send a 80K image with the same VIEWING quality.

-SD:

[This message has been edited by Smokedaddy (edited 11-07-2004).]

JRouche
11-07-2004, 11:12 PM
Hello, my diggy camera is a Canon powershot a40. Inexpensive but useful.

I can remove the ring that is around the lens and I have an adapter that replaces that ring. Then I have a macro lens that screws onto the adapter.

I have used it to get very detailed photos at close range, the auto focus works with the lens.

I can screw various filters onto the adapter also. What's nice is the adapter uses "standard" sized lenses and filters not some proprietary, expensive lens. JRouche

PSD KEN
11-07-2004, 11:19 PM
Your pane of focus is the cross slide, notice how detailed it is.
This is where you can't beat a plain ol' 35mm with a macro lense, or close focusing diopters. At about f- 11 to f- 22 for max. depth of field.
That is why I keep my Canon a-1's in addition to auto-focus and digital.

Dave Opincarne
11-07-2004, 11:32 PM
J Tiers, with all due respect what are you talking about? If the lens is a zoom lens then your going to be using zoom. "Zoom" is a type of lens with variable focal leangth, not a feature that is enhancing the shot.

WS despite some good ideas for changing your lightring, thats not the problem. As a few have mentioned it's focus. Your camera doesn't know what your trying to take a picture of. Depending on the AF settings and capabilities it's either using the wrong sensor area if it has matrix focusing, the subject is not composed within the center weighted focus area, or you are under the minimal focal lenght of the lens. Check the focus capabilities of your camera. If you have a focus lock then use it or change the AF method to center or spot. If that's not an option then change to manual focus if possible. Also check your camera to subject distance. Most zoom lenses will focus closer at their shorter focal leangth than at their longer end. Zooming out and moving in closer will most likley work better than trying to zoom in with the lens.

One last thought: make sure the camera doesn't have a limit setting to prevent searching. This may look like a flower icon and will need to be on for close shots.

Dave

Evan
11-07-2004, 11:32 PM
Get as much light as possible on the subject. Use a tripod. Read the manual about what the minimum focus distance is. Do all these things and you get this.

http://vts.bc.ca/pics/tool2.jpg

Dave Opincarne
11-07-2004, 11:41 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by PSD KEN:
Your pane of focus is the cross slide, notice how detailed it is.
This is where you can't beat a plain ol' 35mm with a macro lense, or close focusing diopters. At about f- 11 to f- 22 for max. depth of field.
That is why I keep my Canon a-1's in addition to auto-focus and digital.</font>

Oh yea? How about my Toyo-Omega 4x5 monorail view camera? http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=29981&item=3850321831&rd=1

Dave

ben78
11-07-2004, 11:41 PM
one small thing I can offer (and is how I take *most* of my parts shots) is to use a tripod, and the timer on the camera. Most cameras have an auto timer from 2-12 seconds. All camera shake will be gone by the time the picture is taken, plus you can take a decent exposure length without blurring.

I usually change the AF and Exposure speed to be spot rather than a weighted average. That way you know exactly what the camera is looking at to focus.

Oh yeah, take ten pictures, its digital and doesn't cost anything, usually one of those will be good http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

J Tiers
11-08-2004, 12:31 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Dave Opincarne:
J Tiers, with all due respect what are you talking about? If the lens is a zoom lens then your going to be using zoom. "Zoom" is a type of lens with variable focal leangth, not a feature that is enhancing the shot.
</font>

Semantics, semantics, semantics......

If you use the zoom feature, that means you have utilized the zoom CAPABILITY to arrive at a "zoomed in" view. As opposed to "normal" non-zoomed-in.

In other words EXACTLY and PRECISELY what you re-said here, INCLUDING mentioning the flower icon for close-up performance........... http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//wink.gif


<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
Also check your camera to subject distance. Most zoom lenses will focus closer at their shorter focal leangth than at their longer end. Zooming out and moving in closer will most likley work better than trying to zoom in with the lens.

One last thought: make sure the camera doesn't have a limit setting to prevent searching. This may look like a flower icon and will need to be on for close shots.
Dave</font>

To pull this back on topic, Weird, notice that your shot has a really good focus on the dirt on the side of the carriage wing, and the way.

The flower icon focus limit feature may help there, although that is still pretty close and probably within the "window".

Sometimes the character of the various surfaces affect it. Mine has a lot of trouble focusing on red things, or certain kinds of shiny things, like those threads.

The threads might be easier for the camera to focus on from an amgle that sees the thread flank more "flat-on" to the camera, meaning camera down towards the axis of the part, looking more along it. The focus system looks for certain characteristics, and sometimes you have to "cheat and squirm" to present it with what it wants.


[This message has been edited by J Tiers (edited 11-07-2004).]

wierdscience
11-08-2004, 07:56 PM
Thanks for the replies,I'm going to try eveything and keep practicing,hopefully I get it all worked out.

PSD KEN
11-08-2004, 10:37 PM
Dave, you got me with the shift and tilt! No fair. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

Dave Opincarne
11-08-2004, 11:25 PM
No, it's not semantics. If you want to understand what's going on then you need to understand how the camera works. A zoom lens is a type of lens not a capability. The only zoom that could be described as such is a digital zoom which has no change on the optical qualities of the lens. There is no normal that is then enhanced by "zooming". A zoom lens provides a continuous range of focal lengths within the limits of the lens and at no point is there some kind of base focal length. Short focal legnth lenses (including zoom lenses at minimum focal length) fit within the lens mount while focusing at close distances and are therefore better capable of close up photographs. Any focal leangth lens is capable of providing a close up image provided the have sufficient travel through their focal range. For a 1:1 reproduction ratio all lenses will focus at 2 times their focal leangth measured from the rear nodal point of the lens. For example a penny photographed with a 28mm lens at a focal length of 56mm will reproduce the same as a penny photographed with a 50mm lens focused to 100mm. The only thing that will change is the perspective imposed on surounding subject matter. Since a 1:1 by definition matches subject size and image size the lens to subject distance likewise equils the lens to film plane distance for a given lens.

Dave

Dave Opincarne
11-08-2004, 11:31 PM
WS keep in mind that most AF systems determine focus by contrast matching. How this works is the camera shifts focus looking for the peak diference in luminosity between adjacent areas. If the area you're trying to focus on has minimal inherant contrast the camera may have a hard time focusing on it and go looking for something else depending on how the firmware works.