12/09/2010

Tips To Take Jewelry Photo


Do you ever wanted to take great picture of the Jewelry? Here is the trick ...
Jewelry can be one of the most difficult subjects to shoot because you are shooting small subjects which are generally very reflective and hard to light. You may want to look for a book or a website on specific techniques on this type of shooting as many pros spend a lifetime perfecting the techniques, and there is more information than can be covered in a short article.
However, a Micro-Nikkor lens (or more generally a "macro" lens) is a special lens designed to take very sharp images at very close focus distances. Nikon offer several different options here:
Nikon 200mm f/4.0D ED-IF AF Micro-Nikkor Lens for Nikon Digital SLR CamerasNikon 60mm f/2.8D AF Micro-Nikkor Lens for Nikon Digital SLR CamerasNikon 60mm f/2.8G ED AF-S Micro-Nikkor Lens for Nikon DSLR CamerasNikon 85mm f/3.5G AF-S DX ED VR Micro Nikkor Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras
Each of the Micro-Nikkor allow the same 1:1 reproduction size but the longer focal lengths (i.e.105mm) allow you to be farther away, making it easier to properly light the subject. Other tips:
1) Use a sturdy tripod to hold the camera still.
2) Use small apertures (i.e. f22) to increase depth-of-field (zone of sharp focus) so that the entire subject is in focus.
3) "Tent" style lighting where the lights are outside a sheer fabric "tent" of diffusion material can reduce shadows/ reflections. Shoot through a hole in the tent.
4) Reflector cards can also be used to control the light.

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What's the heck about Non-AI Lens, AI-Lens and AI-S Lens?

In 1977 Nikon introduced a new system for coupling the lens to the cameras exposure system. This new coupling system was called "Automatic maximum aperture indexing" or "Ai" for short. This change did not effect the traditional Nikon bayonet mount, thus allowing Ai (and the latter AF and AIS) lenses to be fitted to older non-Ai cameras.
The Ai lever on a Nikon FM2n
However, while Ai lenses where backwards compatible with non-Ai cameras, non Ai lenses where not compatible with all Ai cameras. The Nikon FM, FE, EL2, F3, F4 and Nikkormat FT3 cameras used the Ai metering system but allowed non-Ai lenses to be fitted due to the metering coupling lever being able to be disengaged. The F5 can have this mechanism fitted as an optional extra, please contact your local Nikon representive for more details. The F2A and F2AS were Ai cameras but the Ai mechanism was fitted to the removable metering prism.
A Nikkor Ai lens, note the Ai coupling ridge high-lighted by the red ring.
The AIs lens was created when the aperture mechanism of the AI lens was changed to allow automatic aperture control, with cameras such as the FA and N2000. This modification means that the aperture increments of the AIS lens can be controlled more precisely by the camera.
You can tell if a lens is AIS when:
  • The minimum aperture (both the main larger and smaller direct read out figures) are marked in orange i.e. F16,
  • A notch has been taken off the rear bayonet mount, above the lens locking notch. This allows certain Nikon cameras to detect if an Ais lens is fitted or not. See images below.
A picture of a non-Ai Nikkor lens. Note the lack of the Ai coupling ridge, however note that at the rear of the lens, the aperture ring protrudes slightly over the bayonet mount and therefore can damage the Ai lever on Ai cameras

Image
A Nikon Ai lens note no Notch above lens locking cut out.

A Nikon Ais lens, with lens type signaling pin notch ( highlighted red circle ).
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10/01/2010

How To Use ML-L3 Remote Control

Nikon ML-L3 Wireless Remote Control for Nikon D40, D40x, D60, D80 & D90 Digital SLR Cameras
 The optional ML-L3 remote control (shown above) can be used for self-portraits or to reduce blur caused by camera shake. There are two settings that can be used with the ML-L3.



Shooting mode
Description
 Delayed remote
Gives operator time to pose when taking self-portrait using
remote control.
 Quick-response remote
Ensures quick shutter response; can be used to reduce blurring
caused by camera shake.

Long Time-Exposures

When the ML-L3 remote control is used in M mode, users can selected '- -' as the shutter speed. At this setting, the shutter opens when the shutter-release button on the optional ML-L3 remote control is pressed (2 seconds after the button is pressed in delayed remote mode) and remains open until the remote-control shutter-release button is pressed a second time (maximum exposure time is 30 minutes). Nikon recommends using a fully-charged EN-EL3 battery or an optional EH-5 AC adapter when using long exposures. For information regarding using the ML-L3 with flash please see the Cameras User manual.

Using the ML-L3 remote control:

  1. Mount the camera on a tripod (recommended) or place the camera on a stable, level surface.
  2. For D90 users:  Press the   button and rotate main command dial until   (delayed remote) or  (quick response remote) is displayed in the control panel. 
  3. Frame the photograph. In autofocus (AF) mode, the camera shutter-release button can be used to check focus, although only the shutter release-button on the remote control can be used to release the shutter. Note - To ensure correct exposure in modes other than M, cover the viewfinder eyepiece with your hand or with the supplied DK-5 eyepiece cap before pressing the shutter-release button. This will prevent light entering via the viewfinder from interfering with the autoexposure operation.Aim the transmitter on the ML-L3 at the infrared receiver on the camera and press the shutter-release button on the ML-L3 (when using the remote outdoors, make sure that the subject is not backlit and that the line of site between the transmitter and the infrared receiver is not blocked by the lens or other obstacles). The maximum operational distance of the ML-L3 is 5m directly in front of the camera.
  4. Aim the transmitter on the ML-L3 at the infrared receiver on the camera and press the shutter-release button on the ML-L3 (when using the remote outdoors, make sure that the subject is not backlit and that the line of site between the transmitter and the infrared receiver is not blocked by the lens or other obstacles). The maximum operational distance of the ML-L3 is 5m directly in front of the camera.

  5. Custom Setting 2
    Shooting mode
    AF-S (Single-servo AF)
    AF-C (Continuous-servo AF)
     Delayed remote
    Once camera has focused, self timer lamp will blink for 2s before shutter is released. If unable to focus, camera will return to standby without releasing shutter.
    Self-timer lamp blinks for 2s before shutter is released. Camera does not focus.
     Quick response remote
    Shutter is released immediately after camera focuses. Self-timer lamp will flash when shooting is complete. If unable to focus, camera will return to standby without releasing shutter.
    Camera releases shutter immediately without focusing. Self-timer lamp will flash when shooting is complete.
    To return to single-frame or continuous shooting mode, turn the camera off or rotate the mode dial to another setting. The shooting mode in effect before remote control mode was selected will also be restored if no operations are performed for the time selected for Custom Setting 25. The default setting is one minute.


Alternative to Nikon ML-L3
Opteka RC-2 Wireless Remote Control for Nikon D40, D40x, D50, D60, D70, D70s, D80, D90, D3000, & D5000 Digital SLR Camera (Nikon ML-L3 Replacement)
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