How should I set up this shot?
I haven't had any success with this shot. How would you suggest I set it up?.

Canon S5-IS. Tripod. Light box..

I have an 1.5" acrylic cube with items embedded in it. I want to shoot the contents of the block with sufficient depth of field to get most of them in focus. Cube is mounted in the light box with the camera about 20" away. I can set the A and T to give me the exposure and effects I want. The problem is framing and focus..

If I pull out wide the cube is very small in the frame - a few %. I'm afraid that if I crop to it and expand in post I'll start to see pixels and ruin the very fine interior structures I'm trying to show up..

If I zoom in to get it larger in frame I can't focus at all, even in manual. Apparently 20" is below the minimum focal length for the zoom I want. Is there a way to tell how much zoom I can use at X distance? I want it sharp and the display makes it hard to judge focus on very small frame elements. Yet if I zoom enough to judge focus, it won't. Catch-22..

I'm hesitant to get close enough for macro because I want a fair amount of front light and I don't want the camera to throw a shadow..

What to do?..

Comments (5)

Lay a ruler, pionting towards the camera, where the cube should be. Shoot the ruler. That will tell you where your focus is and what your depth of field is. Work from there..

If you'r worried about the camera casting a shadow, move your light. Use ordinary light bulbs if you have to. remember to adjust your White Balance..


Comment #1

Dmforcier wrote:.

If I zoom in to get it larger in frame I can't focus at all, even inmanual. Apparently 20" is below the minimum focal length for thezoom I want..

So if you switch to Macro Mode it still won't focus at this distance?.

Good Day,Roonal.

'Money doesn't buy happiness, but it makes for an extravagant depression' by golf tournament sportscaster..

Comment #2

You've discovered the number one problem in macro photography - working distance. You can't realistically expect to shoot a 1 1/2" subject from 20" - even with a DSLR and a true macro lens you would be lucky to get more than 6-8"..

Like it or not you have to get closer, and as you have already guessed, the challenge will be lighting...

Comment #3

Maybe I should make a mini-light box..

Okay, how does one get color into a message?.

Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?.

- Will Rogers..

Comment #4

The question still remains, Do I need to be close enough that I have to switch to Macro mode?.

Or is it simply a matter of how much of the frame I want to fill? If I need to get within Macro range to fill the frame, then I need to switch to the mode?..

Comment #5

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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