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I would like to start taking better photos of our fins and would like some info on what equipment some of you use. I am looking to purchase either a used Nikon D90 or a new Nikon D7100. I am somewhat familiar with photography but have not taken many macro (close-up) photos. Can someone give me some pointers or suggestions on what lenses and lighting setups to use for close-ups of meteorites? Thank you.

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Chris,

It's isn't probably what you were expecting, but I bought a small digital Canon Power Shot SD1200 IS 10 mega pixels,for about $150, and have been very happy with it. Fits in a shirt pocket, has great capacity and takes great photos, including macro, has adjustable apertures, etc. see below for just one simple example. Karl

post-23665-0-00772700-1390003530_thumb.j

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Chris...I had the same problem until I realized I need use daylight, not indoor lights or direct sun, and prop the camera so it's totally solid. If you just hold it tightly, etc, you'll almost surely move the camera just the smallest amount so the result is not in clear focus. And of course, the distance from the subject is critical. Get the right lighting and anchor the camera solidly and you'll get it.

Good luck, Karl

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Pick your self up a small pocket size tri pod for the camera , you will b amazed by the difference in the photo clarity in the macro setting.

I also agree with Karl's advice.

Edited by extractor
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Hi Chris.

● Try using a small tabletop tripod and your camera's shutter timer. This will prevent any jitter during shutter firing.

● Check and double check your focus.

● Use 'bounce' lighting to remove shadows.

● To prevent harsh light use a white sheet or muslin cloth to difuse and soften whatever light source you're using.

All of this will require rigging up a photography 'stage' for your finds. Once you're satisfied with your results, you're set. There are reasonably priced lights available on Amazon, but follow Karl's advice and try sunlight first to see how that works for you. This stage is small, and nothing major, so fiddle with it until you're satisfied.

Use your macro mode and the best resolution that works for the object.

Good luck.

Saginaw

Edited by saginaw72
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Hi Chris.

The tripod is small, say 4-5 inches collapsed. You may be able to get one from Walmart. Before spending money on lights, try the sunlight option. The muslin can be bought at Walmarts fabric department.

Saginaw

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A daylight lamp would be ideal. These are available in fluorescent and LED.

Try this website as a start for info:

http://www.brighthub.com/multimedia/photography.aspx

Saginaw

Edited by saginaw72
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Thanks, Mike. I am going to try some outside pictures, too, but I had already planned on buying a new DSLR so I will do what i can with my point-and-shoot for the time being. I was even thinking of buying one of those Photo Tent Kits that has the white box, background fabric, tripod, and two lights. Where do you buy your daylight bulbs?

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Hi Chris, I use a Coolpix Nikon as well and it works pretty good. While I am probably to blame for the lousy pictures, the stuff you see posted in my FB page are from that camera. It's an L22. I am on my second one because the first one just did not like my meteorite magnet! :idunno:

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Jim, my Coolpix is the S4300. It does fantastic on everything except close-up pictures. The latest ones I did outside turned out really well because of the sunlight, but I really want to be able to take the same quality pictures indoors where I am away from the elements. Mine just will not focus at a close distance unless the object is flooded with light, but for some reason it doesn't work well with artificial light...even with the daylight bulbs.

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I took a cardboard box and shoved a clamp on light fixture in it...minus the clamp. Using a standard CFL bulb. I took aluminum foil and crumpled it up and then opened it back up and lined the inside of the box with it. Makes a poor man's light box and the crumbled aluminum foil breaks up the light pretty good. I had everything, so it did not cost me an extra dime to make. Then, you can take another small piece of foil and place it so that it is curved behind the thing you are shooting, making the back corner round.

Easy peasy.

Jim

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Hey Jim, that sounds like a really cool set up that I would like to try to replicate. How exactly is the light set in the box? Would you happen to have a picture of your setup that I can view? Thanks so much for the input.

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Jim,

That is perfect. Thanks so much for the picture. Seeing how the light bulb was mounted is what I really wanted to see. Will work on putting it together tomorrow. Headed out meteorite hunting today. Take care.

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Hi Chris.

Jim's setup sounds and looks interesting. I've never seen or heard of anything like it. Looks like great idea. Would love to see your photos if you go with it.

Saginaw

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Here is an example album using the poor man's light box. It really helps with the shows and such and the pictures were taken with a Nikon Coolpix L22 which is in the $80 range of cameras....nothing fancy.

http://s1192.photobucket.com/user/desertsunburn/library/JW193

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Nice results Jim. Great little rig. I like this idea. I'm going to try it with some troublesome objects I've been trying to get right.

Saginaw

Edited by saginaw72
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Jim,

I finished my light box today. Thank you SO much for the info. Here are two pictures I took with the box. I am using a 60W equivalent Daylight CFL bulb. Thinking 60W may be too much. The first picture is the raw picture from the camera. The second is with the Windows Live Photo Gallery doing its Auto Adjust feature. I can tell a HUGE difference already in how close I can get to the object now using the box. Any suggestions on settings? White Balance, ISO, etc.? Thanks again.

DSCN1245_zps2a8101f3.jpg

LightBoxPic2_zpsb5e8d0a7.jpg

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