Author Topic: Advice needed on Watch Photography...  (Read 3834 times)

Offline tinchoi

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Advice needed on Watch Photography...
« on: December 18, 2012, 02:24:45 PM »
Have been trying to take nice & sharp photos of watches but been facing a few problems:-
  • Reflection from glass & casing
  • Lighting - overexposed or under exposed
  • Out of focus / image not clear
I am using a lightbox with 2 Ikea study lamp by the side, Nikon D5100 with standard lens (18-55mm) & stand.. I normally set the camera setting at 1/20 F5.3 with auto focus.

Any advice will be much much appreciated!
 :Cheers:

Offline Everdying

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Re: Advice needed on Watch Photography...
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2012, 06:07:56 PM »
reflection? move the light or object around.
exposure? use your eyes to judge, learn relation between shutter / aperture / iso.
not sharp? see above as the kit lens is actually pretty decent, and 1/20 is pretty slow.

and if not mistaken, min focus distance is only about 30cm...so you also need to observe that.

Offline ramlan

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Re: Advice needed on Watch Photography...
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2012, 04:06:28 AM »
why don't post some photos of your set up here or some photos of the "failed" images here.

I saw some of the images here are very nice. Maybe the owners can share their knowledge. I also would like to learn about this.

Offline zen

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Re: Advice needed on Watch Photography...
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2012, 06:25:19 PM »
Pls post some pic here. Maybe, i can share my (ex) expertise too.
 :thumbsup:

Offline Everdying

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Re: Advice needed on Watch Photography...
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2012, 09:37:41 PM »
here's a couple taken using natural light.

this one using fuji x10.
f/2, 1/50s, iso100.
blocked it all around, and only allowed the sunlight to enter from the top right.
then a white envelope was used to bounce some back to highlight the ridges.


this one d7000 + tamron sp90.
f/3.5, 1/80s, iso1600.
not enough depth of field, cos not enough light, and i didnt want to go above iso1600...but ok la.
just placed it on top of my dinner table glass top for the reflection.



i since sold off the tamron sp90 cos not happy with it, and replaced with a nikon 40mm macro.
am actually pretty lazy to shoot watches, cos lazy to set up the lights etc.
anyway the 40mm macro last i shot was this...a 1/18 ford mustang bullitt.
f/22, 1/30s, iso200.
lighted with a flash on each side...tho would've been nicer with an extra one for the back.

Offline tinchoi

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Re: Advice needed on Watch Photography...
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2012, 07:03:59 AM »
Thanks for the reply!!   :Cheers:

Here are some photos I have taken & edited..hope can get some comment from you guys, the expert!  :Praying:




For the stainless steel, it seems like the casing is always over exposed.  :(

Offline tinchoi

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Re: Advice needed on Watch Photography...
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2012, 07:06:33 AM »
here's a couple taken using natural light.

this one using fuji x10.
f/2, 1/50s, iso100.
blocked it all around, and only allowed the sunlight to enter from the top right.
then a white envelope was used to bounce some back to highlight the ridges.


this one d7000 + tamron sp90.
f/3.5, 1/80s, iso1600.
not enough depth of field, cos not enough light, and i didnt want to go above iso1600...but ok la.
just placed it on top of my dinner table glass top for the reflection.



i since sold off the tamron sp90 cos not happy with it, and replaced with a nikon 40mm macro.
am actually pretty lazy to shoot watches, cos lazy to set up the lights etc.
anyway the 40mm macro last i shot was this...a 1/18 ford mustang bullitt.
f/22, 1/30s, iso200.
lighted with a flash on each side...tho would've been nicer with an extra one for the back.


WOW !!  :o :o
This is awesome man!!! I love the 2nd pic..glow in the dark and yet can see the watch clearly..how you do that?

Offline Everdying

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Re: Advice needed on Watch Photography...
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2012, 06:15:12 PM »
2nd pic?
its a monster, just fart some light at it and it'll glow already.
but i just exposed it to strong sunlight for about 15 secs which is just enough for it to glow at its max.
then figured out the exposure i needed to shoot it at the min handheld shutter speed, cos i really dislike long exposure shots of 4-5 secs, some ppl even do 10secs as i feel it doesnt look natural.
then just re-shot til it got about right, just have to be quick abit cos initial bright lume slowly down within 10 secs or so since it was too damn hot to just stand in the sun exposing the watch for a minute or more.
it'll of cos be much easier if i had a UV torch or lamp.


Offline tinchoi

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Re: Advice needed on Watch Photography...
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2012, 08:01:04 AM »
2nd pic?
its a monster, just fart some light at it and it'll glow already.
but i just exposed it to strong sunlight for about 15 secs which is just enough for it to glow at its max.
then figured out the exposure i needed to shoot it at the min handheld shutter speed, cos i really dislike long exposure shots of 4-5 secs, some ppl even do 10secs as i feel it doesnt look natural.
then just re-shot til it got about right, just have to be quick abit cos initial bright lume slowly down within 10 secs or so since it was too damn hot to just stand in the sun exposing the watch for a minute or more.
it'll of cos be much easier if i had a UV torch or lamp.

 :o :o :o May I know what's the setting you used on the camera? Any special lens?

Offline Everdying

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Re: Advice needed on Watch Photography...
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2012, 03:00:02 PM »
uhh, the setting + body + lens used all has been posted in that same post with pic.

Offline chizuoka

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Re: Advice needed on Watch Photography...
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2016, 09:23:22 PM »
You'd really want to get a macro lens. Watches are kinda small....

Offline tmsoo

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Re: Advice needed on Watch Photography...
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2016, 02:40:26 PM »
Well, if I am using Nikon with kits lens, then I will do as below.

1. Check the minimum distance of the lens, so that you don't want to be out of focus if too close to the object.
2. Zoom the lens to around 35mm ( ~ 50mm in FF), the reason is that I found out many of the lens at  35mm (crop) will has less distortion.
3. A tripod is must. Best with remote trigger.
4. Setting the best at M (manual). ISO as low as possible, let say ISO100 or 200 max. Aperture at F11 (I prefer this cos I want every part as sharp as possible), Exposure compensation best at 0, don't touch it. Shutter speed? Just turn the dial until the exposure meter at zero.
5. Metering, I prefer center weight. A lot prefer spot but I notice the side of the object will be easily over blown if subjected background is bright area.

Good luck.  ;D

Offline adamjohari

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Re: Advice needed on Watch Photography...
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2016, 06:48:46 AM »
Beautiful pics!  :thumbsup:
Adam Johari
Interested in: Lange, JLC, Patek
Website: adamjohari.wordpress.com
Instagram: Valjoux_72
Currently own: Seiko Padi, Rolex Datejust Vintage

Offline dstudio10

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Re: Advice needed on Watch Photography...
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2018, 12:40:45 PM »
the pix looks good.. would appreciate if there is a pix of the setup

i have a nikon n tamron sp90, always find it difficult to adjust the angle of the watch as a slight move will change the composition completely