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Thread: What lens for product shots?

  1. #1
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    Question What lens for product shots?

    Hello, I haven't taken any product shots since the film days, and now I've switched to cropped sensor digital (1.5) shooting. I was hoping I could get a recommendation on which lens to use out of the available Nikon lenses I have. This is for small product photography on a translucent shooting table using a two head strobe setup.

    The lenses I've narrowed it down to are a couple zooms, 17-55/2.8DX and 80-200/2.8AF-D, and the primes, 50/1.8AF-D, 55/2.8M Ais, 85/1.8AF-D, and a 85/1.4 Ais.

    I'm leaning towards the 55/2.8 Micro because it's super-sharp with an effective focal length of about 82mm, plus if I need to get into the macro range I could, at least 1:2 without extension tubes.

    So my question is: what lens would you choose out of the lenses I listed? If none of them seem appropriate, what other lens? I have quite a few other lenses, but the ones listed seem the most appropriate to me. Thanks so much.

  2. #2
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: What lens for product shots?

    No question the 85 T/S lens is the best bar none for product work after that throw the zooms back in your bag and use the macro lens
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Thumbs up Re: What lens for product shots?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    No question the 85 T/S lens is the best bar none for product work after that throw the zooms back in your bag and use the macro lens
    Thanks Guy, I don't have that lens, I have a 28/3.5 PC lens which is too wide I'm sure, plus it just shifts. Maybe some day I'll invest in that terrific 85 T/S, but in the meantime, I'll see what I can turn-out with the macro lens. Thanks again for the recommendation, and the confirmation. Thankyou sir.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: What lens for product shots?

    There actually are a new 45 and 85 T/S lenses coming in August i believe from Nikon. Worth looking at
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: What lens for product shots?

    Thanks for the heads up Guy! Doesn't seem like Canon has any bragging rights left.

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    Re: What lens for product shots?

    Quote Originally Posted by Player View Post
    Thanks for the heads up Guy! Doesn't seem like Canon has any bragging rights left.
    I wouldn't be to sure about that

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    Talking Re: What lens for product shots?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    I wouldn't be to sure about that
    I'm not, just thought I'd get a shot in.

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    Re: What lens for product shots?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    No question the 85 T/S lens is the best bar none for product work after that throw the zooms back in your bag and use the macro lens
    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    There actually are a new 45 and 85 T/S lenses coming in August i believe from Nikon. Worth looking at
    Both the older PC Micro-NIKKOR 85mm f/2.8D and the new PC-E Micro NIKKOR 85mm f/2.8D are currently listed on the Nikon website. Both lenses have 6 elements in 5 groups, the same filter size (77mm), and almost identical dimensions. The the main differences are:

    * minimum aperture: f45 (old) vs f32 (new)
    * Nano Crystal Coat: no (old) vs yes (new)
    * weight: 27.2oz/846g (old) vs 22.4oz/635g (new)

    I'm curious as to whether the older lens might offer any advantages over the new model. Or, alternatively, would the Nano Crystal Coating make the new lens worth waiting for (and perhaps paying more for)?

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    Re: What lens for product shots?

    Good question Jonathon, I'd like to know too. Thanks.

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    Re: What lens for product shots?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathon Delacour View Post
    Both the older PC Micro-NIKKOR 85mm f/2.8D and the new PC-E Micro NIKKOR 85mm f/2.8D are currently listed on the Nikon website. Both lenses have 6 elements in 5 groups, the same filter size (77mm), and almost identical dimensions. The the main differences are:

    * minimum aperture: f45 (old) vs f32 (new)
    * Nano Crystal Coat: no (old) vs yes (new)
    * weight: 27.2oz/846g (old) vs 22.4oz/635g (new)

    I'm curious as to whether the older lens might offer any advantages over the new model. Or, alternatively, would the Nano Crystal Coating make the new lens worth waiting for (and perhaps paying more for)?
    Actually one other key feature listed for the newer model is Auto Aperture control possible with the D3, D700 an D300.

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    Re: What lens for product shots?

    I used the older model and it was a stellar lens, really liked it. Need exactly the same thing for my MF camera.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: What lens for product shots?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathon Delacour View Post
    I'm curious as to whether the older lens might offer any advantages over the new model. Or, alternatively, would the Nano Crystal Coating make the new lens worth waiting for (and perhaps paying more for)?
    There are indications that the lens formula might have been tweaked.

    This, of course, isn't surprising given the inclusion of an ED lens element.
    This, together with the nano-coat would indicate that the colors will be better corrected.

    The older version (I use one) though it is a superb and sharp lens, could benefit from better color corrections.

    Since these are special purpose lenses, if there is an acute need for it (product photography and such being the bread and butter of ones work), the new version would be quite a welcome addition.

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    Re: What lens for product shots?

    Questions, are the 85s better suited for 35mm film and FF sensors respectively? Was the 45 T/S designed for cropped sensors? Thanks.

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    Re: What lens for product shots?

    The 45 PC-E Nikkor comes on the heals of the D3. Most certainly it is not restricted to the APS-C format.

    There are occasions when a shorter focal length (wider coverage) lens is quite desirable.

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    Re: What lens for product shots?

    Thanks Vivek, 45mm just seems like a strange focal length for a T/S lens, not wide enough, and not long enough (in my limited thinking anyway).

    Heck, if I brought my 28/3.5 PC out of mothballs, I thought that a 42mm PC lens was near useless (with a cropped sensor camera).

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    Re: What lens for product shots?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Actually one other key feature listed for the newer model is Auto Aperture control possible with the D3, D700 an D300.
    Marc, thanks for pointing this out. Which means that the older version had to be manually stopped down. According to the amazingly detailed Nikon PC-Micro Nikkor 85mm f/2.8 D page on Leo Foo's Nikkor Resources site:

    As long as you can live with some slight inconveniences (such as difficult to setup, lack of AF, stop down AE when shift/tilt ), overall, this lens is quite a versatile lens.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    This, together with the nano-coat would indicate that the colors will be better corrected.

    The older version (I use one) though it is a superb and sharp lens, could benefit from better color corrections.
    Sounds like the Auto-Aperture control plus the Nano Crystal Coating makes the new version worth waiting for.

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    Re: What lens for product shots?

    For products on DX sensor, the ZF 50/2 is excellent. And, when it comes out, the 45 TS will be truly excellent.

    re. FX, Guy's suggestions (the new 85; similar focal length) are spot on: the tilt function being the most important: deep or shallow DOF, independent of aperture. I sold the ZF 100/2 to a member here in anticipation of this latter lens. Cheers to all, KL

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    Re: What lens for product shots?

    anyone know of adapters to put a nikon onto a hasselblad 200 body?

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    Re: What lens for product shots?

    Quote Originally Posted by jlm View Post
    anyone know of adapters to put a nikon onto a hasselblad 200 body?
    I haven't heard of one but Son, a fellow forum member, would know if anyone does. I just ordered one of his Hassy to Nikon adapters so I can shoot my 110 f/2 on the D3.

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    Re: What lens for product shots?

    Fotodiox PRO adapters are well made and work well.

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