How to take picture for ebay item

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Ohm, Feb 3, 2006.

  1. Ohm

    Ohm Guest

    I have been taking pictures using my digital SONY DSC F717 over a year
    now. Iam fine with portrait of people or animal at a distance. I always
    use the auto function and ends perfect. For the last few days Iam
    trying to take a close picture of my auction item like small computer
    parts (sound card, ram memory etc) in ebay and most of them come out of
    focus. Iam taking the pictures with and without flash to compare, I use
    the exisitng indoor low ceiling lights, which has 100W-120W filament
    SPOTLIGHTS aling the wall. Any idea how to improve picture quality and
    sharpness without buying any extra equipments. I need to get the small
    prints on top of the chips, to show it in the auction.

    If I allowed to buy only one extra equipment, what that should be? (I
    already have a tripod stand)

    Thank you and appreciate any help
    Ohm, Feb 3, 2006
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  2. It is very difficult to judge what the problem may be without seeing the
    results. I was not able to find out what the minimum focusing distance is.
    I suspect that you may be too close to allow the camera to focus. It also
    could be that it is just very soft focus when that close. Try different
    zoom settings and try manual focus. I suspect you are going to need a
    close-up filter-lens. (they are really lenses but look like filters.)
    Joseph Meehan, Feb 3, 2006
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  3. Ohm

    bugbear Guest

    OK. Use tripod, narrow aperture, auto focus,
    macro mode.

    Your camera will focus down to 2cm.

    bugbear, Feb 3, 2006
  4. Ohm

    Craig Guest

    I also use a F717 for eBay and everything else. Forgive me if I'm starting
    out too far on the simplistic side, but it's better to be safe than sorry.
    First off, I am assuming that you half-press the shutter and wait for the
    "all set" beep and visual indicator to show that the camera's exposure is
    set and focus has been achieved before taking the picture. Especially for
    close up and even more so for macro mode, the F717 takes more time to focus
    and if you simply press the shutter without the "half-press and wait", you
    images will not be focused.

    For you close ups, have you put the camera into Macro mode? Without macro
    mode, you need to be further than 20-36" from the subject (20" if the zoom
    is full wide angle and 36" if full telephoto). In macro mode, you can get as
    close as 1" (if the zoom is full wide angle) but as you zoom towards
    telephoto, the minimum distance increases (at full telephoto zoom, macro
    does nothing--you still need to be 36", the same as if you weren't in macro
    mode to be in focus).

    There are many other things you can do, but having the camera in Macro mode
    and keeping the zoom towards the wide angle side of things will let you
    achieve good in-focus pix. Note that using the built-in flash for macros may
    create problems where the shadow from the lens will block the flash's light
    from reaching part of the view field. This won't be a problem as long as the
    lens is 5-6" or so or more from the subject, but becomes an issue around 4"
    and lower or so.

    For extreme close ups, your camera luckily has 58mm threads on its lens.
    Check ebay or elsewhere and look for a close up lens set (+1 to +4,
    complete with a pouch to hold them all). I bet you can get one for under
    $25. With a close up lens screwed onto the front of your F717, you can get
    images of MUCH smaller items and have the additional advantage of not
    needing to be at full wide angle zoom. This lets you focus on a small item
    at a more convenient distance rather than needing to have the lens almost on
    top of the item.

    A lot can be done with your PC and photo imaging software, too. When a 5
    Megapixel camera is used to make eBay images (500 pixels max when using
    eBay's imaging service), you can use your F717 and take the image with the
    item not filling the whole frame, them crop the image, making the item
    appear bigger. Editing software is also great beyond cropping for color
    correction, adjusting levels (brightness/contrast), sharpening, resizing,

    Lastly, when not using flash (which is what I'd recommend), if the available
    light is too low, camera shake becomes an issue, so a tripod or better
    lighting may help you. One way to maximize light (and get best color
    correction without extra effort) would be to try taking these pictures
    outside in sunlight.

    Craig, Feb 3, 2006
  5. I made a very simple rig for shooting small objects for a web catalog.
    It consisted of two halogen desk lamps for illumination (about 90
    degrees apart, with the camera centered between), and a curved piece of
    posterboard for a background.

    Put the camera on the tripod, and use the self-timer to get wiggle-free
    shots. Make sure you set the color balance for tungsten lights.
    Albert Nurick, Feb 3, 2006
  6. Ohm

    Jim Guest

    Too close to the subject? If it has a macro mode, this may help.
    Jim, Feb 3, 2006
  7. Lots of good advice in these replies. I will just add that you may find
    the close up lenses you need described as Diopters (+1,+2 etc). Also in
    addition to using a tripod, utilize a remote shutter release. If you do
    not have one, use your self timer to keep your hands off the camera. The
    most minute shake will throw your focus at close range.
    An old white holland blind can be an excellent and portable neutral
    backdrop (seamless, fold-less). Try second hand stores, junk shops.
    usual suspect, Feb 4, 2006
  8. Ohm

    timeOday Guest

    This may also be a good application for digital crop. How big do you
    want your ebay photos to be, 640x480 at most? Just back up until the
    object fills only about 1/4 the width of the viewfnder, then take the
    pic and crop it. That way you won't have to stand so close.
    timeOday, Feb 4, 2006
  9. Ohm

    Tom2000 Guest

    Tom2000, Feb 4, 2006
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