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Hello Everyone !!! - Question about photographing diamonds
Quote this post and reply to it Post#1 @ 12-01-05 , 02:16 PM


Just wanted to say hello and I LOVE this site! - I just bought a digital Nikon with great macro features. However I'm going crazy! Although the stones are clear and in focus, I can't seem to get the diamond lit well enough to capture that sparkle that for instance Diamonds By Lauren gets, and also avoiding the inside of the diamond from looking too dark. Is it the lighting? What should I be using for lighting and is there specific settings on the camera that I should be using. Any help with this problem will be greatly appreciated.

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Re: Hello Everyone !!! - Question about photographing diamonds
Quote this post and reply to it Post#2 @ 12-01-05 , 02:45 PM


DRF,
That's easy...just steal DBL's images from E-Bay like the rest of the world does!


Actually it is rather easy if you think about how light enters and exits a gemstone. In any picture that you take you want the light to go in through the front of the stone, bouonce against the pavilion and then come back to your eye through the crown of the stone. Since you will be using a macro and will be phsyically close to the stone you will be shading most of the light that could enter the stone with the camera and your body. To counteract this you need to get some light source as close to the camera lense as possible. This will allow the light to bounce at a very small angle from the source to the stone and then bac into the camera lense. Their are a bunch of ways to do this and I'm sure that you can come up with some novel ways on your own.

I use a flourescent light that is in the shape of a ring in a Dazor flourescent magnifying lamp setup. You can get different color temperatures in these tubes and so can evn show good color change with colered stones. I shoot right through the magnifyer from about 3" or 4" away and then crop the final image with Microsoft Picture It. (I know, it's cheap software, but it's fast and does what I want it to do). I just messed around with the settings on the camera until they look O.K., but can't tell you much about that since I don't really "get it"...not enough time for everything !

I pay special attention to my background colors and textures so that the focus remains on the stones. I like dark colors with this strong frontal lighting and so use brushed stainless steel, stone, dark wood and even those textured plastic laminates like formica. Make sure that the camera is focused well before taking your shot. I wear a binocular loupe that I use for making jewelry just so that I can get a really good view of that darn little screen on the back of the camera. (O.K., I'm getting older...don't rub it in !). Best of luck and post some pictures when you get some good ones. Here're a couple of mine.


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Question about photographing diamonds
Quote this post and reply to it Post#3 @ 12-01-05 , 03:21 PM


Thank you very much Michael_E! I'm going to definately try it this way. If I can get pictures like what you posted, I be thrilled.

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Dazor flourescent magnifying lamp
Quote this post and reply to it Post#4 @ 12-27-05 , 04:42 PM


Hi Michael.
COuld you elaborate on what a Dazor flourescent magnifying lamp is, where I can get it from, and what you meant about adjusting the florecent lamp?

Also, I notice you have taken the photograph on a Black background. Does that help?

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Re: Hello Everyone !!! - Question about photographing diamonds
Quote this post and reply to it Post#5 @ 12-28-05 , 03:49 PM


IndianGuy,
Dazor has a website here: http://www.dazor.com/illuminated-magnifiers.html
I got mine off of E-bay at an extremely low price. I don't think that the seller new what they were selling since they had it mislabelled and in the wrong section. E-bay is good for some things.

I just remove the magnifying lense and shoot through the center of the lamp. This illuminates the subject from every frontal direction and gets good light into the stones. Good light in = good light out.

That back ground is actually a piece of brushed stainless steel. It's a $2 junction box cover from Home Depot. It's sitting on a pedestal, (O.K. it's an old ironing board. It's the right height and it has some extra room to set up several different backgrounds at once. When I'm done I can fold it up and put it away). By tilting the lamp the stone is highlighted and the back ground is dark giving good contrast to the stone.

Now you know all my secrets, well at least the ones that are worth knowing !


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question for michael e about your camera...
Quote this post and reply to it Post#6 @ 08-01-07 , 04:13 AM


what sort of camera do you use? Do you need something with good zoom as well as the illuminated magnifier or do you just use a normal digital camera?

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Re: Hello Everyone !!! - Question about photographing diamonds
Quote this post and reply to it Post#7 @ 08-01-07 , 05:01 AM


sorry let me ask the same question a different way. i have a canon SD200 and would like to know, could I get a lens attachment for it that would improve its ability to photograph close and clearly? (photographing diamonds) the only macro lenses i can find are a combo wide angle + macro lens (.45X) or a 2X telephoto lens. which of these would be more appropriate?

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