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 Post subject: DIGITAL CAMERAS FOR GEMSTONE PHOTOGRAPHY
PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 2:38 pm 
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Greetings to the camaraderie of facetcutters!,

I have seen some good pictures on this forum of faceted stones.
I am also surprised on the picture quality of how most of the stones listed turned out. Even with a close up zoom.

My question is intended to gain feedback and suggestions on excellent digital cameras that can take ABSOLUTELY great photos of gemstones closeup and show optimal picture resolution.
My next step is getting a really good digital camera for photography of gems.

So far i have "heard" that the COOLPIX s10 camera is a really good camera for up close and detailed preserved shots of close objects. Now, im not looking to spend 10,000 dollars on a camera, but in same breath im not wanting to buy a piece of garbage either, so maybe something in range of $150-$1,200. Again, I am a fish out of water when it comes to cameras, so please bare with my limited information on this subject.

I also was told that a good thing to do, when shooting pics, is to pitch a tent and then get some fluorescent lights posted in the tent, when shooting gem's. After all the picture is what usually sells the gem. So doing this right is my intentions at this point.
Big thanks


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 3:14 pm 
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I would also check into these:

Photography Lighting Systems


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:00 pm 
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I second Snizzbob's link. I've been using one of their lightboxes with great success compared to other methods i've used.

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 Post subject: C A M E R A
PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 6:01 pm 
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Well, i will have to look into these Lightbox camera's. Sound like great cameras.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:35 am 
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Hi,

I haven’t responded to this thread earlier, because I also wanted to hear more from the experts on this forum. But there are a few things I learned by trial and error. They are really beginner basic but may be of some use.

1) I wanted a digital camera that is in a low price range and has a short focus distance in the macro setting for a close-up shot. I picked Fuji FinePix E510 (5.2 mega pixels and super macro focus distance 2.6 cm). Overall I like this camera. My only complaint is its white balance doesn’t work well under certain lightings, e.g., white background appearing yellowish under fluorescent light.

2) Soft diffused light works best for the gemstone photography. There is a product called Cloud Dome for taking a picture of a small object. I heard it is good. But I don’t have it and I don’t know for sure.

3) It is a good idea to use a tripod or something supporting the camera firmly.

4) Cleaning the gemstone thoroughly is as important as how you take a picture. Finger prints and dusts show up worse in a picture than in person.

Regards,
Mitch

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I am a slave to cutting a stone completely free of chips and very much enjoying it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 7:05 am 
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This is the camera I just got. I pre-production ordered it some time ago, and had nearly forgotten about it.

http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_section/product.asp?product=1450&cid=geto_e30_03-18_email

12 Megapixel. 24:1 Optical Zoom. Lots of features for the price. (I am really a Canon and Nikon guy at heart, but so far so good..
First bumbling attempts at pictures are on the Off The Dop thread.)

ImageImage

We bought two of them.
My wife does a lot of photography, and we are an Equal Opportunity Household. Or Else. :roll:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:01 am 
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I am not that good at the technical aspects of getting good piccys, I have a pretty basic digitalcamera A590, it works well when taking pictures of me jewellery so forth but it gets difficult to shoot gems... especially emeralds... they get blue - almost paraiba coloured so to speek... what am I doing wrong... sometimes I manage to tweek the colours pretty good with the computer but... how would I do to get good shots on emeralds (one would think cr tourmalin would get the same results for me but not tried that one)... I have the possibility to adjust the white balance manually but it doesnt matter it seems...

I have also tried every type of lightning conditions I have available, 5500k, halogen, ordinary light bulbs - and even "natural north daylight - in other words shot it outdoors)... I am confused...

YOu got any advise what to do? :roll:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:43 am 
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I have had some stones where the camera seems "Color Blind". For example, I took a picture of a color change CZ that was the light pink/purple neodymium doped stuff, and it came out a light yellow! It seem the sensors can miss some narrow range of a color.
Rather than use North Sky light, try a light diffuser made by cutting the top few inches below the neck off of a thin walled polyethylene gallon milk bottle. Cut a hole in the side for the lens to look into, and try direct sunlight. So you would put the bottle down over the stone. North Sky or open shade is a kind of blue color (6000K) compared to direct sunlight.

It might help..it does sometimes. I have had stones that never seem to photograph in their true colors no matter what light source I use. You COULD try the diffuser above with your electronic flash.

The problem seems to be that the CCCD sensors define Red/Green/Blue as narrow spectral bands, whereas the human eye does not- And sometimes they miss one of the subtle colors.

There's always (ugh) film....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:43 am 
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Interesting input Geerloose,
I thought I was going colour blind... so it is the quality of the sensors that is involved in this matter and the light source of course.... heheeh or is it the camera that is showing the true colour of the gem (it is our brain that interprete the colour in question wrong)... well... I dunno...

It would be really nice to get more input on this question from all of you faceters and your experience concerning gemphotographing in respect to colour.

Perhaps I should change me signature... to a more appropriate one hehehe

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 11:19 am 
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Quote:
heheeh or is it the camera that is showing the true colour of the gem (it is our brain that interprete the colour in question wrong)... well... I dunno...


A lot of gems exhibit metamerism, or the appearance of differing colors under different light sources...All the color change stones do and we actually seek them out and pay a premium for the ones like the color changing garnets and sapphires.


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 Post subject: Gem Colors
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 2:08 pm 
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I think the reason that some gems particularly green ones do not photograph correctly with a digital camera is due to the Bayer filter nearly all digital cameras use. See:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayer_filter

The only way I know how to compensate for this is to bring the image into Photoshop or a similiar program and do an inverse correction. The Bayer filter works great on general photography but it does not work with green toned gemstones. There may be other answers and I do not claim to be an expert.

Dan


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 2:32 pm 
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I had the same issue when my old Kodak camera bit the dust - had to find a new one that could take really good gemstone pics too without breaking the bank. I wasn't lucky enough to have the 'high end' of my expenditure be as high as yours! LUCKY DOG! I ended up buying the Panasonic Lumix LZ8 and have been VERY satisfied. Altho' the automatic white balance also isn't just perfect, it CAN be adjusted on this camera. It has automatic settings as well as manual settings so let's me do all sorts of changes as needed. I also take a lot of macro pics of nature - this baby takes some of the most amazing macro pics. Here's an example of a couple of close-up shots:

Image

Image

Edit - sorry, duplicate pic posted....fixed now.,...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 2:40 pm 
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Here is what they did before CCCD's.

I removed this from a 3/4" camera.

Image

The dichroic beamsplitter took the image and sent Red, Green, and Blue images to each dedicated vidicon. The resolution of these was theoretically unlimited if one was willing enough to raster scan enough. There was no dithering or interpolation or "Filling in the blanks" as is needed with millions of discrete sensors.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 7:01 pm 
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If anyone wants to see a REAL macro from the Olympus SP590, here is one from today.

WARNING it has been cropped down to a mere 6 Megs. Don't try this with a diallup.

http://www.darksidelap.com/crocus1.jpg

Here is a reduced SMALL version, all the way down to 265K:

http://www.darksidelap.com/crocus-s.jpg

It makes nice Springy screen wallpaper...


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 Post subject: digital cameras
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 7:12 pm 
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I recently purchased a Nikon Coolpix s10 on ebay used for about 150 dollars. They retail new, at i think, close to 500 bucks. I purchased this camera in intent of shooting good pictures that can capture the topography of a gemstone. A usfg member recommended this camera to me.

I tried it out. It has a built in tripod which is a good feature. What i like about the camera is the toggle switch which will allow you take off the flash and perform a number of other fine tunings. You then shoot your object. You can then retrieve your saved pic. where in the sub menu, you can then zoom in extremely close and perform a number of other alterations. The advantage of this camera, is how well macro pictures stay preserved upon zooming in closer, where other cameras usually show a reduction in quality when zooming in on object.

Now, im taking better pictures that are selling gems much better for me.

Lighting... that is a whole new endeavor that i certainly need to read up on. Im going to try the milk carton thing.


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