Bought a New Camera

Discussion in 'American Pocket Watches' started by Clint Geller, Apr 13, 2019.

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  1. Clint Geller

    Clint Geller Registered User
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    #1 Clint Geller, Apr 13, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
    Well, my old Nikon D100 has just been retired after 18 years of use. I just replaced it with a new Nikon D850, which takes me from 8 Mexapixels up to 45.7 Megapixels. The sensor and color density, and other related software are also much improved. So I shot these pix with my new camera, my same old but excellent Nikon 60mm/f2.8 micro lens (everyone else calls these "macro" lenses, but Nikon calls it a micro lens), a new electronic remote shutter release, and a right angle viewer on my old copy stand. I shot the pix in aperture priority mode at f14 for good depth of field. The subject is one of the two extravagant 65th birthday presents I recently bought myself: an American Grade 20 Size, 20 jewel Waltham, SN 150,024, with Stratton's patent barrel and Fogg's vibrating hairspring stud regulator. The 18K case is by Celestine Jacot & Brother.

    But of course, even cropped, the original JPG's were too big to post here. :)

    DSC_0014.JPG DSC_0016.JPG DSC_0017.JPG DSC_0025.JPG
     
  2. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    Sweet! They look so sharp. I look forward to seeing more
    of your photographs with this new D850


    Rob
     
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  3. Clint Geller

    Clint Geller Registered User
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    The website is fighting me. I have shrunk the two exterior case pictures way down to about 1.5 MB apiece, and I still can't upload either one. The interior front lid image is 2.9 MB, and it uploaded just fine. So I'm stumped.
     
  4. Bryan Eyring

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    What is the case hallmark on the front lid?
     
  5. Bryan Eyring

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    The last time I held this watch it was in a different case and hour hand has been switched - what's happening?
     
  6. ben_hutcherson

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    Clint,

    I'm using a D800, which is two generations removed from the D850 and "only" 36 megapixels. I've been impressed with the D850 from playing with it in the store.

    The D8x0 cameras are capable of astonishing results, but can also bring your computer hardware to a grinding halt and you can forget doing anything on the web with photos straight out of the camera. In fact, I rarely use it for photos that I intend to post directly to the web(I usually use either my D600 at 24mp or even D700 at 12mp) so that I'm not dealing with resizing huge files.

    As a side note, my main lens for watch use is the 105mm f/2.8D Micro. With 35mm film or a full frame camera, I find the working distance of a lens in the 50-60mm range to be uncomfortably short. On your D100, the 60mm lens has the equivalent field of view/working distance of a 90mm lens on a full frame camera.

    In any case, have fun! I remember talking to John Cote shortly after the D850 was announced, and I think he got one pretty quickly afterwards. I made the mistake of buying my(used) D800 a few weeks before the D850 was announced-when it started shipping the D800s started going below $1K pretty quickly.
     
  7. Clint Geller

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    There is no "hallmark," as it is an American case. The rear lid is marked "C. J. & Bro," for Celestine Jacot & Brother, as I both stated and showed. This case is the one the movement was in when I bought the watch last month. I assumed it is the same case it was in when the movement was sold at Bonham's to a different buyer. But Bonham's doesn't really show the case on their website, so I can't be sure about that - I wasn't at the auction. In any case, it's a wonderful 20 Size Waltham case and perfectly appropriate for the watch. And I don't have a bag full of 20 Size gold cases sitting around that I can mix and match with. My only other 20 Size case has a Civil War inscription on it.
     
  8. Clint Geller

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    Ben, I have considered buying a 105mm micro many times, but the minimum working distance is a foot. I prefer the shorter 7.3 inch min working distance of the 60mm micro. I reduced the size of my latest images in photoshop.
     
  9. Bryan Eyring

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    Not going to get into a debate about terminology but use of the term "hallmark" is widely accepted for American watches too Clint.

    If you compare the case photos you'll also see the one in Bonhams does not have ET on inside of front lid and pendents are different.

    I'm not here to condemn the watch, merely trying to bring it to your attention so you are aware.

    FWIW I do not have a sack of extra 20 size cases either but may have a tray of them around here somewhere ;)

    Cheers.
     
  10. ben_hutcherson

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    Clint,

    You mentioned working from a copy stand, so a longer lens may not suit that well, and of course absent that everyone's set up and preferences are different.

    With that said, both the 105mm and your 60mm will focus to a 1:1(lifesize) magnification ratio without the use of extension tubes or bellows. On a full frame camera, this means that racked out to the minimum focusing distance, both will fill the frame with something 24x36mm. On your D100, either lens at the same setting will fill the frame with an object 16x24mm. I'm sure you know this, but the closest setting on either lens on your D850 will roughly frame a balance wheel+cock, while to photograph something like a 20 size watch you're going to be at roughly 1:2.5-1:3(just some quick testing with an 18 size watch and estimating from that-I don't have a 20 size handy). With the 105mm f/2.8D Micro, that puts you at a distance of 1 1/2 feet-the 60mm would presumably be a little over a foot away for the same framing.

    What the longer lens does accomplish is it allows you a bit more "breathing room" between the camera and the subject, which makes illuminate it.

    That's not to criticize what you're doing-your current results are fine. I'm just speaking as someone who has owned and used a whole lot of 55mm macro/micro lenses and not just to photograph watches and find that I prefer being a bit further away.

    There again, though, there is more than one means to an end. I don't use a copy stand-I actually use a couple of studio strobes for illumination, and hand-hold the camera. I would have never thought of hand holding, but John Cote suggested that I try it and I found that I preferred both the results and flexibility. The strobes often have me working at f/22 or smaller, and they stop any motion/vibrations from hand holding effectively. I DO still use support when I do greater-than-lifesize work. That's a bit of a different story, though, as the bellows add a lot of bulk and you also end up with your depth of field being fractions of a millimeter deep so even with strobes you can still change what's in focus far too easily(and change the framing) if not on a steady support. Also, the light fall-off from the bellows often puts me more in the f/5.6 range(set on the lens-I have no idea what the effective aperture is), where I have even less DOF to work with.
     
  11. Clint Geller

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    #11 Clint Geller, Apr 13, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
    Ben, you've obviously given this a lot of thought. The other factor for me is that with a right angle viewer, for most shots I can remain seated in front of the camera with a 60mm lens and see through my viewer. With a 105mm lens, for many shots I'd either need a lower table or I'd need to stand and bend to either use the right angle viewer or look down through the viewfinder without one. And I've got a bad back.
     
  12. Dano4734

    Dano4734 Registered User

    All I have is my iPhone camera sniff sniff maybe Santa this year I hope
     
  13. Clint Geller

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    Point taken, Bryan. Well, it's an old story that the best movements tend to gravitate towards the best cases. Different people have different opinions about that fact. For me personally, I've made my peace with that a long time ago. The only instances in which I have a hard and fast rule against switching is when there is a documented historical provenance involved. I don't enjoy my watch any less for knowing about its recent history, but thank you for pointing that out.
     
  14. Jim Haney

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    This thread would have been better served to EVERYONE if Clint would have started a Thread on his watch and a separate thread in another forum on his camera.:(:eek::oops::rolleyes:o_O
     
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  15. Jim Haney

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    Clint

    Happy Birthday and I am glad you got some new toys for the big 65th. I love your watch and I can understand the feeling of wanting to talk about the camera and Ben was enthusiastic about it also, so have at it and we should have room for all subjects and I am sorry if I put a damper on it.:):cool:
     
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  16. Clint Geller

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    Thank you, Jim. Your post is much appreciated.
     
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  17. ben_hutcherson

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    Clint,

    With your explanation of your set-up, and especially the right angle finder, I understand why the 60mm is a good match. Part of the genesis of my comment was-there again-that on your D100 it gave a field of view equivalent to a 90mm lens, but in any case obviously what you have is working well for you.

    One thing you might play with, regardless of the lens you're using, is magnified manual focus live view. The articulated LCD on the D850 should make this easy, and perhaps easier than the right angle finder. I still use manual focus cameras(particular the F2 and FM2n) fairly often and I'm spoiled by manual focus on those-I've never really been able to manually focus well to save my life with the viewfinder on AF SLRs, and 24mp+ DSLRs are unforgiving.
     
  18. Clint Geller

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    I'm still experimenting with Liveview, Ben. You may be right that it offers advantages for copy stand work. The manual on this camera is very thick. And yes, I've always known that you need to multiply the stated focal length of a lens by 1.5 when using it on a DSLR to get the equivalent focal length on a 35mm film camera.
     
  19. John Cote

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    A few reflections on watch photography and cameras/lenses:

    To start with...and cameras and lenses aside...watch photos are all about lighting and controlling reflections. Cameras are a factor but a lot of cameras can take good watch pictures in good lighting. Lenses might even be more important that cameras in some respects because one of the main things that causes bad reflections on the surface of a watch...is the camera (what do you think turns the heads of your bright steel screws black?). Longer focal length lenses get the camera farther away from the watch and thus minimize reflections. Also, getting the camera farther away from the watch allows better control of lighting.

    I too have a Nikon D-850. I have both the 60mm and the 105mm. I overwhelmingly use the 105 for watch pictures. I do not use a copy stand and I do find that every watch needs a little bit different lighting situation. If I want to take the ultimate watch movement pictures I use my Elinchrom strobe lighting system and a bunch of little reflectors both black and white. However, for display on the web I can take pictures almost as good by placing the watch movement on a table which sits in a bigh north facing window in my studio. I use a piece of white card to reflect light onto the watch from the non-window side...and I use my iPhone as a camera.

    This one of the dial plate of an early 16s Hammie was taken on the table in the window years ago on my old iPhone 5. The newer iPhone is much better. The point is...I guess...that the camera has something...but not a lot to do with the picture.

    HamEarly16_D-Plate.jpg
     
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  20. John Cote

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    The D-850 has a 35mm film equivalent sized sensor so you have no multiplier effect with lenses. The aspect ratio is the same as with a 35mm film camera.

    Live view is pretty neat for watch pix if you are on a tripod or a copy stand. It allows you to modify the light and see what happens live.
     
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  21. kevin h

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    Dano , I have a box of those fancy camera's , one use's floppy disc's ! I use my phone for almost all pictures now , tied to my gmail account and they are uploaded straight to my google page
     
  22. Clint Geller

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    #22 Clint Geller, Apr 15, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
    Ah. That was never clear to me. Thanks for that information, John. I could never find a clear statement in the product literature about that issue. I’ve never found a lot of issues with reflections when shooting on my copy stand with the 60mm lens, so I imagine I will stick with it, at least for a while, especially since it is more comfortable for me. I suppose that you place your I-phone in some kind of holding bracket for photography, right?
     
  23. John Cote

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    Clint, it is pretty much impossible not to have reflections/shadows of the camera effect the look of a picture when using a copy stand and having the plane of the sensor/film of the camera exactly parallel to the plane of the plates of the watch and with the center of the lens exactly in line with the center of the movement. When shooting watches with blued screws and gilt plates it is not as obvious as when shooting more reflective nickle plates with bright steel screws...but the reflection/shadow is inevitabley there.

    I don't always put the phone camera in some kind of holder. Sometimes I brace it against something. Sometime I just hand hold it. It depends on the light. The light is what makes a photo. The light makes it good or bad or in-between. The camera simply captures the way the light reflects off or is absorbed by a subject. It's all about the light.
     
  24. GeneJockey

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    That's the thing that always bedevils me when shooting a watch with any polished surfaces, or, even worse, a wristwatch with a black dial and a new crystal. I always end up with a picture of the lights.
     
  25. gmorse

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    Hi GeneJockey,

    They won't be so obtrusive if you put some sort of diffuser in front of them. Even a sheet of tissue paper will often be enough.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  26. Clint Geller

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    Well, of course my lights are angled in from the side, and I often diffuse them. I do often get obvious reflections when I photograph dials and cases, but not so much with movements. Diffusing the light cuts way down on those, though. The pix I showed in the OP were not diffused. I was just experimenting with my new camera. My old D100 still took adequate pix, but I just decided it was time for an upgrade.

    I've never been able to get a good picture hand-holding a cell phone, and I have tried, but maybe that's just me.
     
  27. John Cote

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    Clint,

    I see two reflections on the beautiful gilt surface of your beautiful 20s American Grade above. There is the gold glow from the light reflecting off the cuvette and the black reflection of your camera. The black reflection turns both the gilt and the brightwork dark. There are ways to get around this but it is there and no camera by itself will get rid of it.
     
  28. Clint Geller

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    Yes, I see your point, John. I have purchased a new copy stand with much more articulatable LED lights than my current ancient one, but it hasn’t arrived yet. Let’s see if that, plus a diffusion filter, can eliminate the camera reflection. As for the reflection off the cuvette, I think the only complete cure for that would be to remove the movement from the case. But I really hate to do that, John.
     
  29. ben_hutcherson

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  30. Clint Geller

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    #30 Clint Geller, Apr 17, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
    Let’s see if that’s really necessary once my new stand arrives first. I can easily afford the 105 too, if I want to go there. I may have had the room lights on as well as the copy stand lights, and that probably contributed to the camera shadow, perhaps even caused it. So I will methodically change one variable at a time until I solve the problem. The reflection off the cuvette is another issue, though. I really hate the idea of removing every movement from its case for photographing.
     
  31. Tom McIntyre

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    As for loading images here we have a limit of 30 Mbytes for the image file and use ImageMagick software to scale it to our dimension requirements. The largest image dimension is limited to 1600 pixels. The ability of the software to generate the fourier transform to scale the jpeg image depends on the on the photo complexity which generally equates to large areas with small random variations that boost up the frequency domain. The processing has limited memory available and when it runs out of memory it gives up and returns an error.

    The description of the cause of the error is too complex for any normal user, so a dumb error message is returned on the theory that it is no more insulting than any other choice.

    Once we have an image a thumbnail is created with a 250 x 250 px bounding box The largest dimension is made 250px and the other dimension is from the original ratio.
     
  32. Clint Geller

    Clint Geller Registered User
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    Hmm. well I reduced my jpg's down to about 2 Mb in Photoshop and still couldn't post them. In any case, I am changing my photographic set-up (new 105mm lens, new copy stand, and photo tent to diffuse the light) and will post more pix, or will attempt to do so, when I have some new results to show.
     
  33. Tom McIntyre

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    Clint, the file size is not critical. It is not until the image is transformed by the fourier Transform that the memory goes runaway. It is counterintuitive because a relatively bland image grows much larger than one with lots of interesting design and contrast.

    I have been taking all of my pictures with my iPhone for a few years now. When I really want it to look good, I use my Nimbus Clouddome. It has no flat surfaces which helps with the light, but it does have the defect that in you just use it flat on the table, your lens will always be in the image. :(
     
  34. ben_hutcherson

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    When I work up photos to post on here(or other message boards) I generally set Lightroom(which is my primary image processor) to export the a JPEG that's 1500 pixels on its long dimension.

    My general workflow is to import the .NEF files(or sometimes .raf if I'm using a Fujifilm DSLR, which I sometimes do) into Lightroom, which converts them to a .dng. DNG is sort-of universal "digital negative"(or universal RAW) format that's ideal for archiving since the files are not unique to the camera from which they originate.

    In any case, in Lightroom I do what is needed to get the image I want(generally a bit of contrast and exposure adjustment, some cropping, and then automated lens correction) then export to the desired size as a JPEG.
     
  35. Clint Geller

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    #35 Clint Geller, Apr 19, 2019 at 11:32 PM
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019 at 11:38 PM
    Yeah, I think I can see it. In one dimension, the Fourier transform of a horizontal line segment of height unity and length L is:
    A(k) = -(2/k)sin(kL/2). So for small L, which would correspond to a complex, information-dense image, there is a significant range of k for which A(k) is approximately constant with a value roughly equal to -L. Conversely, if L is relatively large, which would correspond to a "bland," information-sparse image, then there is a very large range of k for which A(k) oscillates rapidly between 2/k and -2/k. The numerical convergence with respect to the number of k-points carried is much slower, so you need to store many more k values.
     
  36. Clint Geller

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    Ben, please explain "automated lens correction." Thanks.
     
  37. ben_hutcherson

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    All lenses have some amount of distortion. Sometimes it's simple barrel distortion, while at other times it's more complex. Macro(micro) lenses tend to be the most corrected for it, but it's still there. Also, most lenses have some degree of chromatic aberration, and digital tends to show this more than film ever did. Image editing programs have the ability to correct both of these to varying degrees. As an extreme example, the newer Fuji mirrorless lenses are designed without regard to geometric distortion, as the Fuji brand lenses are well characterized and the camera corrects the distortion automatically.

    In any case, Photoshop has had lens correction tools for a while that will fix both geometric distortion and chromatic aberration. Back in the CS2 days, I can remember adjusting the sliders manually. With CS6 and Lightroom 6, quite a variety of lenses have already been profiled, and if they have it's a matter of selecting the correct profile(often the software does it automatically based on EXIF data) and letting it work its magic. In Photoshop, it's under "Filter"->"Lens Correction." Lightroom places it toward the bottom of the right hand panel of adjustments.

    Screen Shot 2019-04-20 at 8.47.09 AM.png
     
  38. Clint Geller

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    #38 Clint Geller, Apr 20, 2019 at 9:13 AM
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2019 at 9:25 AM
    Thank you, Ben. My current copy of Photoshop is also ancient. I need to update that too. Or then again, maybe not. The Photoshop/Lightroom customer reviews on Amazon are pretty brutal, mostly one-star. And it's an expensive yearly subscription. Yeesh!
     

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