What cameras do you use for closeup watch/clock photos?

Discussion in 'Horological Tools' started by Firegriff, Mar 17, 2014.

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  1. Firegriff

    Firegriff Registered User

    Feb 22, 2013
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    I have a spare Nikon D40 digital SLR body with a 18-55 mm standard lens and would like to use it for taking close-up photos of watches for archiving repairs and for sharing. I originally bought to mount on my 3x90 tri-ocular Amscope inspection microscope but it magnifies to much and I cannot get sharp focus on a entire watch works great otherwise for close up of sections of watches or tiny parts but not for the whole watch. The standard lens works ok but wont focus properly on a close up of a entire watch (To far away). I know the answer may lay in a MACRO lens but I am not sure what type would work properly. Would anybody have any suggestions?.
     
  2. Thomas Hammond

    Thomas Hammond Registered User
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    Apr 17, 2010
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    I bought the AFS Micro-Nikkor 40 mm f/2.8 lens about a year ago, and use it almost continually on my Nikon D90 for general shop photography, including close-ups to roughly 1:1. I mostly use in in fully-manual mode, but the autofocus is surprisingly good for many applications. I paid about $250 for it; good value in my opinion.

    I also have the (much) older 55 mm and 105 mm Micro-Nikkor lenses from my film photography days; they also work well on the D90, but of course are manual only.

    Hope this helps,

    Tom
     
  3. Firegriff

    Firegriff Registered User

    Feb 22, 2013
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    Thank you that was what I was looking for it is still that price on Amazon.
     
  4. emhitch

    emhitch Registered User
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    Mar 17, 2009
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    Firegriff, I use a Nikon D50 SLR body with a Nikon 105 mm f/2.8 FX AF MICRO-NIKKOR (1990-2007 version) for extreme close up work in addition to the AF-S DX VR Zoom-NIKKOR 18-200 mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED. Between these two lenses, I have been extremely satisfied with my results. The 105 mm lens is a true professional lens and, although I am far from a professional, I can clearly see the difference when using this lens. Hopes this helps.
     
  5. Allan Wolff

    Allan Wolff Moderator
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    Mar 17, 2005
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    I have had pretty good luck with a set of close-up lens filters similar to these. Make sure to get the size to fit your existing lens. Much less expensive than a new lens, but probably not nearly as high quality. Good enough for what I need.
     
  6. Joe Collins

    Joe Collins Registered User

    Jan 3, 2004
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    Good cameras can be found in unusual places. Take for example the Toshiba Camileo x 400 Series video camera. While it is primarily a video it can take some outstanding stills. The wide macro mode focal range is 1 cm, (.390") to 120 cm, (47.24"). In the normal mode the focal range is 1 cm to infinity.
    This picture of a 12 size South Bend Studebaker was taken with available light just to show how close it would focus. It has not had any cropping.

    IMG_00281_zpsb02c4a0e.gif
     
  7. James Foster

    James Foster Registered User
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    Dec 13, 2010
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    Clockmaker @ Your Time Clock Repair
    East TN
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    I use an iPad mini to capture and view images. I also use it to populate a spreadsheet template documenting the condition of all timepieces coming into my shop and as an interface with Quickbooks online creating invoices and taking credit card payments. The images are certainly good enough for my purposes and I get a lot of value for the small amount of space the iPad takes up. This is an example under fluorescent light which is not particularly friendly for image capture.
     

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  8. David S

    David S Registered User
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    Dec 18, 2011
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    Awesome photo Joe.
     
  9. Russel

    Russel Registered User

    Jul 15, 2013
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    I use and old Nikon D200 with a 60mm macro lens.
    crystal.jpg
     
  10. glenhead

    glenhead Registered User
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    Nov 15, 2009
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    I use a Canon PowerShot A590.
    a590.jpg

    It's a point-and-shoot style camera with retracting lens, and goes from full automatic to full manual. We bought it originally because it has a very good reputation for working with a spotting scope for wildlife photography. It works just as well with a microscope. I just hand-hold it to the ocular on either style of scope, and fiddle with the alignment until I have what I want. It has a surprisingly good macro capability on its own. There have been a couple of further generations of it since we bought it, with the same (or better) capabilities. The first three shots are taken with the macro setting on the camera, and the last two are through microscopes.

    Here's a shot of an 18s BW Raymond:
    bw_raymond1.jpg

    On the other end of the scale for a complete movement, here's a Bulova 3AN:
    bulova_3an.jpg

    Here's a shot of the reverser wheel in an Omega 550. For reference, the kingswood block is 3/4" (2cm) across:
    omega_550_reverser.jpg

    Here's a shot through one of the oculars on my stereo microscope, showing the hack mechanism in an Elgin A-17A at 30x:
    Elgin_a-17-a_hack.jpg

    Finally, here's a shot through my stage 'scope, showing a crunched jewel at 40x:
    stage_scope.jpg

    Glen
     
  11. Steven Barnett

    Steven Barnett Registered User

    Oct 20, 2011
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  12. Steven Barnett

    Steven Barnett Registered User

    Oct 20, 2011
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    Here's an example of a photo taken with a Nikon DSLR, 80mm prime lens, and an extension tube 2836-2HS ver 2.jpg
     
  13. Firegriff

    Firegriff Registered User

    Feb 22, 2013
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    I am going to purchase the AFS Micro-Nikkor 40 mm f/2.8 lens for my D40
    it has a reasonable price.
     
  14. Firegriff

    Firegriff Registered User

    Feb 22, 2013
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    You can get some nice DSLR's for a fraction of their original cost the one I purchased Nikon D-40 off e-bay can with a good battery and charger but no lens for $60.00. I tried the lens that came with my D-40x and it worked just and when used with the adapter on my microscope took great pictures but I could not get a 18s watch movement completely in the picture it did great for shots of jewels and other small fine parts. So with the 40mm lens and a short tripod it should work one plus is that the Adjustable LED light ring that came with the microscope fits the lens so it lights the subject well with no shadows and it will adjust brightness to reduce glare in the shiny movements and cases. I may also get one of those octopi arm mounts on a small tripod for close-ups as I wish to take component parts of the watch as I dismantle them. I do still kick my self for not getting a boom mount scope would have made lathe work easier with my old eyes. The scope is a AmScope try ocular 3x90 inspection type and works great for hair spring and pivot holes or any other microscopic parts this will be a dedicated setup because I do not plan to use the camera for other types photography.
     
  15. R.G.B.

    R.G.B. Registered User

    Feb 27, 2009
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    Be aware also that most lenses sold have macro listed but aren't true 1:1 lenses. I have older rail systems but currently use extension tubes. Also use your aperture to get as much depth of field as you can squeeze
    out of the lens. F: 16 or higher is good to start. Diffraction at that distance isn't going to be noticable.
    IMG_3668.jpg
     

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