How to best adjust Z740 for Macro/close-up work

Discussion in 'Kodak (Eastman Kodak)' started by mikeshep, Sep 26, 2009.

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  1. mikeshep

    mikeshep New Member

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    Hi and glad to find this group... I have a large diecast model car collection that i need to do an inventory of. I've only got the Z740 to work with right now and am a little lost about specifically what a good set of "starting point" adjustments would be to take suitable close-up shots of each piece. I have constructed a whiteboard backdrop/'staging' area with good lighting coverage. I also bought a set of Macro attachment lenses that work with the Kodak - and have found the +1 one works well...i'm just not a regular photographer so am lost as far as what kind of setting changes to make to get good evenly focused resolution for shots from approx 1-3 feet of each of these pieces. Most of the models are approximately 3" x 3"x1"- (Corgi, Matchbox models for those familiar). ... Another portion of the collection consists of lots of larger scale models -(Revell for example) - each approx.
    4"wX 8"L"X4"H.

    Advice I've gotten from another collector is basically this:

    'Shoot from as far away as possible while still being able to zoom in to fill the frame with the subject and maintain sharp focus.'

    I do not have a telephoto but this collector uses a 75-300mm telephoto on larger models from
    about 4-6 feet away, and a 35-150mm for smaller ones from 1-3 feet away.

    He suggested to "Use smallest possible
    aperture (f24-f36) with longest exposure (1/2 second to 2 seconds) for best depth of field..." and basicallly "fill the frame" ...

    All that said, if anyone's familiar enough with the 740 Kodak to suggest some
    specific settings I might try, I'd really appreciate some direction. I've been experimenting a lot but get lost when i get into Manual settings - this just isn't my hobby but i don't have anyone else available to do this for me and need to shoot as many of these as possible to show to some collectors for a
    general appraisal coming up next weekend.

    I've posted a few random samples of what i've done so far. Frankly I can't find the original notes I had for the settings I wound up going with for the extreme closeup shots - that's what i need help figuring out...The manual set-up on the camera has been a little confusing for me to navigate.

    Much appreciation for any specifics on what i might try. Again, i am using a 1+ Macro lens attachment on the smaller-scale diecast closeups and that definitely is a big help for starters.

    Thanks again!

    Mike
     

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  2. Andy Stanton

    Andy Stanton Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    Your Kodak Z740 is an older camera but it's a pretty good one and it's certainly capable of taking good photos of your models.

    Your camera is not like the camera your friend is using. He's using a DSLR with interchangeable lenses. You have a "bridge" camera - an ultrazoom with many of the controls of a DSLR but with only one versatile lens. Your lens can shoot close up macros down to 12 cm (4.8 inches) at wide angle and also shoot closeups with its long 10x telephoto lens. Keep in mind that what works for your friend may not work for you, and vice-versa.

    You have one of the essentials for shooting good closeups - a white board. You also need your objects to be well-lit with diffuse lighting so not to cast shadows. Turn off your flash.

    Now put your camera in manual mode. First adjust the white balance. If the lighting casts a yellow hue, as is evident in your first picture, try setting your white balance to tungsten, which imposes a blue tint that should cancel out the yellow hue.

    There are different ways to shoot closeups. One of them is to use your camera's 12 cm macro ability, without the additional macro add on lens. I'd try that method first.

    Make sure your camera's at its extreme wide angle setting (no optical zooom). Set your camera's aperture to 2.8, the maximum. Set the ISO to 200. Set the shutter speed to 1/50.

    Put your camera in macro mode. As long as the lens remains in its extreme wide angle position, you should be able to move your camera as close as 4.8 inches and still keep a sharp focus. Be careful of casting a shadow on your subject.

    If the picture is too dark, increase your lighting. If the picture is not sharp, increase your shutter speed.

    If this doesn't work well there are other methods to try.
     
  3. mikeshep

    mikeshep New Member

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    Andy, thanks for these suggestions.This is a great help. I'll test a few
    shots with those settings minus the add-on macro lens and let you
    know how it goes : )

    Much appreciated!

    Mike
     
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