Small Product Photography ...135mm Lens? will it work? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I forgot to mention that I have a 135mm lens already. Could that be used for small product photography? I've seen books even showing 90mm lenses on products. I think this lens came off a 4x5 press camera. Thanks

-- Ron Stroope (, December 11, 2000


Sure. If you have enough bellows draw.

Do some research on close-up photography. For a 1:1 reproduction (image size = life size), you need a bellows draw of 2x the focal length (i.e., 270mm for your 135mm lens) and the object needs to be 2x the focal length from the lens.

You should get fine images with any good lens, but for close-up photography, there are lenses that are designed for the type of work. I believe they are usually symmetrical in design (Tessars?).

Also, for product photography, you might want quite a bit of movement in your camera, and you might find that the press lens doesn't project the image circle necessary to use much movement.

My suggestion - if you have the equipment already, try it!

-- John H. Henderson (, December 12, 2000.

I do a lot of small product shots on 5x4. I normally use a 210mm, but very occasionally will use a 90mm. Image quality is not really an issue here, provided that the lens is O.K. Nor, normally, is coverage a problem when using movements, because the image circle is much larger at close up than when using infinity. There are, however, 2 problems: 1. Working space between lens and subject. Sometimes, with a short focal length and a close-up shot you need as much space as you can get or there isn't enough room to position the lights! 2. Perspective. As you know, in photography as in life, perspective depends on viewpoint, and with a short lens the perspective will be exagerated.

Hope this helps.

Garry Edwards

-- Garry Edwards (, December 12, 2000.

Doing alot of products myself, my lens range from 90mm-360mm but most of the time it is in the 210 range also. That is not to say you cannot do it with a 135mm... you'll just be closer and use more movements to straighten things. Not a big deal. If your using hot lights, think of a longer lens so you are not being fried under the lights though... just a thought.

-- Scott Walton (, December 13, 2000.

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