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  1. #1
    Junior Member

    Photographing paintings

    I'm still using my old D70s with the 28-105 kit lens. I've been trying to get good photos of oil paintings and have had no luck. Granted I'm a lousy photographer, and it's a kit lens, and I need to work on my lighting, but the photos I've taken (both RAW and jpeg) look horrible compared to the actual paintings. Someone has recommended the AF-S Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8 ED for this purpose, which i would look for used. Would this lens help me out?

    Thanks in advance!


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  2. #2
    Senior Member

    Re: Photographing paintings

    @slsl6
    I have no experience shooting oil paintings, so I cant comment on that. What do you typically zoom to in order to take your images? What do you mean by, "look horrible"? Some example images might help determine what can be done to help you out.
    I love macro lenses, they're some of the sharpest optics out there. They also have their limitations though. If you do not have the ability to zoom with your feet, the zoom lens you have might be better for your needs. Also, when you mount a 60mm lens on your D70s, the effective focal length would be 90mm. Great for getting close to shoot the details of the swirl marks made by the brush, not so great if you don't have the space to move back far enough to get what you want in the shot.
    I might suggest a 35 f1.8 rather than the macro. This will give you a focal length combined with your crop sensor similar to what we see with our eyes and will allow you to shoot in lower light situations, (museums) due to the larger aperture.
    You can also work with the camera and lens you have by using a tripod, slowing the shutter speed down to allow more light to the sensor and adjusting the aperture to f8 to get the sharpest image all while keeping the ISO as low as possible. for indoor low light shots, try 1 second, f8 ISO 200. If its too dark, slow the shutter more. You will want to use a shutter release cable or the camera's timer to eliminate the shake created by pressing the shutter release button and a stable tripod is essential for slow shutter speeds. Bonus points for using a speedlight with a diffuser but flash isn't always allowed.
    Last edited by TwistedThrottle; 06-10-2021 at 11:01 PM.
    Thanks/Like lucien, BeegRhob Thanks/liked this post
     
    Camera- Z6, D800, D7500, D40x
    Zoom Lenses-
    Z- 14-30 f4, 24-70 f4
    DX- Tokina 11-16 f2.8, Sigma A 18-35 f1.8, Nikon 18-140 f3.5-5.6
    FX- Tamron 15-30 f2.8, Nikon 35-70 f2.8, Nikon 80-200 f2.8, Nikon 24-120 f4, Nikon AF-P 70-300 f4.5-5.6 Sigma C 150-600 f5-6.3
    Prime Lenses- Nikon 50 f1.8g, Tamron 85 f1.8, Tokina 100 f2.8, Rokinon HD 8 f3.5

  3. #3
    Senior Member

    Re: Photographing paintings

    Photographing paintings
    I have a few samples that I took at the Art Gallery of Ontario. They tend to come out better in black and white. And this wasn't with an Nikon but I don't see why any decent dslr can't reproduce the results. I'm not saying they are the greatest either but some samples

    Photographing paintings-imgp4966_dxo.jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Photographing paintings-imgp4951_dxo.jpg  

    Thanks/Like TwistedThrottle Thanks/liked this post
     

  4. #4
    Senior Member

    Re: Photographing paintings

    Photographing paintings
    Photographing paintings-imgp5017_dxo.jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Photographing paintings-imgp5016_dxo.jpg  

    Thanks/Like TwistedThrottle Thanks/liked this post
     

  5. #5
    Senior Member

    Re: Photographing paintings

    Photographing paintings
    Photographing paintings-imgp5024_dxo.jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Photographing paintings-imgp5023_dxo.jpg  

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  6. #6
    Senior Member

    Re: Photographing paintings

    Photographing paintings
    Photographing paintings-imgp5027_dxo.jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Photographing paintings-imgp5025_dxo.jpg  


  7. #7
    Senior Member

    Re: Photographing paintings

    I hope I didn't break any copyright infringements. No lolz

    serious note: you can get a little closer to get rid of the frames instead of cropping out your images. And you need a fairly fast lens. I used a Tamron af 17-50mm 1:2.8 non vr. It just takes practice and your cam should have decent low light capabilities. 3200 shouldn't be a problem noise wise.
    Last edited by lucien; 06-10-2021 at 08:56 PM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member

    Re: Photographing paintings

    Except the D70s the OP is using maxes out at 1600 ISO
    Thanks/Like lucien Thanks/liked this post
     
    Camera- Z6, D800, D7500, D40x
    Zoom Lenses-
    Z- 14-30 f4, 24-70 f4
    DX- Tokina 11-16 f2.8, Sigma A 18-35 f1.8, Nikon 18-140 f3.5-5.6
    FX- Tamron 15-30 f2.8, Nikon 35-70 f2.8, Nikon 80-200 f2.8, Nikon 24-120 f4, Nikon AF-P 70-300 f4.5-5.6 Sigma C 150-600 f5-6.3
    Prime Lenses- Nikon 50 f1.8g, Tamron 85 f1.8, Tokina 100 f2.8, Rokinon HD 8 f3.5

  9. #9
    Senior Member

    Re: Photographing paintings

    and correct never fails, an old saying, that's what I meant by ISO 3,200 shouldn't be a problem.
    Last edited by lucien; 06-10-2021 at 09:27 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    FredKingston's Avatar

    Re: Photographing paintings

    The Nikkor 60mm 2.8D would be the quintessential lens for what you want to do. It was Nikon's solution for manuscript photography and gives a perfect 1:1 image with as good as you can get lens performance from edge to edge... YOUR problem is going to be lighting. In a studio type environment, you can control all aspects of the lighting and positioning... In a museum setting, all bets are off... In fact, many museums get anxious if they even see you with a camera...
    Thanks/Like TwistedThrottle, lucien Thanks/liked this post
     





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