Product photography – what’s better?

Today we’ll compare two different SIGMA top lenses and three different focal lengths. We shall examine diverse aspects regarding technology and aesthetic features while focusing on product photography.

Lens 1: SIGMA 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM; Focal length: 35mm

Lens 2: SIGMA 24-70mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM; Focal length: 24mm und 70mm

Comparing the two lenses is pretty much unfair. The SIGMA 35mm f/1.4 is a fixed focal length from the Art series, a celebrated lens that creates extremely brilliant photos and achieves top scores in many reviews. The other lens is a functional, compact and popular all-round lens – the SIGMA 24-70mm f/2.8 with an open aperture of 2.8, less light-intense but an extremely practical zoom lens, for instance used for traveling.

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Product Photography with the Sigma DP3 Merrill and a Smartphone as the ONLY light source


Recently, I’ve read this post on the DIYPhotography website, which has a video tutorial on how to take good product pictures with a smartphone or tablet as a single source of light. Because you usually need either several flash units or expensive studio lighting, for this kind of photography, I have been teased by the article and I’ve decided to give it a try.

In the video, the shutter of the camera is released in BULB mode and the product is “painted” slowly and carefully with the light of the tablet’s display. Because I had no tablet on hand, I decided to use my smartphone. Unfortunately I realized very quickly that it is necessary to “paint” the motive for several minutes due to the small and faint smartphone display. Not forgetting: you have to close the aperture all the way down in order to get sufficiently “deep” depth of field. In addition you have to set the lowest ISO value, because image quality is very important in product photography.

To save time – you inevitably lose a huge amounts of time because you work by “trial & error” – I’ve used the flash (actually it is a continuous shining LED) of my smartphone instead of the display.

I’ve needed definitely ten or twenty attempts until I’ve managed to take these two pictures:

Sigma DP3 Merrill (volle Auflösung - full resolution) Continue reading