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Discussion Starter #1
Really like taking watch photos in macro mode, especially of the dial and movement. Just got a hint from another WIS that you can make a $0.05 light box with 5 pieces of white printer papers. Basically, you make a rectangular box by taping 5 pieces of letter-size (or A4) printer papers and leave one end open (short end). Use transparent tape to carefully tape all edges, so no unwanted background can be seen when taking photos.

After the box is constructed. I place a light source on each side of the box (I use 27W daylight 5500K CFL bulbs). And one bright white florescent desk lamp pointing on top of the box. Put the watch in the box, camera on tripod and set it to use Auto White Balance and shoot in Aperture Priority (or set to Macro Mode).

I'm really fascinated by looking at an automatic watch's movement. There's a lot the naked eye cannot perceive without the help of a loupe or, in this case, taking a close-up (macro) picture of the movement. When looking at this "bigger picture", one can really appreciate the levels of polishing or refinement that go into automatic movements from different makers.

SARB035


Seiko 6R15B Movement




Orient CFM00002B


Update:
A Quick Cell Phone Pic of The Setup


This picture almost shows the entire setup, sans the tripod and additional desk lamp as the light source for the top of the box. For the left and right sides, I use 8" clamp-style reflectors to hold the 27W CF daylight light bulbs (you can substitute with desk lamps); the reflectors are clamped onto desk lamps. You can ignore the white bucket in the background; I've tried the white bucket method but it filtered out too much light (pictures too dark) for my already bulimic (eco-friendly?) light sources.

If that's too much work, you can also try using normal desk lamp(s) with this light box and set your camera's White Balance to Auto and see how the pictures look.

Parts List:
(1) DIY Light Box
(1) Tripod
(2) 5500K Daylight CF Light Bulbs (set camera white balance to Auto or Daylight)
http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...atalogId=10053
(2) Clamp Lights (8.5" reflectors for the daylight light bulbs)
http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...atalogId=10053
 

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Excellent photos -- and the price of the light box is right!
 

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A light box makes good macros easy - if you want to make good macros you HAVE to get a light box. The best part is that you can easily (and for very cheap!) make yourself one.
 

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Your pictures certainly look nice.

I may be in the minority, but I think for the price of some of the models with the 6R15, it should be finished even better. I don't know if I even consider it decorated. The tool marks under the balance wheel look bad and some pearlage on the upper plates would go a long way. JMHO.
 

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Nice pics, might give that method a try (about time for me). Have looked at my SARB045's movement with a 10x magnifying glass - once a week on Sunday morning, watch fleet polishing/full wind/time setting day, LOL.

(Can't see any obvious tool marks myself)
 

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Great photo's .

You would be surprised in the 'professional' lighting world exactly how far things like foam core and styro foam can go.

I make television , and work in lighting- you might be surprised surprised sometimes at what we use,
things like shooting what we call beauties, for food shows, are allot like shooting stills.
 

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Superb pictures nice watch as well :) which "normal" bulbs are best to use when doing artificial light shoots, i can't get a half decent photo in artificial light to save my life !! not to good in normal light either :))
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Glad you like the pics. Thanks all for the kind words.

Stony, please see updated first post for a picture of the setup.

nhoj, the 6R15 movement isn't exactly exciting to look at but for a workhorse movement that's mass produced, I can still appreciate the clean and precise machining on those small parts when looking at this rather bland and sterile movement. Not sure if pearlage and additional polishing will drastically add to the cost of this movement.

TheTigerUK, as to what kind of lighting to use, I use two 27W daylight (5500K) CFL bulbs that are sold in many home improvement stores in the US, not sure about where to source it in the UK. You can also try natural light (find a north-facing window as jbdan suggested with great results). In either case, try setting your camera's White Balance (WB) to Auto and see how the picture looks. The important thing is to get the proper WB for the light condition. Change the WB setting if the picture doesn't look right. For the life of me, the house doesn't have a north-facing window, so I have to use artificial light for its availability and predictability.
 

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Lovely shots! and for 5 copper lincolns wowzers just awesome watcho!
 

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Wonderful shots! Thanks for the tips, I might try out a similar setup some day.
I guess this would greatly improve the poor quality of my pictures.
 

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excellent photos and setup!
But you didn't include the lamps in the price for the setup.
I dont have that many lamps lying around me :(
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Time said:
excellent photos and setup!
But you didn't include the lamps in the price for the setup.
I dont have that many lamps lying around me :(
Thanks. You may be able to get away with just one lamp and possibly two, if the bulb is bright enough. Give it a try.

For me the biggest battles were getting the right amount of illumination on the watch and eliminating unwanted reflections (on the dial). Not until I found this $0.05 light box, I was pretty much not satisfied with all my other setups. You named it, I've tried it: white bucket, homemade cardboard box, outdoor under cloudy sky.

Being a cheapskate, I'm always looking for the most cost-effective solutions. Ideally one can drop a few hundred bucks on a light box, reflector lights, studio soft box, and macro ring flash or decent bounce flash and be very happy with the results. Ahh, these are all on my wish list but after emptying the wallet on watches, the $0.05 light box will have to do. Even with the daylight bulbs, reflectors and desk lamps, the price was under $50.
 
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