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Nikon Macro Settings Help request


Nanite
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Skip the macro mode. Get a tripod and a remote shutter release (self-timer will work if your camera does not have a remote. Place the camera well back from the mini, with a decent depth of field. Use normal room light and a 3-6 second exposure. Then crop the pic to remove all the excess background. You will get a much better picture.

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Are you using a white background or a light box or both?

 

Didn't have time last night, but here's why I asked:

 

You said that the "picture" is getting darker as you increase the light, which I suspect means that the exposure of the subject is reducing as you increase the light. Digital cameras set automatic exposure based on the average lighting in a scene (in most exposure modes).

 

1) With a white background, the average of the entire field will be very white, which means that the non-white parts (the miniature) will be dark. If you want to keep a white background, you'll need to use positive exposure compensation.

 

2) Most light boxes put light on the top and sides of a miniature and not so much on the front. When photographing miniatures, you want the front (side toward the camera) well lit. When you add light to the outside of the box, everything but the front of the miniature gets brighter, so the front gets relatively darker (it's primarily lit by the lights in the rest of the room).

 

3) If you're doing both, the problems are exacerbated.

 

Suggestions:

 

1) Ditch the light box. They're very useful for taking photos of new cell phones, or gold rings, or whatever. Unless you know exactly what you're doing, they are actively harmful for miniatures photography.

 

2) Use positive exposure compensation if you have a light background and negative exposure compensation if you have a dark background. If you're not comfortable figuring out exposure compensation, use a lightish gray background.

 

3) Use desk lamps (or whatever you can aim easily) to put light on the front of the figure.

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Huge thanks guys.  Ditched the lightbox and white background, lit from the front.  Result: massive improvement.

 

I forgot I had the ISO setting turned way up, sorry for the graininess.

 

DSCN0620.JPG

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