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Thread: Canon 550D Enquires for Professional Pictures on Pastries/Cakes

  1. #1

    Default Canon 550D Enquires for Professional Pictures on Pastries/Cakes

    Hi Everyone,

    I am still very new to photography as I had just recently purchased my 550D 3months ago and am slowing learning all the advanced functions. So please bare with me if any of my queries is "noobish".

    My wife is starting up an online business on pastries/cakes and I am responsible of helping her to take professional pictures of her products to be used in her website. I have been doing plenty of online research but will like to seek 2nd opinions from u guys.

    Products for photoshoot
    - Cupcakes
    - Birthday Cakes
    - Fruit Tarts
    - Assorted pastries

    My Current Setup
    Camera: Canon 550D
    Lens: 18mm-55mm Basic lens (part of the kit package)

    Stuffs I am thinking of buying
    1) Light Tent
    I am considering 2 light tents as below which falls in my budget. Both includes lights.
    - http://cgi.ebay.com.sg/Photography-L...item5197f21b61

    - http://www.sgcamerastore.com/Product.../prod_207.html

    Question:
    - Considering my application, which will you guys recommend?
    - Is the light source provided in both package good?

    2) Tripod
    Apparantly, I missed out on my free tripod as my redemption period had expired after enquiring with Canon. Therefore I need to purchase a tripod. The tripod will mainly be used indoors to take pictures of the products in the light tent. Therefore the tripod must allow movement vertically up/down to take top view pictures.

    Question: Considering my application, which will you guys recommend?

    3) Lens
    I believe it is pretty obvious that I need to purchase a Macro lens for my application.

    Question: Considering my application, can you guys please recommend a budget Macro lens which is mountable to my 550D?

    4) Others?
    Am I missing out on anything?


    Many Thanks for your help!

    Cheers!

    Regards,
    Eugene

  2. #2

    Default

    Regarding the tripod and lens, for tripods it's all about budget, if you do not wish to pay so much you can look at benro or sirui, can check out manfrotto too.

    For lens, the favorite budget macro lens seems to be the tamron 90mm but you can check out tokina and sigma too. If you have more budget then Canon, if even more then get the L version

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Canon 550D Enquires for Professional Pictures on Pastries/Cakes

    Hi,

    Just to clarify, I'm not a professional in taking product shots, just a hobbist.

    unable to ans 1 & 4...

    2) Regarding Tripods, you can consider "Manfrotto 190XPROB" + "486RC2 Ball head", pretty solid combination. You can even shoot the cakes at a top down view.

    3) Lens, I don't think you need a macro lens.....I think what you need is probably a lens with a shallow DOF. You can consider the cheapest option of Canon 50mm f1.8 (abt $100 from B&S Section, but haven't seen much of those lately. ~$120+ from reputable camera shops).


    Regards.
    Too many great equipments but too little quality photos. [My Flickr] | [My Blog]

  4. #4

    Default Re: Canon 550D Enquires for Professional Pictures on Pastries/Cakes

    Quote Originally Posted by SkyStrike View Post
    Hi,

    Just to clarify, I'm not a professional in taking product shots, just a hobbist.

    unable to ans 1 & 4...

    2) Regarding Tripods, you can consider "Manfrotto 190XPROB" + "486RC2 Ball head", pretty solid combination. You can even shoot the cakes at a top down view.

    3) Lens, I don't think you need a macro lens.....I think what you need is probably a lens with a shallow DOF. You can consider the cheapest option of Canon 50mm f1.8 (abt $100 from B&S Section, but haven't seen much of those lately. ~$120+ from reputable camera shops).


    Regards.
    Hi,

    Thanks for your reply.

    I am not really clear about the lens. Can you enlighten me on the benefits of using Canon 50mm f1.8 for my application?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Canon 550D Enquires for Professional Pictures on Pastries/Cakes

    Your current camera and lens is fine.
    Just get a tripod and use timer or remote shutter release.

    The other stuff like lighting depends on the look you want to achieve.
    You can consider using window light as a start.

    Food shots need not require a macro lens or shallow DOF fast lens. IMHO, these are over emphasized, though they can give an extra creative option if necessary.
    To me more important is lighting, layout, shooting angle and food presentation.
    Shoot some shots first and you will soon learn the limitations of your existing equipment, so you can make a learned purchase of equipments later.
    my few cents



    BTW, you've got 3 similar threads. You might want to consider deleting a few of them.
    Last edited by pinholecam; 15th March 2011 at 11:21 AM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Canon 550D Enquires for Professional Pictures on Pastries/Cakes

    I think pinholecam's advice worth a lot more than the few cents he's claiming!

    - your kit lens is more than capable of delivering great results
    - a tripod will be useful, not just for 'holding the camera steady', but also for adjusting framing and composition.
    - light tent probably not ideal -- for food shots, the style that seems to be in vogue is ambient window light, on a table setting, with shallow to moderate DOF (google 'food photography' for images)
    - good styling is important -- your wife can help here -- pardon my sexism, but women are generally better at this, so collaborate
    - side and backlighting are generally more interesting (more drama). A window and a couple of reflectors (white paper and a small mirror) can do wonders
    - don't go overboard with shallow DOF - yes, it's in vogue, but I've seen some TOO narrow DOF shots. If in doubt, bracket your DOF i.e. shoot at several apertures
    - for ideas, check out other good shots (google ard)

    Samples: http://www.foodportfolio.com/food_ph...phy/index.html

    Some basics:
    http://www.digital-photography-schoo...n-introduction

    BTW, while I mentioned using the tripod to aid framing and compo, I don't suggest you adjust while looking through the viewfinder (very slow and somewhat limiting). I'd rather set up, style, adjust and light, move my head ard to determine the 'best' angle, then bring in the camera along the same line of sight
    Last edited by Edwin Francis; 15th March 2011 at 12:24 PM. Reason: Clarification

  7. #7

    Default Re: Canon 550D Enquires for Professional Pictures on Pastries/Cakes

    i got book about using external flash inside 550D box, they give you quite hints how to do food photograph. I hope you also got one and get educated.
    Canon 550D | Tamron 17-50 F/2.8 non VC | Tamron 18-270 PZD

  8. #8

    Default Re: Canon 550D Enquires for Professional Pictures on Pastries/Cakes

    A light tent is fine but it might constraint the space you have for setup. For the amount you are willing to pay for the ebay, if you search overseas sellers you can get good light softboxes with lamp and stands. That allows you to use a table/platform of whatever size to arrange the food and you arrange the light positions.

    Lens, just get extension tubes if you need to close up. Since you are using a tripod, manual focusing should not be an issue. If you really want Macro then I would suggest Tamron 60mm f2 or Canon's 60mm f2.8. THat is if the main objective is shooting cakes. 90mm or 100mm on crop might be too tight for not really small objects. Furthermore you can use 60mm as portrait lens too.

    Tripod, the brands suggested above are good. Just go down to shops like TK Foto to try out the various tripods and heads.

    ANymore items missed out?? Yes...go handicraft shop or Daiso and look for potential props to decorate your setup. E.g. nice table cloths, candles, back ground, utensils etc. Once in a while you might buy some fruits if your cake is a fruit cake (say strawberry). Don't forget nice plates to present your cakes on them too.

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