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I'm a good people photographer but have never photographed watches to sell, so it would be nice to hear from those with more experience what their recommended setup would be.
I have a Sony R7ii, so would be interested in the lenses and lighting setup mostly. Thanks for any help
 

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I'm a good people photographer but have never photographed watches to sell, so it would be nice to hear from those with more experience what their recommended setup would be.
I have a Sony R7ii, so would be interested in the lenses and lighting setup mostly. Thanks for any help


Well, it’s a journey that, short of consumed professionals, takes most of us through a winding road.

My 2 cents are that you have to answer the initial question of what you want the photographs for: artistic and interesting angles of watches... or, showcasing a particular watch to sell.

It sounds obvious but it’s not as clear as you progress...

To sell a used watch I’d say a newer version iPhone camera is more than sufficient, no filters, minimal to no editing and focusing on defects. Big question is wrist shots. For higher end watches it’s frowned upon, perhaps with a glove? For more affordable watches a wrist shot is very helpful especially if you specify the wrist diameter so potential buyers can get a perspective.

To showcase a watch you have or are reviewing there’s no question you need a macro lens. A simple light box will do, the more light the better the closer you get. In general fast shutter speeds are great for whole watch pics so you get the nice blur around the watch and prolongued shutter times for a low aperture for all dial shots. Always cool to shoot the logo in the dial, the hands, the markers.

As in anything, these are guidelines, your artistry will mix and match and I’m sure you’ll come up with great stuff. Please share here!

Best,


EDIT: added a pic borrowed from IG





Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I'd have to agree with the last post.

Snapping watches is an interesting thing...some people go ham and stage with props and special lighting while others are content with snapping a cell pic on the wrist showing themselves actually wearing the piece. I think wrist shots in the wild are the best but it all comes down to how specific you want to get.

All that being said, any macro in the 50-150mm range will allow you to pull the piece in close and make the watch seem larger than life while melting the background/ foreground (depending on placement of actual piece) away. Macro will allow very detailed pics as well.

I also think that some ultrawide pics can work if applied correctly (avoiding the gut instinct to "get it all in" and instead focusing on making the watch the centerpiece) and thoughtfully.
 

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One or two lights with a light tent is really all you need. A good macro lens is a nice addition. This is, of course, for a "studio" set-up.

There are a hundred variations for lighting, though. You could get two flashes and diffuser boxes that attach to them, or two flashes with reflective umbrellas (where you aim the flash away from the product and the umbrella reflects really soft light back in the direction you want). You could get one diffused flash and a bounce board. You could get a ring light. A continuous lamp. Anyway, the key element is to diffuse the light in some way. Of course this also doesnt require technical photography gear. You coould get a strong table lamp through a thin curtain, or white wax paper. Do consider that most household lamps are not strong enough for photography.

There are also smaller ring lights that attach to the hotshoe mount on your camera. I imagine these would work well for wrist shots and on-the-go pictures.

Even the macro lens is not strictly necessary. You could get away with a long mm lens (90+) and zooming in, with the added benefit of bokeh. (Consider in this set-up that you have to step away from the watch for this. It would probably not work for a wrist shot, because most likely you wont be able to get your wrist far enough away from the lens to get the right focus)

Anyway, your budget will determine how crazy you can go with all of these things. You can go nuts and spend tens of thousands of dollars on a good product photo set-up, or spend $100-200, or a few thousand. It's up to you. The pictures will come out more or less the same (the ceiling being your skill/creativity) with the basic elements I mentioned above and other posters have mentioned before me
 

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When selling I like to use natural outdoor lighting. No wrist shots and try to show watch at all angles specially the defects. Always include a photo with all accessories. Some buyers do request wrist shots which I am happy to provide but only as requested. Also like to include a close up of wacht dial. On vintage pieces I show open case to display movement, never open cases on newer watches. Typically sell watches in the $500-$2500 range.


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I'd skip any lighting and artificial backgrounds and work with the sun, depth of field and slow-shutter speed.

Not sure what you mean with "Sony R7ii". I guess you are talking about the A7R II. I own the same camera, and suggest getting the matching Sony 90mm macro lens and a proper tripod. I use this table top mini tripod with a 30D ball head from the same company. They are top grade! FEISOL Mini Tripod TT-15 Mark 2


Here a few photos I shot on my patio table... took me maybe 10 minutes... and another 10 minutes in Lightroom... looks much better than any white background...









 

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Certainly a soft ox or tent though bounce will work. My table top rig is three bright white walls of thick printing paper and a small box on the flash. Key element is a tripod; always!
 
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