Best Lens for Light Box/Jewelry Pics

edited January 2013 Posted in » Canon Lens Talk
Hello all,

I'm a beginner when it comes to photography and I need some guidance. I have a Canon Rebel xTi DSLR with a 50mm lens (I don't have the original 18-55mm lens). I recently purchased a lightbox to take pictures of jewelry for my Etsy shop. My challenge is I can't get the camera to focus in on the shot. Maybe I'm too close? I don't really know the limitations of the 50mm lens.

Here is my setup:

Lightbox with white background
3-4 light blue resin rings
1 ring in front (in focus)
2-3 rings in the background (preferably blurred)
Lightbox has a hole in the side to shoot though so I'm very close to the rings when trying to focus (maybe 8 inches away)

The camera won't come in to focus on the shot, and even if I switch to MF I still can't focus it. I'd appreciate any help. In a perfect world, I'd like to be able to use my existing lens to photograph the jewelr, so that I don't have to buy any additional equipment.

Thanks so much, and Happy New Year!


  • edited January 2013
    You have the Canon 50mm f/1.8?
    I believe the minimum focusing distance for the lens is 45cm.
    What you need is a macro lens or extension tubes.
    I've used extension tubes with that 50mm lens before for a similar purpose as your requirements and they worked perfectly.
  • Thanks darshun. So if I added a Canon EF25 extension tube to my 50mm lens I should be able to get my jewelry to come into focus in the lightbox? Will I be able to take the photos fairly close?

    Thanks again!
  • edited January 2013
    That's right. I expect you'll be able to take photos from between 15-20 cm away. Auto Focus will not work well, if at all. You'll find the depth of field to be very small (a few millimeters) unless you close up the aperture. I should point out that an extension tube is just a tube. There is no glass lens, just air, and a few electrical contacts. There is little difference in Canon air and third party air. Third party extension tubes may be much more affordable, maybe less well built and not suitable for larger lenses, but should be perfect for your current needs:

    Have fun.
  • edited January 2013
    Thank you! I ordered a third party extension tube off Amazon last night. I'm excited to try it out. :)
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