Camera for shooting photo's

edited June 2020 in Photography
I need some help please. As I have been surfing the forum & looking at the great photo's it has come to my attention that the camera's I own will not do the job anymore.
I have an Omega 4 x 5 view camera that I (or Malcolm) would use to take front covers of model railroad magazine photo's.
You can not post photo's with a 4 x 5 plus the bellows of the camera are dry rot. So into the dumpster that went. I also have a Canon Rebel DS6041 (REAL OLD 1999 ISSUE) However the lens is EFS 18-55 mm

This is why I need help. What style camera & what lens for close ups.
I do not think my new Cell phone with the portrait setting will give me the close ups that require to show the rust & dust & cracks & splits that all of us long to see

Look forward to your answer


  • I have been using my Iphone 7 for my photos. However, it thinks it has to correct color which drives me nuts. For me, the biggest issue regardless of camera is depth of field. Some take multiple photos at different depth of focus and blend the photos. The one thing I did learn doing basic closeup photos is the aperture has to be as small as possible like F16 or greater. I do not have experience with any of the newer cameras though. I hope Robert chimes in as his photos are the best for sure.

  • edited June 2020
    After 30++ years of taking pictures of models I have learned depth of field is not a function of aperture in the digital world. Aperture absolutely affects the dof but there is an easy workaround. If you have a newer iphone or similar take the photograph from a distance in such a manner that the entire diorama is in focus then crop in to achieve the desired close-up using a photo-editing program. It's so incredibly simple and effective This will only work if your pixel count is sufficient to achieve a crisp photo once cropped. No aperture to mess with. Good lighting is imperative with led daylight bulbs. Great for web posting or printing even up to 8 x 10 or so. I started using my iphone about seven years ago abandoning my digital slr. No regrets. For the absolute highest quality a digital slr is best along with the skill and knowledge to utilize its capabilities.
    Note I am not talking about macro photography here.
  • Mike,

    it's somewhat interesting that you bring up this topic with the specific references you mentioned.

    I took the below photo's last night. i took them with an Iphone 8 with 2 lights. i used the Halide app (recommended by Brett).

  • Looks great!
  • Thank you very much
    I have professional photographer lights left over from the old days
    Who wants to bet the bulbs still work
    This is the greatest forum
    Where else can you ask a question & get an answer without someone making fun of you for asking
    Alex thanks for the reference photos (the are great)
  • Mike,

    you very likely already have the lighting you need. i use the same lights that i use for building my stuff. They're daylight bulbs. So, the color temperature is already accurate. The lighting in the last photo is where i stopped light night when i took the above photos of the oil cans by the shack.

    One other thing to consider with the Cell phone approach is like in this first photo. I was able to put my phone in between the trees to get the first photo. with an SLR, the body/lens would be too big to do this (i have a Canon 5D as well). if you look at the second photo, you can kind-of tell where i had to get the camera for the first photo. Depending on how much extra stuff you put on your diorama's this may be a moot point. But, thought i would mention this "added benefit" of the camera phone approach.

    However, if you do want to get a camera, i would look at the Canon G series They're slim and very good and, can also save files in RAW format (a prosumer product if you will).


  • Robert uses a Nikon Cool Pix.
  • Wow Alex, really nicely done! Love your aggregate mix on those close up shots.
  • I have a 990 given to me by Scott Mason he was a Pats photo guy.
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