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Taking GREAT Shots of Militaria, TIPS, Technical Details, etc. Sticky?

Article about: I'd like to start a thread, or a sticky, on getting fantastic shots of your militaria. It's not always easy, but it's worth it! First of all, you probably need a real camera, it's virtually

  1. #31


    I have a Rollei Flexline 250

    OK so the Powershot SX710HS is not for me... I want a easy tool


  2. #32



    Do not be afraid, this isn't that complicated

    Although some cameras are more "user friendly" or "intuitive" than others.

    I've looked up the Rollei 250, it doesn't seem that bad?

    Make sure your lens is CLEAN!!!

    This is something we haven't talked about, but it is basic. Just like looking through glasses or binoculars, the lens needs to be spotlessly clean. A lens this small can usually be cleaned with a Q tip. If it's clean, don't touch it.

    They make lens cleaning pens also, they can work pretty nicely.

    Get out of the Auto program.

    Go into the P program. Adjust the color setting to Daylight, or Cloudy usually gives really nice indoor results.

    Find the Macro button, sometimes it's a standalone button with a flower icon. Engage it.

    Find a buckle, put it on the table where it is getting some decent light, neutral backgrounds help (NOT pure white, this will make the camera take dark pics), I can go into this later... 18% Gray, and how light meters work, and how they try to average light in a scene.

    Put your forearms against the edge of the table, PRE FOCUS the camera on your subject by composing, then holding the shutter down gently until you see a green frame or equivalent, means the camera has focused and had a chance to get the proper light meter reading, squeeze the shutter and voila, you should have a decent picture.

    Try it in Auto also.

    Downsize the pics to 1280 in width, a very good size, Douglas2946 mentions 1600 which is even better for magnification.

    Download the pics to the site and let's see whats going on, and if there is a problem, how to fix it.

  3. #33


    For this forum, I always make the largest side 1600.
    Some other forums will not accept this size and I have to re-save them smaller. It's all about the detail, the larger the image the better.
    Searching for anything relating to, Anton Boos, 934 Stamm. Kp. Pz. Erz. Abt. 7, 3 Kompanie, Panzer-Regiment 2, 16th Panzer-Division (My father)

  4. #34


    Thx Ralph

    This forum can in fact take pics of amazing size, even a couple megs, although it has this weird tendency to make them load sideways... and maybe it's not kind to the forum to submit pics of that size, because of bandwidth?

    One of my little gripes on threads with pics is some people do not space the pics, or space them from the text, so the text and pics are a little jumbled, and this can make for a messy harder to understand post.

    The spaces help separate the pics. In one post the other day, I didn't know if the OP had duplicates of the same items, but it was just two shots of the same item, you couldn't tell if it was one picture or two.

    This is extra work... I always make sure I put the cursor, or entry point where I want it before hitting the "Insert Inline" button.

    Then go through the pics by putting the cursor between the pics starting at the top, hit Enter (twice) and repeat until they are all under each other (in numerical order) with a single space between them.

    Use the preview function to fix anything that doesn't look right, pics can be out of order sometimes.

    Here is a pic resized to 1944, a bit big but still displays just fine. Was 2.2MP, sized down to 763KB.

    It's something I got in the mail the other day from Europe, looks like a HJ booklet about the "Fight for Serbia"?, neat cover and pics inside.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #35


    I'm adding a link to Ger's dagger book/photo thread, this is something to aspire for in terms of photo quality. Blow up a couple shots of the dagger hilt close ups and you'll see what I mean, simply outstanding!

    Asking for help, need pictures of a few Heer daggers for a German army dress dagger book

  6. #36


    The importance of color temperature for shots of militaria

    Here are a couple examples of how artificial lighting in the house can really change the color of a uniform, or cloth, leading to confusion or misundertandings.

    1st example is of a Luft cap a guys posted on eBay, the cap should be blueish (Feldblau?) but in his pics it came out green. We all know what happens when you mix blue and yellow... and regular house lights typically have a very yellow cast.

    The sellers response to why the hat is green instead of blue is;

    The field cap is blue gray Luftwaffe, and not brown. That was the light who did this color effect
    Here's a pic, awful cell phone pic... This really makes it hard for sellers and buyers, can you really get excited about an item based on pics like these? Click on the pic to get an idea of how bad this pics is ;(

    Click image for larger version. 

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    And a link to the ad, it was ended by the seller (probably sold off eBay), but the link should still be good for a month the day it ended.

    German M43 Field Cap M43 Luftwaffe Soldier Complete WW2 | eBay

    Here is another example from the forum the other day in the SS section, the Heer or Waffen SS uniform looks blue, leading viewers to ask questions.

    Last edited by Larboard; 12-20-2015 at 06:43 PM.

  7. #37


    Quote by Larboard View Post
    The importance of color temperature for shots of militaria
    Please save and post the photos instead of a link as it will be useless when the auction s finished.
    Searching for anything relating to, Anton Boos, 934 Stamm. Kp. Pz. Erz. Abt. 7, 3 Kompanie, Panzer-Regiment 2, 16th Panzer-Division (My father)

  8. #38


    Ralph, the post was unfinished, computer was trying to crash in the middle of the post, had to reboot it. Will finish it now, thx ;-)

  9. #39


    "Messr. Bernhard's nice pictures"

    Thx tp FB for posting these today, here's one from the thread and some quickie info on how to get decent pics of these skulls or similar emblems.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    To delve into the slightly technical aspect of getting proper shots of relatively shiny emblems on black caps (and why they are washed out sometimes), the reason is that the skull or eagle is much brighter than the cap, but also much smaller.

    Matter of light reflection aside (this is obviously a problem too), the camera sees the whole scene, which is mostly black, and adjusts to make that particular "light value" correct, so the black looks good, but the emblem is too bright.

    Controlling the light, avoiding any bright light, helps. But on a closeup shot, the camera needs to meter on the emblem, expose for the emblem properly, if the rest of the cap is too dark, so be it. The pros will always tell you "expose for the highlights, let everything else fall into place".

    Most of the cameras have light meter settings, which either evaluate the whole scene and try to make the best of it, or you can find the "spot meter" setting, which will "meter" on a small area and get it right, the rest of the scene be damned.

    Back to reflection and excessive light, the more (excessive and focused) light you have on the subject (dark cap and shiny emblems) the harder the job the camera has to get one right or the other. If you have very flat, controlled, indirect lighting (light box?), the camera has a much easier time of it, and will give much better results.

    And a link to the thread;

    Messr. Bernhard's nice pictures

  10. #40


    Good tip!

    I also use the spot metering feature which as the name suggests will control the light metering based on the center of the image (usually the item you are shooting). Of course this doesn't take into account the rest of the background but when shooting a medal or badge against a light colored background (I often use a plain kitchen paper towel) the paper towel 'blows out' and loses detail which is fine by me as the medal/badge is the only thing I want to focus on.

    It can be a bit fussy as the camera tries to cope with what you are forcing it to do but when it all comes together shots like these are the result.

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