Instructables

Macro Photo Stand

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I use this photo stand to take photos of archaeological artifacts. This rig is copied from a store-bought unit I saw while working in Iceland. The archaeologists there added a glass base to rest the artifacts on. This allows you to take photos against various colored backgrounds which contrast the artifact’s color while keeping those backgrounds clean. I’m not a photography expert but I believe having the artifact “suspended” above the background helps a camera’s macro function to focus on the artifact.

There are a bunch of these photo stands on Instructables. I encourage you to check out The OMCC Stand (One More Camera Copy Stand ). It’s gorgeous!

I paid about $35 for all of the materials (not including tools) but I’m sure this could be done much, much cheaper using found materials.




 
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Step 1: Materials and Tools

Picture of Materials and Tools
SUPPLIES
~ Steel Flat Bar 2” wide x 1/8” thick (the one I bought came in a 36” length but only 8 1/4” was needed).
~1/4” x 2” Neoprene washer
~ Threaded Rod ½” diameter x 36” length (cut in half)
~White Plastic Leg Tips, 1/2 In. (2)
~1/2” nuts (4)
~1/2” wing nuts (2)
~ 1/2” washers (6)
~ 1/4 in. nylon nuts and bolts (2 sets)
~1/4”-20 thumb bolt (1) [for the camera]
~1/4”-20 nuts (2 or 3)
~1” thick plywood 14” x 16”
~Rubber feet (I used screw on rubber bumpers for a shower stall door) (4)
~12” x 16” clear glass replacement glass (I got this from an arts and craft store)
~Felt backgrounds 12” x 16” (I got this from an arts and craft store)

TOOLS
~Drill
~Step drill bit (good for drilling metal)
~1/2” paddle drill bit
~1/2” & 1/4” & another smallish drill bit
~Countersink drill bit
~Center punch
~Dremel with grinding bit, reinforced cutting wheel
~2 adjustable wrenches
~Screwdriver
~Sandpaper
~Saw
~Vise
~Measuring tape
~Hole puncher
~Glue

Light_Lab3 years ago
Hmmm.....threaded rods.........white plastic legs tips..........I really have a strong feeling of dejavu......{^_^}...

Copy-Stand-Cheap-and-easy-to-build
frankadelic (author)  Light_Lab3 years ago
Thanks for the comments. I don't think I saw yours before posting my Instructable but if it makes you feel better using the threaded rod was a bit of a mistake as it takes a long time to adjust the bracket. If I ever build another one of these I'd use a different setup.
No foul, Instructables is all about getting ideas and often great minds think alike.
For me the threaded rods are perfect because I only adjusted the first time I set it up. (Perhaps the occasional tweak.) Since then I just let the camera auto focus do the work.
I guess in your case you would often vary the height to get different fields of view for different size artifacts.
I played around with one technique for quick movement on the threaded rods that works pretty well. Under the the sliding part I put a nut that was oversize (ie just big enough to slide up and down without turning.) I filed the top of the nut to be at an angle. When the weight of the sliding part rests on the nut it twists against the thread and locks. To adjust you just twist the nut to slide it up an down. For my purpose I decided that a more permanent setting was best so I abandoned the twisting nut.
I might put a diagram of the twisting nut idea on my design page so others can use it.
Light_Lab3 years ago
I really like the glass sheet idea, I might rig something like that for my stand.

Just a hint - unless the object you are photographing rolls easily (perhaps blue tack it?). Then put the sheet of glass on a slight angle ie. take the sheet of glass off two of the supports on one side. You will avoid photographing reflections of the camera that way (must be a real problem as is). I can see an outline in the sample shot.

BTW Which Nikon is that? 950, 990, 995?
BTBTW Is that a real artifact?  Obsidian arrow head, or tool?
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