Nikon 4500

     I could really use some help taking macros of my work with a
nikon 4500.  I have read the manual several times and asked on a
few photo forums, and have still not gotten the desired results.
The center of my piece seems to be in focus while the edges are
not.  I am using a cloud dome, and setting the camera in close up
mode.  <snip> I also have questions as to what I should be setting
my picture size at within the fine pic setting and how I should be
saving, for any possible future publication. 

[my reply] I wanted to respond especially to the question about
preparing digital photos for publication, because based on the
submissions we’ve gotten there seems to be a lot of confusion out
there! :->

The standard resolution for print is 300 dpi – 266 dpi in some
cases, but let’s say 300 to make it even. “Dpi” stands for “dots per
inch,” a dot being the same as a pixel on a digital camera. So if
you’re shooting something at an image size of 600 pixels by 400
pixels, it’ll print at three inches by two inches on paper.

If you’re submitting something for publication, the safest thing to
do is set your camera for its maximum size and quality settings. Yes,
it’s a memory hog, but a large size gives layout artists more to work
with. If the artist wants to use it smaller, it’s easy enough to
shrink; if they want to enlarge the image, they’re limited by the
resolution. Just think, the larger the image you send, the larger it
can appear in print.

I’d recommend not compressing your pictures unless absolutely
necessary, because compression tends to eliminate fine detail from
the picture, which will also show up in print.

Format won’t be a problem for anyone working with modern publishing
software. The .jpg and .tif formats are the most common, but a
program like Photoshop can open almost anything.

Regarding your other question, about taking macro photos – the
problem may simply be that you’re getting too close for your macro to
handle. Even if you’re within the camera’s focus range, that doesn’t
guarantee that you’ll get enough depth of field to keep the whole gem
in focus, especially if you’re getting as close as you describe. Try
backing off a bit. If you have your camera on the maximum
size/quality setting, you’ll be able to crop the excess background
out and still have a good-size picture.

Hope this helps. Feel free to e-mail me privately if you have any
other questions.

Morgan Beard Editor-in-Chief Colored Stone

First let me say I am not familiar with the 4500 but Many Nikon
cameras have an array of accessories available. My own older CoolPix
950 has a full battery of screw on lenses and filters. Take a close
look at your lens, if there are threads along the inside edge then
there are probably screw in accessories. I use a UV filter all the
time. There are telephoto and close-up attachments too. The close-up
lens may help you move further away from your subject for less lens
aberrations and greater depth of field. My favorite attachment is the
slide copier. It is compact, fits in my camera case and lets me copy
slides anywhere! It just screws on to the lens, has a little sliding
slide holder. Just set the camera on close-up mode, hold it up to
the light and shoot. It also allows you to zoom in and reframe the
picture. Cost is around $60. Cool. Bill –

Welcome to Reactive Metals Studio, Inc. Our catalog site is
<>. Thanks for making contact. Stephanie, Bill,
Deborah, Michele. 800/876-3434, 928/634-3434, Fax 928/634-6734

Regarding the Nikon 4500: I highly recommend the Nikon Coolpix series
of cameras; my only complaint is the useless manually! Nikon assumes
we all have a SLR (Single Lens Reflex) background and have worked
with 35mm cameras and we know all the photo terms. We don’t and it is
so confusing! Good manuals for digital cameras can be found at

Digital is so different than traditional 35mm photography. In my
opinion the biggest advantage to digital photography is “white
balance” control. We can use any combination of light sources and the
camera will auto correct for us. I wrote this short tutorial on
taking pictures with the Cloud Dome. Please call or email with
questions regarding your camera settings.

I also found a fantastic new light bulb at 5500 Kelvin for Ott-Lites
and desktop lights. The highest I can find is 5200 Kelvin. This
light source is so amazing; the company has a patent on it. Light is
measured in Kelvin; 5500 is the best for diamonds and
jewelry. I can sell the spiral bulb for about $29.00 each. It is
hard to take pictures of gemstones and get the highlights; you have
to have a “pure” light source. Thanks, Cindy 800-609-8999


  1. Make sure your white balance is set; with most digital cameras,
    “Auto” is the best choice. Refer to your camera’s operating manual
    for additional (Or contact
    for a better manual)

  2. Turn your flash off.

  3. Set your camera at the highest image quality that is possible
    (typically this is “Fine”). This will make for a good master. The
    higher resolution, the better the picture. You can always bring the
    picture down in pixels, but not up. So, it is better to start with
    the best resolution.

  4. Use the preview screen on your camera to center your object.

  5. Select the “Macro” mode on your camera. This is typically
    represented on our camera as a flower. For the best results, use
    the zoom on your camera. When you zoom, the Macro flower should turn
    from white to yellow, indicating that the camera is now in Super
    Macro mode. This will provide the best picture possible. You can
    also raise the object up on a pedestal to get closer to the object.

  6. If additionally lighting is necessary, we recommend using an Ott
    Light or a natural daylight spiral light bulb (for best results, use
    with a goose-neck desk lamp). Look at object in the view finder on
    your camera. Move the light around to find the best placement for
    your object. Different placement of light will produce different

  7. Set the timer on your camera while holding your light in position.
    Very Important!

  8. Voila! You have just completed a fantastic Cloud Dome picture!

Cindy Lichfield Cloud Dome, Inc. P.O. Box 9 Lafayette, Colorado 80026
303-926-8999 * 800-609-8999 303-298-7645 fax

Linda - Last week I sat in on the first, of a two part “Digital
Imaging Forum”. The Nikon 4500 was being demonstrated. I asked about
taking macros of jewelry and this was the answer. – When using the
Nikon 4500 macro function, best results are obtained when you find
the “sweet spot”. The little macro flower on the screen turns yellow,
when you find the sweet spot. Next you need to use aperture priority
and adjust the f stop for the smallest lens opening (greatest depth
of field). I purchased a macro light ($75), a Nikon accessory which
screws on the front of the lens, like this and has eight white LED’s
to illuminate the object evenly. Sometimes it is difficult to
light the object with the macro light without getting reflections,
but it works well most of the time. An older lady had on a pin an
offered it for a demo. The image was taken at 1/4 sec. hand held with
f/10 lens opening using the macro light. The instructor said that the
depth of field looked pretty good, but a tripod would help. The
results looked wonderful. He does not sell cameras and was just there
to answer questions and give help. He also had an Olympus, but didn’t
have time to get to another camera - maybe in part two, the next
session ?? Hope this helps !