Probably the only two lenses you can use for jewelry photography are the Pentax 90mm f/2.8 D FA 645 Macro ED AW SR which is a 1:2 Macro lens, with shake reduction, and my favorite one if the objects are not too small.
Or the Pentax smc FA 645 120mm f/4 Macro Lens 120mm which is a 1:1 macro lens, but somehow an older design.
Both are great lenses, the 90mm handles highlights on metal better, the 120mm have some purple fringing on very strong highlights, but nothing that can’t be fixed, and usually not visible unless you have a huge contrast between the dark and bright parts, like a very strong edge over a black background.
The following are examples of both lenses and the same subject at different apertures, and are 100% crops of the following image, in this case, what you see if the final focus stacking of the piece, and not processed in any other way, and not the kind of angle I would do of the piece for my client, but what I thought it would be the best for being able to see the sharpness vs DOF of each aperture on each lens.
Aperture Based Image Quality Of Pentax 90 mm Lens
F11 (most details) V.S F22 (least details)
Aperture Based Image Quality Of Pentax 120 mm Lens
F11 (most details) V.S F32 (least details)
Of course all depends on how your image it will be used, if it is just for an online catalog the 8256×6192 pixels of this camera once reduced to what could be an online catalog image, a f22 or even an f32 can hold pretty well.
90 mm not stacked at f22
And also the non stacked 120 mm at f32
Next part, Comparison of shadows, highlights recovery and RAW quality between 5D MKIII, Sony A7R and Pentax 645Z
About author: Victor Wolansky, a Professional Jewelry Photographer
Originally from Argentina, living in the US for the last 10 years.
Got my first DSLR back in 2009 and started experimenting with different techniques, looking for something that really makes me feel happy. Tried many kinds of photography, but the product photography is what I ended specializing into. Found Alex Koloskov website when we was just starting with the splash photography, and that was what drove me to buy several studio flashes, after that, jewelry was what captured most of my attention.
At the end of 2013 I decided to start commercially with the jewelry photography, since then it has become my passion, I’m a freak of details, I look for perfection, and I repeat a shot as many times I need to be happy with it. Won’t show it until I’m happy and proud of it.
My specialty are independent artist that makes one of a kind pieces, and that is super fun because I never get two pieces that look alike, so every time is a new challenge. I also have another job which is actually my main job, where I work as colorist and visual effects artist, making TV commercials.