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Canon R50, RF Macro 35mm f1.8 Jewelry Photography Blurry Photos


Dear All,

i am totally new to the professional camera side. I bought Canon R50 plus RF Macro 35mm f1.8 for Jewelry photography. I am on AV mode with 100 ISO and shutter 1/30 but i am not sure why pictures are always blurry. It’s not shaky but blurry like no sharp details at all and i am trying to see if someone can actually help with this. 
Thank You






A couple of things come to mind:

1) What aperture are you using? I have read that lenses are not at their best at their widest aperture.

2) The minimum focusing distance for that lens is 6.7 inches. Are you trying to get closer than that?

3) Try placing your jewelry against a darker background. Lenses need contrast to focus well. If your subject and the background are the same color, your camera will struggle to focus.

Steve Thomas


as of today the only thing I changed was making it 8" away from product and it automatically made the shutter speed as 1/60. I am using f8 and here is the result. it solved a lot but I still think it can be better. IMG_0003.JPG

Rising Star
Rising Star

few points:

  • shooting a prime lens wide open at f1.8 generally will produce "soft" images.  if you step it down to 2.8, you'll get a sharper image.  also shooting at f1.8 produces a very small DOF which would mean a very small "slice" of your jewelry will be in focus and the rest will be "blurry" due to bokeh.  Maybe shooting at F4.0 may be better to have more of the jewelrey in focus.
  • did you manually set ISO and shutter?  1/30 shutter is pushing it to limit handheld shake so having a bit faster shutter like 1/60 could help with any camera shake.


Rebel XT, 7D, 5Dm3, 5DmIV (current), EOS R, EOS R5 (current)

I manually set ISO to 100 and the shutter speed change based on the F value I put (F8). when you mean f2.8 you mean another lens or change the F to 2.8?


Are you using a tripod?  If so, and your lens has Image Stabilization (IS), then turn that off as it may be fighting with IS.

Is the surface that the jewerly is atop parallel to your camera's lens?  If not, you risk not all parts of the item being in focus, especially if at very wide aperatures and especially so with a macro lens being so close.

This particular image appears underexposed and quite flat contrast-wise.   Do you have lighting you can set up?   Do note though that jewelry photography can be challenging.  I would do an internet search for jewelry photography to get tips and tricks for various lighting setups that would really help to bring out sparkle and to apply very smooth gradients.

Agreed with Steve in trying a darker background.   Though this can be challenging as well since it will get illuminated just as the item, so a black background will turn grey.   You should indeed look what others are using for backgrounds; I image a black velvet may work out very well.

Possible, but very difficult, is to have the item suspended in air.   Then position it far enough away from a dark background that would fall to black (prevent any lights from illuminating the background).


Camera: EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L
Lighting: Profoto Lights & Modifiers

this picture is the best I can get till now. I am using a really good tripod. but the gems are not sharp. can it be better? 

ISO 100.


Sharping level 2.

Exposure +2.

Shutter 1/40

Automatic Focus. 


Definitely better, but I do notice a blue cast to the image.  Several solutions, though definitely capture in RAW:

  1. Try Auto White Balance (AWB)
  2. Use a camera preset (or custom Kelvin value) to have the captured image be more neutral.
  3. Adjust in post-processing (when using RAW, the white balance is not baked in, so you can easily adjust it)
  4. Use a custom white balance.

Beyond that, do you have access to a flash/strobe or continuous light source?  That could help out with adding more specular highlights.


Camera: EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L
Lighting: Profoto Lights & Modifiers

I am still working on your comments to get it better, but i have another question. If i am able to return the R50 and have the budget to get R8 or R7. Will it make a difference or i dont need to go that far or i wont see a difference unless its R5 which is out of budget. 


I do not know what you already have or can afford, but I hope some of this might be helpful.

When my wife sold jewelry many years ago, I used a light box that had led lights with a known color and a mount for the camera. I connected a usb cable between the camera and computer and used the Canon software to control the camera and capture photos directly to the computer.

Light tents are now less expensive than the light box.

Some possible causes of blur in photos.

1. camera moves fixed by using tripod or other solid platform for camera

2. something being photographed moves fixed by faster shutter speed

3. out of focus or focus on the wrong thing fixed by manual focus or greater depth of field

4. high ISO noise reduction blur fixed by a longer exposure / slower shutter

5. small aperture diffraction blur fixed by Canon DPP software "digital lens optimizer" or by focus stacking


1. set camera to save both RAW and JPG

2. edit the RAW file using the free to download Canon DPP software and use unsharp mask and digital lens optimizer

3. use a tripod or set the camera on something that will not move if you do not have a tripod

4. has instructions for setting depth of field on your camera

5. digital lens optimizer for your camera

6. ISO speed settings:

7. setting camera to save RAW image file:

8. If you set a custom white balance to match your lighting:

There is information that I found helpful at

click here to view the press release