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I'm wondering if anybody might be able to give me advice on how I can best do some still life shots of items in small packages (individual porridge packs, small boxed goods ,etc). I don't want them to appear too glossy, more flat actually.I want them to "stand out" nicely and give off a feeling of being healthy and "clean", i.e beneficial for one's health, and a product not to be missed.

Which lenses are most appropriate? I was considering a macro,or perhaps a 24 or 50mm lens. What flash or other studio gear is best for these kind of shots? And, I presume a tripod essential.

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I wouldn't recommend a macro lens, something in the range of 55-120mm with the lowest depth of field, or f number would be the best type of lens. If you are using an APS-C cropped sensor the Sigma 18-55mm f1.8 is amazing, for a full frame camera the Canon 24-105mm is a good choice. But of course it depends on your camera and budget.

You can get a range of studio lights, I would recommend something like the Bowen 400 or 500 series of studio lighting kits.

As for tripods, you will need a sturdy versatile one I can recommend the VANGUARD Alta Pro 263AGH Aluminium Tripod with GH-100 Pistol Grip Ball Head.

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The lens question isn't easy to answer, as there are so many variables to could affect it (shooting conditions, the artistic effect required, etc).

A tripod will only be required if the lighting conditions dictate a shutter speed that is too slow to hand hold. Personally, I'd really be looking to avoid using one for product shots.

You might choose to not use flash; you could use continuous light or even daylight if you wish. You don't even need studio gear, as halogen site lights can be used and a modified cardboard box can make a perfectly adequate light box to shoot in (for example: Strobist light box).

In terms of lighting for the appearance, I'd highly recommend you read Light: Science and Magic (Hunter, Biver, Fuqua) to help with the look you are looking to achieve (not too glossy, standing out, etc.)

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