Help support TMP

"What can I do to improve my 6mm Pictures?" Topic

12 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Photography of Miniatures Message Board

Areas of Interest


706 hits since 30 Jan 2017
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Jozis Tin Man Supporting Member of TMP30 Jan 2017 12:16 p.m. PST

See: link

Not quit happy with how the pictures turned out. I should know how to do this. I have a Cannon Digital SLR on the Macro setting, thinking it would increase the depth of field.

Any suggestions on the best way tp hoto graph small scal figures? Thanks in advance!

vtsaogames Inactive Member30 Jan 2017 12:22 p.m. PST

Are you using a tripod? I find a really simple cheap tripod does wonders. Also, from a photographer buddy, lots of light, really lots. I don't use the flash because that gives what I perceive as a glossy and brassy look.

darthfozzywig Supporting Member of TMP30 Jan 2017 12:31 p.m. PST

Instead of the macro lens and getting close, stay back and use a good zoom. Ironically, that often gives better results.

Terrement30 Jan 2017 12:42 p.m. PST


Vigilant30 Jan 2017 1:26 p.m. PST

I'd go for a lower angle rather than top down. Use as narrow an aperture as possible to get the best depth of field, use the camera's manual settings rather than the macro to get the best balance, and as said above, plenty of light.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP30 Jan 2017 2:00 p.m. PST

I think everyone's right but Terrement who is just being mean--light, lower, tripod, distance and zoom.

Terrement, you were asked how best to photograph 6mm figures, not what scale takes the least skill to photograph. Any fool can (eventually) get a decent photograph of 54mm, but that's not the point.

whitphoto30 Jan 2017 2:03 p.m. PST

How much money do you want to spend? Buy a dedicated macro lens. Tamron makes two good ones, a 90mm 1:1 macro for full frame and I believe a 60mm 1:1 for a crop sensor. After that I would suggest a light tent with continuous lighting set up. You can probably get a really good set for under $200. USD I bought a 24x24 light tent (the smallest I would suggest) for $40 USD I believe, but I already have lighting equipment. I shoot 28mm minis with it so I haven't bought a dedicated macro lens yet. I use my 70-200 at f/32 and get pretty decent photos for my blog. A tripod is a good idea too.

whitejamest30 Jan 2017 4:00 p.m. PST

I do a lot of photographing of small scale miniatures (I've also been working on a 6mm American Revolution project, and do lots of 1:1200 ships) and I use a Nikon DSLR with just the basic 18-55mm lens that came with it. Nothing fancy.

I agree with a number of the comments already given here. A cheap tripod is a big help. I paid less than 30 dollars for mine. It's not good for field shoots, but for photographing things sitting on my desk it's just fine.

If you don't want to use a tripod (still recommend you do), you will need to be using a faster shutter speed (so the image doesn't blur) which makes even stronger light all the more important. I have two swing arm lamps on my desk, one of them with a halogen bulb for extremely bright light (watch out, it gets very hot so don't leave it turned on too long). I position the normal bulb close above the subject, and position the halogen lamp in front, low down.

I'm not crazy about light boxes. They can be done right, but often aren't, and so often lead to the figures looking back-lit. I just use a piece of construction paper propped up against a box in a curved position as a backdrop. I like the mat you're using, it looks good to me.

If you want to improve your depth of field, set your camera to allow you to adjust the aperture, while the camera itself adjusts the rest (unless you really want full manual. Great to have more control, you just have to think about more factors). Setting a higher aperture number will narrow the diaphragm and increase your depth of field, but again will require that you use stronger light. I completely agree with the above advice that you avoid using the camera's built in flash. It almost always looks bad.

Another thing using bright light will allow you to do is set a low ISO number this is basically how sensitive the photo plate is. An ISO 0f 200 will give you a lot of detail, and look better when you crop an image and blow it up.

Also remember to set your white balance for the type of bulb you're using incandescent or fluorescent (unless you're filming only in sunlight, in which case use that option).

6mm Adler American cavalry (3rd Continental Dragoons)


Here is a 1:1200 GHQ ship model


Lascaris30 Jan 2017 4:19 p.m. PST

Agree with all of the above especially manually setting aperture and adding light without the flash. You can get pretty cheap stand lights that you can position around the miniatures.

Personal logo Nashville Supporting Member of TMP30 Jan 2017 5:31 p.m. PST

Troops --- increase the depth of field by using the smallest F stop and have a lot of light….read this:

and see this :

TMP link

sillypoint30 Jan 2017 10:10 p.m. PST

Place the figures on a plinth, get camera at close to "eye level".
Trial and error- lots of good advice – you will soon be our go to guy 😜

Jozis Tin Man Supporting Member of TMP31 Jan 2017 6:45 a.m. PST

Thank you so much all! Even Terrement the heretic! (oh beware when the stars are right, 6mm arnies shall scour the earth!)

Ok, I have a small Tripod, going to do some more experiments this week with a smaller F Stop and lots of light and a lower angle.

Now my stuff is speedily painted and will never look as nice as yours James.

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.