This post is old and has now been superseded by Dental Photography 101 – a detailed guide to dental photography. I would highly recommend going to view the new article.

Dental photography is always expensive right?

Wrong. It can be if you splurge your money on brand new Ferrari end photography equipment. I know dentists who have literally spent thousands on buying their ideal photographic set up, it does not have to be the case. Let me go through two real life examples. (If you are not sure what the ideal dental photography set up is click here)

 Example 1

Canon 600d Body only£200 from ebay (RRP £400)
Tamron Dimacro 90mm lens SP£140 from ebay (RRP £500)
Sigma EM-140DG ring flash£160 from ebay (RRP £400)

Example 2

Canon 1100d body £160 from computer exchange (RRP £270)
Sigma 105mm f/2.8 OS EX DG Macro£140 a hand me down from a generous dentist (RRP £400)
Sigma EM-140DG ring flash£160 from ebay (RRP £400)

The first thing that you will notice is that on example 1 and 2 I did not save £1000 (£1000 sounds much better than £800, apologies). The second thing you will notice is that on most of the products I got them for 50% of the RRP and they take absolutely superb photos. Here are three tips to save you money in the run-up to Christmas.

1) Do not buy cheap Chinese made rip offs

All the photographic equipment in the above examples come from reputable companies. If you are ever considering buying from China then please consider my personal experience. I bought a Chinese made Mieke LED ring flash from eBay for £25. It arrived on a Sunday morning I was still in my PJs and I excitedly tore off the outer brown paper. It was in such beautiful packaging I almost did not want to open it up. I carefully opened the box and attached the LED ring flash to my camera and took my first glorious shot.

Smile picture 2

My second photo was just the same and the third and fourth. It was not until I spent close to £200 on another ring flash I realized that I had been ripped off. Never again!

Smile picture 1


2) Buy second hand

They say that cars lose 20% of their value as they are driven out of the show room. Camera equipment is similar and in fact you can pick up like new camera equipment from Amazon, Ebay or Gum tree for 50% off. The majority of these will not come with a  warranty so beware of fake equipment and make sure to read the terms and conditions carefully before purchasing . A good way of side stepping this is buying from computer exchange as they do give a warranty for 1 year.

3) Find a generous dentist

Ask around your colleagues to see if any are looking to sell their old camera equipment off. Use social media particularly facebook or twitter to advertise that you are looking for a camera. You may be surprised by the quality of equipment that you can pick up for relatively cheap.

It is a myth that you need to be a millionaire to get a good camera set up for dental photography. Good luck researching and if you are lucky you may find it in your Christmas stocking. Fingers crossed that Santa is generous this year. Stay tuned for the next post on Aperture, shutter speed and ISO.