emarvets wrote: RichG, sorry, but no. A) seghier had a good render, but it did not have a diamond and it was not on a white background. B) In the real world, I have a default light setup.
Wow, your attitude baffles me! "This is the light setup I want to use but I want a different result" You talk about the real world, in the real world a photographer spends a lot of time putting lights and flags where they need to be based on the shape of the thing he's photographing. If you were shooting or rendering a very diffuse surface you could get away with a default light setup (though it's still bad practice). Your rings are defined almost completely by their reflections and refractions so they're just showing you the things that you plopped down around them. Also in the real world, Photoshop is your friend. If you insist on lighting for a bright white floor, it will reflect in your rings and blow them out, render a mask and strip back the floor in post. If your diamond is "overexposed garbage", mask it and take down the exposure in post. That's the real world and then your render will blow away that photo you posted. I see the same thing all the time with car renderings. So many people say "just stick it in a studio setting and put a big white panel above - job done". I could show you real world car shots where I'm given a hard drive full of shots where they have separated out the lighting of every plane of the car, the tyres, the rims, lights, windows plus many extra layers of accent lighting to catch shutlines and creases. Not saying you need to go to that length with your image but there's no point saying Maxwell doesn't work - you just need to put in some effort at your end.
And I'm not trying to convince you to buy HDR Light Studio, just offering you a quick solution to your problem. Good luck with it.