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Author Topic: Digital camera for fine art prints?  (Read 4991 times)
BruceK
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« on: February 18, 2004, 07:02:36 PM »
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Warren:

That would depend a lot on what size prints you plan on making.

I can't tell if you plan on selling these prints or not, but if you do I presume that you have the permission of the artist(s) to do so.

     Bruce
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boku
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« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2004, 12:01:07 PM »
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You can give it a try and see if you are satisfied with the results, but there are some downsides with using a digicam for what is essentially copy work:

1) the lens may not have a flat field of focus.
2) The lens may exhibit objectionable distortion.
3) The lens may not deliver even exposure, contrast or resolution.
4) Your lighing system may not be well controlled.

In the old days such reproduction were done with a process camera with a process lens using process lights.

I think I would at least try to simulate some of those desireable attributes by using:

1) A digital SLR
2) A macro lens
3) Even tunsten flood lights at 45 degrees angles to the artwork.
4) RAW file capture with out-of-camera file processing.
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Bob Kulon

Oh, one more thing...
Play it Straight and Play it True, my Brother.
Wayne Jacobsen
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« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2004, 05:11:49 PM »
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Consider a flatbed scanner. You can scan the art in sections and stitch the scans together in software. I have done this many times with an Epson 2450 flatbed. (I assume you can get that scanner or comparable one for a couple hundred bucks these days.) Even the freebee "Photostitch" software Canon packages with its cameras does a great job with the stitching.

One trick is to make sure you use the same exposure for each of the scans. On the Epson software, I prescan the first section of the art, then note the exposure settings. For the scans of subsequent sections, I make sure to use the same settings.

Flatbed scanning will solve any problems you would have had with print size using a digital camera. For example, you can scan at 600 dpi and downsample before you print the art at its actual size. Thats going to give you much better quality than upsampling the shot you would take with a digital camera.

Its also going to be easier to get the lighting correct with a flatbed scanner. The lighting set up to copy a piece of flat art with a normal camera is touchy, at least in my (limited) experience. Its hard to get the lighting even with a camera. No problem with the flatbed.

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Wayne
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Wayne Jacobsen
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« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2004, 09:48:46 AM »
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I have done all of my splicing of flatbed scans with a program packaged by Canon with its digital cameras, called Photostitch.  It has a setting for splicing flatbed scans.  My experience is that if I use the same exposure on all the scans, the software gives a seamless final product, no adjustments needed.  The software handles the alignment automatically.

As an FYI, although Photostitch has been great (perfect, really) at stitching flatbed scans, I thinks there are better programs for creating panoramas from conventional photos.  For example, I experimented with PT Assembler (www.tawbaware.com), and got an excellent result.

If you can't get your hands on Photostitch, you might try searching for another panorama program that handles flatbed scans.


--Wayne
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warren
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« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2004, 01:57:30 PM »
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Would a Canon G5 be a suitable camera for photographing paintings approx 1 to 4' square with the view to making photo prints on an Epsom 2200 or 4000?Any advice would be welcome.
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warren
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« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2004, 11:17:13 AM »
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hello Bruce
I am the artist and the print size would be up to the maximum size for the printers that I mentioned i.e. Epsom 2200 13x19" prints , Epsom 4000 16x20".
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rickster
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« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2004, 01:13:14 PM »
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I happen to have two pics taken with a G5 on my website here.
Scroll down to "Need Art?"

Both are of paintings on canvas, about 3'x5'.  No special lighting, I shot them in a garage.  I've printed them out at 13x19 on a 2200 on Enhanched Matte and at 8.5x11 on semi-gloss.  The limited color gamut of the printer/paper/inks can't compare to the gamut of the oil based paints so don't expect a real close match.  Overall though, I'd say they look pretty good.

If you need more information let me know.
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warren
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« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2004, 08:38:21 AM »
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Thanks for all the advice.It would probably be wise to expand on the scanner idea before shelling out for a G5 or a digital SLR. I have tried scanning on my Epsom 1200U and splicing sections. There are a few problems with this method e.g.even a couple of degrees off in alignment will result in a splice that needs too much re touching. I tried to adjust in PS but that gave a horizontal misalignment , at least it did on the
monitor. I would need to imbed the scanner in a 'table' to give a large enough level area and to set up horizontal and virtical guide rails. I dont see any other solution. I would be interested to know more about how you achieved your alignment or how you corrected misalignment.
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Wayne Jacobsen
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« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2004, 09:52:23 AM »
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I ought to add that I don't make an effort to get particularly straight scans.  If the scans overlap, the software lines them up.  Also, I don't think this sort of job is particularly taxing for panorama software, so I imagine you can get by with a cheap program.
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warren
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« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2004, 03:00:09 PM »
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I've just finished splicing 2 scans (both at 600dpi) using the Arc Soft Panarama  software. As you say Wayne, the software did it all seamlessly and aligned perfectly. Many thanks.
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