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Author Topic: Nikon D800E and art reproductions  (Read 2097 times)
mercurious
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« on: November 02, 2012, 10:57:02 AM »
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Hi everybody,

I am new to this forum and have a question about making reproductions of paintings. I own a small business and we sell original paintings of what we think are upcoming artists. We want to expand our business with selling limited edition canvas prints of these artworks . For this off course you need to have high resolution digital images and I did a lot of research and came to the conclusion if you really want to create museum quality reproductions you really need to have top quality gear costing more than a really nice car (Large format camera , scan back etc.). This is not an option for us because we dont have the budget for this and besides that we dont have the knowledge.

Before I continue, you have to know that what we try to achieve is not a reproduction that needs to hang in a high end gallery where it hangs side by side with the original or try to make exact copies of museum paintings. The artworks we sell have a lot of artistic elements but also need to be decorative and are sold for "affordable" prices. Because of this the price of a limited edition canvas print or giclee will be max. $200 for a 40 inch by 40 inch canvas. I gave you this background to show you that we are not looking for 100% ( impossible I guess) exact reproductions but just for really nice copies that can be hung in an office , restaurant or living room for a reasonable price. Now the question comes  Smiley with the right set up ( lights, monitor calibration, printer profile etc.) and for example the Nikon D800(e) and taking multiple shots of different sections to increase the resolution is it possible to achieve this or do you guys think that for what we are trying to do you absolutely need better gear? Sorry for my english and the long text but I am not a native speaker and I am only an amateur photographer. Thanks in advance for your help.
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Rob Reiter
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« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2012, 11:03:01 AM »
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The short answer is yes.

We have been doing 4-6 shots for stitching and the results are excellent. When compared to work done nearby with a Better Light scanning back setup, I'd say the final results will be far more influenced by any subsequent file work than by the equipment used. And for the highest quality work, any camera's file will need some additional work.
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http://www.lightroom.com Fine art printing for photographers and other artists
mercurious
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« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2012, 11:13:38 AM »
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The short answer is yes.

We have been doing 4-6 shots for stitching and the results are excellent. When compared to work done nearby with a Better Light scanning back setup, I'd say the final results will be far more influenced by any subsequent file work than by the equipment used. And for the highest quality work, any camera's file will need some additional work.

Thanks for the really fast reply Rob! I understand that there needs to be done some additional post processing work. Besides that for getting as close (color wise) to the original  we are looking for example at ColorPony (input) and the I1 isis profiling printer (output). In terms of resolution what are you able achieve when taking 4-6 shots and stitch them together? If you dont mind telling me.
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John Camp
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« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2012, 12:14:30 PM »
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Do you need to stitch? (I really don't know.) I've never tried to do this kind of thing, but I was sitting in a hotel room with my 800e on the table and I picked it up and shot a painting, hand-held and far enough back that I could encompass a 40x40, and when I zoomed in, I could see the weave of the canvas under the paint. This was in poor light at 3200. With decent light and a tripod, would you really need multiple shots for what mecurious is trying to do? I was using the 800e with a Nikon 85mm f1.8G.
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nucleonb
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« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2012, 12:07:52 PM »
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I photograph art for my friend artist with a D7000 (I like latest Canons better) for the following paublished albums. Set camera to 14 bit A/D. To the publisher I am sending TIF format.
My advice: calibrate monitor, profole camera. Photograph art piece with Color Checker card (I am using CC24 and sometimes CC140).
If using the latest Adobe Camera RAW (like Lighroom 4) use 2010 process as its tonality is not distorted in favour to save highlights.
Do not forget that the histogram represents JPG with all in-camera settings applied.
That is just my experience.
Leo
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Fine_Art
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« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2012, 02:55:35 PM »
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Out of curiosity what % commission are you sending to the artist? Both of you would probably make more off these prices in volume than the original oil on canvas.

If you are willing to stitch you don't need a D800e, any fairly new DSLR with a good macro lens will work fine.
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nucleonb
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« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2012, 05:25:38 PM »
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It is always interesting - how much?  Smiley Not that much  Sad only $75 all included per one painting.
An APS-C 16MP sensor is sufficient for an album page size 9"x12" - image plus title.
The most important are good lens, dynamic range and A/D 14 bits. D7000 dynamic range is 13EV and a pixel depth 14 bits.
I am better than scanner because photograph with minimal or no white spots due to painting surface reflection from uneven brush strokes.
Those few I would photoshop. Many artists like gloss coating. Also, I have to re-photograph some to reduce/eliminate reflections  (small wite spots).
Leo
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2012, 08:04:41 PM »
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The D800 or D800E are up to the task.
I assume you know about having even , no glare lighting, and about shootign raw files (NEF) oinstead of JPEGs.
As for input I would look at two toolsets: The Xrite ColorChecker Passport system (target + software) or Datacolor's SpyderCHECKR target and software. I use both but these days have been using the Datacolor SpyderCHECKR more often. All cameras have a color bias and the goal of both of both products is to neutralize those color capture characteristics of your cameras.

The Xrite ColorChecker Passport  system creates a custom Color Calibration program which works in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw. You shoot an Xrite  24 patch ColorChecker target and the software builds a DNG calibration for your camera based and you choose that "profile" ( it is not an ICC profile) in the Camera Calibration tab in LR or ACR. it works well in my my experience but I've read some complaints that the profile created was too contrasty. Without knowing how they shot or lit the target I  note but reserve judgement on that criticism.

The SpyderCHECKR works differently. You photograph the target and after making any necessary exposure adjustments in Lr/ACR  you export a processed version of the file and open in it the Datacolor software and it creates a preset of H/S/L (hue/saturation/lightness) values which you can apply during either importing or when processing images shot previously with the same camera.

Both the Xrite and Datacolor products are user friendly to implement and produce excellent results., . The end result differences are like the differences between two vanilla ice creams - which flavor of neutral color rendering do you prefer.

For output I would be looking at an Xrite i1 Pro 2 solution. I haven't been happy with the results from other products and I am pretty picky.

Regarding the need for stitching: you might need to  or you might not, it  depends on what surface you are printing on. Canvas, textured and matte papers have a far lower resolution than gloss or semi-gloss media so a single D800e frame might be absolutely fine with no interpolation at up to 40 inches and possibly more. It also depends on the
printer you are using. The native resolution for  the first rate Canon iPF  and HP DesignJet series is 300/600dpi while Epsons have a native resolution of 360dpi.

If you do need to stitch for this kind of work you'll be best served by a lens that allows you to keep the lens stationary but shift the camera body laterally and vertically.

As to lights: As I said before you want very even lighting from corner to corner to center. By very even I mean within 1/10th of a stop. You also want the lighting to be consistent from frame to frame and from power settign to power setting. I like the Broncolor pack and head systems and the Paul C. Buff Einstein 640 monolights for this. When photographing painting I prefer to use polarizing gels on the lights and a polarizing filter on the camera. This called cross polarization as the polarization axes are at a right angle (90 degrees) to the orientation of the filter on the camera,. Some people believe this is unnecessary however.
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Ellis Vener
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Creating photographs for advertising, corporate and industrial clients since 1984.
mercurious
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« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2012, 10:13:43 AM »
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Do you need to stitch? (I really don't know.) I've never tried to do this kind of thing, but I was sitting in a hotel room with my 800e on the table and I picked it up and shot a painting, hand-held and far enough back that I could encompass a 40x40, and when I zoomed in, I could see the weave of the canvas under the paint. This was in poor light at 3200. With decent light and a tripod, would you really need multiple shots for what mecurious is trying to do? I was using the 800e with a Nikon 85mm f1.8G.

Hi John. For large format prints 7000px x 5000px isnt enough. Off course I can increase the number of pixels by resizing the image ( I use photozoom for this) but the less I have to "make up"pixels the better it is off course. Stitching will give you more pixels = less resizing.
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mercurious
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« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2012, 10:15:15 AM »
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The D800 or D800E are up to the task.
I assume you know about having even , no glare lighting, and about shootign raw files (NEF) oinstead of JPEGs.
As for input I would look at two toolsets: The Xrite ColorChecker Passport system (target + software) or Datacolor's SpyderCHECKR target and software. I use both but these days have been using the Datacolor SpyderCHECKR more often. All cameras have a color bias and the goal of both of both products is to neutralize those color capture characteristics of your cameras.

The Xrite ColorChecker Passport  system creates a custom Color Calibration program which works in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw. You shoot an Xrite  24 patch ColorChecker target and the software builds a DNG calibration for your camera based and you choose that "profile" ( it is not an ICC profile) in the Camera Calibration tab in LR or ACR. it works well in my my experience but I've read some complaints that the profile created was too contrasty. Without knowing how they shot or lit the target I  note but reserve judgement on that criticism.

The SpyderCHECKR works differently. You photograph the target and after making any necessary exposure adjustments in Lr/ACR  you export a processed version of the file and open in it the Datacolor software and it creates a preset of H/S/L (hue/saturation/lightness) values which you can apply during either importing or when processing images shot previously with the same camera.

Both the Xrite and Datacolor products are user friendly to implement and produce excellent results., . The end result differences are like the differences between two vanilla ice creams - which flavor of neutral color rendering do you prefer.

For output I would be looking at an Xrite i1 Pro 2 solution. I haven't been happy with the results from other products and I am pretty picky.

Regarding the need for stitching: you might need to  or you might not, it  depends on what surface you are printing on. Canvas, textured and matte papers have a far lower resolution than gloss or semi-gloss media so a single D800e frame might be absolutely fine with no interpolation at up to 40 inches and possibly more. It also depends on the
printer you are using. The native resolution for  the first rate Canon iPF  and HP DesignJet series is 300/600dpi while Epsons have a native resolution of 360dpi.

If you do need to stitch for this kind of work you'll be best served by a lens that allows you to keep the lens stationary but shift the camera body laterally and vertically.

As to lights: As I said before you want very even lighting from corner to corner to center. By very even I mean within 1/10th of a stop. You also want the lighting to be consistent from frame to frame and from power settign to power setting. I like the Broncolor pack and head systems and the Paul C. Buff Einstein 640 monolights for this. When photographing painting I prefer to use polarizing gels on the lights and a polarizing filter on the camera. This called cross polarization as the polarization axes are at a right angle (90 degrees) to the orientation of the filter on the camera,. Some people believe this is unnecessary however.

Thanks a lot for the detailed explanation of how you do it Ellis. This helps!
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ACH DIGITAL
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« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2012, 12:40:38 PM »
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The D800 or D800E are up to the task.
The SpyderCHECKR works differently. You photograph the target and after making any necessary exposure adjustments in Lr/ACR  you export a processed version of the file and open in it the Datacolor software and it creates a preset of H/S/L (hue/saturation/lightness) values which you can apply during either importing or when processing images shot previously with the same camera.

Agree with Ellis on both points.
The D800 is very up to the task.
Spider Checker more neutral than Xrite Colo Checker.
You might what to check Capture One Pro 7 too. With just a color balance card colors. D800 camera is already profiled by the software.
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Antonio Chagin
www.achdigital.com
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