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Author Topic: digitizing large folio chromolithographs  (Read 5129 times)
orchidblooms
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« on: November 24, 2012, 08:19:02 AM »
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greetings...

we have a collection of  large folio orchid chromolithographs 16 x 21 as well as smaller sizes and wish to get these to a very high quality digital format...

looking for opinions - copy stand - d800e / zeiss 100f2 or some sort of scanner?

we have have many many of these...

also have books with these lithos - some bound in middle - how best to digitize these? and take the page crease out?  how can a fat book be scanned? is a book best done on copy stand?

our goal is to work with local group that specializes in restoration of fine art - and digitally 'restore' the works - then we will offer them as fine art 'prints'...  thru our local conservatory....





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Doug Peterson
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« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2012, 09:21:26 AM »
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Our Department of Cultural Heritage focuses exclusively on projects like this. We OEM the best quality equipment, integrate with consumer gear like Canon/Nikon where appropriate, and also partner with service bureaus when sending the work out is the best solution.

The equipment best for your application depends on balancing your resolution requirements, your budget, and your existing resources like manpower (i.e. will existing staff work on this in exisiting spare time or will new staff be required?), and your desired timeframe, and material handling concerns (how delicate, how valuable, how unusual, how likely to deteriorate over time).

It also matters whether the end result is your only goal or if you're also interested in the process itself for the curiosity/learning/academic reasons.

Everything from a canon rebel and gaffe tape all the way to a 70k copy station may make sense depending on those variables. It may also make more sense for you to do none of the work and send it to one of our partners who have millions in gear and highly experienced technicians.

The one lesson I'd want to save you from is touching and digitizing every piece in the collection only to decide in a year that you want/need more resolution/color-depth/color-accuracy/sharpness-uniformity. You say you have "many many" items in your collection. In our analysis of very large digitization projects (we frequently deal with collections in the hundreds of thousands of items range) the vast majority of cost is in the labor, not the equipment, and keeping the process efficient, and most importantly non-redundant (doing each item only once) is the biggest cost saver).

If we can be of assistance please send me an email or give me a call (in my signature).
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DOUG PETERSON (dep@digitaltransitions.com), Digital Transitions
Dealer for Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Profoto
Office: 877.367.8537
Cell: 740.707.2183
Phase One IQ250 FAQ
orchidblooms
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« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2012, 09:34:28 AM »
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doug many thanks

was not really looking for a sales pitch...

looking for tips on how i can best capture these images myself...

have lots of time - d800e / zeiss 100f2 access to a copy stand w/ 4x halogen lights

or maybe consider investing in a scanner - ?? 

i would like to do as much of this on my own as possible - then pass the files to the guys that will be doing the restorative work...

p.

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Doug Peterson
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« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2012, 09:46:41 AM »
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doug many thanks

was not really looking for a sales pitch...

looking for tips on how i can best capture these images myself...


That's what I was offering by contacting me.  But there are dozens of variables to your question, and advice can only be as good as your question and the extended back and forth to establish what advice is relevant is not conducive to the forum.

Imagine asking "I want to take pictures of children, lots of them, how can I do this best?" and expecting the answers to be meaningful. You'll get good advice but not necessarily relevant advice. If someone who did portrait photography for a living then offered to speak to you at length about things to look out for an things to avoid I, for one, would take the offer. But that's just me.

We have a free webinar coming up in which we cover Cultural Heritage workflow:
http://dtdch.com/event/event/phase-one-live

The fact that I do this for a living and our company has enormous experience in this field makes us a *good* source of advice, not a bad one. But whatever, of you want to dismiss my offer of advice because I sell solutions in the space you are about to enter then that is your decision. Apparently you think I'm a worthless sales person...
« Last Edit: November 24, 2012, 10:28:41 AM by Doug Peterson » Logged

DOUG PETERSON (dep@digitaltransitions.com), Digital Transitions
Dealer for Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Profoto
Office: 877.367.8537
Cell: 740.707.2183
Phase One IQ250 FAQ
hugowolf
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« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2012, 06:29:31 PM »
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The issues are a little different depending whether you are photographing or scanning. Large flat bed scanners are expensive, but you could resell after the project:

As for photographing: I prefer flash over continuous, but once you have the lights set up to give an even light field, there should be little difference. And which ever way, shoot tethered.

Generally you don’t need more than two lights except for larger pieces, certainly much larger than you have. Art repro lighting is well known: two lights equidistant, equiangular, identical and at the same power output, usually around 45º to the work. Meter the corners and centre and go for less than 1/10 stop difference, which is about the best that most meters can measure. Without a meter you can shoot a plain sheet or large gray card and examine it in whatever software you are tethered to.

The real problem is the binding. I have at times unbound books, and had them professionally rebound after. If images are too close to the gutter (the margin nearest the binding), or worse, as in your case, centre folds, then things are much more difficult.

I use heavy glass to flatten pages, or plexi with weight bags. Various thickness shims to keep the pages level.

Shoot a test target (GretagMacBeth ColorChecker or such) at the start, end, and intermittently during the process. And even so, it is good to have the originals with you for reference while post processing.

Shoot raw and use the largest space and highest bit depth available.

Brian A
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orchidblooms
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« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2012, 05:48:58 PM »
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brian many thanks for the info...

i have access to a vp400 copy stand similar to this


but older -- and has 4 halogen lamps...
wondering if this would get me going...

p.
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hugowolf
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« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2012, 08:18:53 PM »
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brian many thanks for the info...

i have access to a vp400 copy stand
but older -- and has 4 halogen lamps...
wondering if this would get me going...
If you have one then give it a whirl. Use a large plain sheet and measure the exposure differences. Shoot a color patch card and see if the lighting is able to reproduce the gamut you need.

Brian A
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