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Old Feb 8, 2004, 8:01 AM   #1
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Default Photographing Paintings on Canvas

Greetings everyone! I've had my Rebel for 3 months now, and am loving it. You have all been very interesting and a great help. I bought the 18-55 with my Rebel, and also purchased the Tamron 28-75 2.8 XR Di for shooting in low lite conditions, inside. I have the 420 EX as well, although my feeling is not to use the flash for this shoot. I've gathered from this site, and from my own results, that shooting wide open does not produce the sharpest pics. To that end, I plan on trying to light my friend's large canvases very brightly and try to achieve good results at f8 or so. Any tips? Should I wait for a nice sunny day and shoot outside? I'll be using a tripod for sure , and because I don't have the remote shutter release, I'll use the timer. Canon's 1.8 50mm isn't too far off in my future, would that be preferrable to the lenses I have already?
Thanks to all! I haven't purchased anything yet without first reading the posts here.
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Old Feb 8, 2004, 9:54 AM   #2
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The Tamron lens should work fine, you can shoot at various apertures since flat surface subject does not affect by dept of field, just select the one that has most shaper image for your final result, document all of your shots, this should be a real test so you will know at what aperture, you lens works the best.

As for lighting, you can shoot in a bright sunny day of cloudy day, I would prefer cloudy day since the light is more even and soft. But you can also control the lighting on bright sunny day too by using a large white sheet to cover the shooting area (overhead), that will product better quality and more even soft light for your subject.

For indoor shooting, it may require a decent studio lighting set with a flash meter, at least two flash heads with softboxes to produce a lighting ratio of 1:1.(a Nikon As-15 is required for hotshoe/pc socket conversion), you can experience without studio lighting, but the result may not favorable, if you use on camera hotshoe flash, try to bounce flash off of the ceiling to avoid hash shadow.

Cheers

And yes, in all cases, use the tripod and timer mode.
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Old Feb 8, 2004, 5:43 PM   #3
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Thanks for the input, the less than sunny day idea is a real surprise for me , but makes sense. I'll be searching on the net for Nikon AS-15 after this post to find out what that is!
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Old Feb 8, 2004, 8:11 PM   #4
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The Nikon AS-15 is an adapter that fits in your cameras hotshoe and provides a PC connector to connect external studio strobes.

It is similar to the Wein SafeSync adapter, but may or may not provide overvoltage isolation like the Wein SafeSync.

Most modern cameras have a 6volt trigger voltage rating and some studio strobes can easily provide over 200volts at trigger which will toast the camera if used.

Better safe than sorry, I have been unable to locate specs on the Nikon AS-15 to see if it provides any isolation or passes along the full trigger voltage.
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Old Feb 8, 2004, 8:14 PM   #5
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Another thing to consider is to make very, very sure that you are directly perpendicular to the picture. A wider DOF might help recover from this, but it isn't the best way.

Yes, use F8. That is the right way to go.

The 50mm f1.8 would work well for this, its a nice sharp lens.

Eric
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Old Feb 9, 2004, 4:53 AM   #6
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Thanks PeterP, Eric S, I appreciate it. Eric, if you don't mind, perhaps you could clarify. Was there something more here I'm missing? I can see the importance of being perfectly perpendicular, as I could be out of focus if I wasn't. Beyond that, I think I lost you. Thanks.
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Old Feb 9, 2004, 8:25 AM   #7
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Yes, DOF is part of it (and f8 will help with that.) But you'll also skew the perspective of the picture. It won't be that obvious if you're just a bit off... but it will be there. The top of the picture will be slightly skinnier than the rest of the picture and lines won't go straight.

The reality is that the best way to take a picture of a painting is not with a camera... it's with a flat-bed scanner. But this depends on what type of painting it is and what paper it is. I've tried this with my Dad's water color paintings and discovered that the weave of the paper caused shadows in the scan so that whites weren't white they were slighty greyish (the paper wasn't smooth.) But the colors came out really great, and you could still almost see the texture of the paints & brush strokes used.... that part looked amazing when printing on the Epson 2200 (which has the advantage of being able to print on really thick paper... so we used the same paper he painted on.)

Eric
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Old Feb 11, 2004, 1:12 AM   #8
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Hi Eric,

Wouldn't a tilt-shift lens be better to make sure that the perspective is not skewed?

Barthold
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Old Feb 11, 2004, 9:58 AM   #9
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It might be. I've never used one, but I've heard that they are quite sharp.

Interesting question. I don't know how hard those are to use, to correct for such a small amount of tilt.

Eric
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Old Feb 12, 2004, 7:15 AM   #10
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Great input, thanks guys.
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