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Old Jan 6, 2003, 12:47 PM   #1
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Default Using a Digital Camera to "scan" engineering drawi

I would like to use a Digital Camera to "scan" about 1200 engineering drawings - up to 36 x 42 inches. These files need to be b/w tiff images (ideally compressed tiff's) so they can be imported into a document management software. Has anyone used a camera for this purpose and what "issues" will I run into (like slow transfer speeds, quality, etc) ?

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Old Jan 6, 2003, 2:53 PM   #2
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My office has worked with re-designing a lot of university foodcourts in the US, which mainly have archived dwgs from the 60s. I have by now used my camera for over 500 sheets. I used my olympus 3000 in either "blackboard" or "whiteboard" mode, which basically makes for extreme contrast. It has worked very well.
The main considerations are to use indirect lighting, like fluorescents etc to avoid hotspots (especially with mylars and vellums). I allways shot the highest resolution, on a tripod and no flash. What also works really well (if you have the time and space) is putting a piece of clear glass or acrylic on top of the dwgs to keep them flat.
In photoshop or other editing software, you can increase the image's contrast and maybe play with the FILTER-STYLIZE-FIND EDGES tool to achieve the sharpness you need.
But the best one still is the olympus in-camera feature.
that should do it...
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Old Jan 6, 2003, 4:58 PM   #3
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If these are mission critical, and the specs have to be exact, I'd get them professionally scanned on something like a drum scanner...you're going to get too many distortions with a basic camera.

Unless you get it done on a digital process camera (and again this has to be done by a pro):

Here's an example, but this one still uses film:

To give you some idea of size, it's about 10 feet long from back to front.

You can probably rig something like this up for use with a digital camera, but I'd probably want at least a 5mp camera (would probably prefer a 12mp camera which is half the resolution of 35mm film).

It all depends on how critical these drawings are.
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Old Jan 6, 2003, 10:11 PM   #4
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Since you didn't mention any price limit, take a look at http://www.betterlight.com/pages/prod_super8k.html - 190Mpixels. US$21,995 without the camera and lens.

Their specs show that these are not really fast - a couple of minutes or so for each exposure.
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