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Old Feb 24, 2005, 8:33 AM   #1
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This is the problem to which I am looking for advice.

I have a collection of very old books that were bound in hardcover. They total about 200 and each has about 180 pages. The pages, although typewritten, are fading and not as sharp as they should be.

Because the books are in rather frail condition, and because it would be prohibitively expensive, they cannot be unbound in order to scan the pages. Also, scanning takes so long it would take forever to do so.

Given that I bought the Z2 for the purpose of photographing the books, what would be the best way to do so?

Also, keep in mind that I would like to convert the pages with an OCR to make it possible to do searches, etc. of the documents.

I am including a sample page so you have a better idea what I'm talking about. The picture was taken at 2272 x 1704 resolution with a Dimage Z2

So, my questions are these:



What would be the best lighting to take pictures of pages that are, for the most part, faded.

What would be the best resolution (including RAW)

And what is the best way to make sure that the focus does not vary from page to page?

Would it make a difference to photograph them in B/W as opposed to color?

Thanks in advance...

Peter
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Old Feb 24, 2005, 11:56 AM   #2
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The best thing about digital is it doesn't cost anything to try different things. Here's your questions (and hopefully, some decent advice):

"What would be the best lighting to take pictures of pages that are, for the most part, faded."

I would use diffused tungsten hot lights. They will provide a constant light source that will be easier to work with over the time period of your project. Something to remember is to set your white balance for tungsten or the pages will appear more yellow than they already are.

"What would be the best resolution (including RAW)?"

RAW would be the best possible setting to shoot with because you will have the ability to change your white balance setting (among other things) after the images are made.

"And what is the best way to make sure that the focus does not vary from page to page?"

Put the camera on a tripod & the books on a stationary object. Once focused on the page (as long as the lighting & distance remain the same, the focus should be constant). I don't know if your particular model has focus lock but that will make it much easier. Something else to consider, since some of the pages type may be more faint than others...you might actually need to change your focus as you shoot.

"Would it make a difference to photograph them in B/W as opposed to color?""

You can try both at the beginning of your project (it doesn't cost anything to try)! My first inclination would be to think that shooting in B&W would produce less clear type as the pages are yellowed.

Also, you didn't mention what photo editing software you are using. There is a great RAW conversion tutorial in the first thread of the Editors Forum farther down the forum list. It's Photoshop specific but shows you many useful ideas, like setting up universal batch comversions for all images shot under the same lighting...

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Old Feb 24, 2005, 12:04 PM   #3
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Thanks very muchfor the suggestions. I will be sure to try them out.

Peter
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