Shooting a photo of a photo

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by brenda864, May 3, 2005.

  1. brenda864

    brenda864 TPF Noob!

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    I'm in the circumstance of needing a good quality reproduction of a photograph. The problem is that the only equipment I can use is my camera.

    (I'm visiting older folks in very remote areas with old photographs that they do not wish taken out of their homes, although they don't mind at all if I can copy them in their houses)

    I've tried using a small little Fuji snap and shoot, and you can just imagine how well I fared with that.

    So, I suppose I'll have to take my Nikon n90s with me. I do not have a close-up lens at all. I have: 1) 35-70mm 28 lens 2) 24mm 28 lens 3) 20mm 28 lens.

    My husband has a digital that I could borrow, but I'm not particularly crazy about digital. However, under the circumstances, I may have to use it.

    Is anyone here familiar with reproducing photos by simply taking a photo of them? I'd very much appreciate some advice on the best way to get copies of photos, using only a camera.

    (I desperately wish there were an affordable portable scanner, which is exactly what I need)

    Thx.
     
  2. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    Usually, to get a decent photo of a photo, you need some kind of copy stand. Basically, that is a base with a couple of lights on either side and a spot to mount the camera looking down on the photo. The hard part is getting close enough and getting rid of any glares. Scanning the images are really your best bet. What is your idea of affordable? Because there are some decently cheap ones out there.
     
  3. K_Duffer

    K_Duffer TPF Noob!

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    I agree with Kevin. It's really hard to get good copies of photos using a camera unless you have a copy stand with decent light and a macro lens (although I've seen pretty good copies made using a good set-up). But then again, I guess it all depends on what you want to use the copies for.

    Personally, if you are driving to your location and don't have to hand-carry all the equipment, I would suggest taking a scanner and a laptop (laptop, of course is expensive, but a decent scanner can be had for very cheap).
     
  4. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Well, since you did state the only equipment you can use is your camera, I guess that means the scanner is out? That is the easiest way.

    But if you could rent a copy stand, they are fabulous. You'll get your best results if you use slow speed tungsten slide film with a copy stand. I've had to reproduce my images onto slides for juried events, and I've been pretty satisfied that copy stands are the way to go.

    If you don't have access to one, try to rig one up, though the lighting will be an issue. You want even light, not too harsh, preferably at around a 45 degree angle, on either side of your image, evenly flooding it. Check for eveness with a light meter. Once it reads evenly on both sides you're good to go. You don't necessarily need a closeup lens; your standard 50mm would suffice. Just fill the frame as best you can. Bracket your shots to be safe, too! :)
     
  5. brenda864

    brenda864 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for your replies. To further elaborate, I'm an American, but I'm traveling in Western Europe to various countries. And, I'm traveling by train for long distances and renting cars part of the time (but I still have to schlep through train stations, so size and weight are definitely issues).

    I have a good scanner at home, but of course, it's quite heavy.

    Please excuse what is probably an ignorant question, but is a laptop required to use with a portable scanner?

    Also, could you please just give me a ballpark figure of how much a decent copystand might cost?

    Terri, I never even thought of using tungsten slide film, but I love the idea. Thanks! Actually, I think I've only used it once. What speed would you recommend?

    Thx again.
     
  6. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Hi Brenda, I've used Kodak 64-T Ektachrome almost exclusively. I was advised to push it slightly, just to 80, to ensure good color saturation, so I always have. (No need to tell the lab about it, it's so slight an adjustment.) I've also heard Fujichrome 64-T RTP film is an excellent slide film for copystand work, but I've not used it. Fuji slide film is pretty yummy, overall.

    I have only used this film for color reproductions, mind you. Should you come across a lot of sepia or otherwise brown-toned prints, I've read that a slightly faster film is better suited, such Kodak Ektachrome 200.

    I use a copystand that I can rent by 30-minute increments at a nearby photography school. Pretty cheap process. I have no idea how much they cost, but they can be a mite bulky and I wouldn't want to drag one along on a trip. ;) Do a search on ebay; who knows what they'll have? Worth a shot. Good luck! :)
     
  7. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    ^^^^
    THIS is THE way to go.

    If this is not possilble, pick up a pack of push pins. You can use these to hold the prints on a vertical surface. (I do this when I have to copy large originals.) Of course, the pins shouldn't be put through the prints, but us the head to hold down the edges. I suppose in a pinch, you could do this with available light.

    Good luck!
     

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