How do I photograph a large wall map?

izzenhood

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I am attempting to photograph a large historical mining-claim map. It is about 6' x 8' and is hanging on a wall in a dimly lit courthouse.
As my Panasonic DMC-ZS15 does well in low light, I tried moving back about 20 feet and zooming in until it filled the screen.
The small text on the map though is fuzzy and unreadable, although it is large enough to read when I zoom in on my computer.

Even taking shots close to the map, so as to cover the map with 8 shots, the text is fuzzy.

My camera is set on AE, but experimenting at home AE seems to work well with text, and flash doesn't seem to help at home.

I want to be able to zoom in on the map so I can read it.

My camera has Intelligent Auto, Program AE, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Manual Exposure, and Scene selection.

Any suggestions?

thanks
 

TCampbell

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This sounds like it may be a Dawes' Limit problem. See: Dawes' limit - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

There is a limit to the resolving power of the optics. There's also a limit to the resolving power of the sensor combined with the optics (called "diffraction limits"). It can be measured and expressed in angular dimensions.

You can't really overcome the physics of resolving power... there's a point where even perfect optics run up against the physics of diffraction limits.

BUT... you CAN create a mosaic. Get closer. Imagine dividing the map into a 3x3 matrix (or even more rows and columns). Take a photo of each section and then stitch them together in a mosaic on your computer.
 
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izzenhood

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Thanks Tim. I felt like it was too much for my camera. I'll try the matrix and stiching.




This sounds like it may be a Dawes' Limit problem. See: Dawes' limit - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

There is a limit to the resolving power of the optics. There's also a limit to the resolving power of the sensor combined with the optics (called "diffraction limits"). It can be measured and expressed in angular dimensions.

You can't really overcome the physics of resolving power... there's a point where even perfect optics run up against the physics of diffraction limits.

BUT... you CAN create a mosaic. Get closer. Imagine dividing the map into a 3x3 matrix (or even more rows and columns). Take a photo of each section and then stitch them together in a mosaic on your computer.
 

Gavjenks

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Photoshop "Photomerge" is fantastically good at stitching. It will go so far as to auto-warp fragments so that they stitch together decently even if they were taken at dramatically different angles.
$ezzvKL0.jpg
I just did this earlier today, actually, messing around with no real goal.

It's three shots of a tree that was only a couple of feet away, taken with about a 20mm lens I think, each about 45 degrees different from the other, with dramatically different perspective. Almost perfect stitching still. Note that in the center photo, the tree trunk did not appear bent. This is a rectangular lens, not a fisheye. Program just did that for me.



Putting together 9 photos that are all straight and lined up with regard to one another in a perfect grid is no problem at all.
 
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izzenhood

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Interesting photo Gavjenks. I think sticking may be the answer as you and Tim suggested.

thanks
 

amolitor

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Also. use aperture priority and a tripod.

Take some test photo at various apertures to see where the results are the sharpest, and then do the 3x3 grid at that aperture.
 

Big Mike

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Also. use aperture priority and a tripod.
Yes....use a tripod (if you aren't already).

Not only that, but use it well. So make sure that you're not touching the camera when it fires (use a remote or the self timer).
 

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Also don't forget to raise and lower the tripod as required to keep the camera perpendicular to the map for each shot. Of course that means moving it sideways for each group vertically as well.

Allow some overlap in each frame to avoid voids in the stitching process.
 

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