Large format "scanning" setup

Discussion in 'Lighting and Hardware' started by adamhiram, May 25, 2020.

  1. adamhiram

    adamhiram No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2015
    Messages:
    556
    Likes Received:
    347
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Getting even closer...

    I made a large black flag to cover the top by gluing a 30"x54" sheet of black seamless paper to a piece of cardboard and cut a hole in the center to shoot through.

    [​IMG]
    20200716-DSC_0899a
    by adamhiram, on Flickr

    The results looked about as perfect as I could hope for, with absolutely no reflection in the glass.

    [​IMG]
    20200716-DSC_0903a
    by adamhiram, on Flickr

    Or so I thought... I took another test shot with the blue sticker removed, and I can still see a faint dark circle in the middle where the cutout is for the camera lens. You have to stare at it for a moment to see it, but it's definitely there if you look for it.

    [​IMG]
    20200716-DSC_0907a
    by adamhiram, on Flickr

    So that leaves me wondering if this is the best I can do, or if there is a way to improve on this setup. Something tells me at this point that reflection will probably not be noticeable 95% of the time, but I wonder if digitizing something with solid dark colors near the center would still show it.

    Some additional thoughts I had on improving this setup:
    • Raise the camera higher and use a longer lens - that will get it further away from the light source, and the inverse square law should ensure there is enough falloff to avoid illuminating the black flag or lens. However I already have my tripod height maxed out at about 4.5' and I'm already shooting at 85mm, so I'd be looking at additional equipment and standing on a stool to accomplish this.
    • Use the shift part of a tilt-shift lens to move the camera out of frame entirely. This would probably be a decent idea if I had a tilt-shift lens.
    • Shoot from an angle to keep the camera's reflection out of frame, then fix the perspective in post. This would be easy enough, and is something I occasionally do with the guided transform tool to fix vertical lines, but it seems like an unnecessary degradation of the image.
    • What about using "museum glass" that includes an anti-reflective coating? I have wondered from the start if the main problem wasn't simply that I was using the cheapest possible sheet of glass from the hardware store.
    I welcome any additional suggestions or feedback to improve and/or simplify this copy setup. I can't help but feel like I am reinventing the wheel, but I haven't had much luck finding a recipe for a "standard" setup to do this.


     
    • Like Like x 2
  2. Mike Drone

    Mike Drone TPF Supporters Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2020
    Messages:
    786
    Likes Received:
    367
    Location:
    Yuma, AZ
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I could see it easier with peripheral vision and movement. I wonder if I would have notice if we were not told it was there. Awesome research.
     
  3. JBPhotog

    JBPhotog No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2018
    Messages:
    606
    Likes Received:
    261
    Location:
    Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    See post #4. “This is a job for black duvetyne, velvet or felt.”

    Seamless paper is reflective due to the smooth surface. Black duvetyne, velvet or felt have properties that reduce the light reflected off them. I have done this many times and paper will not kill reflections.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2020
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. adamhiram

    adamhiram No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2015
    Messages:
    556
    Likes Received:
    347
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    That makes total sense, and didn't occur to me about the surface texture - I've always used black seamless for portraits when I want a black background and can't get gray to go dark enough. I remember reading your original post and thinking I could make due with what I already had available. It looks like I'll be ordering some duvetyne soon. Unfortunately I can't just walk into a fabric store and buy a yard of it right now, so I'll probably end up ordering a 5 yard roll - hopefully I get some use out of it for other projects! Thanks for the great advice and explanation.
     
  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    47,815
    Likes Received:
    18,645
    Location:
    USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    My first thought was black felt instead of paper...JB photo covered this idea pretty well... I used to have about an 80x80 inch piece of photo-oriented " black velvet" which was more like black wool knitted fabric.
     
  6. adamhiram

    adamhiram No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2015
    Messages:
    556
    Likes Received:
    347
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    5 yards of duvetyne on their way. I’ll check back in a week or so when I have a chance to test it out.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. adamhiram

    adamhiram No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2015
    Messages:
    556
    Likes Received:
    347
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Here is the final setup. I used 1 yard of duvetyne fabric (technically commando cloth) across the top with a circular hole cut out of the center to fit the camera lens. It's a little more challenging to attach and position than the large cardboard sheet, but is ultimately easier to store and transport. I secured it to the softboxes using medium binder clips. I won't bother showing a photo of a black piece of construction paper, but the reflection in the glass is 100% gone.

    [​IMG]
    20200729-DSC_0978a
    by adamhiram, on Flickr

    One of the uses for this setup is to capture some of my kid's artwork. Sometimes it's just a drawing on 8.5x11 copy paper, other times it is in various shapes and sizes.

    [​IMG]
    20200729-DSC_0965a
    by adamhiram, on Flickr

    However the main reason for this setup is to digitize some older photos that can't really be captured any other way. For example, this is a photo of my father from 1958 that is approx 11x14. In this case I was able to take it out of the frame to photograph.

    [​IMG]
    20200729-DSC_0949a
    by adamhiram, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    20200729-DSC_0955a
    by adamhiram, on Flickr

    But there are other, more challenging pieces that are in poor shape or cannot be removed from the frame, and need to be captured as-is. The photo below is of my grandfather from 1930, and is 15x23 in a very damaged frame with glass.

    [​IMG]
    20200729-DSC_0959a
    by adamhiram, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    20200729-DSC_0963a
    by adamhiram, on Flickr

    And that's about it! I have a lot of these to digitize, and I appreciate the feedback and guidance in configuring this setup to be more effective and accurate.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. JBPhotog

    JBPhotog No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2018
    Messages:
    606
    Likes Received:
    261
    Location:
    Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit


    There you go. Congratulations on the successful copy work.
     

Share This Page