Art Copying setup

aquarian_lightaquarian_light Posts: 135Member
edited August 2013 in Nikon Lenses
I've got an artist friend. I've also Got a D800E.
Artist friend wants super high resolution digital copies of their work.
I can do that, I said to her.
I don't plan on buying an actual photo copy set up, those rigs are way over priced when I've got a tilting telescoping tri-pod that can do exatly the same thing. I just would like opinions on lights and lenses to use for the project. There's obvious answers that I can assume, and then there's an answer someone who's done it before can give. Couple of daylight corrected CFL bulbs and my 50/1.8 should do the trick?
D800E, 24-120 F4 VR, 50mm 1.8G, 85 1.8G, 28mm 3.5, 135mm 3.5


  • GarethGareth Posts: 159Member
    lens should be fine. light is another matter.

    1. forget the cfl, they are crap. you will have gaping holes in the visible light spectrum, and chances are they will not even be "daylight".

    2. you will have to work out how to get the softest, most directionless light possible. Artists do not like the photo to cast shadows or change contrasts. Actually, shooting outside on an overcast day with the art facing up and the camera directly above could be your best bet.
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited August 2013
    The disadvantage with shooting outside is, it can be difficult to replicate your results
    but a very good, one off solution

    for lighting you need a couple of identical flashes @ ~ 30 degrees to the canvas; I use two SB 900s with diffusers

    use a dark or dim room, so you do not mix your light sources, shoot RAW and use a grey card to check / correct color balance in post

    if you are doing the printing, make sure all your monitor and printer are color calibrated
    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,398Moderator


    To not mix the light sources...
    Msmoto, mod
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,287Member
    You may wish to get a 60mm Macro, AF or AF-S, doesn't really matter as you'll be working on a tripod without a moving subject. I heard it's excellent for copy work.
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • aquarian_lightaquarian_light Posts: 135Member
    Mixing light sources is as common knowledge as not crossing the beams! lol
    Constant lighting seems a more simple solution in my mind, but then again I've also never attempted this kind of work before. And CFLs are cheap. I'm trying to get this project started with little to no upfront cost. I;ve got a couple of studio strobes, but their large and 400w/s and I see that being a little bit cumbersome. A couple of desk lamps with proper bulbs inserted is cheap and simple. And if I shoot in RAW, color tone won't entirely be a problem. Grey card under the lamps, match the white balance, fiddle with contrasts and saturations, and I've got myself a copied piece of artwork.
    I've even already got several 6500K 1600Lumen CFLs. But you're suggesting that the bulbs are not accurately producing the proper pallet? You know sunlight is mostly blue anyway, the cloudy day Idea may be an even light but the purples and the reds are going to be a little more dull than the blues.
    D800E, 24-120 F4 VR, 50mm 1.8G, 85 1.8G, 28mm 3.5, 135mm 3.5
  • GarethGareth Posts: 159Member
    You don't need to worry too much about white balance as long as you shoot raw and use a grey card.

    My guess is the lens you have will be sharp enough, but the artist won't like it (I know mine didn't) if you screw with the way they want to capture the light in their art.

    This explains what I was talking about fairly well

    "A couple of desk lamps with proper bulbs" sounds, well... let's just say I wouldn't do it.

    You will need nice soft, even, non-directional light.
  • aquarian_lightaquarian_light Posts: 135Member
    right, two lights from either side through diffusers should make that happen.
    So if you wouldn't do that, what DIY and/or not-so-expensive set up would you use?
    D800E, 24-120 F4 VR, 50mm 1.8G, 85 1.8G, 28mm 3.5, 135mm 3.5
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    the cheapest option is usually use what you have already got
    start with your studio strobes,( assuming the are identical )
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,186Member
    edited August 2013
    A Light box is best for smaller items, for larger ones a DIY light box should work, just get some white bed sheets or those gauzy curtain stuff and hang them left and right then fire the flash through one of them.
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • GarethGareth Posts: 159Member
    Sorry to break it to you, but two lights from either side with diffusers would not make that happen.

    If you want soft light you need a LARGE light source. If you want directionless you need it to come from every direction evenly.

    How you go about this will depend on how much you want to spend and how fussy the artist is.

    I would suggest using what you have. You said you have speedlights? Do you have a room with all white walls? Maybe try dispersing your speedlights around the room with the domes on, trying to angle them in a way that hits as much of the walls and roof as possible before hitting the art (being careful to avoid direct light from the dome).

    Try this then maybe ask your artist if they are OK. You never know, they might not be as fussy as mine was.
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    the importing thing is, the lighting must be even and shadow less
    bouncing of wall, may produce some light shadows
    care needs to take with some acrylic paints with highlights
    the size of the light sought needs to be proportional to the size of the art work
    large canvasses may require 4 or more lights

  • aquarian_lightaquarian_light Posts: 135Member
    I have a couple of big ole heavy 400w/s studio strobes that are a real pain to take to the artists studio, which I plan on doing for this instance anyway.
    The artist is 19 and going to community college for art, she's pretty laid back, may not be the exacting type, but that may be a misjudgment on my part. Who knows... But simple and portable are paramount. The white bed sheet idea seems to be the most logical so far.
    She paint's mostly on 11x14 and 20x30, using the bed sheet as a diffuser over the whole piece of art, allowing only the lens to get through, then bouncing the light around the room and through the bed sheet seems like it could produce an even and appealing result with minimal set up pains.
    D800E, 24-120 F4 VR, 50mm 1.8G, 85 1.8G, 28mm 3.5, 135mm 3.5
  • GarethGareth Posts: 159Member
    I think that's a pretty good idea. Just watch what you're bouncing off for stray colours.
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