Copying prints, home brew copystand?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by wiseowl, Aug 14, 2005.

  1. wiseowl

    wiseowl Member

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    I want to copy some prints to put online, these are 12X12 and too large for a scanner.

    What's the score with copy stands, I figured trying a tripod, digigizmo (spit) and a few lights to mock up said copy stand. What I'd like is some advice on lighting the print evenly and avoiding glare. I may be able to hold or afix a polariser to the digi, but I only have linear polarisers does this matter?

    Any other things I should know.

    I'll probably try this anyway, but advice would be welcome

    Cheers

    Martin
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    If you don't have a copy stand or an enlarger that you can convert to a copy stand, then you might just get a lateral arm for your tripod, such as those made by Bogen, Gitzo and other manufacturers.

    Use a level to level the camera and the copying surface, or if you want to get fancy, a laser alignment tool.

    If the work is flat and doesn't have texture like an oil painting, polarizers are really not necessary. Use two lights equidistant from the copy surface at 45-degree angles and you shouldn't have reflections. If the work is not flat and smooth, cross polarization with polarizers on the lights and on the camera will reduce reflections.

    If you meter manually or adjust by trial and error with digital and if you focus manually, you can use a linear polarizer. Autofocus and modern TTL metering usually require a circular polarizer.

    Make sure the light is even over the whole surface of the copy work. I use a Minolta Flashmeter III with a flat disk to check the corners and the center, but a simple way to check is to put a piece of paper on the copy surface and hold a pencil perpendicular to the surface, and if the shadows from each light are even, then you should be okay.

    If you are confined to using a zoom lens, then set it in the middle of the zoom range to avoid barrel or pincushion distortion.
     
  3. wiseowl

    wiseowl Member

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    Thanks David, the prints I want to copy are unmounted fibre, Ilford MGIV glossy and matt. I'm sure I can get them to lay flat.

    One question does spring to mind though, where could I get polariser filters for the lamps if I need them?

    Cheers
     
  4. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Afternoon, Martin,

    My "copy stand" is the chassis from an old enlarger (a gift) to which I attached a plate with a tripod screw to hold the camera. Metal copy boards with magnetic strips to hold down the copy material are very handy. Mine is a Testrite 16 x 20 inch model which I bought at least twenty-five years ago. I assume they're still available. Double-sided tape can sometimes be very effective, too. Polarizing sheets for the light reflector units used to be available also; used in conjunction with a polariser on the lens, glare control should be relatively easy, but, with most copy work, polarising should not be necessary if the lights are carefully placed.

    Konical
     
  5. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Any place that sells lighting equipment should sell polarizing sheets along with other kinds of gels. If they're just FB prints you might put them in a drymount press for a few minutes and let them cool under weight if they're not flat.
     
  6. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

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    Thats a good trick with the pencil