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Using a digicam to photocopy documents

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Anonymous
July 21, 2005 10:47:46 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

I have a bunch of documents that I need to scan and store as digital
images. Some documents are single page while some like the apartment
sale agreement run into a hundred pages. Yesterday, I sat down with a
Umax Astraslim 600 to scan the documents and was quickly dissuaded when
I realised that each documents was taking a whole minute for scanning.
Thats when I slapped my head and realised I have a digital camera that
can do the same but only much quicker. All I have to do is place the
document is front of the camera and click.

What I am wondering is what would be the best setup to do this? I have
a Canon 300D with the kit lens, a Sigma 24-135mm and a Sigma 70-300mm.
How do I arrive at the optimal setup to avoid barrel/pin-cushion
distortion, get accurate focus & lighting, and create perfect
*photocopies*?

- Siddhartha
Anonymous
July 21, 2005 1:32:28 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Siddhartha Jain wrote:
> I have a bunch of documents that I need to scan and store as digital
> images. Some documents are single page while some like the apartment
> sale agreement run into a hundred pages. Yesterday, I sat down with a
> Umax Astraslim 600 to scan the documents and was quickly dissuaded when
> I realised that each documents was taking a whole minute for scanning.
> Thats when I slapped my head and realised I have a digital camera that
> can do the same but only much quicker. All I have to do is place the
> document is front of the camera and click.
>
> What I am wondering is what would be the best setup to do this? I have
> a Canon 300D with the kit lens, a Sigma 24-135mm and a Sigma 70-300mm.
> How do I arrive at the optimal setup to avoid barrel/pin-cushion
> distortion, get accurate focus & lighting, and create perfect
> *photocopies*?
>
> - Siddhartha
>
Distortion will be less of a problem than resolution, depending on how
small the lettering is. Lighting does affect actual delivered
resolution. You want to guard against glare and shading across the
document. I like natural sunlight, not direct but near a window, for
copying documents and photos. I have a sun porch with windows on east,
south, and west sides that is ideal- I tape stuff up on North wall.
Anonymous
July 21, 2005 8:16:03 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On 21 Jul 2005 06:47:46 -0700, in rec.photo.digital "Siddhartha Jain"
<losttoy@gmail.com> wrote:

>I have a bunch of documents that I need to scan and store as digital
>images. Some documents are single page while some like the apartment
>sale agreement run into a hundred pages. Yesterday, I sat down with a
>Umax Astraslim 600 to scan the documents and was quickly dissuaded when
>I realised that each documents was taking a whole minute for scanning.

First, why so long? Are you svanning at some exteremely hig resolution? Set
it to 300dpi and see how long it takes.
----------
Ed Ruf Lifetime AMA# 344007 (Usenet@EdwardG.Ruf.com)
See images taken with my CP-990/5700 & D70 at
http://edwardgruf.com/Digital_Photography/General/index...
Related resources
Anonymous
July 21, 2005 8:54:16 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Siddhartha Jain" <losttoy@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1121953666.791102.60870@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
>I have a bunch of documents that I need to scan and store as digital
> images. Some documents are single page while some like the apartment
> sale agreement run into a hundred pages. Yesterday, I sat down with a
> Umax Astraslim 600 to scan the documents and was quickly dissuaded when
> I realised that each documents was taking a whole minute for scanning.
> Thats when I slapped my head and realised I have a digital camera that
> can do the same but only much quicker. All I have to do is place the
> document is front of the camera and click.
>
> What I am wondering is what would be the best setup to do this? I have
> a Canon 300D with the kit lens, a Sigma 24-135mm and a Sigma 70-300mm.
> How do I arrive at the optimal setup to avoid barrel/pin-cushion
> distortion, get accurate focus & lighting, and create perfect
> *photocopies*?


...probably spend as long setting it up as scanning?
Got a child or student you could pay to scan them?

--
Tumbleweed

email replies not necessary but to contact use;
tumbleweednews at hotmail dot com
July 21, 2005 8:58:05 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Siddhartha Jain wrote:
> I have a bunch of documents that I need to scan and store as digital
> images.


Like you and Don I've decided that for many things I want a copy of my camera is more
practical than the scanner. Most of the time I just want a legible copy that I can
send off as a jpeg, so I put the original on the floor of the (NE facing)porch and
take a shot at perhaps 80mm equivalent at a distance that shows as much as necessary.
At least once I've done it at night and used the onboard flash with satisfactory
results, but the daylight on the porch is better. As for Don's comment about
resolution sufficient to read them, printing at 300 dpi would require 2550 by 3300 to
cover 8.5 by 11 inches. That's almost 8.5MP. OTOH, at 1600 by 1200 you'll probably be
able to read it from 10 feet away on a 15" monitor, and you'll still be a bit under 2MP.

If I was going to use the camera for a lot of scans I'd fix a clipboard or similar
object to a suitable place and mount the camera on a tripod to reduce the chore of
positioning each piece, which is going to be less efficient than with a flatbed
scanner. That said, if I needed to scan a hundred pages I'd figure that using the
camera has far too much overhead and I'd find out what it would cost to have somebody
with a document feeder do it for me. If Staples and Kinkos will do copies for 5 cents
I don't imagine it will cost much more for scans burned to a CD when you need a
hundred or more. Even if it costs $15 per hundred I think that's well worth the time
you'll save.

--
Steve

The above can be construed as personal opinion in the absence of a reasonable
belief that it was intended as a statement of fact.

If you want a reply to reach me, remove the SPAMTRAP from the address.
July 22, 2005 6:33:01 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

In article <1121953666.791102.60870@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
losttoy@gmail.com says...
>
>I have a bunch of documents that I need to scan and store as digital
>images. Some documents are single page while some like the apartment
>sale agreement run into a hundred pages. Yesterday, I sat down with a
>Umax Astraslim 600 to scan the documents and was quickly dissuaded when
>I realised that each documents was taking a whole minute for scanning.
>Thats when I slapped my head and realised I have a digital camera that
>can do the same but only much quicker. All I have to do is place the
>document is front of the camera and click.
>
>What I am wondering is what would be the best setup to do this? I have
>a Canon 300D with the kit lens, a Sigma 24-135mm and a Sigma 70-300mm.
>How do I arrive at the optimal setup to avoid barrel/pin-cushion
>distortion, get accurate focus & lighting, and create perfect
>*photocopies*?
>
>- Siddhartha

Don't know your lenses, but a "flat-field" macro is best. Set camera perfectly
perpendicular to the base (copy), framing to get about 90% of the frame
filled. Place document on black, or dark gray backing. Place 18% gray card for
metering, and use manual. Go for aperture ~f/8 (most macros are sharpest at ~
2 /f from open, but if documents are not perfectly flat, a bit more DOF might
help you. Set two flood lights at 45 degrees and equidistant, equiheight from
the base. Use "flood" in soft polished reflectors, not spots. Four lights
might yield better results, but if the light is not 100% even from 2, then
hang some herculean, or other drafting medium between lights (for diffusion),
just not too close, so they don't burn. Run a test, and decide if you want to
bump up the contrast in-camera. I'd shoot RAW, then do everything in batch,
but that is just me.

Pesonally, I'd just chuck them all on my HP scanner, but you have cooled to
that idea.

Hunt
Anonymous
July 22, 2005 2:06:38 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

In article <1121953666.791102.60870@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
"Siddhartha Jain" <losttoy@gmail.com> wrote:

> I have a bunch of documents that I need to scan and store as digital
> images. Some documents are single page while some like the apartment
> sale agreement run into a hundred pages. Yesterday, I sat down with a
> Umax Astraslim 600 to scan the documents and was quickly dissuaded when
> I realised that each documents was taking a whole minute for scanning.
> Thats when I slapped my head and realised I have a digital camera that
> can do the same but only much quicker. All I have to do is place the
> document is front of the camera and click.
>
> What I am wondering is what would be the best setup to do this? I have
> a Canon 300D with the kit lens, a Sigma 24-135mm and a Sigma 70-300mm.
> How do I arrive at the optimal setup to avoid barrel/pin-cushion
> distortion, get accurate focus & lighting, and create perfect
> *photocopies*?

Make life easier for yourself. Buy a scanner and connect it to your
computer. for what you need, a modest scanner in the $50 - $100 would be
fine.
Anonymous
July 22, 2005 5:28:44 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

In article <1121953666.791102.60870@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
"Siddhartha Jain" <losttoy@gmail.com> wrote:

> What I am wondering is what would be the best setup to do this? I have
> a Canon 300D with the kit lens, a Sigma 24-135mm and a Sigma 70-300mm.
> How do I arrive at the optimal setup to avoid barrel/pin-cushion
> distortion, get accurate focus & lighting, and create perfect
> *photocopies*?

Siddhartha-

A few months ago I wanted to copy some pages out of a hundred-year-old
Family Bible. I used the Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens outdoors on a cloudy day.
Results were better than I expected.

The 300D was set for ISO 400. A typical exposure was f/9 at 1/1250 Second.

You can try the lenses you have, but you may not be happy with the
resolution. The 50/1.8 provided images that were quite good for my
purposes. I'm convinced that a scanned image would have been better,
especially if there was any really fine print on a page. In my case, the
resolution was as much megapixel-limited as lens-limited. (This old book
couldn't stand the handling needed for scanning.)

Fred
July 22, 2005 7:23:49 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Stan Horwitz wrote:
> In article <1121953666.791102.60870@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
> "Siddhartha Jain" <losttoy@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>>I have a bunch of documents that I need to scan and store as digital
>>images. Some documents are single page while some like the apartment
>>sale agreement run into a hundred pages.

A bit off-topic, but the OP should consider file format. Scanning a
document, and saving as a TIF file will create large files. Compressing
as a JPG may visually degrade the print--probably with artifacts
surrounding the printed material.

He would be better off scanning and saving the files as PDF. I found a
FREE application on the Net, called PrimoPDF, that CREATES pdf files
that can then be read in Adobe Acrobat Reader. No need to buy the
expensive Acrobat full program.

The advantages of PDF are compelling:

Small file size

Universal ability to be read on all computers and platforms

Used by US Federal Courts--little risk of obsolescence

Regular reader updates (FREE) from Adobe

No problem with jaggies or artifacts, as would accompany JPG files

OCR software can convert to text files, if required.
Anonymous
July 22, 2005 7:23:50 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Fri, 22 Jul 2005 15:23:49 GMT, in rec.photo.digital Jeremy
<jeremy@nospam.com> wrote:

> that CREATES pdf files
>that can then be read in Adobe Acrobat Reader.

This is a tautology. If it is a PDF file and hence conforms to the PDF
stand, of course it can be read in reader.
________________________________________________________
Ed Ruf Lifetime AMA# 344007 (Usenet@EdwardG.Ruf.com)
See images taken with my CP-990/5700 & D70 at
http://EdwardGRuf.com
Anonymous
July 22, 2005 7:23:50 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Jeremy wrote:
> Stan Horwitz wrote:
>
>> In article <1121953666.791102.60870@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
>> "Siddhartha Jain" <losttoy@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>
>>> I have a bunch of documents that I need to scan and store as digital
>>> images. Some documents are single page while some like the apartment
>>> sale agreement run into a hundred pages.
>
>
> A bit off-topic, but the OP should consider file format. Scanning a
> document, and saving as a TIF file will create large files. Compressing
> as a JPG may visually degrade the print--probably with artifacts
> surrounding the printed material.
>
> He would be better off scanning and saving the files as PDF. I found a
> FREE application on the Net, called PrimoPDF, that CREATES pdf files
> that can then be read in Adobe Acrobat Reader. No need to buy the
> expensive Acrobat full program.
>
> The advantages of PDF are compelling:
>
> Small file size
>
> Universal ability to be read on all computers and platforms
>
> Used by US Federal Courts--little risk of obsolescence
>
> Regular reader updates (FREE) from Adobe
>
> No problem with jaggies or artifacts, as would accompany JPG files
>
> OCR software can convert to text files, if required.

Is this from direct experience, or hypothetical?

I can't imagine a PDF file being smaller *and* more detailed than a
comparable JPEG, both scanned under same conditions. And jpeg is even
more universal than PDF.

--
John McWilliams
Anonymous
July 22, 2005 7:23:50 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Fri, 22 Jul 2005 15:23:49 GMT, Jeremy wrote:

> A bit off-topic, but the OP should consider file format. Scanning a
> document, and saving as a TIF file will create large files. Compressing
> as a JPG may visually degrade the print--probably with artifacts
> surrounding the printed material.
>
> He would be better off scanning and saving the files as PDF.

Not if the camera is decent. I recently used my P&S to take
pictures of typewritten documents that had a number of pen and
pencil corrections. There were no noticeable artifacts visible when
viewing the JPG files at much greater magnification than anyone
would use to read the documents. In fact, it allowed me to more
easily read some of the faint penciled corrections, and see all of
the typewriter's typeface wear and tear flaws as well as slight
misalignment of its characters. I was surprised how well it turned
out as I took the pictures hand-held, relying on the builtin flash
to minimize the effects of camera movement.


> The advantages of PDF are compelling:
> . . .
> Universal ability to be read on all computers and platforms
>
> Regular reader updates (FREE) from Adobe
>
> No problem with jaggies or artifacts, as would accompany JPG files

Which computers and platforms don't allow viewing JPG files?

JPGs can be easily viewed with free software and while the Acrobat
Reader is free, Adobe doesn't give away their publishing software.

There may be jaggies and artifacts if a poor selection of
resolution and compression is made, or if a cheap, low quality
camera is used. Otherwise these problems weren't noticed, and I
used a modestly priced P&S, not a DSLR.

For a business environment that has to regularly archive many
digital copies of documents, scanning and PDF conversion may have
advantages. But the OP just said that he needs to archive "a bunch
of documents", some only a single page in length. He also has a
more capable camera than mine, so I'm fairly certain that his 300D
can do a more than adequate job, and should be able to produce
copies with no noticeable pin-cushion/barrel distortion or focusing
problems. He *might* want to use better lighting than that supplied
by the camera's flash. When I took pictures of the document's
patterned covers there was a slight amount of glare visible. But
none of that was noticed on the photographed documents.
Anonymous
July 22, 2005 7:23:51 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

John McWilliams wrote:
> Jeremy wrote:
>> Stan Horwitz wrote:
>>
>>> In article <1121953666.791102.60870@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
>>> "Siddhartha Jain" <losttoy@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>> I have a bunch of documents that I need to scan and store as
>>>> digital images. Some documents are single page while some like
>>>> the
>>>> apartment sale agreement run into a hundred pages.
>>
>>
>> A bit off-topic, but the OP should consider file format. Scanning
>> a
>> document, and saving as a TIF file will create large files.
>> Compressing as a JPG may visually degrade the print--probably with
>> artifacts surrounding the printed material.
>>
>> He would be better off scanning and saving the files as PDF. I
>> found a FREE application on the Net, called PrimoPDF, that CREATES
>> pdf files that can then be read in Adobe Acrobat Reader. No need
>> to
>> buy the expensive Acrobat full program.
>>
>> The advantages of PDF are compelling:
>>
>> Small file size
>>
>> Universal ability to be read on all computers and platforms
>>
>> Used by US Federal Courts--little risk of obsolescence
>>
>> Regular reader updates (FREE) from Adobe
>>
>> No problem with jaggies or artifacts, as would accompany JPG files
>>
>> OCR software can convert to text files, if required.
>
> Is this from direct experience, or hypothetical?
>
> I can't imagine a PDF file being smaller *and* more detailed than a
> comparable JPEG, both scanned under same conditions. And jpeg is
> even
> more universal than PDF.

PDF was a pain I hoped would leave without drama. Nope. I have found
an accellerator that opens Adobe's reader very, very fast (Adobe
Reader SpeedLaunch). Now not a pain, just an off-odor.

I never figured I'd be a PDF-maker, but the PrimoPDF program makes it
as easy as printing any document (that I've tried: HTML, JPEG, DOC,
TXT, TIFF).

My observations in making five PDFs this morning include:
TIFF indeed becomes a legible, useful, MUCH SMALLER file: TIFF at 25MB
becomes PDF at 479 KB, and the output, while not manipulable as a TIFF
file, contains sufficient information to read all the small type. I
think that was the basis of the suggestion in the "Bit off topic..."
post.

All the other file types I tried yielded larger files. Not MUCH
larger, but larger.

So, in the context of the suggestion of using PDF as a transmittal
document for photographed data pages, I concur. Good on ye.

--
Frank ess
Anonymous
July 22, 2005 7:23:52 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Fri, 22 Jul 2005 12:08:01 -0700, "Frank ess" <frank@fshe2fs.com>
wrote:

>John McWilliams wrote:
>> Jeremy wrote:
>>> Stan Horwitz wrote:
>>>
>>>> In article <1121953666.791102.60870@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
>>>> "Siddhartha Jain" <losttoy@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> I have a bunch of documents that I need to scan and store as
>>>>> digital images. Some documents are single page while some like
>>>>> the
>>>>> apartment sale agreement run into a hundred pages.
>>>
>>>
>>> A bit off-topic, but the OP should consider file format. Scanning
>>> a
>>> document, and saving as a TIF file will create large files.
>>> Compressing as a JPG may visually degrade the print--probably with
>>> artifacts surrounding the printed material.
>>>
>>> He would be better off scanning and saving the files as PDF. I
>>> found a FREE application on the Net, called PrimoPDF, that CREATES
>>> pdf files that can then be read in Adobe Acrobat Reader. No need
>>> to
>>> buy the expensive Acrobat full program.
>>>
>>> The advantages of PDF are compelling:
>>>
>>> Small file size
>>>
>>> Universal ability to be read on all computers and platforms
>>>
>>> Used by US Federal Courts--little risk of obsolescence
>>>
>>> Regular reader updates (FREE) from Adobe
>>>
>>> No problem with jaggies or artifacts, as would accompany JPG files
>>>
>>> OCR software can convert to text files, if required.
>>
>> Is this from direct experience, or hypothetical?
>>
>> I can't imagine a PDF file being smaller *and* more detailed than a
>> comparable JPEG, both scanned under same conditions. And jpeg is
>> even
>> more universal than PDF.
>
>PDF was a pain I hoped would leave without drama. Nope. I have found
>an accellerator that opens Adobe's reader very, very fast (Adobe
>Reader SpeedLaunch). Now not a pain, just an off-odor.
>
>I never figured I'd be a PDF-maker, but the PrimoPDF program makes it
>as easy as printing any document (that I've tried: HTML, JPEG, DOC,
>TXT, TIFF).

I've downloaded PrimoPDF, and it, like most non-Adobe solutions,
doesn't seem to make URLs embedded in the document live.
Anyone know of one (preferably free or very low cost) that does?

--
Bill Funk
replace "g" with "a"
funktionality.blogspot.com
Anonymous
July 23, 2005 3:06:22 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Stan Horwitz wrote:
>
> In article <1121953666.791102.60870@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
> "Siddhartha Jain" <losttoy@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > I have a bunch of documents that I need to scan and store as digital
> > images. Some documents are single page while some like the apartment
> > sale agreement run into a hundred pages. Yesterday, I sat down with a
> > Umax Astraslim 600 to scan the documents and was quickly dissuaded when
> > I realised that each documents was taking a whole minute for scanning.
> > Thats when I slapped my head and realised I have a digital camera that
> > can do the same but only much quicker. All I have to do is place the
> > document is front of the camera and click.
> >
> > What I am wondering is what would be the best setup to do this? I have
> > a Canon 300D with the kit lens, a Sigma 24-135mm and a Sigma 70-300mm.
> > How do I arrive at the optimal setup to avoid barrel/pin-cushion
> > distortion, get accurate focus & lighting, and create perfect
> > *photocopies*?
>
> Make life easier for yourself. Buy a scanner and connect it to your
> computer. for what you need, a modest scanner in the $50 - $100 would be
> fine.

Stan, me boy,
Read his post again. He already has a scanner, an Umax Astraslim 600,
which he opined was too slow.

Colin
Anonymous
July 23, 2005 6:09:03 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

>In article <1121953666.791102.60870@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
>losttoy@gmail.com says...
>>
>>I have a bunch of documents that I need to scan and store as digital
>>images. Some documents are single page while some like the apartment
>>sale agreement run into a hundred pages. Yesterday, I sat down with a
>>Umax Astraslim 600 to scan the documents and was quickly dissuaded when
>>I realised that each documents was taking a whole minute for scanning.
>>Thats when I slapped my head and realised I have a digital camera that
>>can do the same but only much quicker. All I have to do is place the
>>document is front of the camera and click.

I agree with some other posts in this thread: buying a decent flatbed
scanner is the best solution. Scanning a full page in 1-bit depth
(white or black only) and 300 dpi should not take more than 5-10
seconds even with a cheap scanner. Scan at 600 dpi only if you have
very small type, or if you want to keep fine detail for printing out
very good hardcopies (300 dpi may loose fine detail or create small
artifacts when printed at the original size, but 150 dpi is more than
adequate for screen viewing). The choice of resolution depends also on
what you are going to need the copies for. Archival of the text
contents is one thing, convincing proof that you own(ed) the authentic
document is another.

May I suggest that perhaps you are using your scanner the wrong way?
(perhaps scanning at too high resolution and/or in colour or
grayscale). I would suggest GIF or PNG for storing the files, because
these formats are compressed but lossless. A digital camera can be
used in an emergency, but I would not use it regularly for document
copying.

A digital camera can be the best tool if you must copy a bound book
that cannot be opened flat. Opening it 90 degrees is sufficient if you
use a medium to long focal length macro lens (with a DSLR, between 90
and 180 mm). If you must copy an ancient book that can be opened very
little, open it 45 degrees and insert a thin front-surface mirror (at
least the size of the page) into the book, then photograph the
reflection in the mirror. You will have to reverse the picture
sidewise when post-processing, of course.
Anonymous
July 24, 2005 8:57:40 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Sat, 23 Jul 2005 14:09:03 +0900, Deedee Tee wrote:

> If you must copy an ancient book that can be opened very
> little, open it 45 degrees and insert a thin front-surface mirror (at
> least the size of the page) into the book, then photograph the
> reflection in the mirror. You will have to reverse the picture
> sidewise when post-processing, of course.

??? Trying to visualize this, and it seems that other than being
reversed, the camera would see nothing in the reflection that it
wouldn't see on the page itself. The page couldn't be photographed
straight on, so the aperture might have to be closed all the way
down to maximize DOF. Lighting would also be uneven, with the part
of the page nearest the spine being darker than the rest of the
page. Now if someone made a scanning wand the diameter of a pencil
(*not* hand-held) that would help a lot, but I'd imagine it would
be much too expensive for home use. Besides the image reversal,
does most post-processing software have the ability to correct the
distortion caused by photographing the page at an angle? That is,
change the page to a rectangle from the trapezoidal image?
Anonymous
July 25, 2005 1:47:28 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Sun, 24 Jul 2005 16:57:40 -0400, ASAAR <caught@22.com> wrote:

>On Sat, 23 Jul 2005 14:09:03 +0900, Deedee Tee wrote:
>
>> If you must copy an ancient book that can be opened very
>> little, open it 45 degrees and insert a thin front-surface mirror (at
>> least the size of the page) into the book, then photograph the
>> reflection in the mirror. You will have to reverse the picture
>> sidewise when post-processing, of course.
>
> ??? Trying to visualize this, and it seems that other than being
>reversed, the camera would see nothing in the reflection that it
>wouldn't see on the page itself. The page couldn't be photographed
>straight on, so the aperture might have to be closed all the way
>down to maximize DOF. Lighting would also be uneven, with the part
>of the page nearest the spine being darker than the rest of the
>page. Now if someone made a scanning wand the diameter of a pencil
>(*not* hand-held) that would help a lot, but I'd imagine it would
>be much too expensive for home use. Besides the image reversal,
>does most post-processing software have the ability to correct the
>distortion caused by photographing the page at an angle? That is,
>change the page to a rectangle from the trapezoidal image?

Assuming that the camera looks down vertically from a repro stand:
place the page to be photographed vertical, the opposite page and the
mirror lying on it inclined 45 degrees (of course using clamps and/or
something to hold the book in position). The reflection in the mirror
will look to the camera like it is pointing at a page lying flat on
the base of the repro stand. There is no distortion if you use exaclty
45 and 90 degrees from the horizontal. This technique has long been
used for copying ancient books to film.

You can illuminate the page from a direction roughly parallel to the
mirror plane, but watch out for uneven illumination caused by
reflections from the mirror, if the latter is not large enough.
Anonymous
July 25, 2005 1:47:29 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Mon, 25 Jul 2005 09:47:28 +0900, Deedee Tee wrote:

> Assuming that the camera looks down vertically from a repro stand:
> place the page to be photographed vertical, the opposite page and the
> mirror lying on it inclined 45 degrees (of course using clamps and/or
> something to hold the book in position). The reflection in the mirror
> will look to the camera like it is pointing at a page lying flat on
> the base of the repro stand. There is no distortion if you use exaclty
> 45 and 90 degrees from the horizontal. This technique has long been
> used for copying ancient books to film.

Very good. An real optical illusion that's in no way illusory. :) 
I thought that there would be a noticeable lack of light near the
spine, but (using pages of a book half in front of and half behind a
bathroom cabinet mirror) saw only even illumination. I don't know
if a camera would see it differently but it looked pretty good.


> You can illuminate the page from a direction roughly parallel to the
> mirror plane, but watch out for uneven illumination caused by
> reflections from the mirror, if the latter is not large enough.

Those were the conditions, and in this case the mirror was far
larger than the book.
Anonymous
July 25, 2005 3:08:35 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Siddhartha Jain <losttoy@gmail.com> wrote:

>What I am wondering is what would be the best setup to do this? I have
>a Canon 300D with the kit lens, a Sigma 24-135mm and a Sigma 70-300mm.
>How do I arrive at the optimal setup to avoid barrel/pin-cushion
>distortion, get accurate focus & lighting, and create perfect
>*photocopies*?

There's various lens sites to recommend which zoom on which lens
has the least distortion. I expect the centre of the kit or 24-135
would be best. I use the D70 18-70 kit lens when I need to fax
things [using computer fax] and it works pretty well. Remember
to overexpose by maybe 3 stops.

The thing that takes a long time is rotating, adjusting levels
and contrast, and converting to monochrome. If you set the
camera up right you can save yourself a lot of time with that.

--
Ken Tough
!