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02-21-2017, 01:51 PM - 1 Like   #16
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A friend of mine has a business where he produces limited prints of original artwork or digital backups for the artists. I don't know what lenses he uses but his is using an 8 10 digital back on view cameras and a large/grand format printer.

02-21-2017, 03:07 PM - 1 Like   #17
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A short (50mm) and a long (90-100) macro should cover you for all eventualities.
02-21-2017, 04:42 PM - 1 Like   #18
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DFA 50 or an older manual focus or autofocus 50. Don't need 1:1 so the older models that only do 1:2 would be fine.
02-21-2017, 07:35 PM - 1 Like   #19
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I would suggest a low distortion 50 and 35 mm lens (that is typically a macro--but need not be). I did a lot of this--but w/ Nikon(55mm micro) and Alpa (50mm Kern Macro Switar) and tungsten slide film. Did a little w/ K20d and 50 mm f/4--but any good macro (50 mm) should be fine.

But as mentioned earlier--lights and polarizing filters are very important if the art work is reflective (oil or acrylic). Lights at about 45 degrees, and polarizing filters in front of lights and one on the lens. Linear PL is fine (Edmunds sells tough gray sheets of it--buy a large one and cut it in half). Turn the one on the lens till you like the effect--from almost no reflection and very saturated colors, to more reflections and less saturated.

Also get a studio meter and w/ flat diffuser measure the readings all over the picture--you want them to be close--best is +/- 1/6 e.v., but for an 8 ft wide (and a "typical" home studio) you will be lucky to get +/-1/3 e.v., and I am guessing you likely will need the 35mm lens.

02-22-2017, 03:01 AM - 1 Like   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by dotp Quote
Thank you AstroDave and everyone else that has contributed. This forum and your expertise is exactly why Pentax rules.
Great summary, AstroDave, of all the things for great set up, and means I'll add a few things to my next shoot, like color checker and scale... I agree with the 50's. In my experience with a fairly limited space for set up in my home, the 50 can do the job. I'd need a lot more space for a 100mm lens. Then I've shot up to 5' square, once something longer but narrower. Lighting is key to avoid reflections. I shoot through umbrellas and with pretty sharp angles. I generally am shooting textile works. The FA50mm/2.8 macro has worked for me on the K-3, as has the 31mm Ltd, but on the K-1, which I'll try next weekend, I'm thinking the 50/2.8 will be perfect.
02-22-2017, 04:54 AM - 2 Likes   #21
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Warning, MATH Involved

I am going to take a step back (pun intended) and start with the basics.

For most images, (where the magnification ratio is below 1:10 ) you can use a very simple formula

Image size = subject size X focal length / distance.

You can rearrange this to answer the OP's fundamental question of how far back do i need to be

Distance = subject size X focal length / image size

If you are using a full frame camera like a K1 the long axis of the frame is 36 mm. (This will be the subject size) So to copy an artwork that is 8 feet in the long direction (2.25 meters) with a 50 mm lens for example. You need to step back 3.125 meters or 10 foot 3 inches

The 11 inch print with the same lens needs a working distance of 358mm or 14 inches.

For me, a 50 mm would be best suited. It would allow you to work in a copy stand for small stuff, to ensure if you are doing a lot of copying, that your setup is always square to the subject. And a tripod for bug stuff, without getting pushed into your neighbors house to do it.
12-10-2017, 12:25 PM - 7 Likes   #22
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I thought I might follow up on my original post and share some feedback on my experience. I went with the following equipment:

- Pentax K-1
- Pentax DFA 50mm F2.8 Macro
- Manfroto 055 Tripod with Junior 410 Gearhead
- Sekoni Flashmate L-308S-U
- X-rite color checker passport
- B+W circular polarizer filter (F-Pro)
- Vello Shutterboss II remote
- Large Fiskars cutting matte
- 4x Aperture Araman HR672S LEDs (and cheap stands that came with them)
- Polarizing film taped to the LEDs
- Lightroom and Photoshop

With this setup, I'm able to get very, very good images of artwork. Of course, I'm shooting in my office with blacked out windows so I can completely control the light sources. Using the color checker passport, I've set up a profile for my LED lights and now with one click in Lightroom I have perfect color. I use the light meter to adjust the LEDs so that the light is mostly even across the work. For the smaller drawings, I use my Manfroto tripod with an extendable arm to shoot images on the ground. For larger works, I set the painting on the desk and shoot them regularly. The polarized film on the LEDs plus the circular polarizing filter on the lens allows me to cut out virtually all glare. Plus, I can shoot works behind glass and plexiglass without worrying about a light reflection from the LEDs.

The Pentax K-1 Pixelshift mode is amazing. With the Vello remote shutter release plus shooting with the mirror up, I have no vibrations. The DFA 50mm F2.8 macro gives superb clarity along with the Pixelshift. To get images this good I would need a much more expensive camera, a scanback or use a large table scanner. I also can't say enough good things about the wonky, flexible tilt monitor on the back of the K-1. It's made it easy to see what's going on with the images in LiveView, especially when I need to make on the fly adjustments to the exposer.

I've uploaded some images, though they don't really show the quality after the forum reduces the file size.

I don't think Pentax could have made a better camera for copying artwork than the K-1.
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12-10-2017, 12:48 PM - 1 Like   #23
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Thanks for sharing this!

It's really nice to see how efforts like this turn out and we appreciate learning the details of your setup and how it works. (and great shots, BTW) That makes thread like this even more valuable to future readers.

Best wishes on all your future photographic endeavors.

12-10-2017, 07:57 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by dotp Quote
I don't think Pentax could have made a better camera for copying artwork than the K-1.
645Z users would probably disagree. One of the selling points of the 645Z is it's utility for image archiving. Pentax even make a specialized 645Z IR version just for museums, libraries etc.

But K-1 with pixel-shift brings it's output into 645Z territory, I think.
12-11-2017, 12:02 AM   #25
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A lot of interesting suggestions.
This is a great forum.

I will share my own thoughts, suggesting a couple cheap alternatives.
I appreciated the post mentioning the 8x10" camera. View cameras are the absolute best for the job, either an 8x10" on film or a little 6x9cm with digital back.
If you have to copy framed paintings or drawings protected by a glass, especially on-site, a camera with adjustable geometry is the best solution to avoid finding yourself reflected on the glass.
There are tricks to hide yourself, but shifting the lens or the focus plane makes it unnecessary.
For the same reason, using a shift lens on a DSLR is the best solution if the subject is reflective.
I have the old 28mm shift made by Pentax, but if the original isn't very big I'd go for a longer focal. There is an Arsat 35mm shift which works more than fine well stopped down, but I have personal experience of another even cheaper solution, which would be much better for smaller originals: a Pentacon Six to PK shifting adapter fitted with a dirty cheap 80mm "normal" like the russian Volna, or the slightly more expensive CZJ alternative.
Normally an 80mm shift would be too long for most uses, but in this particular case it could prove well worth the expense.
Both P6 lenses are of good quality, and could be used stopped down at their sweet spot, considering that the level (and quality) of illumination and the shutter speed should not be a constraint.
If reflections are of no concern, there is a great alternative to macro lenses, that allows the most faithful reproduction and could be even cheaper: reprocamera lenses.
Unfortunately focals under 135/150mm are both expensive and difficult to find. I remember the smallest Schneider Repro Claron... and another one, more about it later
If you already have a bellows or a set of tubes, and you're fine with a focal of 150mm, there are the great Schneider G-Claron and Rodenstock Apo Ronar. In-shutter versions aren't cheap, but barrel ones can be found for very interesting prices. It is also easier to attach the barrel version to a bellows (bellows + tubes for longer focals).
If the thread is not M39 there are cheap rings on Ebay.
Though there were alternatives outside of the high-end Germany brands.
The cheapest solution, optically on par with the best, are the Staeble's. Most of the times they were sold with the Agfa brand (or others, Google is your friend), cause they equipped the last generation of fancy, super expensive Agfa reprocameras.
The very low price is due to the fact that they can't be easily mounted on a leaf shutter, and probably also to their plasticky look (only externally!).
It's not impossible to find them for a great price on Ebay.
I found them in two very useful focals, 80mm and 135mm (a pity the two 80mm I own have cement separation, pay attention!).
This kind of lenses were used to reproduce aerial survey pictures and make maps.
Flatness of field, distortion and also vignetting (especially on a tiny sensor) are simply the best. Period.
Resolution should be more than adequate, despite the huge coverage.
Repro lenses were optimized to do only one thing, and do it extremely well.
I used them on film, with great results.
No experience on digital unfortunately. Considering their nature and the focals involved, I don't see any reason for possible problems.
Diffraction usually kicks in at closer diaphragms, feel free to experiment at f/11 and f/16.
Contrast can be pumped up in PP, if needed. No lens hood, but with controlled lighting you shouldn't need to shade the front element.
I hope my very basic suggestions weren't too pedantic. If someone gets a little curious and decides to learn a little more about the subject, and eventually find a cheap lens to experiment with, that would be my reward.
In a world that gets every day more consumerist, we are brought to believe (myself included) that we absolutely need the last and (supposedly) the best, but fortunately photography still allows us for a lot of freedom. I stored plenty of x-ray sheets for my 8x10 cameras, for example, in case sheet film will not be available.
Even in the digital domain there are countless possibilities to adapt (I'd prefer the word "recycle") old stuff with amazing results. Not second tier, good enough. Amazing.
I hope to see on this site, as soon as possible, a repository of public domain projects for 3D printers. Users of other mounts already have wonderful accessories and adapters for their cameras. An incredible number for the silly Go Pro... and yes, yes, I own one, did I I write myself included, didn't I?

Others have already given plenty of suggestions regarding other, ever more important aspects.
I just shared a few thoughts about what I love the most: lenses.
Just a quick additional consideration: a strong flash setup is not needed, cheap continuous lights are perfectly fine.

Cheers

Paolo

Last edited by cyberjunkie; 12-11-2017 at 01:25 AM.
12-11-2017, 05:21 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
645Z users would probably disagree. One of the selling points of the 645Z is it's utility for image archiving. Pentax even make a specialized 645Z IR version just for museums, libraries etc.

But K-1 with pixel-shift brings it's output into 645Z territory, I think.
Good point on the 645Z IR. I should have qualified my statement as a better camera for professional artists that won't break the bank.
12-11-2017, 06:38 AM - 1 Like   #27
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I have the 50 macro, the Sigma 70 macro and the the DFA 100 macro, I'd use the one most convenient to the thing being copied and the space I had to work in. The issue with the 35 macro would be the .4% filed curvature.



"Negligible" distortion in the 50 macro



The DFA 100 macro is an order again better than the 50 macro


The Sigma 70 is close tot he DFA 100


Only the 35 produces distortion likely to be even slightly visible. The others are functionally distortion free.

---------- Post added 12-11-17 at 08:40 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by dotp Quote
I thought I might follow up on my original post and share some feedback on my experience. I went with the following equipment:

- Pentax K-1
- Pentax DFA 50mm F2.8 Macro
- Manfroto 055 Tripod with Junior 410 Gearhead
- Sekoni Flashmate L-308S-U
- X-rite color checker passport
- B+W circular polarizer filter (F-Pro)
- Vello Shutterboss II remote
- Large Fiskars cutting matte
- 4x Aperture Araman HR672S LEDs (and cheap stands that came with them)
- Polarizing film taped to the LEDs
- Lightroom and Photoshop

With this setup, I'm able to get very, very good images of artwork. Of course, I'm shooting in my office with blacked out windows so I can completely control the light sources. Using the color checker passport, I've set up a profile for my LED lights and now with one click in Lightroom I have perfect color. I use the light meter to adjust the LEDs so that the light is mostly even across the work. For the smaller drawings, I use my Manfroto tripod with an extendable arm to shoot images on the ground. For larger works, I set the painting on the desk and shoot them regularly. The polarized film on the LEDs plus the circular polarizing filter on the lens allows me to cut out virtually all glare. Plus, I can shoot works behind glass and plexiglass without worrying about a light reflection from the LEDs.

The Pentax K-1 Pixelshift mode is amazing. With the Vello remote shutter release plus shooting with the mirror up, I have no vibrations. The DFA 50mm F2.8 macro gives superb clarity along with the Pixelshift. To get images this good I would need a much more expensive camera, a scanback or use a large table scanner. I also can't say enough good things about the wonky, flexible tilt monitor on the back of the K-1. It's made it easy to see what's going on with the images in LiveView, especially when I need to make on the fly adjustments to the exposer.

I've uploaded some images, though they don't really show the quality after the forum reduces the file size.

I don't think Pentax could have made a better camera for copying artwork than the K-1.
Awesome.
12-11-2017, 06:43 AM - 1 Like   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
645Z users would probably disagree. One of the selling points of the 645Z is it's utility for image archiving. Pentax even make a specialized 645Z IR version just for museums, libraries etc.

But K-1 with pixel-shift brings it's output into 645Z territory, I think.
Actually, the K-1 in pixelshift mode (with a good lens and stationary setup) vastly out-resolves the 645Z.

The 645Z only has 12.8 million red pixels, 25.6 million green pixels, and 12.8 million blue pixels.

In contrast, the K-1 PS effectively has 36.2 million red pixels, 36.2 million green pixels, and 36.2 million blue pixels.

Worse, the 645Z (and all other Bayer filter cameras) have large gaps in the sampling array of each color. The red and blue channels which are essentially blind to 75% of the color detail of the scene. Unless the camera has an anti-aliasing filter (the 645Z does not) or is defocused slightly, the camera will suffer from moire and loss of extremely fine color detail.

For technical photography of objects that might have extremely fine color detail (e.g., textiles, spray-painted art with fine drop size, photographic prints with grain, large canvases on linen, etc.), it's pretty important to have gapless sampling in all color bands.

Please don't get me wrong, the 645Z is an awesome camera. But in this application the K-1 is awesomer.
07-08-2018, 08:43 AM - 4 Likes   #29
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I wanted to provide an update on using the K1 and the Pentax SMC Pentax-D FA Macro 50mm f2.8 lens. I've now show several hundred works of art (with several hundred more in the collection to go), and I can say hands down this is the best equipment for the money you can buy for this type of photography. With PixelShift, the images of art details are amazingly sharp (even 15 ft away) with no discernable distortion. Yes, scanning the image gives a higher resolution, but it isn't affordable for most artists. This is hands down the equipment you want to buy for shooting art.
07-08-2018, 06:29 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by dotp Quote
I wanted to provide an update on using the K1 and the Pentax SMC Pentax-D FA Macro 50mm f2.8 lens. I've now show several hundred works of art (with several hundred more in the collection to go), and I can say hands down this is the best equipment for the money you can buy for this type of photography. With PixelShift, the images of art details are amazingly sharp (even 15 ft away) with no discernable distortion. Yes, scanning the image gives a higher resolution, but it isn't affordable for most artists. This is hands down the equipment you want to buy for shooting art.
Awesome to hear.
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