- Taking the most clear photos possible.
Zoom lenses rarely work at their best at the extreme ends so 18 and 55 are out.
Aperture wise, depth of field is not an issue but again the max and min apertures are not the best.
Straight down on a flat piece of paper? I’d say somewhere in the 30-35mm and f7-ish, aperture priority and on a tripod. If you do not have a remote shutter release use the 2 second timer mode to minimise vibration from you pressing the shutter.
If you don’t have a tripod – get one!! One for the sort of thing you’re describing needn’t cost more than £30 and quite possible somewhat less.
EDIT – of course as you are shooting digital there is no cost disadvantage to have a play around to find the absolute best settings.
Danny BPosted 4 years ago
dannybgoode +1 – all good advice in there. As it’s a cheap lens, you may just have to faff about to find where the sweet spot is in the zoom range, and where you get least optical distortion (most noticeable at the extremes of the image – your ‘straight’ edges might get distorted). Are you shooting RAW or Jpeg? If RAW, you obviously have much more control in post processing with regards edge sharpness.
You may have a problem with the camera under exposing the image if you have a lot of white paper and not much pencil. Might be worth investing in either a grey card (only a few quid) or be prepared to play around with exposure compensation if you’re relying solely on the camera’s internal meter.Posted 4 years agojohnellisonMember
I’d echo the middle-of-the-road focal length. Aperture wise, most zoom lenses are at their best in the f5,6 – f8 range.
Use the lowest ISO rating that you can, and set your white balance properly for the available light (get an 18% grey card off FleaBay and learn how to take a custom setting).
If you are using a tripod and release, also consider using the eyepiece cover to prevent light leakage through the prism and use the LCD for composing/framing the shot.Posted 4 years ago
I have a Canon DSLR. I did have a 50mm prime which I used to take pictures of drawings but that got broke.
So I’ve got a Sigma 18-55 lens which I’m going to have to use instead. What settings should I choose for the absolutely best, crispest photo I can take bearing in mind it’ll be of a white sheet of flat A3 paper in good light?
Should I have it way back at 18mm or all the way out to 55? Where is the optimum point? How about Aperture?Posted 4 years ago
Or is there no real difference in quality?
Yeah, zoom will be a balance between sharpness and distortion. There’s normally decent reviews of lenses that’ll tell you where the distortion is worst and probably also sharpness.
I’d probably aim for the higher end of the zoom, but not right at the top (so 40-50mm or so) and f8.
Also, get the camera as square to the paper as you can (so the sensor and the paper are parallel) or the edge of the paper will go trapezoid, rather than square (can be corrected in Photoshop if needed).Posted 4 years ago
I’m usually happy compensating for exposure on a computer but I expect it’s better getting things nailed on the camera.
Not really that different. The Olympus raw software uses the exact same algorithms as are in the camera anyway, so the results are identical.
Use flash or incandescent light, rather than flourescent, LED or CFL, because they have a continuous output spectrum and will allow you to adjust and reproduce your colours accurately. Sunlight works too but it’s inconsistent.Posted 4 years agoMarkLGMember
Moving away from the subject and shooting at the long end of the zoom will give a flatter looking image then a shorter focal length. Short focal lengths will have the camera quite close, which might make it look like there’s a ‘bulge’ in the middle. f8 or above should eliminate any light drop-off in the corners of the frame. Use manual focus and a tripod.Posted 4 years agojohnellisonMember
Use flash or incandescent light, rather than flourescent, LED or CFL, because they have a continuous output spectrum and will allow you to adjust and reproduce your colours accurately. Sunlight works too but it’s inconsistent.
And just to stress, set your white balance accordingly – your camera will have several white balance presets, but you can’t beat taking a custom reading before you start!Posted 4 years ago
johnellison – Member
And just to stress, set your white balance accordingly – your camera will have several white balance presets, but you can’t beat taking a custom reading before you start!
Yeah. This too. I have started using custom white balance more and more. It definitely helps if you need accurate colours. Just use a plain sheet of paper (preferably the same as you are taking a picture of) as your target.Posted 4 years ago
yes, 18-50. Thanks And that tip is very useful, just what I was looking for. Ta.
I find, when taking pictures of pencil drawings, it is usually best to use natural light. House lighting tends to give an odd shade sometimes which isn’t well corrected through white balance.
Furthermore, graphite is very reflective when laid down on paper, ambient light is usually best.Posted 4 years ago
On my Nikon, you scroll to the ‘pre’ option on the white balance and then take a pic of something white, filling the frame; doesn’t have to be in focus.
Looks like it’s different on Canon SLRs though:
http://www.photoplusmag.com/2013/07/04/canon-dslr-tips-how-to-set-a-custom-white-balance/ (scroll down to ‘in camera’)Posted 4 years agoMilitant_bikerMember
Depending on what you use for RAW conversion, you may be able to correct for some lens distortion using library settings. I use Camera Raw within Photoshop CS6, along with a lens profile via Adobe Lens Profile Downloader to correct for a good amount of distortion, vignetting and chromatic aberrations.
I was also a fan of leaving the shutter open for ages to compensate for poor light, but was frustrated by noise. Someone told me it was the long exposure and heat effects. After I bought more light, shooting at the same ISO rating, for less time, things got less noisy.Posted 4 years ago
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