Taking the most clear photos possible.

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  • Taking the most clear photos possible.
  • Premier Icon dannybgoode
    Subscriber

    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 Β£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.

    Cheers

    Danny B

    samuri
    Member

    Ta. I have a tripod. Hopefully there will be enough natural light for me to try when I get home tonight.

    Premier Icon cp
    Subscriber

    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.

    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.

    wysiwyg
    Member

    Wire the puppy up to the laptop to remote shoot tethered if you haven’t got a cable release, plus yousee results straight away.

    Got a flash, if so bounce it off the ceiling if it’s white?

    samuri
    Member

    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?
    Or is there no real difference in quality?

    samuri
    Member

    Shooting RAW. I’m usually happy compensating for exposure on a computer but I expect it’s better getting things nailed on the camera. I’d not thought about the camera getting confused by white paper but that makes sense.

    All useful advice, thanks chaps.

    eskay
    Member

    I bought this book after someone recommended it on here, well worth a read:

    stumpy01
    Member

    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).

    organic355
    Member

    a picture of a white sheet of paper?

    Heres one I did earlier:

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    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.

    pondo
    Member

    a picture of a white sheet of paper?

    Heres one I did earlier:
    “Like”. πŸ™‚

    What others have said.

    For the tripod, if it really isn’t for anthing other than the photo of picture task you’ve mentioned, go to your local carboot sdale and get one for a fiver!

    MarkLG
    Member

    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.

    Premier Icon dannybgoode
    Subscriber

    Another quick thought – your 50mm prime is likely to be sharper than the zoom at any given focal length

    Is there a reason not to use that still?

    Cheers

    Danny B

    Premier Icon cp
    Subscriber

    Another quick thought – your 50mm prime is likely to be sharper than the zoom at any given focal length

    Is there a reason not to use that still?

    From the OP:-

    I did have a 50mm prime which I used to take pictures of drawings but that got broke.

    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!

    TuckerUK
    Member

    I couldn’t find a Sigma 18-55mm, so I’m hoping your meant 18-50mm?

    If so, then according to LensTip distortion is lowest at 50mm (0.99%), and sharpness across the frame at 50mm is best at f/11.

    Weigh your tripod down with a bag, and use either a remote release or timed release.

    stumpy01
    Member

    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.

    samuri
    Member

    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.

    samuri
    Member

    Sorry, how do I choose a custom setting?

    stumpy01
    Member

    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:

    Setting Custom White Balance in Canon EOS DSLR’s

    http://www.photoplusmag.com/2013/07/04/canon-dslr-tips-how-to-set-a-custom-white-balance/ (scroll down to ‘in camera’)

    samuri
    Member

    awesome. wonderful people.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    House lighting tends to give an odd shade sometimes which isn’t well corrected through white balance.

    It would if it were an energy saver, but it should be correctable if it’s a filament lamp or halogen.

    MrSmith
    Member

    If you want it done properly pay a professional
    πŸ™„

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Or if you want it done as best you can for little expense, learn about doing it yourself πŸ™‚ I suspect samuri’s business model doesn’t allow for Β£500 for some pictures of his drawings.

    stumpy01
    Member

    MrSmith – Member
    If you want it done properly pay a professional

    Yeah, ‘cos that always ensures perfect results….. πŸ™„

    TuckerUK
    Member

    If you want it done properly pay a professional

    Do you apply the same logic to all areas of your life? If your missus is fit next time she needs some nookie just contact me through here then. πŸ˜‰

    Maybe use mirror lock up or live view (if your camera has it) would have the same effect

    Depending on the aperture used you might find it shows up any crud you have on the sensor especially with a white background

    Would also focus manually if it were me

    samuri
    Member

    Anyway… Thanks for the help. I need to do some more reading to get it nailed properly and the light was quite poor when I got home but I went with what I got in the end anyway.


    froome-2013-med by Jon Wyatt, on Flickr

    MrSmith
    Member

    why not convert to grayscale and get rid of the warm to cold gradation across the image from the uneven KΒΊ lighting?

    samuri
    Member

    I thought I had. Maybe I didn’t apply it.

    TuckerUK
    Member

    Warmer bottom left, cooler top right. I had to turn my luminance up to really notice it though.

    Very nice though. But the main thing is, are you happy with it?

    samuri
    Member

    Ta. I’m reasonably happy with the photo. I’m not happy with the drawing. I chose a rubbish reference picture and realised too late that froome isn’t put together like a normal human being. Weird arms.

    Premier Icon cp
    Subscriber

    still bloody nice Jon, really like your drawings.

    bensales
    Member

    Great drawing.

    I’m curious as to why you want to photograph it, rather than scan it?

    MrSmith
    Member

    Why not just make the original photograph black and white and use an ‘art filter’ in photoshop to make it look like a pencil drawing? Going to save a lot of time and pencil lead.

    samuri
    Member

    I haven’t got an A3 scanner.
    Plus, scanning for some reason, seems to lose an awful lot.
    This one was scanned and it seems so much flatter than the original.

    Baby eyes by Jon Wyatt, on Flickr

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    I wonder what the dynamic range of a scanner is?

    TuckerUK
    Member

    It would have to be a good scanner to replicate the quality of a decent DSLR.

    OMG, that’s your drawing samuri? Wow. My dad was good an art but I don’t have an arty bone in my body, so I’m always in awe of those that are arty.

    samuri
    Member

    Why not just make the original photograph black and white and use an ‘art filter’ in photoshop to make it look like a pencil drawing?

    That’s what I do.

    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.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    There may be a setting to compensate for thermal noise on long exposures – there is on mine. After the exposure it does another with the mirror down. With a completely black frame it can tell which pixels are hot and subtract them from the original image.

    CountZero
    Member

    @organic355;

    MrSmith, I’m sure you’d getter greater satisfaction trolling vulnerable people on Twitter, rather than taking the piss out of people on here, who are genuinely creative. πŸ™„

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