Advice on buying camera

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Jack, Dec 29, 2013.

  1. Jack

    Savageduck Guest

    To add to what has been said here is my 2 cents worth.

    I agree, that unless you are planning large prints you can capture more
    than adequate images with a 7MP DSLR, especially if you are only
    considering online presentation. These days I would look at something
    along the lines of the D7100 in APC-S or D610/D800 for FF.
    This is a Raymond Han I shot back in 2004 with my lowly D70 at the
    Munson, Williams, Procter Art Institute in Utica, NY under available
    light.
    < https://dl.dropbox.com/u/1295663/FileChute/DSC_0548-E1c.jpg >

    The most critical thing is getting white balance right, and to do that
    ypu should be shooting in RAW and have a WB reference shot of a WB
    reference card under the same light conditions as your subject.
    I use the WhiBal card which just simplifies the WB problem under
    problematic or mixed light sources.
    < http://michaeltapesdesign.com/whibal.html>

    If this is going to be a primary purpose for your camera I would look
    into buying, or at least first renting a tilt-shift lens.
    Take a look at what an establishment such as LenProToGo has to offer.
    < https://www.lensprotogo.com >
     
    Savageduck, Dec 30, 2013
    #21
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  2. Jack

    Jack Guest

    I found your post really interesting but what you say at this point
    particularly intrigued me. Geometry in isolation tells me that there should
    be no issue, so is there some empirical criterion at play?
     
    Jack, Dec 30, 2013
    #22
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  3. I have a very nice point and shoot, Panasonic DMC-ZS8, that I
    use for work photos at refineries and chem plants world wide.
    It took me months of handling cameras at stores and
    reading reviews to find one that exactly fit my needs.

    What I have discovered is that P&S large zooms are
    not dust proof. I take about 500 photos per month in dusty
    environments and spend about 4 hours every 4 weeks with a large
    magnifying glass and microscope to take the cam apart with it's
    27 micro screws and 7 micro cables and cleaning the sensor,
    and trying to clean the inside of the lenses that don't come apart
    but have slots and holes for dust entry.
    I got a waterproof case (as suggested by Mr. Duck) for it but found
    it's not practical about 50% of the time.
    So, if you get dust on the sensor that's the end of your P&S
    unless you are really technical and are able to clean it and
    have time and tools to do so.
     
    Paul in Houston TX, Dec 31, 2013
    #23
  4. Jack

    Savageduck Guest

    Here are two more 2005, D70 gallery shots, a Picasso print and a Philip
    Guston, Porch No.2 (1947)
    < https://dl.dropbox.com/u/1295663/FileChute/DSC_0543-E1c.jpg >
    < https://dl.dropbox.com/u/1295663/FileChute/DSC_0549-E1c.jpg >
     
    Savageduck, Dec 31, 2013
    #24
  5. Jack

    Peabody Guest

    Jack says...
    I'm not sure what you're asking. I just meant that if you
    are close to the subject painting, the corners will appear
    to recede into the distance because they are significantly
    farther away, just as the top of a tall building would do if
    you are close to it. But if you move back away from the
    painting, the distances from each point on the painting to
    the lens become more equal in optical terms, and the
    distortion goes away, just as the tall building becomes more
    purely vertical if you get far enough away from it.

    At least that's what the geometry looks like to me.
     
    Peabody, Dec 31, 2013
    #25
  6. Jack

    Savageduck Guest


    Many times, no matter what precautions you might take there is always a
    problem with top/bottom vertical "keystoning" distortion, and if the
    camera is not square to the flat surface, but level, left/right
    horizontal distortion.
    There are a few ways of dealing with that problem today beyond the
    standard advice of using a lens with minimum barrel/pincushion
    distortion, and proper positioning of the lens face relative to the
    subject painting surface.

    One way is to use a tilt-shift lens if available.

    Both Photoshop CC and Lightroom 5 have a new "Upright Filter" which
    along with using the correct lens profile does an amazing job of
    correcting horizon level, vertical lines, vertical
    (top/bottom)distortion, and horizontal (left/right)distortion. It is so
    good you can get away with not using a tilt-shift lens.

    Here is how it works in Lightroom, PS CC works the same way.
    <
    http://tv.adobe.com/watch/whats-new-in-lightroom-5/lightroom-5-correcting-perspective-using-upright/
     
    Savageduck, Dec 31, 2013
    #26
  7. Jack

    PeterN Guest

    It depends on the painting, and the purpose for taking the image. Ihe
    the purpose is for a viewer just to get an idea of what the paingint is,
    you are correct. However, if the purpose is to reproduce an piece of
    art, that is a different issue. We don't really now what the purpose for
    the image is.


    Justy a minor point. As smaller sensor will give greater DOF. But you
    are correct. DOF is not an issue.
     
    PeterN, Dec 31, 2013
    #27
  8. Jack

    Savageduck Guest

    If a true reproduction of the painting is the purpose then there is
    only one current method which will get the job done.
    <
    http://www.designboom.com/art/oce-3d-printer-creates-identical-reproductions-of-fine-art-paintings-09-30-2013/
    Agreed, this is a case where DoF is not an issue. However, One has to
    be quite precise with regard to exposure settings, as even with a
    quality set up, shooting wide open can lead to edge & corner softening.
     
    Savageduck, Dec 31, 2013
    #28
  9. Jack

    Jack Guest

    I had thought you were talking about some aspect of barrel distortion that
    will not be corrected by the Photoshop method; but now I don't think you
    are. I may be splitting hairs but I think I am right in saying that it's not
    distance from the lens that causes the distortion, but distance from the
    *centre* of the lens of the components of the image as they fall on the
    sensor (or, if you like, on the lens glass).
     
    Jack, Dec 31, 2013
    #29
  10. Jack

    Savageduck Guest

    Today, Photoshop and Lightroom both do a very good job of correcting
    "barrel" and "pincushion" distortion. Subtle distortions are fixed
    using lens profiles. In CS4-CS6 the "Lens Correction" filter can fix
    most of those major distortion problems.
    With PS CC & Lightroom 5 there are the "Lens Correction" filter, and
    the new "Upright" filter found in ACR (or the "Camera RAW" filter) &
    LR5 and that is truly amazing.

    Here is a video explaining perspective correction with the "Upright"
    filter in LR5 (it works the same way in PS CC, ACR).
    <
    http://tv.adobe.com/watch/whats-new-in-lightroom-5/lightroom-5-correcting-perspective-using-upright/
     
    Savageduck, Dec 31, 2013
    #30
  11. Jack

    Peabody Guest

    Savageduck says...
    Yes, I should have been more precise. What I meant was you
    don't have to worry about blurring out the background
    and generating nice creamy bokeh, which would normally be
    very hard to achieve with a small sensor camera.

    Basically, I'm just saying that this is a task where the
    advantages of using a fancy expensive camera are not so
    apparent. You're going to set your ISO to 100, your
    aperture to the sweet spot for sharpness (somewhere in the
    middle for most lenses), and then use shutter speed to get
    the right exposure - neither the subject nor the camera is
    moving, so it's easy to give yourself plenty of light.
    Moreover, since you're photographing a painting, it's highly
    unlikely there will be any dynamic range issues - all the
    detail should be visible at both ends.

    So in a sense this task is the least demanding for the
    camera. It does need decent lens/sensor performance so as
    to produce sharp images, and it does need to get the color
    right, but even P&S cameras these days do really well at
    those tasks provided you have enough light. Most of the
    expanded capabilities you get with a high-end camera just
    aren't needed for this. But getting the lighting right, and
    positioning the camera properly, are still the difficult
    parts no matter what camera you use.
     
    Peabody, Dec 31, 2013
    #31
  12. Jack

    Peabody Guest

    Savageduck says...
    But doesn't that filter depend on cues in the picture -
    straight lines or whatever? A painting may not contain any
    such cues, or may contain some that aren't supposed to be
    straight. Well I suppose you could try to depend on the
    stretcher edges for that, but in my experience artists
    aren't so familiar with the meaning of "square" when they
    stretch canvas.

    Would the filter work on your Picasso or Guston examples?
     
    Peabody, Dec 31, 2013
    #32
  13. Jack

    Peabody Guest

    Jack says:
    I just don't understand the point you're making. As far as correcting the
    distortion is concerned, it may well be that Photoshop can do that, but I
    think it would be more likely to succeed in that if the distortion was
    minimized in the first place.
     
    Peabody, Dec 31, 2013
    #33
  14. Jack

    Savageduck Guest

    is a shot I made, before and after using the "Upright" feature in LR5.
    The horizontal perspective issue is obvious.
    Before
    < https://dl.dropbox.com/u/1295663/FileChute/screenshot_492.jpg >
    After
    < https://dl.dropbox.com/u/1295663/FileChute/screenshot_496.jpg >
     
    Savageduck, Dec 31, 2013
    #34
  15. Jack

    Savageduck Guest

    It did, with both. The canvas or frame edges are your best references.
    < https://dl.dropbox.com/u/1295663/FileChute/screenshot_497.jpg >
    < https://dl.dropbox.com/u/1295663/FileChute/screenshot_498.jpg >
     
    Savageduck, Dec 31, 2013
    #35
  16. Jack

    Savageduck Guest

    Always the best solution is going to be in the set up, but as I have
    shown sometimes taking care isn't enough. That is when PS or LR can and
    does help.
     
    Savageduck, Dec 31, 2013
    #36
  17. Jack

    Jack Guest

    For some reason, I find that if it's exhibiting parallax in both the
    vertical and horizontal axes, no amount of fiddling around in the lens
    correction facility of Photoshop will correct it (unless I am just
    approaching the whole thing wrongly). It seems to be to do with the fact
    that showing parallax implies being off-centre. The best bet is to make up a
    rectangle of precisely the dimensions you want the finished subject to be,
    and manipulating the image with the Edit>Transform>Distort tool. But even
    then it dosen't quite get it right, as there remains the issue of
    differences in scale caused by different proximities ot the lens.
     
    Jack, Dec 31, 2013
    #37
  18. Jack

    Savageduck Guest

    This fix is a bit more extreme:
    < https://dl.dropbox.com/u/1295663/FileChute/screenshot_500.jpg >
     
    Savageduck, Dec 31, 2013
    #38
  19. Jack

    Savageduck Guest

    I will start this response by asking; What version of PS are you using?

    If you have a version which has the "Lens Correction Filter" that can
    be used to fix perspective issues.
    Here is what can be done with that.
    < https://dl.dropbox.com/u/1295663/FileChute/screenshot_503.jpg >
    It is still tough to make the adjustment. The "Upright" filter in LR5 &
    CS CC is a great improvement and much easier to work with.

    I made the correction with LR5 which along with PS CC has the new
    "Upright" fliter.
    I was certainly not centered for that shot and there is obvious
    horizontal perspective distortion along with some "keystoning" in the
    vertical.
    Perhaps a side-by-side comparison will make the fix more obvious.
    < https://dl.dropbox.com/u/1295663/FileChute/screenshot_502.jpg >

    ....and an even more extreme shot in need of fixing.
    < https://dl.dropbox.com/u/1295663/FileChute/screenshot_500.jpg >
     
    Savageduck, Dec 31, 2013
    #39
  20. Jack

    Jack Guest


    Can I take it, then, that I could in principle get an image -- stitching
    irregularities taken out of the equation -- that is as high quality as any
    camera will achieve, by using my Optio to do close-ups, which are then put
    together in Photoshop?
     
    Jack, Dec 31, 2013
    #40
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