Photographing Inscriptions: Nikon Coolpix 8800 or Canon Dig Rebel XT?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by dmango1, Jun 29, 2005.

  1. dmango1

    dmango1 Guest

    I'm leaving for Europe in a few weeks. While there, I hope to
    photograph and cataloque any ancient inscriptions (ie GreeK, Latin,
    Etc) that I may find. Most of these inscriptions are outdoors, the
    majority of them carved in stone.

    My primary goal is to preserve these inscriptions by photographing
    them, with the intention of publishing them in a book with an
    accompaning illustration. I'm not interested in national geographic
    results, just a sharp, high quality image of the inscription.

    I have decided between either the Nikon Coolpix 8800 or the Canon
    Digital Rebel XT. The Rebel may be a better camera, but with the extra
    lenses required to match that of the 35-350mm lens of the Nikon, I am
    not certain if I can justify the extra cost for
    the lenses.

    The only necessary item that I have been informed to bring by
    my friends in Europe, is a zoom lens. I may also use photoshop
    to enhance the images if necessary.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated, as well as any tips/suggestions
    for photographing inscriptions in general
    (ie time of day, flashes, etc)

    Thank you
     
    dmango1, Jun 29, 2005
    #1
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  2. You need to look at the many articles on the net regarding
    photographing tombstones.

    You'll find you need a reflector board to provide oblique light to
    bring out the inscription.

    As for the time, you'll need to consider the orientation of the
    particular inscription relevtive to the sun. Early moring and late
    afternoon are the times I find best for tombstones.

    http://www.genealogy.com/64_gravestones.html?Welcome=1094760387

    Just one of many article on this.
    *********************************************************

    "A state, is called the coldest of all cold monsters.
    Coldly lieth it also; and this lie creepeth from its
    mouth: "I, the state, am the people." "

    _Thus Spake Zarathusttra_
    by Friedrich Nietzsche
    Chapter XI
    The New Idol
     
    John A. Stovall, Jun 29, 2005
    #2
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  3. dmango1

    SB Guest

    I would go for a Nikon 8800 in your case.

    It is a fantastic camera if you are shooting outdoors and your subjects do
    not move - which is exactly your case.
    The 35-350mm lens is a piece of art, and will bring the inscriptions which
    are all the way up there, right under the roof,
    so close to you that you'll cry. The "in-built" image post-processing in
    point-and-shot (which in fact is the 8800) will give
    you sharp and crisp images. And you wil have the whole thing +(NB!) a spare
    batery and mre memory in a relatively small bag!

    I had an 8700, moved up to 8800, then to EVOLT - ust because I need a faster
    camera. Otherwise, Nikon Coolpix 8800 is
    a great camera.

    Cheers,
    SB
     
    SB, Jun 29, 2005
    #3
  4. dmango1

    Stacey Guest


    Off camera flash will be your friend. If either won''t work with an off
    camera flash, that would be a deal killer for me.
     
    Stacey, Jun 30, 2005
    #4
  5. dmango1

    Misifus Guest

    If I were to tackle that project, I would use a Nikon D-70, the
    kit lens (18-70mm) and an SB-600 flash. For photographing
    inscriptions you wouldn't normally need a long telephoto, the kit
    lens should work. Either the SB-600 or the SB-800 will work as a
    wireless flash with the D70, enabling you to get the oblique
    lighting you will need to bring out inscriptions.

    -Raf
     
    Misifus, Jun 30, 2005
    #5
  6. dmango1

    dmango1 Guest

    I have a Sony 10/20W video light. Could this be used in place of
    an off camera flash? Are there any advantages to flash lighting
    over constant/video lighting? Thanks.
     
    dmango1, Jul 1, 2005
    #6
  7. I'd go for the Rebel XT with the kit lens and the 1.4 50mm lens for
    natural light and sharpness combined with speed, should you be shooting
    in shade or indoors.

    Good luck with your project.
     
    John McWilliams, Jul 2, 2005
    #7
  8. dmango1

    DoN. Nichols Guest

    For your subject matter, I would suggest that the only nuisance
    might be that the batteries for the video light source would weigh more.

    For live things, like small insects, the extra heat might be a
    problem.

    A *benefit* of the video light is that you can more easily judge
    (by naked eye) the effects of light placement without spending a lot of
    time zooming in your display and examining the results.

    Good Luck,
    DoN.
     
    DoN. Nichols, Jul 2, 2005
    #8
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