Taking covert pics

Discussion in 'UK Photography' started by Alasdair, Jun 5, 2008.

  1. Alasdair

    Alasdair Guest

    I am looking for a small camera which will take pictures of pages of
    books in a library. It must be able to work in low light without
    flash and be able to produce readable images. Best if it does not
    emit a click as some library staff get a bit upset about people taking
    photos of their books.
    Alasdair, Jun 5, 2008
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  2. Alasdair

    savvo Guest

    Most libraries today have photocopiers. Probably a much cheaper and more
    satisfying solution.
    savvo, Jun 5, 2008
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  3. Alasdair

    Alasdair Guest

    I am fully aware of this but, if I could use the photocopier, I
    wouldn't be wanting to buy a camera. Very large and old books are
    difficult to photocopy but, yes, the library can photograph the pages
    using special equipment but the cost is something like £10 a page and
    there is a waiting time of four weeks.

    I am looking for a cheaper and especially more convenient option hence
    purchase of a camera.
    Alasdair, Jun 5, 2008
  4. Alasdair

    savvo Guest

    Hmm. Had you couched your original query in those terms, instead of an
    aparent invitiation to conspire in nefarious activities, you might have
    had more answers by now.

    Things to consider...

    'Small' (by which term I assume compact/point-and-shoot) cameras don't
    perform at all well in other-than-ideal lighting conditions.

    'Covertly' photographing a large book implies to me that you will be
    photographing close-up, thereby requiring a wide field-of-view. This
    will introduce considerable distortion.

    Your best bet would be a small DSLR, perhaps a Nikon D40, with a
    wide-angle lens. Olympus produce a very compact DSLR whose designation
    escapes me. But Olympus's sensors are of a small form factor and
    therefore prone to more noise, particularly in low-light conditions.
    Still better than any compact camera.

    But you aren't going to easily be able to hide what you're doing.
    Perhaps you could develop a rasping cough to hide shutter/mirror noise?

    To do the job properly requires a copy stand and some understanding of
    lighting. Maybe if you acquired those two you could offer your services
    to the library, reducing their waiting list and removing your
    requirement for subterfuge.
    savvo, Jun 5, 2008
  5. Alasdair

    jim999 Guest

    I think James Bond had what you were looking for but not sure if Q frequents
    these pages.........
    jim999, Jun 5, 2008
  6. Alasdair

    Alasdair Guest

    James Bond's was a film camera; I'm looking for a digital one.

    Specifically, what I want to copy are Acts of the Scottish Parliament
    pre 1707 which are kept in massive and ancient tomes in the Edinburgh
    City Library.
    Alasdair, Jun 5, 2008
  7. Have you tried asking the librarian if you can photograph the books?
    I wanted to photograph a glass enclosed monument in a local library, and
    asked permission, the librarian agreed, but I was getting too many
    reflections from the glass, the librarian then asked me if I wanted to
    remove the glass and I said 'yes please', she said it would be better to
    call one morning before the library opened, which I did, and she then
    helped me remove and refit the glass.
    Harry Stottle, Jun 5, 2008
  8. Alasdair, I have had a Canon Ixus 700 since 2005, and I have used it
    for this very purpose. Quiet, easily carried in a pocket, excellent
    images, and macro / zoom if you need it. 3 years on, I guess you could
    find this kind of performance, and better, for a couple of hundred

    david_trafalgar, Jun 6, 2008
  9. Alasdair

    Bruce Guest

    How kind of you to assist someone who, at the very least, intends to
    violate the laws of copyright.

    So very kind. ;-)
    Bruce, Jun 6, 2008
  10. Alasdair

    Paul Giverin Guest

    I think you will find there is no copyright on acts of parliament and
    there certainly would be no copyright on a document dating back to 1707.

    Paul Giverin

    British Jet Engine Website:- www.britjet.co.uk

    My photos:- www.pbase.com/vendee
    Paul Giverin, Jun 6, 2008
  11. Alasdair

    dgcarter Guest

    If you took the trouble to read the thread before opening your mouth
    and making a foll of yourself, you'd know that the books in wuestion
    are old enough to be out of copyright.
    dgcarter, Jun 6, 2008
  12. Alasdair

    Bruce Guest

    Oh, I'm such a foll.

    What a pity you didn't take the trouble to read what you had typed
    before opening your mouth and making an even bigger foll of yourself.

    Bruce, Jun 6, 2008
  13. Alasdair

    Chris H Guest

    I can understand that, it probably needs very careful handling of large
    old books on a photocopier. Also the light on a normal copier may damage
    the page?
    And probably illegal too under the rules of the Library....

    Phone up and ask them first to see what their reaction is.

    You may get assistance to do it or you may get told no way.

    In the first instance most digital cameras would be OK in the other case
    it is a different proposition.
    Chris H, Jun 7, 2008
  14. Alasdair

    Chris H Guest

    Ask Minolta.

    The reason is they produced some small cameras typically used by people
    like James Bond. In fact I recall , decades ago, they ran an add showing
    one of their smaller cameras similar to one used in a Bond film. They
    text was "we would like to tell you who uses our cameras but the
    following Governments would object... and it named most "western"

    I am sure they would have a digital version now.

    The question is WHY do you need this photograph? I am certain you can
    easily get the full text of the documents either in a leaflet, book or
    even as a PDF.

    If your reason for needing the information most libraries are quite
    happy to help.

    Most of the solutions people are suggesting and going to be fairly
    obvious when you are using them if indeed they let you take them into
    the room in question.
    Chris H, Jun 7, 2008
  15. Alasdair

    Chris H Guest

    You have no idea that that is the case. It might be or it might not.
    Chris H, Jun 7, 2008
  16. Alasdair

    OG Guest

    'opening your mouth'? Do you type with your teeth?

    or just talk out of your . . .

    OG, Jun 7, 2008
  17. Alasdair

    Alasdair Guest

    Minolta is no longer in business.
    Alasdair, Jun 8, 2008
  18. Alasdair

    Chris H Guest

    I like having my finger on the pulse and being in the loop :))))))
    BTW when did they disappear?

    I still think the OP's best bet is to ask the Library for assistance.
    The test is usually easily available for the documents of the type he
    mentioned and usually facsimiles too on fake parchment.
    Chris H, Jun 8, 2008
  19. Alasdair

    savvo Guest

    They haven't. Konica Minolta is still trading. They have, however, sold
    their photographic business to Sony.

    But I think the miniature spy camera you were thinking of was the
    Minox -- nothing to do with Minolta.
    savvo, Jun 8, 2008
  20. Alasdair

    Rob Morley Guest

    Minolta made a range of 16mm stills cameras starting in the late 1950s
    - quite a bit larger than the Minox format but still smaller than most
    other cameras until 110 Instamatic film was introduced in the early
    Rob Morley, Jun 8, 2008
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