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Old 06-08-2019, 02:24 PM
Austinzilker Austinzilker is offline
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Rec's for used camera and lens for prints of paintings

Hi all, I've been going back and forth for months, reading reviews and watching videos about how to photograph your artwork for prints.

And as I scroll thru the used cameras on Adorama and Precision, I'm having trouble deciding and actually choosing a camera and lens. Do you folks have any suggestions?

I'll be aiming for giclee prints, don't really care about the video capability, and I know I need a tripod, proper light set up, color checker... but first that camera and lens!

I'm looking for used because I need to keep the camera and lens combo under $500.
I appreciate any and all suggestions!
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Old 06-08-2019, 02:46 PM
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Humburger Humburger is offline
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Re: Rec's for used camera and lens for prints of paintings

I got a great used Canon on ebay for $169. I have had it since November and it looks and works like new.
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Old 06-10-2019, 05:03 PM
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Re: Rec's for used camera and lens for prints of paintings

Ginny, what is the model number of the Canon? And more importantly, what lens do you use to take photos of your paintings?
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Old 06-11-2019, 08:00 PM
Austinzilker Austinzilker is offline
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Re: Rec's for used camera and lens for prints of paintings

Thanks Ginny, and like Luv2shoot, I'd like to know which Cannon and lens. I keep getting drawn to Nikons, but the local camera place has been steering me away from them.



Which camera and lens are you guys using to shoot photos of paintings?
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Old 06-11-2019, 08:16 PM
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Re: Rec's for used camera and lens for prints of paintings

I'm sorry. I typed that on the run. Stream of consciousnes. LOL! As soon as I have time, I will look up the info.
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Old 06-13-2019, 05:00 PM
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Re: Rec's for used camera and lens for prints of paintings

Okay, I'm sorry it took me so long. I get distracted and now I am sitting down here in my dungeon studio and my camera is right next to me: no excuses! LOL!

I am typing what I see on the camera: Canon EOS Rebel XSi Model No. DS126181

It came with a lens: Canon EFS 18-55 mm with image stabilizer and autofocus. I paid $169 for both from a camera shop that refurbishes cameras and sells on ebay. I cannot, for the life of me, remember who it was and I have quickly looked and can't find the receipt right now. I'm sorry. There are a LOT of good sellers, but there are also bad ones. I was fortunate. I hope you find what you need.
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Old 06-14-2019, 02:38 PM
Austinzilker Austinzilker is offline
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Re: Rec's for used camera and lens for prints of paintings

Thanks, Ginny- I pulled the trigger on a refurbished Nikon D3400 with lenses from Adorama for under $400. Keeping my fingers crossed! But they have a return policy so I'm hoping it works out.





You can drive yourself mad trying to come up with the best budget options!
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Old 06-14-2019, 03:43 PM
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Re: Rec's for used camera and lens for prints of paintings

I am sure it will work out. If the camera is well made to start with, the refurbished ones are probably pretty good, too. You sound like you got more than one lens. If so, that seems like a good price to me. May you have many happy years with your new camera. 📷😎
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Old 08-03-2019, 01:03 AM
Quint Quint is offline
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Re: Rec's for used camera and lens for prints of paintings

I prefer a camera that shoots RAW files, a good prime 35 mm to 50 mm lens, sturdy tripod, This will get you the file. Technique and practice will get you a good file. You should have a software program to make your adjustments and a calibrated monitor to view. If you plan to print your own, that's another ball game but in my case worth it.
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Old 11-21-2019, 11:29 AM
Daniel Smith Daniel Smith is offline
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Re: Rec's for used camera and lens for prints of paintings

One to look at for the future is the slow, clunky Sigma DP3 Merrill.
It produces images that are sharp, have good color and won't give you dust problems as the lens is not interchangeable.

Battery life is not great. Came originally with two batteries for that reason.

The image quality is excellent - compare it to 35MP cameras and it holds its own.

https://diglloyd.com/blog/2013/20131...aver-pond.html


The DP3 with the longer lens is the one to get for copywork of your art. I know the original poster has a camera now, so this is more for those looking in the future.

From experience doing art copywork for more than 40 years I really like how the DP3 Merrill works for the task. Using cross polarized lighting and optimum apertures I have had 60 inch prints done from the files and they really do look good.

The camera is also very good for a lot of field work - as long as you don't mine slowing down a bit while you work.
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Old 11-24-2019, 09:27 AM
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Re: Rec's for used camera and lens for prints of paintings

It is best to use a medium long prime lens and to avoid Zooms. A camera that allows one to set everything manually will provide more reliable and repeatable results.
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Old 11-24-2019, 08:12 PM
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Re: Rec's for used camera and lens for prints of paintings

And here is my Grant Rant


It comes down to what is “good enough” and or “cheap enough” for ones needs. Some folks are “happy enough” with their cell phone, and then there are those that are willing to spend more $ to ensure better results. For those that want the best, hiring a professional service may be the way to go. When I say professional, there are many levels. Just because a photographer is a “professional” and owns a good camera does not mean that they have the specific equipment, knowledge, skill set, and experience to make a world class image of your painting. They may make great portraits, wedding photos, and images of your pet or baby but they probably won’t have the experience photographing fine art. In fact few service bureaus are willing to put the extra TLC into your image and the proprietor may not be hard wired to provide top notch work anyway. Maybe wants to make a buck. To obtain a world class image capture of art work there are still many levels of investment in both in equipment and in skill set. For instance there are medium format full frame sensors, and scan backs available for the very best results, all at a price.

It is best to use a medium long prime lens and to avoid Zooms. A camera that allows one to set everything manually [including focus], will provide a more reliable and repeatable result. The workflow that I follow requires an unchanging light source [sometimes referred to as continuous] and a minimum of 3 identical exposures. Flash units may be used as long as their output is exactly repeatable. Please note: The camera is only one piece of the equation that needs to be used for the very best camera work possible.

A 3-way camera support or geared head will help setting up the camera. Ball heads are a frustrating nuisance for this type of work. Mirrors are available from Zigalign to help to obtain exact parallelism [Being perfectly square to the artwork]. After a rough crop is performed, a mirror is placed at the copy board. A second mirror is fastened to the lens. The camera is slowly adjusted until a repeating circular pattern is observed through the lens.

Adjust your polarizer. Remove the artwork and make an image capture of a Macbeth Colour Chart. Do not move the camera or zoom into the Colour chart. Sample the white patch and then do a white balance. Adjust the exposure until the patch reads 243 RGB. Make another exposure of the colour chart. This one you keep. Replace the art work without changing anything else in the camera setup. Keep this image. Then make a third capture of an oversize clean sheet of white foam-core [this one can be slightly out of focus]. You may use watercolour paper, dia-bond or anything else that will act as a clean white card. A soft ware such as Equalight is used to sample every pixel of the white card. This math is applied to both the image of the artwork and to the image of the Colour Chart. The reason for this is twofold. First the lighting is apt to be uneven. Second every lens will produce some fall off where the middle allows more light to pass and the edges less light to pass. Optical law Cosine to the 4th falloff.

Cross polarized lighting can be very useful, however it introduces excessive contrast which needs to be tamed with a capture icc profile. Those are made by photographing a colour chart and then using a software to compare how well the sensor did. The ensuing profile corrects colour shifts which includes contrast. Think of it this way. With a very few expensive exceptions most cameras are not made to accurately copy art. They are designed for pleasing pictures of trees and skies and people. Contrast is usually bumped up and a colour cast is associated with every sensor. Believe me there are hundreds of different sensors in service.

Pictocolor’s In Camera and X-Rite’s i1Studio make these profiles.

I know there are many steps but when you want your artwork to look its best it is worth the effort.
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BetterlightSuper6KHS, medium and large format lenses, Sinar hybrid 4x5 cameras[17lenses], D800,16fish,14-24,17-35,28shift,45,60micro,85tilt,105micro,135DF,200mic ro,ipf8300 printer Watercolour,softpastel,acrylic,airbrush,oil stick expert art reprography,finishing Giclée,stretching canvas,collects kolinsky watercolour brushes
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