Step 33: Lighting: How To Light For Cheap, Crappy Cameras

Picture of Lighting: How To Light For Cheap, Crappy Cameras
Let me start by saying that this whole system is designed to work under non-ideal conditions and to be manufactured from just about anything -- this is less an instructable, I hope, than it is a general template to build and innovate with similar devices. However, one truth, photographically speaking, is "Garbage in, Garbage out". To get the best book scans, we need to pay attention to how a camera works. This is especially important because we are using cheap cameras. While I could go on about the cameras for weeks on end, I will keep this very simple.

In a perfect world, we would use our cameras on their lowest ISO setting to reduce noise.
In a perfect world, we would use a very small aperture (from f6 to f11) to keep things very sharp.
In a perfect world, we would use a very fast shutter speed (faster than 1/60th of a second) so our movement doesn't blur the images.
EDIT: for an up-to-date discussion of camera aperture settings, please see this thread at DIYBOOKSCANNER.ORG]

The cool thing is, we don't need a perfect world to do all that stuff. All we need is some high-intensity lighting. Like halogens.
hey_chief6 years ago
hey_chief is very interested in L.E.D. lighting applications. One concern with valuable texts and artwork is light and U.V. damage, that is one reason why museums no long allow cameras. It is also a concern when scanning valuable (ancient) materials. Hey_chief once worked with a client who was using infra-red L.E.D. illuminators for recording activity where there was no visible light. Color reproduction can be a problem. Please share any information or redirect.