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Subject: Lighting for copy photography

Lighting for copy photography

From: Connie McCabe <c-mccabe>
Date: Wednesday, April 7, 1999
David Seubert <seubert [at] library__ucsb__edu> writes

>We just inherited a "new" copy stand from another department.
>Patrons use the stand to photograph/videotape items from our
>collections: book covers, photographs, manuscripts etc. It currently
>has four 150 watt Sylvania floodlights in it. This seems excessive

For most standard film camera purposes (up to 24 x 30"), electronic
strobes are a great idea.  You can get inexpensive ones that screw
into the standard incandescent lamp housings that come with many
copy stands.  They last for many years (ones I purchased in 1980s
are still going strong).  And once you standardize the exposure,
they save film because you don't have to bracket.  They are made by
Morris and Panasonic.  The ones we use here at the National Gallery
of Art are the Morris.  You buy one "master," which has the sync
cord that attaches to the camera, and three "slaves," which fire as
the master flashes.  The light output is daylight and is great
enough to use ISO 50 daylight film at an f 11 or 16 (good depth of
field) for items ~5 x 7" and up, and slightly more open for
close-up.  The strobe exposure is so short that the subjects receive
negligible light exposure or heat.  And best of all, one the set up
is standardized, it is very easy to use, so people without much
photo experience can get good results without much effort.  The only
drawback is that you don't "see what you'll get" so raking light
shots are hit or miss. The same system is in use at paper labs at
the National Archives and Smithsonian here in Washington.

                  Conservation DistList Instance 12:80
                  Distributed: Thursday, April 8, 1999
                       Message Id: cdl-12-80-001
Received on Wednesday, 7 April, 1999

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