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Subject: Lighting for copy photography

Lighting for copy photography

From: Balint Flesch <aikus>
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

I'm using four 300 W/s flashes with halogen pilot lamps. The pilot
is useful to control unnecessary reflections on the original.
Sometimes I need the continuous light ie.: by bipolarisation to
manage the maximal effect of filtering. In that case I'm using the
pilots only--with lamp filters. To increase the sharpness the
switched out pilots is better (the short flash exposition time can
eliminate the moves of the camera caused by the shutter, building,
etc.). The modern flashbulbs have a cover-layer which filtering a
part of the UV however in a few case I'm using a lamp filter also.

A variable lamp holder to change the distance and positions of lamps
is important for fight with unnecessary reflections (oil paints,
photographs with intaglio pattern or with cracked glossy surface,
etc.) and for optimal lighting very little or large objects.

An another lighting equipment for transparencies (negative/positive
glass plates, lantern slides, Autochrome and its versions) is also
useful tool. I using a home-made flash lighted 30x40 cm light box
with a compact-neon tube pilot (to prevent heating).

The advantages of flash light: to prevent original from
deterioration effect of strong continuous light and heating of
lamps, stability of  color temperature, better sharpness and
resolution, less energy consuming, faster work.

Advantages of continuous light: better control of the result by
reflections, shadows, (bi)polarisation, etc.

Balint Flesch
archaist/conservation photographer
Budapest, Hungary

                  Conservation DistList Instance 12:80
                  Distributed: Thursday, April 8, 1999
                       Message Id: cdl-12-80-002
Received on Wednesday, 7 April, 1999

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