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History, Conservation, and Repair The history of photographic prints, and how best to care for and repair them.

Re: Tintype Dating

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  #11  
Old 03-16-2011, 06:12 AM
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Re: Tintype Dating

HobbleBobble..
If you ever do get the photo scanned I would like to retouch it for you....no charge.
I can always use the practice and would not use it without your express permission.
Just the fact that you are willing to preserve your family photo for others says positive things about you.

http://www.photobridgeretouch.com
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  #12  
Old 03-16-2011, 01:21 PM
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Re: Tintype Dating

Winning!!!!!!!!!!!
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  #13  
Old 03-19-2011, 01:30 PM
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Re: Tintype Dating

Hobblebobble, rather than scanning, set up the picture under some decent lighting situation and take a hi-res picture of it. In the "old days" before scanners, this is what we used to do. It still works quite well in this, the digital, age. After the picture is taken, then you have a copy for your computer and something for the retouchers to work with.

Janet
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Old 03-19-2011, 01:37 PM
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Re: Tintype Dating

I would say the camera-copy method would be secondary to scanning in terms of quality, unless scanning is not an option (as in this case). There's nothing like having the old photo right up against the glass ;-).
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  #15  
Old 03-19-2011, 02:43 PM
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Re: Tintype Dating

I would say that done correctly with a decent camera (the one in your phone does not qualify) with a double polarized lighting setup, the results are far superior to a scanner for this kind of work. Why would one want to copy the glass along with your photo?
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Old 03-19-2011, 03:03 PM
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Re: Tintype Dating

Good point, and you may be right, though I'd like to see a side-by-side comparison. I've scanned many hundreds of old family photos at very hi res and don't think a camera could match that (maybe a digital back on a Hasselblad or 4x5, but how many people have that or the lighting setup you describe?). Plus, a home camera-copy setup can easily introduce linear distortion if not spot-on (scanners don't have this problem). Again, how many people have copy stands?
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  #17  
Old 03-19-2011, 04:51 PM
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Re: Tintype Dating

Some thoughts:

How much res does one need? At my studio the vast majority of the customers usually wanted their old photos reproduced at 1:1 or reduced in size in order to fit them into some kind of album. Maybe 1 out of several hundred wanted something bigger than the original and we all know how that works. Also occasionally someone wanted a 1:1 from something that was maybe a 11x14 or 16x20.

If my 11Mp camera can take a family portrait and make 30x40 print of it with no problems, why can't I make a copy of a 16x20 print and reproduce it at the same size? It does not seem to be a problem for me to do.

As for a "home brew" copy stand, I used to just lay the tripod on a table, place some kind of counterweight on it (books, bricks, sandbags, dead bodies, whatever) and shot straight down at the floor. A small carpenters level kept me quite close to square. That was during film days, now if I detected any distortion, a quick fix is available in PS. But you are correct, a copy stand is like heaven on earth for this kind of work!

Lighting is kind of another story. The lights themselves can be had for maybe $50, the filters will be more than that. However with proper care they should last you (maybe?) a life time.

Anyway, interesting discussion and I hope that the two of us have managed to stir up the pot a bit for the others on here!
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Old 03-19-2011, 05:35 PM
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Re: Tintype Dating

Discussion is always good!

In my case, I was scanning a lot of old family images (anywhere from thumbnail to wallet to 4x5, 5x7 and 8x10). I wanted them to be huge on screen to see hidden detail and to archive digitally as approximately 8x10" @ 200ppi as part of my family history project. So I generally scanned them at 300-800ppi depending on original size and downsized as needed. I'm not interested in making fresh prints of these, nor in keeping the originals (which I returned to relatives across country).

Here is an example of some source material and the final scan (both downsized for display here, of course).

Another thing to consider is, the scanner helped hold many of these photos and old war letters flat, which was very important.
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File Type: jpg photoalbum.jpg (95.8 KB, 9 views)
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Old 03-19-2011, 05:46 PM
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Re: Tintype Dating

Here's another example showing the detail I'm pulling out of the little prints.

This and the other photos by the large brick and stone building were taking at what is now the Culinary Institute of America in NY State, on the Hudson River. Used to be a Jesuit school. My great-grandmother's younger brother died there in the flu epidemic in January 1919 (that's not him in the photo).
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  #20  
Old 03-19-2011, 07:49 PM
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Re: Tintype Dating

A tip on holding things flat, get a piece of sheet metal (I think mine is about 11x14 and obtained for free from a business that installs heating and cooling ductwork), paint it flat black.

Go to a sewing store and get a roll of magnet material, mine is about 1/2 inch wide and maybe 6(?) feet long, cut it into usable lengths.

A good many of the photos that I copied had white boarders around the edges, so if it wanted to curl, I just placed the magnetic strips on the boarders and they would hold the print/letter down. If I did have an extreme case I will admit that I did have a nice large sheet of glass that I could use.
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