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Photo Restoration Repairing damaged photos

Scanner or Camera Copying Stand

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Old 08-27-2004, 09:24 AM
gbr1000 gbr1000 is offline
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Post Scanner or Camera Copying Stand

I would like to start restoring old photos and would like to know which is a better way. Either use my Cannon G1 camera and attached it to a good quality camera copying stand with lights at 45 degree angle or buying a good quality epson scanner?

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Old 08-27-2004, 10:28 AM
Mike Mike is offline
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I do not know anything about your Cannon G1 camera, but I will offer the opinion that a copy stand is a good deal more adaptable than a scanner.

The advatages:
can copy larger orginals, can use double polorized light, can copy those old photos that are not flat.

All of this is however controlled by your camera providing a large enough file to be useful.

The disadvantages:
These things are kinda large, in some cases this is a slower process.

Guess thats about it this early in the morning. I am sure that others will add more to this. The best bet is to have both, but if you have to pick one over the other then I would go with copy stand if your camera is acceptable.

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Old 08-27-2004, 11:17 AM
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Leah Leah is offline
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Do you know what kind of originals you are likely to be getting? I would say if it is mostly conventional photographs from the twentieth century or the very end of the nineteenth then a scanner will be more useful. If you envision having to deal with tintypes or badly silvered photographs (or, it has to be said, those annoying textured papers from the 1970s) then a good camera/copystand/lighting setup would be better.

As Mike says, the best bet is to have both ...
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Old 08-27-2004, 01:06 PM
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Ed_L Ed_L is offline
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I have make duplicates by copying with a copy stand, and I have simply made scans of the image. My use of a copy stand ended almost entirely when I went digital. As has been suggested, there are things that can be done with a copy stand that can't easily be done with a scanner. But those problems don't come up often. If I had to do with only one or the other, I'd go with a good scanner. If you get an image you just can't scan well, you can always have it copied professionally. As Mike said, you'll have to take into consideration the limits of your camera if you work with a copy stand.

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Old 08-28-2004, 02:24 PM
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Chip Hildreth Chip Hildreth is offline
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You can do both. You don't need a copy stand to do copy work. The nice thing about a stand is that it helps you keep everything aligned so you don't wind up with a trapezoidal image. It's also good for keeping the lights in the right place so distribution is even... but you can manage those problems different ways, it's just a little more trouble.
When I shoot big originals I do it with a 4x5 camera and a long APO lens; that puts my camera about 12' feet away from the subject so I have to shoot horizontally. That gives me lots of space to back my lights off so a small error in positioning geometry is undetectable. I use a mirror positioned in the center of the original to align my camera and keep the film plane parallel with it... level the camera and the copyboard then center the lens in the mirror and everything's straight. You can improvise a setup like that when you need it and take it down when you don't. Polarized light is really handy for supressing reflections and revealing texture.
As for a scanner, it's kind of hard to do without one. I think you would do best to buy the as good a scanner as you can afford. It's just much easier to use. I'm lucky in that I have an Imacon film scanner so I can digitize a letter size original at 960dpi... it's better than shooting and digitizing 4x5 film. I use it, with predjudice, for any original that will fit; the only caveat is the original has to bend. I use a Nikon D1X for some special case stuff and 4x5 for everything else.

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