View Full Version : Document photography?

12-27-2005, 03:39 AM

I currently do not own a scanner but thought I could use my DSLR and tripod to digitalize my harcopy docs. Any tips on technique how to do in order to get non-disorted and readable documents.

- Flash/no-flash?
- How to flatten documents.
- Lights.
- Camera setting.

2nd Question, is photographing photos even worth to consider? Or is scanner the only option here. (Just curious and might try it out).

I am using 350D (XT) + Canon 17-85 lens (tripod with ballhead).

12-27-2005, 06:11 AM
I have photographed photographs with my digital camera (also slides). The scanner is easier. I believe I did use the flash (not with the slides). I may have photographed some documents. Just experiment. You have nothing to lose.

12-27-2005, 01:52 PM
I have photographed documents before, when they are too big for my scanner, and I am not satisfied with their quality.

It becomes quite a challenge getting documents photographed so that they look like a scan. There are too many factors that have an influence, where on a scanner I can throw in any document and get consistent results without much thought. I did spend some time setting my scanner as I like it, but now I almost never change it.

As for photos, I'm not sure. I think it is worth having a scanner for that as well.

By the way, when I did photograph a document, I had to turn the flash off. It put too much of a bright spot on the document.

You can probably experiment, as you know your own criteria and what I like or don't like may not matter to you.

Good luck.

Erik Malvick

12-27-2005, 02:30 PM
Scanning is much easier, I would suggest purchasing a scanner, you can probably get one for around $40.00 which would more than suffice for your needs. If you don't want to purchase a scanner, I would suggest the following:
1. 3 or 4 tungsten light's (one on each side of the paper)
2. Camera WB set to Custom or Tungsten (Or just shoot in Raw)
3. No flash
4. Stop down to about f/10 - f/12
5. Lowest ISO
6. Fast Shutter (1/50+)
7. Tripod