From paper to Sony - part 2
Part 1 was in my post Do-it-yourself repro v-cradle
1. Why a v-cradle and not a flat bed.
For two reasons: First, you cannot spread the books flat and if you do, the quality of reproduced pages will be compromised. It is especially important if you plan to OCR the book. Second, you avoid light reflections. You need only one lamp with a diffusor just over the v-cradle (picture attached). Lighting is the most difficult part of reproduction. Over the years, I have tried various setups with my semi-profesional Manfrotto repro stand and four lamps at 45 degree angle. It doesn't come close to an overhead lamp and v-cradle. Avoid any other light in the room or take everythig to your terrace and shoot at the sunlight with no artificial light.
2. Where to put the camera
On a tripod, at 90 degree angle to the book page. The camera and the tripod should be masked with a sheet of black cardboard to avoid reflections (picture attached). The best camera is black camera anyway. Same goes about tripod. I use now 8 and 10 megapixel cameras, but 5 megapixels are good enough for most A4 documents.
3. How to shoot fast
Quick and dirty: from hand (or tripod plus remote) if somebody turns the pages for you and keeps them flat (fingers may be visible at margins but you can erase them or the margins later). Takes less than 5 seconds per page.
Precise: from your laptop connected to the camera (My Canon Powershot Pro1 makes it easy - a picture attached). The camera can shoot automatically in regular intervals, so you need no help from your buddy. Takes up to 15 seconds to flatten the page with a glass weight, re-position the cradle if necessary, and shoot. About the same time is required per photo to download (USB 1.1) in a batch after the shooting session. Before shooting use a test page to fix the focus of the camera. Re-positioning of the cradle (rather than the camera), i.e. moving it closer to or further from the tripod, is necessary after shooting 20 or so pages if you do not want the opposite page to get into the picture (a viewfinder on a laptop screen is much better for positioning than using the one on the camera). Alternatively, you can place a black cardboard over the opposite page. Removing black margins aftewards is easy with proper software.
More to follow, if there is any interest.
Last edited by ereszet; 10-23-2007 at 02:02 PM.