Autofocus often doesnít work well on artwork, since there may not be enough contrast to focus on, and I donít want to reposition my camera to focus. I usually place a coin or other object on the original to focus on and focus by eye when I use the macro lens. I can check my focus on the computer.
Of course, when I am using a film camera it is a little easier to focus, since the viewfinder is designed for manual focus. One of the other problems with focus is that I have to stand on a stepladder to focus. I wouldnít have to do that if I shot the original mounted on a wall, but it is much harder to get the sensor parallel to the original!
The key to doing good copy work is to have enough respect for the original to want to do a good job, and to be careful with the work.
About Author / Instructor / Photographer, John H. Siskin
In addition, he teaches studio lighting black and white photography at Los Angeles Mission College. His studio is in Reseda California and more of his work can be seen at www.siskinphoto.com
His work has been part of many exhibits. His photographs have been shown at the Brand Library, 2nd City Art Gallery, Haroldís Gallery, Farmani Gallery, and The Atelier. He has been a participant in the Valley Studio Tour several times.
John has published quite a number of technical articles about photography. His articles have appeared in Photo Techniques, View Camera, Studio Photography and others. He has written about photographic lighting, building lenses, framing, photographic lab work, building cameras, as well as some more speculative photographic subjects. Since he is so well versed in photographic subjects, he is often hired as a consultant by businesses.