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Photography Question 
Bill Griggs
 

Best Lens to Capture Art?


I have a Nikon D70 and I would like to know the best recommended type of lens to use for photographing fine art for reproduction. I'd be looking for very little distortion, clarity, sharpness and fine detail. Most images would be shot between 2' and 15' from the camera.


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5/21/2008 5:51:53 PM

 
John H. Siskin
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John-Siskin.com
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  Hi Bill,
I have an article here about lighting art copy work, and you can see it at: www.betterphoto.com/article.asp?id=170. The best lens for copy work is a macro lens, like the Micro Nikkor 60mm. The key is to get a fixed focal length lens, not something that has as many functions as a Swiss army knife and also does macro. Thanks, John Siskin


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5/21/2008 6:03:33 PM

 
W.   
Ideally you want to minimize perspective distortion. That dictates stepping back as far as possible and using a focal length as long as possible. Obviously, a tripod is a no-brainer. As is a bubble level. Lighting is next... You have only started, Bill!
Not so long ago this was the preserve of large-format photographers with bellows cameras that were tiltable along 3 axes (what is the plural of 'axis'?). And their stunningly magnificent very large size prints have yet to be matched by anything digital!
Have fun!


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5/21/2008 6:14:41 PM

 
John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John-Siskin.com
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
  View cameras are the best! John Siskin


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5/21/2008 6:17:45 PM

 
W.   
So, on balance, perhaps the Rodenstock 210mm f/5.6 Caltar II-N is the best lens to capture art.

Unless it's Christo's, of course...


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5/21/2008 9:13:28 PM

 
John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John-Siskin.com
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
  Hi W.S.
One of the apochromats or the process lenses, like the Artars or the Fujinon A Series might be better as they have a flatter field and better color correction. Also they are optimized for a closer distance. But you would need a Calumet Betterlight back or film to make use of such a lens. Thanks, John Siskin


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5/21/2008 9:22:54 PM

 
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