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Thread: Nex for copying documents?

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    Senior Member stephengilbert's Avatar
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    Nex for copying documents?

    I posted this in the 4/3 forum, but someone suggested the Nex 5 (with macro lens), so I thought I'd try here as well:

    Can anyone suggest a solution for a friend who wants to copy old documents?

    She wants copy copy old diplomas and other records in order to preserve the data on them, but doesn't need a very high quality image of the documents. They're in libraries and such, where copy stands and high tech gear would be forbidden.

    Is the the Nex 5 a camera that would work for this sort of project? With a macro lens?

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    Re: Nex for copying documents?

    Quote Originally Posted by stephengilbert View Post
    I posted this in the 4/3 forum, but someone suggested the Nex 5 (with macro lens), so I thought I'd try here as well:

    Can anyone suggest a solution for a friend who wants to copy old documents?

    She wants copy copy old diplomas and other records in order to preserve the data on them, but doesn't need a very high quality image of the documents. They're in libraries and such, where copy stands and high tech gear would be forbidden.

    Is the the Nex 5 a camera that would work for this sort of project? With a macro lens?
    Any digital camera with a suitable flat-field lens capable of close focusing will do fine. You only need 150-200 ppi in the final image to make a perfectly good print of a document, which means a 2-3 Mpixel camera is sufficient for most simple copy work.

    I copy documents all the time, and have been for years, using a cheap copy stand and a macro lens. You want a relatively short focal length (a normal lens focal length for whatever format works fine) for flat documents so you don't have to work at too great a distance from the subject ... I have used the Olympus ZD 35mm f/3.5 Macro lens with FourThirds SLR and Micro-FourThirds bodies, the Panasonic/Leica 45mm f/2.8 Macro with the Panny G1, a Pentax A50/2.8 Macro or A50/1.7 with the *ist DS and K10D, the A12 50mm f/2.5 Macro camera unit with the GXR, etc etc.

    More important than which combination of body and lens is a copy stand, critical focusing, and the ability to control the evenness of illumination for the size of the document. Generally speaking, for white paper, use aperture priority with ambient light and set the exposure compensation to about +1-+1.5 EV (depends on the specific camera's metering calibration) so that you don't underexpose.

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    Re: Nex for copying documents?

    Here is the Ultimate NEX rig for copy work:

    Attachment 51139
    Carlos Echenique | Carlos Echenique Photography |Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II | Olympus Pen-F - M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS, M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO

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    Re: Nex for copying documents?

    To be honest, keeping the camera square to the document is going to be your biggest issue if you can't use a copy stand. Without a copy stand you're going to have big difficulties with focus and focus fall off, lighting fall off and the ability to keep the camera steady at the shutter speeds required for indoor natural light photography.
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    Re: Nex for copying documents?

    While wearing my inspectors hat at work, in lieu of a copy machine, I use my cell phone for this all the time in the field. It works just fine. The nex will work with no problems.
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    Re: Nex for copying documents?

    Quote Originally Posted by stephengilbert View Post
    Is the the Nex 5 a camera that would work for this sort of project? With a macro lens?
    I would have thought a little NEX-C3 plus the 30/3.5 macro would be just about ideal.

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    Re: Nex for copying documents?

    Make no theatre!

    You can use EVERY camera for copying documents!

    ... some people will tell you: You need a golden Leica M9 ... don't believe them!

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    Re: Nex for copying documents?

    I used the NEX 5 and the copy stand with the Sony NEX Macro 30mm lens and it works great. I also used the golden Leica M9 and the results were superior to my Sony NEX 5. However, it is not art works so the NEX 5 is still over killed.

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