How to coy artwork in detail

The most critical part of the reproduction process is copying original art. Without a good quality digital file, that has been corrected to match your original, the chances of a good reproduction are slim.

Here’s where we come to your rescue!

Copying original art is a skill like any other. Simply owning a ‘good camera’ does not make for good copies of your art. Our state of the art digital scanning camera, along with our many years of experience, turns copying original art into an art form itself. The best way to demonstrate the difference between what we do and what you can do yourself or have done by any other professional photographer is both visually and by the numbers.

Below are three common cameras, an iPhone 7 , a semi-professional 35mm Nikon DSLR, Our small camera the Sony A7RII and our custom-made German Art Copy Camera.

Every camera has a set number of pixels, arranged in a particular way so as to create a print of a particular size. The image below shows the difference in size from each of these cameras.

camera-comparison

 

Here’s how they compare…

iPhone 7 – 12megapixels – 36 x 24cm image.

Nikon D5600 – 24 megapixels – 50.8 x 33.8cm image

Sony A7RII – 42 megapixels – 67.3 x 44.9cm image

Our Pentacon – 1200 megapixels – 169 x 169cm.

You can see that there is a HUGE difference between even the best pro camera and ours – they simply do not come close to what we do. There are a lot of other technical reasons why the smaller cameras don’t do such a great job – ask us about them if you are interested.


There are so many aspects to copying art properly – here are just a few… correct colour controlled lighting, ICC calibrated camera software, ICC calibrated monitors for viewing the file, an excellent understanding of editing software and image handling. With so many variables you can understand why copying original art is not a point and shoot option.

The example shown here will give you an idea of the quality.
copying original art - David Hart sample
The original artwork was 60 x 90cm. We captured a file that could make a 100 x 150cm print without any enlargement of the file! The amazing detail you see here is at the full size of the file we created.

There is not a professional Digital SLR anywhere that can match this quality so don’t be led astray. If you have originals larger than A3, and you want reproductions larger than A3, you will not get the same high quality from anyone else that we can provide.

Digital Capture Pricing

We offer several options for copying original art so please feel free to contact us for more information.

  • Flatbed scanning for small works requiring small reproductions up to A4
  • Camera copy using a Sony 42 megapixel DSLR with state of the art lenses for small works requiring small reproductions up to A3
  • Pentacon 1200megapixel Scanning Camera for copying all types of artwork to achieve maximum printable quality and size possible

Capture options include…

  • Capture, Proof and File – You get the lot – digital capture, custom proofing (we supply a 30cm print for colour matching) and the full file in various formats.
  • Capture and File Only – If you don’t need any reproductions but need the file for other purposes then in this option we photograph/scan the art and provide a screen-matched file in several formats on USB
  • Discounts apply when you bring in more than 3 originals at a time.

Once we’ve copied your artwork, we will always supply you with a web-optimized version for promotional use. We also provide a pricing schedule that shows all the sizes available on both paper and canvas so you always have current printing prices at hand.

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Can you supply your own digital files? Yes you can, but be aware of the issues…

There are so many variables that can cause colour issues that makes photographing your own artwork a challenge. However the choice is yours and we will do our best with the files you supply us. Here are the ideal file specifications…

Basic Workflow and File Requirements –

  • Capture your original image in camera as a RAW file (NOT JPEG).
  • You must be working with a correctly calibrated monitor – they are not correct straight out of the box. We recommend you purchase the proper calibration equipment if you wish to prepare your own files.
  • Set Photoshop or Lightroom for the AdobeRGB 1998 colourspace
  • Open your image as a RAW file, adjust as necessary and save a MASTER FILE as a TIFF file.
  • Be sure your files are saved at 300ppi – incorrect PPI may result in incorrect print size if we don’t detect the error.
  • Don’t try enlarging your image beyond the capture size – leave that to us.

A typical day in the life of capturing art in all shapes and sizes. This piece by Scott Christensen is 4×1 metres which we capture using a complex process to ensure even lighting across the whole piece resulting in an exact copy of Chris’ work.

To learn about how we work with you Click Here.