Best camera/lens combo to shoot acrylic paintings in high res

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Mica03 New Member • Posts: 9
Best camera/lens combo to shoot acrylic paintings in high res

I am asking some buying advice for our iconography studio. We need to buy an appropriate camera and lens for basically one purpose: to shoot the best quality and highest resolution photos of the icons we paint, keeping in mind that we want to reproduce these paintings on high-end Epson printers (we can print up to 60" wide and 44' long!).

Some qualifiers:

1) Our budget is $5,000, for camera and lens

2) The camera does not need to do anything else beside this one task. Video would be fun, but it should not enter the equation. Of course, the camera must work with flash (a separate issue we will address later). A good viewfinder for manual focusing would also make sense.

3) Ideally, we would like to have a mid-range zoom lens (e.g., 25-60, 35mm equiv), with as flat a field of focus as possible. The subjects are all flat acrylic paintings (technically, Eastern Orthodox Icons), and the originals vary in size from 5" x 7" to 6' x 9' (yes, feet!).

4) Our studio is large enough that, if absolutely necessary, we could use a prime lens and always move the camera back and forth from the subject so the image fills the sensor. And our work flow is slow—on average no more than 25 subjects per month. Still, some zoom would be very convenient, if the lens was worthy. In all cases, of course, we want to fill the frame with the subject, with everything, from center to edge, being tack-sharp.

5) We don't know enough about pixel-shift technology and whether we should be getting that in our camera (though it makes sense). Obviously, our pictures will often have to be upsampled when printing in extra large sizes. (Adobe's new Super Resolution has also caught our eye, and we will be looking into that.) But it seems to make sense to get the most pixels possible right out of the camera at the start.

6) Of course, color quality is a concern, but we expect to get that with just about all serious options. With good studio lighting, we also don't think dynamic range is a primary concern.

TIA for any helpful thoughts!

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