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Camera Notes: Pintype Insulators
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Dual Light-box Setup for Photographing Pintype Insulators Pictured is the setup used for photographing glass pintype insulators, devised by Shaun Kotlarsky (noted Hemingray specialist, see hemingray.net), and popularized by Carol McDougald (of Crown Jewels of the Wire fame):
  • Two color-correct light boxes are used (5,000°K, 90-92 CRI), one horizontal for bottom-lighting, one vertical for back-lighting. These should be the only light sources in the room!
  • Insulator placed on the horizontal box toward the back where the backlighting is strongest.
  • Lens height at the centerline of the insulator. All shots were taken using the tabletop tripod shown, so the height was actually fixed for all insulators.
  • Lens to insulator distance at least 2', and further back for larger insulators (to reduce distortion). Note: for maximum flatness and squareness (least distortion), set the camera on maximum zoom, then retreat as needed in order to frame the insulator. At full zoom, a tripod will be required!
  • Aperture f 3.5, speed 1/100.
  • As always, use a self-timer and tripod: hands off the camera when it shoots.
Camera is an Olympus C-700 (which took this pic; stunt camera shown), chosen mostly for its 10× optical zoom (which enables pics like this of hardware in the air).