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Camera Notes: Prism Tiles
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Camera Notes
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This is the setup for photographing prism tiles. It uses the same trick used to check glass flatness: observe a reflection in it.

Dual Light-Box Setup for Prism Tile Photography When trying to determine if old window glass is rolled (the early stuff) or float (the boring modern stuff), it's easier to distinguish them by looking at a reflection in the glass, rather than by looking at something through it. The distortion is much more obvious in a "bad mirror" than in slightly wavy glass, try yourself and see.

Since a tile's front is mainly flat, the same trick is used: look at a reflection of something in it. This method also makes raised surface features stand out: embossing is easy to read and patterns are clearly visible over their entire area.
  • A light box is suspended upside-down above the tile.
  • Background is a piece of black velvet; anything neutral colored and light-absorbing would do, but always use the same thing.
  • The camera looks down at the tile, at the reflection of the white-lit surface of the light box.
  • Camera is clamped to shelf with a Clamper-Pod [defunct]; I couldn't get a tripod in the right position.
  • Aperture, f 3.5, speed 1/50
  • As always, use a self-timer: hands off the camera when it shoots.

Bat-Eared Fox