FINGERPRINT: the toolbox

infrastructuur-fingerprint00021-1In a previous blogpost, we introduced the FINGERPRINT project. FINGERPRINT is an interdisciplinary collection and data management project on the exceptional collection of graphic works by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (ca. 1520-1569). It involves the collection and processing of a large amount of visual and material data. To obtain that visual data we have an extensive toolbox at our disposal: a high resolution medium format digital back, a motorized repro stand, a Nikon DSLR modified for multispectral imaging with a collection of multispectral filters, the RICH microdomes and much more. A brief overview.

Cambo Actus with Phase One digital back and Schneider-Kreuznach lenses

infrastructuur-fingerprint00020To capture high resolution images we are using a Cambo Actus view camera with a Phase One IQ180 medium format digital back (to be upgraded to the IQ1 100 in the near future), a Schneider-Kreuznach apo-digitar 4.0/80 and a Schneider-Kreuznach apo-digitar 5.6/120. Both lenses are mounted in Schneider electronic leaf shutters which can be controlled through software and allow for very fine exposure adjustments (1/10th of a stop). Because the Cambo Actus does not have a mirror like DSLR cameras, there is no risk of unsharpness due to the vibrations of the actuating mirror. Combined with the Schneider leaf shutters, renowned for their lack of vibration, this enables us to capture extremely sharp images with lots of fine detail and nuance.

Cambo RPS repro stand

Because the Phase One backs have such a high pixel count, the camera support needs to be extremely stable. Even the slightest instability would have adverse effects on image quality. For FINGERPRINT, we are using a Cambo RPS repro stand. The RPS stand features geared electronic movements, allowing for precise and reproducible setting of the camera height.

Novoflex CASTEL XQ II quick release

To attach the camera to the Cambo RPS, a Novoflex Castel XQ II is used. This might seem to be an unspectacular item, but it is critical for securely fastening the camera to the RPS stand. Again, any chance of vibration is to be avoided. Moreover, the Novoflex allows us to move the camera equipment parallel to the baseboard of the repro stand, thereby enabling us to image different parts of an engraving or a drawing without the need to move the artefact underneath the camera.

Modified Nikon D610


The visual data that is used for FINGERPRINT will not be limited to the visible spectrum. A Nikon D610 with a modified sensor makes it possible to capture images in the UV and near-infrared spectra. These multispectral images are a great tool, for example to distinguish between different types of ink or to study underdrawings. To control which wavelengths are captured, we use a set of Edmund Optics OD 4 10 nm bandpass filters. These filters transmit a very narrow band of the spectrum of light (10 nanometres wide), allowing us to collect a very precise set of visual data.

And of course the RICH microdomes:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s