o3h1p wrote:Is there anyway to get the ideal settings?
If your camera offers a custom white balance setting, you can use it with a white card to match your camera to your lights. If it doesn't, and you're using halogen lights, choose the tungsten setting.
Set up your scanner, camera, and lights with the book you're scanning. Put the camera in "manual" mode. If your camera has an f-stop that actually stops down instead of using neutral density filters, you may improve sharpness a bit by stopping down (using a larger f-stop number). If your camera uses neutral density filters, you should use the largest setting (smallest number, brightest image).
Set the zoom level of your cameras to frame the book at the same magnification in each one.
Focus the cameras. I recommend always using manual focus. On my camera, there is a manual focus button on the lens. I pick a page filled with text, press the shutter halfway to let auto focus focus the text (gives me a "green box" when it's happy), and push the manual focus button to lock in the setting.
Make sure your lights are evenly illuminating the book -- no obvious hot spots, no detectable gradient from dark to light. This will be more obvious to the camera than it is to you, so you may want to do this through the viewfinders. If you have external monitors attached to your cameras, all the better.
Now, with the f-stop you have chosen, vary the shutter speed until the text is clear and the page is as white as possible without washing out the text. If you like, you can take a few test shots -- five should be plenty -- bracketing the exposure. Run them all through Scan Tailor to see how the final product looks, and pick the best one. You may also want to verify how even your lighting is -- the more even it is, the better Scan Tailor will work. If your lights need to be adjusted, do that and repeat this paragraph until you're happy.
At this point, if your camera has the option, I like to "save settings". My camera has a "custom" mode in addition to "manual", and saving the settings means the zoom level, aperture, and shutter speed are now my new custom setting. If I need to take a break and turn the cameras off in the middle of a scan, everything comes back automatically when I turn them back on. If you don't have this, it's no big deal, you can either leave the cameras on when you take a break or take your breaks between books.
If your lighting and camera setup doesn't change, the only things you'll need to fiddle with from one book to the next is the zoom level and focus -- white balance, aperture, and shutter speed should be the same every time.