The market for this new generation of copy stand is considerable. Every museum in the world which has paintings, drawings, or any kind of flat artwork needs a system to record this flat work without distortion.

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The name of tti appears wherever people write about top quality reprographic stands for holding large format scan back systems.

These are large format digital cameras such as PhaseOne, BetterLight, Jobo, Anagramm, and comparable. The difference is that with the tti system these scan backs are mounted on a repro-camera system as a copy stand.

If you attempt to perch your large format camera on a tripod and photograph your flat work on a wall, you have all kinds of problems.

  • First, how can you be sure you are directly in front of the art on the wall (if not, you get distortion and one side of your image is out of focus).
  • Second problem is how can you affix your valuable image to the wall. You don't want staple holes in your image.

With the tti+digital scan back your camera is always precisely above the object. Both are parallel to each other (this is why you don't want some rinky dink copy stand).
Be sure to avoid the $500 copy stands, they are insecure.

Parrot Digigraphic
Parrot Digigraphic copy stand

FLAAR is interested in an overhead scanning system for several purposes. First, we wish to photograph all the polychrome 8th century ceramic plates in the Popol Vuh Museum. If you attempt to use a camera on a tripod you have to tilt the plates against a wall...the plates tend to slide (after all, they are round). Or the plates simply roll off the photo table (and crash to the floor). Second, with the plate tilted against the wall there is never anyway to assure the plate is parallel to the film plane. I have been Jerry-rigging photographs like this for years, and I can come rather close, but the tti repro stand is the only way to do perfectly-parallel photography of these plates.

The third reason why FLAAR is interested is to record the collection of indigenous textiles in Guatemala. The weaving is elaborately decorated. Most flatbed scanners can't handle deep relief well (the Fuji and Heidelberg Linoscan equipment being a pleasant exception). But even scanners that can capture deep relief and even 3-D objects, its hard to light them when the object (in this case the textile) is covering the top of the scanner.

Basically every museum needs a reprographic stand scan-back system.
Even when you don't have Maya plates or textiles your museum will surely have many objects that can better be recorded with an overhead system than with either a flatbed or a tripod-based camera system. Of course large museums will need one of each. At the Popol Vuh Museum we already have flatbed scanners (courtesy of Heidelberg) and already have tripod-based camera systems (courtesy of most of the tripod and camera manufacturers). But so far the repro stands that are sold by most camera stores are too flimsy. Thus it was a relief to see the tti repro stand system. You can use it with PhaseOne, BetterLight, Jobo, or any of the scan backs. We happen to prefer BetterLight but all these scan backs are of professional quality.

FLAAR does not have a tti stand but a Cruse system is being installed this August. The difference is that the Cruse is a dedicated turnkey reprographic system and has synchron lighting. Because the synchron lighting is patented, no other reprographic system offers it. The Cruse system is pictured on

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Copy stand / reprographic system


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This page added December 28, 2000 based on inspection of tti stands at PhotoEast trade show, last checked by webdesigner Mar. 1, 2002
Most recent updated November 04, 2004, redesigned January 2004
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