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Thread: Photographing through a mirror?

  1. #1

    Photographing through a mirror?

    Im trying to take a photo of a subject in a room which is too small - so i cannot get enough distance to get the picture the way i want it. I was wondering about the possibility of photographing through a mirror and by doing so increasing the distance between camera and subject.
    Does anyone of you have any experience with this. Would there be a noticable loss in quality? What kind of mirrors would be suitable?
    Id be glad about to hear any ideas or experiences you might have with this.

    Thanks! Dave

  2. #2
    Whatever David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Honolulu, Hawai'i

    Re: Photographing through a mirror?

    Unless you have a front-surface mirror, it's hard to avoid flare from the glass surface. I'd also be very careful to shade the mirror to avoid illuminating dust and imperfections on the mirror. Many interesting photographs have been made in ordinary mirrors, but then the artifacts of the mirror itself are part of the photograph.

  3. #3
    Jim Ewins
    Join Date
    Apr 2004

    Re: Photographing through a mirror?

    Photographng thru (toward) metalic mylar can produce plastic (distorted) images, By creating waves in the Mylar.

  4. #4

    Re: Photographing through a mirror?

    Thanks for your replies!
    I think the mylar is not interesting for my purpose, as im trying to get as less distortion as somehow possible.
    If i buy one of those expensive front surface mirrors, do you think the quality will be close to what it would be without using a mirror?

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Besanon, France

    Re: Photographing through a mirror?

    Hi !
    The kind of front surface mirror you need is a standard product on the catalog of many suppliers of optical compoents like Edmund optics, Melles Griot, etc..
    Sinar and Arca Swiss have such mirrors in their catalog but this is nothing but optical grade font surface mirror.

    Would there be a noticable loss in quality?
    Depends mostly on the flatness of the mirror.
    Now which grade/quality ? the flatnesss of a mirror is characterized by the number of optical wavelengths of the defects with respect to a perfectly plane mirror.
    ten wavelengths of flatness defects would be unacceptable in a laboratory interferometer but is perfect for photographic use.
    The last parameter is the minimum area of the mirror. The bigger, the more expensive for a given flatness tolerance. You should take the minimume size required to cover completely your field of view in front of your lens. This is easy to check on the ground glass.
    You can put the mirror anywhere but if you put it too far away in front of the lens, the mirror will have to be larger and larger hence more and more expensive.
    Probably a model around 4x4" (10x10cm) can be sufficient if located not too far from the lens.

    Edmund optics,among others, have such mirrors labeled 4-6 wave, they are very affordable.

    for example : size 5x7", thickness 1/4", flatness 4-6 wavelengths, USD 37.5 !! (whow !!I sure I need one )

    Good luck !!

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