I am trying to take pictures of large rugs. The rug size is about 10mx5m, and I'm planning to purchase Giga Pan EPIC Pro Robotic camera mount, and Canon 7D Mark II with Canon EF 50MM F/1.2L USM lens, since we need high quality images. We want to set up a studio to take giga-pixel quality images of the large rugs for museum conservation purposes

Could you please suggest the best way for mounting the camera to the ceiling, and any other recommendations for my camera/lens setup, and required lighting? It will be an indoor shoot. Just we want to setup a studio to shoot the large rugs.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Are you trying to create images beyond 20MP in resolution? Why the panorama mount? Also, why do you want to mount the camera to the ceiling rather than a tripod? \$\endgroup\$
    – dpollitt
    Commented Nov 30, 2014 at 15:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ Why did you decide on the 7D Mark II and 50mm f/1.2? They don't seem like the most obvious choices to me. \$\endgroup\$
    – Philip Kendall
    Commented Nov 30, 2014 at 16:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are the rugs too fragile or large (they are quite large) to hang from an available wall when photographing? Is photographing the rugs a way of keeping their images archived or is it primarily to aid conservationist who are working on the rugs? \$\endgroup\$
    – moorej
    Commented Dec 3, 2014 at 17:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ Additionally, I think you would probably get better answers by contacting a reputable museum and asking if you could speak or email with someone in their conservation department regarding this question. \$\endgroup\$
    – moorej
    Commented Dec 3, 2014 at 17:55

1 Answer 1


I elect not to answer your question.

Really, there are two questions: One in your title, "How do I setup my studio for shooting large rugs from the ceiling?" And the other, "Could you please suggest the best way for mounting the camera to the ceiling, ...".

What you ideally want
A flatbed scanner is what your ideal solution is. You have a planar surface that you want to capture in the most uniform lighting. Since that is what flatbed scanners were invented for, you'd want one of these. Problem, they don't exist that large. But remember, this is the ideal you strive for.

What you proposed
In your question you write that you have already decided on a camera, a lens, and a robotic camera mount.

  • Lens: You want to use a 50mm lens on a crop-sensor camera? Indoors? I'd suggest you calculate how far away you can put your camera and figure out what lens would get you the appropriate part of the carpet into the image. Also, about that f/1.2: Especially if you are shooting at an angle at the rug, you will never use it at 1.2 because everything will be out of focus. But if you are shooting at f/5.6 or f/8, you could get a much cheaper 50mm 1.8 (if 50mm you really want).
  • Camera: Why are you going for a high-end camera, when you don't need it? You should get the most basic one that still let's you control it via your GigaPan Panorama Head. My point is that in this instance you don't need fancy auto-focus, timelapse mode, high ISO, etc...
  • That robotic panorama head... It would work and automate the process for you. There should also be no problem in mounting it to the ceiling using a Manfroto Arm or something a bit stronger. But think about the flatbed scanner... You want to take images as orthogonally to the rug-plane as possible.

You haven't mentioned lighting. That is the most important! It is not necessary difficult but I'd almost start with this.

My suggestion

  1. Get 3 of the cheapest Canon Camera with a 50mm 1.8 Lens, or other prime lens (this depends on the room you are in). Attach them to the ceiling using a Manfroto Arm or something else. Tape the focal lens. Build your own cable trigger. Transfer the images automatically (Wi-Fi SD card or something else) to a computer. Set up your required image transformations once (the cameras don't move!). Hugin, autopano would be two free, open-source solutions, but others including Photoshop work, too. Also, add cheap flashes, ideally you want very uniform lighting.

By the way, I am not proposing putting the camera next each other. I am proposing putting them at different positions of the ceiling so that each can shoot straight downward!

  1. A tilt-shift lens would work, too. But the downside is that you have to do this manually. Also, you don't get higher resolution.
  • \$\begingroup\$ While the current setup is a DSLR, one might also want to look into an also ideal option of a large format camera and a scanning back. There is quite a bit more data to work with them and you can get the tilt/shift aspect for 'free'. Such a setup can be rented. Stitching and panoramic options would be less ideal than large format digital. \$\endgroup\$
    – user13451
    Commented Dec 6, 2014 at 21:07

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