First, I must admit upfront that I have already abused this fine forum. Last month I sought help on trying to decide as between a Panasonic and a Sony for my first digital purchase. I received outstanding suggestions, and should, therefore, by now, have made my purchase -- I have not.
So to those who took the time to help me out, please don't feel that I have ignored your advice, but as it turns out, it may be that instead of trying to preserve my investment in old glass, I would be better advised to simply start anew.
But that is just background/context, not the issue here. Here the issue is that on this coming 70 day cross-country trip, the primary purpose of which is to spend most of my time in libraries, finally getting to the Library of Congress and the National Archives, I have just been advised that NARA does not have the state of the art scanning instruments that are found elsewhere. Two folks have suggested that capturing manuscript content by digital photo may be the best that one can do.
If anyone using this forum has specific experience in making copies of documents from NARA or the LoC, recommendations based on those experiences would be very much appreciated, but is not expected. What I am seeking is advice on lenses for the job. As I don't have a lot to spend, I have to consider trying to get all of my requirements -- landscape, portrait and now manuscript in a single, moderately priced system.
So, question number 1, does anyone know if you can work at the 16-24 inch distance with any attachment to something like the Panasonic FZ150 super-zoom? [Avoidance of barrel distortion, if I am even naming the right distortion, is desirable, because after edits, I will hope to get some OCR recognition.]
Or, if I go with a m4/3 -- probably Pany GF3 -- or the Sony Nex-5n, does anyone have recommendations for an interchangeable macro lens. In that case, since it will stretch my budget, I would like a macro-zoom lens that is very good for something other than this more-or-less-one-time requirement to handle manuscripts.