Better Light Pano Head in action.

BetterLight digital rollout camera for Mayan vase iconography rollouts.This precise variable speed turntable is not limited to a meager number of preset speeds. Instead, this quality instrument turns at exactly the perfect speed which is calculated by the Better Light turntable mode software. This same pano head can do rollouts and seamless panoramas.

5th century Tiquisate cylindrical tripod pot courtesy of the Museo Popol Vuh, Universidad Francisco Marroquin, Guatemala City.

If you would like hands-on experience with this camera system, come to one of our field programs in Mexico, Belize, Honduras, or Guatemala. Or we can bring the equipment to your home town for a personal demonstration. The equipment is fully portable.

Or, if you would like to photograph Maya antiquities, we have special Maya archaeology programs.

No previous experience is necessary, since it is the job of Professor Hellmuth to help you learn how to use this digital equipment.

Tripod by Ries; tripod head by Manfrotto. Lights by Videssence and Lowel, bulbs courtesy of BulbMan.

Precision is critical for rollout photography.

Mayan vase rollout digital rollout camera systemTwo decades ago, rollout cameras were sort of handmade devices. Rotational speed was calculated by trial and error. Unfortunately, many of the errors got cemented in print, rollouts that clearly spun to fast, or way too slowly. You can see the distortion quite obviously. Even today, articles occasionally appear showing how to create your own rollout system (some even tell you how to twirl the film a little faster with your hand!). Others have hand wind cranks.

This Better Light system is new from the ground up. It is not an improvement on earlier systems, it is developed entirely independently, so is not hobbled by legacy of outdated methods.

The grid paper reveals that the rollouts are precise. In an old-fashioned rollout the squares will turn into an oblong, horizontal (if compressed) or vertical (if turned too fast). With the Better Light system the millimeter squares are actually square in shape.

Informative view of the entire studio with all the equipment used to produce turntable rollouts of ancient art.



Last updated March 16, 1999.
E dited Aug. 5, 2001.Design updated July 9, 2008.