An illuminator useful in illuminating an image bearing surface, comprising a flexible sheet emitter including an emitting layer, the emitting layer emits light. The sheet emitter has a first face and a second face opposite the first face, and is substantially transparent. The illuminator has a diffusely reflecting surface shaped to form an optical cavity. The emitter is disposed in the cavity with the first face facing the reflecting surface, the cavity extending along a longitudinal axis. In cross section, the reflecting surface having an aperture through which the light exits the cavity, and at least one rigid element extending in the direction of the longitudinal axis, the emitter being mechanically coupled to the at least one rigid element to facilitate directing of light from the emitting layer into the cavity and out of the aperture. The illuminator may be in a copier or printer.
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