couple of questions about scanning photos

Discussion in 'Photoshop Tutorials' started by Nidhal, Dec 29, 2004.

  1. Nidhal

    Nidhal Guest

    I'm scanning a bunch of family pics for storage on my computer. My main
    question is about DPI. I've been scanning the photos at 1200 DPI, because
    that is the maximum that my scanner will allow. It's a lot slower than if I
    scan at 600 DPI, but I've stuck with 1200 DPI because I want to retain the
    best quality possible. Anyway, I'm just looking for advice as to whether
    that is overkill or not. The photos I'm scanning are a pretty even split of
    color and black & white, should that matter. Also, some of the photos are
    4" x 6" or larger but the overwhelming majority are 3x5 or smaller. Anyhow,
    if there's an added benefit to scanning at 1200 DPI, I'll continue to do so.
    Just thought I'd ask for some advice. Thanks in advance for any help you
    can pass along.
     
    Nidhal, Dec 29, 2004
    #1
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  2. Nidhal

    Tiny Guest

    Don't know about the rest of the folks here, but I always scan photos that I
    intend to store long-term at the maximum DPI the scanner allows.

    I've been able to make almost perfect copies for my sister after her house
    fire last year from CD-R's that I had burned from her album scans.

    --
    Tiny
    =================================================
    The biggest troublemaker you'll probably ever have to deal with watches you
    shave his face in the mirror every morning.
    =================================================
     
    Tiny, Dec 29, 2004
    #2
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  3. Nidhal

    Michael 23 Guest

    it depends what you will use them for.
    unless you are doing drastic enlargements, 600 dpi is plenty.

    if you plan to reprint them at original size, 300 dpi would be good,
    600 is very high quality, and the difference between 600 and 1200
    would not be noticeable on most inkjet photo printers.

    however, if you ever plan to enlarge them, and you have the storage space,
    you might as well go for the max your scanner can handle.

    Michael Evangelista
    Southern Utah Web Design
    www.suwebs.com
     
    Michael 23, Dec 29, 2004
    #3
  4. Nidhal

    Donald Link Guest

    You must be getting hugh file sizes. What are you scanning them for?
    I would assume you want to either archive them or burn them to a DVD
    for viewing. I think the 1200 dpi is overkill. If you find any
    definitive awnser please post it.
     
    Donald Link, Dec 29, 2004
    #4
  5. Nidhal

    SpaceGirl Guest

    hehe. Have you any idea how LARGE a 2400dpi scnned TIFF file of a
    regular photo is? You dont get many of them on a CDR :)

    --


    x theSpaceGirl (miranda)

    # lead designer @ http://www.dhnewmedia.com #
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    SpaceGirl, Dec 29, 2004
    #5
  6. Rule of thumb:
    Always scan 1:1 at the highest *physical* resolution the scanner
    allows.

    If 1200 spi is the "maximum" of your scanner, check the scanner's
    documentation as to whether this is the *real* physical resolution or
    whether the scanners scans lower (e.g., at 600 spi) and has its
    software interpolate the results -- marketdroids *love* to announce
    their consumer grade scanners with "up to 9600 'dpi'" if they barely
    do 600 samples per inch (spi) physically...

    Then, in an image editing programme such as Photoshop, you will want
    to decide for yourself whether to store all the original data (for
    further processing at a later stage), perhaps in a compressed format
    such as LZW or the like, or whether to reduce the images to a
    manageable standard size both in terms of resolution and size (e.g.,
    down them to a standard picutre format at 300 ppi).

    If you have a DVD burner, it might be best to burn the original data
    to DVD and to store a manageable quick-view version of the images (in
    any format you might like, even JPEG) on CD.

    Helmut
     
    Helmut P. Einfalt, Dec 29, 2004
    #6
  7. Nidhal

    * Guest

    I'm scanning a bunch of family pics for storage on my computer. My main question is about DPI. I've been scanning the photos at 1200 DPI, because that is the maximum that my scanner will allow. It's a lot slower than if I scan at 600 DPI, but I've stuck with 1200 DPI because I want to retain the best quality possible. Anyway, I'm just looking for advice as to whether that is overkill or not. The photos I'm scanning are a pretty even split of color and black & white, should that matter. Also, some of the photos are 4" x 6" or larger but the overwhelming majority are 3x5 or smaller. Anyhow, if there's an added benefit to scanning at 1200 DPI, I'll continue to do so. Just thought I'd ask for some advice. Thanks in advance for any help you can pass along.


    What file format are you using to save these photos? Since you are scanning at 1,200 DPI, are you saving them as TIFF?
     
    *, Dec 29, 2004
    #7
  8. Nidhal

    jjs Guest

    You are doing the right thing. If the majority are 3x5" or smaller, then
    higher resolution is a good thing because you will have images that will
    print adequately at 4x the original size - if that's what you wish to do. If
    you want to make web images of them eventually, then you can resize
    automatically later.
     
    jjs, Dec 29, 2004
    #8
  9. Nidhal

    jjs Guest

    Sure. His pictures are mostly 3"x5", or about 3600x6000 pixels, maybe 22mb
    each, and depending upon how well they compress with RLE, he can store at
    least 30 pictures to a CDROM or 200 or so to a DVD.

    Of course he could save in JPEG at a much smaller 'resolution' and have
    crap. Is that what you recommend?
     
    jjs, Dec 29, 2004
    #9
  10. Nidhal

    jjs Guest

    Excellent point. (I was distracted by my current project which is scanning
    35mm transparencies.)
     
    jjs, Dec 29, 2004
    #10
  11. If you scan photos (meaning prints), anything higher than 600 dpi is
    just overkill. You get more pixels and more megabytes, but not more
    detail.
     
    Johan W. Elzenga, Dec 29, 2004
    #11
  12. Nidhal

    SpaceGirl Guest

    Not at all. Just scan at a lower resolution, unless space is unlimited.

    --


    x theSpaceGirl (miranda)

    # lead designer @ http://www.dhnewmedia.com #
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    SpaceGirl, Dec 29, 2004
    #12
  13. Nidhal

    jjs Guest

    His pictures are mostly 3"x5". If he wants to make good enlargements he has
    no choice but to scan with at least as many pixels as the (nominal) 300ppi
    of the target image size.
     
    jjs, Dec 29, 2004
    #13
  14. : I'm scanning a bunch of family pics for storage on my computer. My main
    : question is about DPI. I've been scanning the photos at 1200 DPI, because
    : that is the maximum that my scanner will allow. It's a lot slower than if
    I
    : scan at 600 DPI, but I've stuck with 1200 DPI because I want to retain the
    : best quality possible. Anyway, I'm just looking for advice as to whether
    : that is overkill or not. The photos I'm scanning are a pretty even split
    of
    : color and black & white, should that matter. Also, some of the photos are
    : 4" x 6" or larger but the overwhelming majority are 3x5 or smaller.
    Anyhow,
    : if there's an added benefit to scanning at 1200 DPI, I'll continue to do
    so.
    : Just thought I'd ask for some advice. Thanks in advance for any help you
    : can pass along.

    First check to see what the actual optical resolution of your printer is. If
    its
    600 x 600 and you're getting the extra resolution through interpolation then
    don't scan at the higher rate. Wait until you need the pics and use
    Photoshop
    or something else to enlarge.

    It used to be the rule to scan at 1 1/2 to 2 times the target resolution. I
    still go
    by that. Smaller pictures need more scanning power because the larger ones
    already are at a higher resolution in the real world.
     
    formerly known as 'cat arranger', Dec 29, 2004
    #14
  15. :
    : > Don't know about the rest of the folks here, but I always scan photos
    that I
    : > intend to store long-term at the maximum DPI the scanner allows.
    :
    : If you scan photos (meaning prints), anything higher than 600 dpi is
    : just overkill. You get more pixels and more megabytes, but not more
    : detail.
    :
    :
    : --
    : Johan W. Elzenga johan<<at>>johanfoto.nl
    : Editor / Photographer http://www.johanfoto.nl/

    Depends on the scanner, no?
     
    formerly known as 'cat arranger', Dec 29, 2004
    #15
  16. Nidhal

    SpaceGirl Guest

    Yeah. 600dpi would be good I think.

    --


    x theSpaceGirl (miranda)

    # lead designer @ http://www.dhnewmedia.com #
    # remove NO SPAM to email, or use form on website #
     
    SpaceGirl, Dec 30, 2004
    #16
  17. Nidhal

    Peadge Guest

    It may depend more on the original source of the photo. Was it a Kodak 110
    instamatic or a 35mm SLR?
    There is definitely a point of diminishing returns. Maybe try scanning the
    same small portion of one photo at different resolutions and see where the
    differences becomes insignificant.

    Peadge :)
     
    Peadge, Dec 30, 2004
    #17
  18. Nidhal

    Mike Russell Guest

    1200 ppi is probably not overkill for the 3x5's. They are contact prints
    that may contain a lot of detail. Enlarging hese images can be fun because
    no one has seen them at that size before.

    The run of the mill 4x6 snapshots are probably enlargements from the 60's
    and later. There is probably no benefit to scanning them at more than 300
    ppi. You can verify this for yourself by picking out one of the sharpest
    4x6's and scanning it at several resolutions. If the image looks blurry at
    300 ppi, there is no point going to a higher resolution.

    Save time and space by scanning your black and white images in grayscale,
    rather than going to a lower resolution. Storage is cheap, but if space is
    an issue, you will get more quality if you use jpeg compression rather than
    going to a lower ppi.

    If you haven't already, check out Wayne Fulton's www.scantips.com for good
    info on scanning issues.
     
    Mike Russell, Dec 30, 2004
    #18
  19. Nidhal

    Bob Williams Guest

    Wayne Fulton usually advises people to scan Prints at 300 dpi because
    commercial prints do not contain any more information than that. The
    paper on which prints are made does not have the fine grain that
    negatives and slides do. If you scan ordinary prints at any higher
    resolution you will just be getting a bigger file but no additional
    image information.
    If you want to enlarge the image (larger than the original) just
    resample it in photoshop or your photo editor.
    If you DEFINITELY do not want to make prints from the scanned image but
    only want to view it on a computer or TV screen, you could even get by
    with scanning your 3x5s at 200 dpi. That would give you a 600 x 1000
    pixel image, just about right if your computer monitor is set to display
    at 600 x 800 pixels.
    My recommendation is: Scan at 300 dpi and save the image in highest
    quality jpeg. Then burn the images to a CD. From there you can play the
    CD on your TV via a DVD player, create a slide show on your computer,
    or print enlargements on your inkjet.
    Bob Williams
     
    Bob Williams, Dec 30, 2004
    #19
  20. :
    : "formerly known as 'cat arranger'" <>
    wrote
    : in message : >
    : > : > :
    : > : > Don't know about the rest of the folks here, but I always scan
    photos
    : > that I
    : > : > intend to store long-term at the maximum DPI the scanner allows.
    : > :
    : > : If you scan photos (meaning prints), anything higher than 600 dpi is
    : > : just overkill. You get more pixels and more megabytes, but not more
    : > : detail.
    : > :
    : > :
    : > : --
    : > : Johan W. Elzenga johan<<at>>johanfoto.nl
    : > : Editor / Photographer http://www.johanfoto.nl/
    : >
    : > Depends on the scanner, no?
    : >
    : >
    :
    : It may depend more on the original source of the photo. Was it a Kodak 110
    : instamatic or a 35mm SLR?
    : There is definitely a point of diminishing returns. Maybe try scanning the
    : same small portion of one photo at different resolutions and see where the
    : differences becomes insignificant.
    :
    : Peadge :)

    That's probably the best suggestion; to experiment. : -)
    I do think though that the optical vs. interpolation is a
    factor than can be figured easily and makes a definite
    difference.
     
    formerly known as 'cat arranger', Dec 30, 2004
    #20
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