Film scanning newbie

Discussion in 'Photography' started by richardsfault, Apr 28, 2004.

  1. Has anyone else used the HP-3970 for negative/slide scanning?

    It seems to deliver good results, but the process is very time
    consuming.

    It is my understanding that a lower-cost scanner like this, at a
    moderate DPI setting (200 to 600), can deliver results as good as a
    more expensive one, but it will take longer and offer less automation
    such as multple feeds.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Some people claim that there's a woman to blame,but I think it's all...

    Richard's fault!

    Visit the Sounds of the cul-de-sac @ www.richardsfault.com
     
    richardsfault, Apr 28, 2004
    #1
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  2. richardsfault

    D.R. Guest

    Film scanners tend to scan at 2400dpi and up.
    A couple of cheapies scan at 1800dpi, but most
    now are aiming at 4000dpi and higher. Don't
    expect great film scans from a flatbed.

    I managed to score an HP Photosmart S20 dirt
    cheap recently, which scans negs at 2400dpi.
    Not as good as a Nikon but was a fraction of
    the price (US$65 s/h). Doesn't auto remove
    dust though which can be a pain.

    Others looking for cheap options may consider
    Minolta Dimage scanners or 2nd hand Nikons.
     
    D.R., Apr 28, 2004
    #2
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  3. richardsfault

    D.R. Guest

    D.R., Apr 28, 2004
    #3
  4. Here is a 600 DPI scan of a 22 year-old Kodachrome slide made on the
    HP-3970C:

    http://www.richardsfault.com/images/

    It is 2394x1614 in resolution and 2.5 MB in size.

    300 DPI produces more manageable-sized pictures, and 200 DPI yields
    800x600 images that I use on my website.

    Would 2400 DPI be several times larger, or is there more to it than
    that, or would it pack more detail into the same file size?

    Supposedly this scanner is capable of 2400 DPI true optical
    resolution, but the resulting file would be unmanageable.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Some people claim that there's a woman to blame,but I think it's all...

    Richard's fault!

    Visit the Sounds of the cul-de-sac @ www.richardsfault.com
     
    richardsfault, Apr 29, 2004
    #4
  5. richardsfault

    Jud McCranie Guest

    Since that is 2394x1614 from a slide, you must be scanning at
    something around 2300 DPI (perhaps 2400). The 300 DPI and 200 DPI
    must be printer resolutions.
     
    Jud McCranie, Apr 29, 2004
    #5
  6. richardsfault

    RSD99 Guest

    "richardsfault" posted
    "...
    Here is a 600 DPI scan
    ...."

    And then "Jud McCranie" posted:
    "... Since that is 2394x1614 from a slide, you must be scanning at
    something around 2300 DPI (perhaps 2400).
    ...."

    I think that you've both got it slightly wrong (which is understandable)

    Let's see ... the "short" dimension of a 35 mm frame is roughly 24 mm.

    That's roughly 0.945"

    Now if that is 1614 pixels, then you are scanning at roughly 1700 pixels-per-inch at the
    *film* for the short dimension.

    Now to "check" ..

    The long dimension of a 35 mm frame is roughly 35 mm.

    That's roughly 1.429"

    Now if that is 2394 pixels, then you are scanning at roughly 1675 pixels-per-inch at the
    *film* for the long dimension.

    Therefore, it would probably be "safe" to assume that the scanner is scanning at something
    like 1650 to 1700 pixels per inch.
     
    RSD99, Apr 29, 2004
    #6
  7. richardsfault

    Jud McCranie Guest

    I made a mistake - I was looking at the higher number, thinking it was
    the shorter dimension. But at least it is a lot better than 200 or
    300 DPI.
     
    Jud McCranie, Apr 29, 2004
    #7
  8. Am I confusing "DPI" with "PPI"?

    I am pretty sure the scanner setting was 600 DPI.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Some people claim that there's a woman to blame,but I think it's all...

    Richard's fault!

    Visit the Sounds of the cul-de-sac @ www.richardsfault.com
     
    richardsfault, Apr 29, 2004
    #8
  9. richardsfault

    D.R. Guest

    The higher the DPI, the more detail, usually.
    This is, if there is detail to be obtained
    and also dependant on scanner quality. Some
    dedicated film scanners scan the image 2, 3,
    4, etc, times to try to resolve the darker
    areas on the image better.

    A dedicated film scanner should be much faster
    at scanning, and the better ones have auto
    dust removal which can save alot on clone
    -tooling in PhotoShop/PaintShopPro.
     
    D.R., Apr 29, 2004
    #9
  10. richardsfault

    rsh Guest

    Yes, you are confused, and also being slightly mislead.

    1. You need to scan at as great a ppi as at all possible IF you want detail
    from the negative or slide. 4000 ppi or 4000 dpi is effectively the same and
    gives more detail than 2700 ppi, which gives more detail that 1800 ppi and so
    on. The more points or dots per inch of film scanned, the more detail you
    should capture. But there are some gotyahs!

    2. Density counts. A film with a big variation in the density of the exposure
    between where it was bright and where it was dark requires some form of
    compromise on your part. The scanner has a RANGE it can accommodate, and in
    the image is outside that range, you need to decide which way YOU go. You can
    either select to get more out of the darker, shadow, areas of the slide or
    negative or more out of the highlight areas. [Or do two scans and blend them
    in photoshop or paint shop pro, etc.]

    3. Automated dust removal or other digital ice features depend on color film.
    These do NOT work for older black and white slides or negatives, since the
    4th layer that the scanner depends on is not there in these negatives or
    slides.

    4. It will take time and if you are lucky you will be able to do about 10-15
    slides in an hour IF you have enough hard drive space and are doing a manual
    check of each before you do a final scan. That is with a dedicated film
    scanner. A flat bed scanner with an attachment will usually do worse. As the
    number of ppi increases, the number of slides you can scan and work with
    DECREASES and each becomes larger and larger and takes more and more RAM. A
    scan at 4000 ppi is 4 times as large as a scan at 2000 ppi as you are
    multiplying BOTH dimensions by 2. 2 times 2 is 4! If you do not have enough
    RAM and the scans swap to hard drive, you will find it taking a LONNNNGGGGG
    time.

    5. If you really want to do a good scan and keep it you need to save as a TIF
    file and NOT as a JPG. JPG is a format that blends close color's and loses
    information - that is how it saves space and makes a smaller file. TIF has a
    form of compression that will help, over saving as a BMP, which does not have
    compression. Both save every bit of color information on a pixel by pixel
    basis.

    6. For a web site, it may not matter, but if you ever tried to print out one
    of your scans at 5*7 or 8*10 you will quickly see the differences that
    various scan choices present. Scan your slide, and in Tiffanies convert to
    grayscale and then print on a black and white laser printer. Look at the
    image and see if it has pix elated, etc. If you can live with that image at
    that size, all is well. If you cannot and think it is too blocky, you need to
    scan on equipment that will produce a bigger file save when you save it so
    that the file has more detail and more information in it. The choice is
    yours.

    7. There is NO flatbed scanner that will do as good a job as a dedicated film
    scanner for either 35mm or APS films, and I would suggest you will go close
    to bankruptcy for a good flatbed that will do a nice job with 127 or 120 or
    620 film too. A good scan requires a scanner capable of at least 2400 ppi
    and I would suggest that 4000 ppi or more is even better. The SAVE problem
    can be addressed by using CR-RW for the scans and then working from them via
    your CD so that you do not fill up your hard drive.

    RSH

    ========================================================================

    Filmscan - Toronto, ON, Canada
    =======================================================
    Slides and Negatives Scanned
    <>
    http://webhome.idirect.com/~rsh/
    Copyright retained.
    If this is illegal where you are, do not read it!
     
    rsh, May 2, 2004
    #10
  11. richardsfault

    rsh Guest

    Forgot one gotcha... The effective resolution of the film itself matters too.
    Some films did not have an effective resolution of much beyond about 3000
    ppi. If that is the case, scanning at 4000 ppi simply gives you more grain in
    the resulting scan, instead of more detail, when compared to a 2700 or 2800
    ppi scan. If the film is a grainy film, more ppi is NOT very useful unless
    you are prepared to 'blur' the end result to get rid of the grain.

    FWIW...

    Filmscan

    ----------------------------

    Filmscan - Toronto, ON, Canada
    =======================================================
    Slides and Negatives Scanned
    <>
    http://webhome.idirect.com/~rsh/
    Copyright retained.
    If this is illegal where you are, do not read it!
     
    rsh, May 23, 2004
    #11
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