flatbed slide scans vs digital cameras

Discussion in 'Scanners' started by Paul Gilsdorf, Sep 12, 2003.

  1. How does the quality of a scanned slide compare to an image straight
    out of a digital camera? I'm considering getting an Epson Perfection
    3170 (3200x6400 dpi) and using it to scan 35mm slides & negatives.
    I'd use the scanned files for on-screen images, but also possibly to
    clean up in PhotoShop and print out as 8x10's from a photo inkjet
    printer.

    Also, how much in terms of color, dynamic range, etc, is lost when
    scanning a slide or negative? For new pictures, is it just better to
    use a digital camera if the image is to be manipulated on a computer
    for later printing?

    Thsnks.
     
    Paul Gilsdorf, Sep 12, 2003
    #1
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  2. Paul Gilsdorf

    Mike G. Guest

    Hi Paul,

    Just found your post. My comments are based on what my eye percieves,
    not on a lot of specs.

    First, if you are going to be capturing a new image, I would say
    definitely go with a quality digital camera. You will get a very good
    result right from the camera. If you want to tweak it later, you
    certainly can do that, but mostly it is not needed.

    On the other hand, if you have a large library of existing
    slides/negatives, the scanner is workable, in my opinion, for very
    acceptable 8x10 prints, maybe larger (don't have a wide-carriage photo
    printer, so don't know for sure). Generally, you can scan them fairly
    low res for on-screen viewing, and with a couple of quick adjustments to
    levels and color balance, have a good slide show. I find that it is
    easier to make the adjustments after the scan since the tools available
    (Photoshop, etc.) are much more powerful and capable than the scanner
    drivers.

    However, if you want to do 8x10 prints, plan on investing major time.
    My experience is about 2-3 hours of touching up before a decent
    printable photo resulted. Typical sequence after the scan is: crop,
    clean (dust specs), adjust levels, adjust color, adjust brightness &
    saturation, blur grain (often needed in cloudless blue skies), unsharp
    mask (sharpen), and sometimes other things depending on the shot.

    So there's just a lot more screwing around to get the result off of
    film. Since I have in excess of 40 years of photo negs that I want to
    digitize, I do what I have to.

    If you would like, I could send you some examples of 'as scanned' and
    'as doctored' images (tiff format, or I could convert), as well as some
    digital shots (jpg format)from a Sony DSC F-707, unedited. Then you
    could judge for yourself. Do you have either broadband or a lot of time
    to download? The files are generally pretty big.

    Hope this helps,
    Mike
     
    Mike G., Sep 19, 2003
    #2
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  3. Paul Gilsdorf

    Mike G. Guest

    Amen to "too much time with the clone tool." OTOH, where would we be
    without it? Mixed blessing, I guess.

    I agree with your comments about Digital ICE and FARE. They work great,
    but they require a scanner with infrared pass capability, which I
    think eliminates the flatbed Epson 3170 Paul was asking about. However,
    this is a major reason (among several) that after my first batch of
    scans on my flatbed, I now have a Minolta SE 5400 film scanner.

    I have recently heard about a free software based dust removal routine,
    available on the Polaroid website. Since I now have an IR capable
    scanner, I haven't bothered to try it, but several posters have said it
    works pretty well, though not as well as ICE or FARE.

    And yes, you are absolutely right about the things you need to do to
    keep as much dust out of the process as you can.

    Happy Scanning!
     
    Mike G., Sep 20, 2003
    #3
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