Good Film Scanner a replacement...: revisited

Discussion in 'Scanners' started by Indiana Jones, Aug 1, 2003.

  1. Ok, so I cant afford a "good" film scanner.

    In my budget it seems that Minolta Dimage Dual Scan III (at $500 cdn) offers
    decent quality for the dollar.
    So lets assume I choose that scanner.

    1. Since I intend on doing levels and curves in Photoshop, is it worth
    buying kodak royal gold, fuji porta etc? or should I save money by using
    cheaper generic films (Fuji Superia, Presidents Choice or Kodak Gold), and
    adjusting myself. Will it cause more headaches later with color
    correction/adjustment than is worth to save money on "high quality" film?

    2. Once I have my files scanned, and into photoshop, do I reduce the dpi of
    the scan to match the output of the photolab equipment that will be printing
    the files? (ie, so i should scan at max resolution, do all levels curves,
    then save down to a smaller dpi as the final step?)

    What tips in general are there for getting the highest quality prints from
    the photolab from digital files?

    Someone mentioned that I should find a lab with digital equipment (a Fuji

    Any other suggestions?

    Thanks again,

    Indiana Jones, Aug 1, 2003
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  2. Indiana Jones

    Rafe B. Guest

    Use quality film. What's the point of using cheap film?
    If your photos have meaning for you, then spend a few
    cents more to get good film. Buy if in bulk from a pro
    photo store (eg BH in NYC) and it'll cost far less than
    the cheap stuff at WalMart.
    Scan at max resolution. Scanning takes time (as you will
    discover) and there's no point not grabbing all the detail
    and information that you can from the film.

    If your computer or hard drive don't have the capacity to
    process the resulting files, then you will need to upgrade.

    rafe b.
    Rafe B., Aug 1, 2003
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  3. The grain on the Golds is so bad in fact that I don't see much reason
    for scanning at the nikon IV's full 2900dpi resolution, nevermind with
    a 4000dpi unit.

    A good scanner will not make up for bad negatives. That's like trying
    to make great wine with mediocre grapes. Only weapon is marketing
    (dmax of 4.8!).
    Jason O'Rourke, Aug 1, 2003
  4. Indiana Jones

    Rafe B. Guest

    A roll of Fuji Reala costs half as much from BH as it does
    from any of the local ripoff camera shops. And that's if
    you can even find Reala locally. My latest BH catalog
    shows Reala selling for $2.79 per 36 exposure roll.

    No problem; I just wanted to make sure you understood some
    of the file size and processing issues that come from scanning
    film at 2700 or 4000 dpi.

    Always save the raw scan as it comes from the scanner, and
    archive it. Save your work in Photoshop along the way to the
    "final" version. Downsampling (or upsampling) for print should
    be one of the very last steps, if not the very last step, before

    For final print resolution, 300 is a good round number for almost
    any modern print technology.

    rafe b.
    Rafe B., Aug 1, 2003
  5. The grain of Gold 100 is very fine. I think that scaling down a 4000 ppi
    scan from an LS-4000 to 2900 ppi will give a better image than a
    2900 ppi scan on an LS-40. There is a good chance that the new Minolta
    or a drum scanner will be even better.
    I think it is possible to make a nice and clean 6 Mpixel image from a
    good Gold 100 scan.

    Philip Homburg
    Philip Homburg, Aug 1, 2003
  6. Indiana Jones

    Alan Browne Guest

    It is a good film scanner. You can expect a real Dmax of around 3 and a
    resolution of 2800. Not bad at all. an 11 Mpix full frame camera.

    My first piece of advice is Photoshop LE will not be enough. You need
    to get the pro version of PS to extract all that your scanner can give.
    LE is crippled and limited to 8 bits per channel.

    My second piece of advice is that the Minolta s/w is not terribly good
    at negatives. VueScan is (hamrick software). On the other hand, the
    Minolta s/w does very well with slides.
    Another s/w package with a very good rep is SilverFast.
    The Scan III IS a good film scanner.

    It may seem odd to you, but Fuji Superia and Kodak Gold are not bad
    films at all. The Kodak Gold 100 scans quite well too. Films like
    Presidents Choice you have no real idea where they come from. Could be
    Konica and Konica make some very good negative films. Even Kodak Max
    scans very easily.

    Consider Portra 160NC and VC as negatives that are very easy to scan.
    I've ssen blurbs about Superia/Reala being hard to scan, but I've never
    had any trouble with the Dimage Scan Dual.

    For all of these films, the Dimage III is incapable of extracting the
    entire detail.
    CW is to scan for what you output. However I've found, for example on
    the Dimage Scan Dual that if I scan for low res (619 dpi) the results
    are horrible, v. a tighter scan that is down sampled in PS.

    Recently I scanned some portraits at max res and then re-sampled for
    several sizes. The key here is to re-start with the saved raw scan each
    time and then use the un-sharp mask at each new size. Beware of the
    simple "sharpen" command, it can give "overdone" sharpenning effects.

    See as well
    The most important one is to find out the dpi of the printer. Then your
    photoshop output can be matched to that dpi. Fuji Frontier is (I
    believe) 300.
    The other is to use the full photoshop.

    Alan Browne, Aug 1, 2003
  7. Elements is 8-bit only. LE does have levels and curves in 16-bit. But
    no color management.

    Philip Homburg
    Philip Homburg, Aug 1, 2003
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