How to get a good scan of a matte finish photo?

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by default, Feb 14, 2006.

  1. default

    default Guest

    I have some pictures from a recent trip that were taken with a disposable
    35mm camera. Obviously the picture quality is not great, partly because
    disposable cameras don't take great pictures, and partly because they were
    X-ray scanned 19 times through airports sometimes in checked luggage,
    sometimes as carry-on. About half the scans were before exposure, the other
    half after. They were Kodak 800 ISO. I wasn't expecting great results from
    a single-use film camera, but it wasn't a safe area to be showing off an
    expensive digital camera. Some of the pictures had good composition and are

    The 4x6" prints are a bit dull and not that sharp, however I would like to
    digitize a few of them and add them to the digital camera set just because
    they form part of the memories of that trip.

    Unfortunately I let someone talk me into getting the matte finish and not
    the glossy finish. When scanning these on a flatbed scanner, I get little
    coloured speckles in the image from the finish on the print. Scanning
    higher or lower resolution doesn't really help. So far the best I have come
    up with is to scan at very high resolution, adjust levels, run the image
    through a noise reduction program and then resize down and sharpen just a

    Is there a better way, or should I just get the important ones reprinted on
    glossy from the negative and then scan that. Can a photofinishing store
    digitize and invert a negative directly with better results?

    Thankyou in advance for anyones suggestions on this.
    default, Feb 14, 2006
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  2. default

    Colin D Guest

    If you have a good digital camera with good macro capabilities, you
    could try re-photographing the prints. The speckles come about because
    of reflections from the scanner lamp, and using a camera lets you choose
    a more suitable light to shoot in.

    Colin D.
    Colin D, Feb 14, 2006
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  3. I agree. Matte finish is much better for prints than glossy and should scan
    easier into the scanner. If you have the negatives it is best to scan them
    to get the best results.
    newfysnapshot, Feb 14, 2006
  4. default

    default Guest

    Possibly it is. Glossy prints with the smooth finish scan well. The matte
    prints have tiny pockets on the surface and seem to cause the scanner to
    insert a coloured speckle at that point. Probably some internal glare in
    the hole. I think I will just get them reprinted at a different lab or see
    they can scan the negatives. The pictures do need a little bit of work
    anyway to improve the contrast and in some cases the colour.
    default, Feb 14, 2006
  5. default

    default Guest

    I do have a Canon 350D and a tripod. I could try this method with some
    careful lighting to avoid uneveness and glare and use a 18% grey card to
    pre-correct white balance and to meter the exposure. I suspect that it will
    be hard to get a good copy but it is worth a try.
    default, Feb 14, 2006
  6. default

    default Guest

    Thank you for your response.

    It does have a de-screening or moire reduction feature. Usually this will
    further soften the picture. However the little micro-pits in the matte
    surface that are causing the little reflections that make the speckles are
    not in a rectangular grid, so I don't know if it will help as I am not
    getting moire pattern effects. I'll give it a try though to see if it helps
    the speckling. Glossy prints scan well generally for me.

    Putting another layer of glass between the photos and the scanner would make
    it worse, I suspect with even more contrast loss from the reflections on the
    additional two surfaces.
    default, Feb 14, 2006
  7. default

    Sel Guest

    Some scanners like the canon have a magazine photo option in the
    scanning software. Try that. In fact try all the colour settings.
    Sel .... :)
    "Sel's Computers"
    Ph: 07-5781950
    New Zealand.
    Sel, Feb 14, 2006
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