Scanning old 8x10's

Discussion in 'Photoshop' started by Wayne R., Oct 27, 2003.

  1. Wayne R.

    Wayne R. Guest

    How much of an advantage can a professional shop provide in scanning
    old 8x10's over my doing it with a vanilla HP scanner?

    If there's a significant advantage, how can I find a such a
    professional shop? What costs would I be facing?

    Any advice from experience would be appreciated.
    Wayne R., Oct 27, 2003
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  2. Wayne R.

    Guest Guest

    The chances are unless they are drum scanning you won't see much difference
    and even then with old prints not enough to warrant the cost. If you were
    doing slides or negatives then it would be worth it.

    I would scan them at at least 300 dpi and save them in an uncompressed
    format. Then work on restoring copies of those files. HP scanners are pretty
    good hardware wise they are just a little sucky in the software area (lack
    of controls) but Photoshop should give you everything you need.

    Guest, Oct 27, 2003
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  3. Wayne R.

    Wayne R. Guest

    Perfect! Thanks - I'm happy to see that it coincides with my original

    I see you're also saying film scanning should be done with specialized
    gear. To expand a little, would the generally available film scanners
    (in the hands of a non-professional) meet with success similar to

    Are film scanners worth their cost?
    Wayne R., Oct 27, 2003
  4. Wayne R.

    Voivod Guest

    There's this amazing thing called a phone book....
    See above, grasp that concept, call and ask...
    Voivod, Oct 27, 2003
  5. I have experience of exactly this situation and I agree with everything
    Robert said. I love my old SCSI ScanJet 3C for its sharp focus and colour
    accuracy - but the software is weak. I use Photoshop for processing the
    scanned images where necessary. And Robert's spot-on about uncompressed file
    formats too - avoid the dreaded JPG at all costs if possible!


    Cornucopia Smith, Oct 27, 2003
  6. Wayne R.

    Wayne R. Guest

    What's in the phone book that helps you ID the boneheads &
    Wayne R., Oct 27, 2003
  7. Wayne R.

    Voivod Guest

    The phone number for the Better Business Bureau.
    Voivod, Oct 27, 2003
  8. Wayne R.

    Hecate Guest

    You've got it th4e wrong way round. There aren't *any* flatbed
    scanners that can produce the quality of scans that even the cheapest
    film scanner can.

    I hope that answers your question. ;)
    Hecate, Oct 28, 2003
  9. Wayne R.

    Wayne R. Guest

    Sure does, thanks.

    I didn't word my question well; I just don't know if they're easy to
    use or require fancy cal procedures. I guess the nut of it is that
    even low-end film scanners make good scans...

    Any advice on how to learn more about these things (besides the hard
    Wayne R., Oct 28, 2003
  10. Wayne R.

    Mike Russell Guest

    Another person named Wayne has an excellent web site on scanning:

    Mike Russell
    Mike Russell, Oct 28, 2003

  11. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!!!!! Oh my! Someone here has never
    had the opportunity to attempt to deal with the BBB.

    Trust me: You'll get more useful information from simply listening to
    the attitude someone presents over the phone, than from anything the BBB
    can offer. Don't take that to mean I recommend basing a decision on that,

    - Al.
    Al Denelsbeck, Oct 28, 2003
  12. The worth of many film scanners exceeds their cost by a significant
    margin. Prices are great right now.

    Now, however, for some fine details. A flatbed scanner is much easier
    to use, less prone to difficulties with dust and such, and allows you a
    direct reference for color-correction. A flatbed doesn't allow you much
    leeway in printing a digital file much larger than the original scan -
    you've got a specific threshold of detail. For quick work or non-demanding
    digital files, they can work just fine.

    A film scanner produces a wider dynamic range (lights to darks,
    various hues of the colors), almost always brings out the greatest amount
    of detail that the film captured itself, and moreover can be used carefully
    with multiple scans to bring out a range of color or exposure that can then
    be brought down to 24-bit usefully. There is no subjective color-correction
    by the lab, no unintentional cropping, no exposure adjustments done by
    someone who didn't know what they were doing or what you were after.

    But this does mean that you do it yourself. For instance, when
    scanning negatives, all films have a different base, that orange cast. Some
    scanners or software can cope with this easily, but many cannot (and they
    change routinely anyway, especially Kodak films). Getting the color you
    want from a film scanner may take some experience.

    Degraded negatives and dust can be a problem, despite the software
    and hardware solutions. Being meticulous about clean conditions and proper
    film storage is paramount.

    In short, film scanners will give you the greatest detail and the
    most controllable results, but not automatically. If you're ready to put a
    little effort into it, the results should blow away flatbed work.

    - Al.
    Al Denelsbeck, Oct 28, 2003
  13. Wayne R.

    Voivod Guest

    Actually over the last couple years I've dealt with the local BBB
    office on numerous (read dozen or more) times and I received
    nothing but quality service and good advice
    No thanks.
    Voivod, Oct 28, 2003
  14. I can only give you limited experience with the Nikon Coolscan IV. I
    picked up one used and it is terrific. I've probably used it on a
    couple of hundred color negs and slides. Different film brands and
    batches and it has always given me very good results. I take the
    output and do my touch-up work in PS.
    L. M. Rappaport, Oct 28, 2003
  15. Wayne R.

    Guest Guest

    Are film scanners worth their cost? I would have to say yes. If you have the
    negatives you will be able to get more detail and have a bit more control
    over the scanning. Photographic prints don't have the much data in them.
    Negatives on the other hand do. How much you can pull out is up to the
    quality of the scanner.

    If I were going to buy a dedicated film scanner I would get one with the
    latest version of digital ice so that dust and other annoying film related
    problems are automatically corrected when it is scanned. $1000 should get
    you a very nice film scanner.

    As for flatbeds with film scanning tops like the Epson ones I have had
    pretty good luck with them in this department. But, you don't get the
    quality or clarity that you would from an actual film scanner. However, it
    is 10 times better than scanning from a Photographic print.

    Guest, Oct 28, 2003
  16. Wayne R.

    Mike Russell Guest

    A couple of economic issues to consider.

    For new images, I'd recommend a digital camera. The quality now is
    excellent - more than adequate for 8x10 enlargement and larger, zero film
    cost, and there is no scanning time.

    For existing snapshots, most people will be happy with a flatbed, which also
    serves as a long term appliance for scanning documents, drawings, etc.

    If, as I do, you have hundreds or thousands of existing negatives and
    slides, the following economic factors are worth thinking about.

    First, the cost of the scanner versus the cost of sending the negs out for
    high quality scans - PhotoCD or otherwise. This cost runs in the
    neighborhood of 50 cents per image and should be balanced against the price
    of a scanner, minus what you could get for it on eBay by selling it
    afterward. I bought my film scanner some years ago based on just this

    The second (often neglected) economic issue is the time it takes you to
    clean, scan, and "spot" your negatives and slides. For me, even when I'm
    just cranking through rolls of film, we're talking a minute or two per
    image, or about 45 minutes to an hour for a roll of film, just to get the
    images to disk.

    If you spend $1000 for a high end scanner, and have 2000 images to scan, you
    are breaking even on dollar cost. But do figure in the many hours - two
    minutes per image, say - of de-dusting and scanning time that you will need
    to invest. Believe me this gets old fast, and you may wish you'd simply
    sent your collection of legacy negs to be scanned.

    There are also those who value the superior quality of film, and feel that
    scanning is simply part of the process of getting the best possible digital
    image. Fine - I love high quality photographs, and hope they keep up their
    hard work. As one who is happy with 3 megapixel tack-sharp 8x10's, this is
    not really a factor for me.


    Mike Russell
    Mike Russell, Oct 28, 2003
  17. Wayne R.

    Hecate Guest

    Yes. The important factor is the DMax more than anything.
    Using them is obviously good ;-) But you'll find lots of advice on the
    Net. Just Google for it. One site to give you a start is:
    Hecate, Oct 29, 2003
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