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Input/Output/Workflow Scanning, printing, color management, and discussing best practices for control and repeatability

Scanning Problem

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  #1  
Old 07-14-2005, 12:41 AM
freddieanne's Avatar
freddieanne freddieanne is offline
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Scanning Problem

I've been getting these spots on my scans (Example attached). It only happens with fairly recent glossy photos. (Not with all glossy one's and never on old photos).

Has anyone else run into this? Is there a way to avoid it? Or, a way to easily clean it up? I recently did a project where I scanned 300 photos and about 75% of them had this problem. All the pics were developed in the last year.

I'm using an Epson Perfection 3200 scanner and I always carefully dust the photos with a clean soft cloth. The ones that seem to come out with the spots almost feel a little tacky on the glass. They don't 'glide' around on the glass as easily as some others.

If anyone can offer any ideas about this I'd REALLY appreciate it.

Thanks,
Annabel
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Old 07-14-2005, 02:39 AM
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Gary Richardson Gary Richardson is offline
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Like you say, looks like they're sticking to the glass of your scanner. Have you cleaned it with anything lately that may have left a residue that the glossies are reacting with.

Only suggestions are to clean glass thoroughly with a clean dry cloth. Also you could try laying your pictures on the scanner without closing the lid, use a sheet of heavy white paper over them (the lack of weight of the lid may mean they don't stick as much) of course the prints will have to be flat for you to do this.

Good luck any way, hopefully someone else may have more expertise with this sort of problem.
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Old 07-14-2005, 01:22 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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the first thing is, more data required here. is the spotting ALWAYS in the same location or do you get it in various locations? if it's always in the same spot(s) then it's your scanner. if it's not, then i'd change the type of 'clean soft cloth' i was using, as you may be adding lint/cloth material to the print when you clean it. additionally, you could be wiping the surface off the print with your cloth. make sure the cloth is completely dry (boy, i learned this the hard way) and rather than cloth, i'd recommend tissue or toilet paper and just lightly brush it rather than wiping. in other words, use very little pressure. another alternative would be using a lens brush to wipe the prints. a lens brush is very soft and has fine bristles and shldnt hurt the prints.

also, check the backing in the scanner and make sure it's flat and hasnt deteriorated and that your prints are laying down completely flat. most likely this isnt it since your older photos are scanning ok. i've also seen some scanners where the cover has to be placed carefully because of the way it's hinged. when not placed carefully it doesnt set down completely flat.

i've not heard of this particularly, but you could also be getting a sort of double reflection during the scan. a high gloss print would tend to be more reflective, but i would think that if this were the problem your prints would be coming out too white. but there could be something related to this if it's only your recent photos which are producing this.

also, a question here... is your scanner in a high heat or humidity area? this could be affecting things.

that you''re only getting this on recent glossy photos would tend to indicate one of two things, though. either during the cleaning you are picking up and sticking material from the cleaning cloth to the print because of the glossy surface substance, or, the scanner isnt scanning correctly with the newer, glossy emulsions. if it's the first case you can correct it. if it's the second, then contact the manufacturer and see what they have to say about it.

Craig
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Old 07-14-2005, 04:45 PM
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Hi Annabel,

Are the prints at all sticky? Some poorly proccessed photos can get a tacky quality, that could be sticking to the scanner. This can happen if they have been stored in humid conditions as well.
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Old 07-15-2005, 01:49 PM
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freddieanne freddieanne is offline
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Thanks guys, all good ideas.

I started with Gary's suggestion. I have only used a clean microfiber cloth, (good for lens cleaning and such) is that wise? You were right about the weight of the scanner lid. I tried scanning with just a piece of white paper and no spots. So then I took out the reflective document mat from inside the cover. This is made with a soft foam core so I gave it a good squishing overnight under a stack of heavy books to compress the foam a little. Tried scanning again- got fewer spots. Added some felt pads where the lid rests on the scanner and - no spots . Thanks Gary for suggesting this solution.

Kraellin, Thanks for all your input. The spots are in various locations - Very random - has to be in the prints. I used a lens brush at one time but then went to a clean, soft microfiber cloth to just lightly dust the prints. Do you think that's OK? Also, you might be right about the refective document mat being deteriorated or warped. I think I'll order a new one just to make sure.

I guess the main problem is the weight of the lid, but I'm still convinced that there is something unique about the prints that this happens with.
Caitlin, no, they don't feel sticky to the touch. Like I said in my original post, there's just a feeling that they don't slip around on the glass like the other photos do. Not sure about the humidity, it could be a factor, but I live in a desert climate.

I'm sure I've bored you all to death with too much info, but hopefully someone else can benefit by this thread someday.

Thanks again

Annabel
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Old 07-15-2005, 02:47 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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annabel,

good job! sounds like it's the weight or a warped pad then. also, you might check the lid to make sure it's still true to shape and not warped.

and, try a test of the exact same photo but placed in different locations under the lid on the glass and see if you get different results.

if the microfiber cloth is designed for use on lenses, then it shld be fine. just keep the pressure light when you wipe. but it sounds like it's not the problem.

that this is only occurring to newer prints is still a bit of a mystery to me as well. and i could only guess as to why. but, the bottom line is, if you got it working by lessening the pressure of the lid, then it's somewhat moot.

there are two types of scanners i know about, the reflective kind, which you have, and the non-reflective kind which uses a black mat instead of a white reflective one. perhaps, and this is only a guess, the reflective kind is over-reflecting due to some coating the film processer is using as a final protective coat on your prints and the tiny extra pressure of the lid combined with that is making this 'over-reflection'....or something. lol. sorry, it's really just a very wild guess. i actually dont know. but, like i said, if you can correct it by adjusting the lid pressure, then hurrah!

Craig
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Old 07-15-2005, 05:32 PM
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Gary Richardson Gary Richardson is offline
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Hi Annabel,

Glad I could help a little.

I've learnt a bit reading this post also.
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  #8  
Old 07-16-2005, 07:20 AM
terry t terry t is offline
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I have had that problem with some photos, I solved problem using a transparent document protecter between the photo and the glass, solves the pressure problem.
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Old 07-16-2005, 07:28 PM
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freddieanne freddieanne is offline
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terry t,

THANKS! for your response. Just the regular page protectors from the office supply store, or special ones designed for photos or film?

Kraellin, thanks for the added info.

This site is great.

Annabel
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Old 07-20-2005, 08:26 AM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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you're welcome. sounds like the image is actually just sticking to the plate a bit. how odd.

Craig
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