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

The Best First Step?

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Old 05-18-2007, 10:58 AM
david hope david hope is offline
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The Best First Step?

Hello all,

I am interested to hear comments about the relative benefits of the various methods of getting old large format photos, probably from large format cameras into digital format so that we can cast the magic wand of photoshop over them. Most of the posts and tutorials tend to start with the digital "original"
There is some information suggesting flatbed scanners working at high reolution, how does that compare for instance with using say a 10Mpixel SLR and filling the frame with the chosen photograph? Or even a 35mm film camera and have the processor provide a digital copy?
If I were to use a "professional" restoration company, do they have access to some sort of high resolution rostrum camera or are they using flatbed scanners?
I guess what I'm asking is, what currently is the highest resolution possible so that you lose the minimum of data from the original print? If you do that, intuitively, that should give you the greatest possibility to restore to as near original (or better?) quality.
Apologies if this is already covered but its quite a large site....!


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Old 05-18-2007, 12:39 PM
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Swampy Swampy is offline
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Re: The Best First Step?

I get my over sized pieces done digitally with a photographer who deals in fine art digitizing and giclee printing for the art trade. He's got all the lighting, cable for camera to computer download etc. and does excellent work. Printvillage - Ft. Lauderdale. You should be able to find someone locally.
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Old 05-18-2007, 10:20 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: The Best First Step?

david, welcome to RP.

some of our members would definitely recommend a high resolution camera over a scanner, especially the retail, home use scanners. that being said, there is a point where it may not matter. for instance, if you're printing on a home printer, the printer is going to lose a lot of that extra high resolution. if you're going to a professional printer, contact them first to see what they can handle or what they require. so, the bottom line may not be your input/source image but rather the output/printer/display you have available.
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Old 05-19-2007, 09:28 AM
yuccaview yuccaview is offline
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Re: The Best First Step?

I actually do this professionally, all of the above. Before I get into trouble with the group... THIS IS NOT IN ANY FORM OF AN ADD.. just a note to say the posters
who have replied are correct and input may depend on how you plan to output
the file. I must say tho todays little flat bed scanners right off the shelf can
produce a file that in someways is better than the high end stuff a few years ago. Around here I will scan an image on one of the Epson scanners if at all
possible if it is too large or silvered too badly I will copy it on our big digital camera but only those times I cannot scan it. A 10 mpg camera will get you a file you can work with but as stated you have to have lights and to make it as easy as possible a copy stand. If you set that up you could set up cross polarizatiton to eliminate the silvering of some photos. However the chips in these cameras even if it is a DSLR are small and a flat bed scan will provide
you with a far larger file and a better one if you plan to print over 8x10.
I print Giclee prints and have all the stuff that is needed including a big medium format digital back to copy art and from years of doing this I can
assure you a good and even cheap flatbed is all you need in most copy
work.Just make sure your scanner is at its factory default and don't let it's
software try to fix anything ,set a high enough resolution for what ever crop you need and scan it, then fix it in your imaging software.
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Old 05-20-2007, 02:39 AM
duwayne duwayne is offline
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Re: The Best First Step?

I use an Epson 4990 flatbed scanner for medium and large format film. These are probably what this scanner does best. It has both high resolution and high dynamic range. Best of all, it has the Kodak Digital ICE and does a great job of removing surface defects (scratches, dirt, finger prints, etc..) with very little damage to the image. Generally less than I would do using Photoshop. Here is a link to an excellent review.
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Old 05-20-2007, 06:06 AM
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Dave.Cox Dave.Cox is offline
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Re: The Best First Step?

I use the HP Scanjet 4890 scanner. This scanner is also very good with both film and photos, and can scan up to 19200 ppi, which is way more than you need for most applications. It has software to correct many things during the scan, but I find it is best to leave it turned off, and correct in photoshop.
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Old 05-20-2007, 07:58 AM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: The Best First Step?

since this is more about scanners than restoration, i'm moving this to the proper forum.
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