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

Glass Negative Scans

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Old 06-08-2009, 03:49 PM
BAWilliamson BAWilliamson is offline
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Glass Negative Scans

This is my first post to RetouchPRO. I am using an Epson Perfection V700 PHOTO scanner to scan about 500 original B & W glass negatives from the 1915 San Francisco World's Fair. I have about 175 each of 8 x 10, 5 x 7 & 4 x 6 size glass negatives.

For all of the scans I want to be able at a later date to take a scan and enlarge it to perhaps a good quality 2' x 3' poster, as well as make other original prints or use in a high-quality book of photos that would be offset printed.

Right now I am planning to scan at 600 dpi for the 8 x 10 size and save the scans as a TIFF file. This creates about a 50 MB file. Is this large enough? I am looking for advice as to what specific dpi I should set for the two smaller sizes in order to have a similar file size and make the same kinds of enlargements.

The negatives are in varying conditions, ranging from excellent to fair. Am I correct that I should NOT make ANY adjustments with the scanner, but just use an absolutely raw TIFF scan and wait until such time as I am going to print and then make a copy and retouch in Photoshop? What about saving printer/scanner profiles? Should I ignore them as well?

Thanks for your help! I am looking forward to learning a lot here!
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Old 06-09-2009, 06:47 PM
gat gat is offline
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Re: Glass Negative Scans

Scan at your scanners maximum optical dpi, if you have time set white and black points, but more importantly, save as a 16bit tiff. This will allow you work out the levels much easier later, especially with that media. After working on the levels you can halve the file size and save as 8 bit. I'm also assuming you'll be scanning as a transparency.

Last edited by gat; 06-09-2009 at 07:03 PM.
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Old 06-09-2009, 06:57 PM
BAWilliamson BAWilliamson is offline
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Re: Glass Negative Scans

Quote:
Originally Posted by gat View Post
Scan at your scanners maximum optical dpi, if you have time set white and black points, but more importantly, save as a 16bit tiff. This will allow you work out the levels much easier later, especially with that media. After working on the levels you can halve the file size and save as 8 bit.
I am already saving as a 16 bit grayscale TIFF file, with the 8 x 10 negatives scanned at 600 dpi. Since I have over 500 glass negatives to scan I am trying to balance size of file versus ability to enlarge 3-4 times the original. The absolute resolution of my scanner is about 6000 dpi, which would make an unmanageable file. Don't know what black & white points are. My instincts tell me to save as a big raw file that I can tweak later on in Photoshop. Just trying to make sure I am headed in the right direction before I get too far along in this project. Thanks!
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Old 06-09-2009, 09:06 PM
gat gat is offline
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Re: Glass Negative Scans

oops, you're right 6000 is a bit much, didn't realize it went that high. I'd go 1200 on the smaller ones, probably not much more information there if going higher. By setting black and white points i mean setting the darkest and lightest points of the photo to output to the digital file, not really a huge factor if you're using 16 bit files. (with 8 bit files there are 255 levels between black and white, whereas 16 bit files have 65,000 + levels)
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