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Scanning option - questions

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Old 01-11-2005, 05:22 AM
xbytor xbytor is offline
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 35
Scanning option - questions

I am shooting film again, but am unclear as to how best to get my negatives scanned into digital form. I've got 3 options that I am looking at:

1) Scan them myself (Epson Perfection 1650 Photo) ($2.50 film processing)
2) 1 Hour Photo lab / Picture CD (Noritsu Film Processor) ($5.50 process/CD)
3) Photo CD (undetermined lab) (unknown $$$)

I tried a 1 Hour Photo with a Frontier and was less than happy with the results. There was a wierd mesh pattern, so I won't be going back there.
The Noritsu KODAK Picture CD scans were nice, just small (1024x1544). The white balance was great on these.
My own scans let me get 3072x2048 reasonably well, but I've been unable to get the white balance issues worked out like the Noritsu results.
The PhotoCD format will give me 3072x2048 res (nice) but I have yet to locate a local lab. There is also a question of the cost and the quality of the PCD file import filter.

My questions:
1) Anybody have any current PhotoCD experience? Cost, quality, etc?
2) Should I break down and get my white balance issues staightened out and scan my own, if only for choice images?
3) Should I invest in a proper film scanner if I really need this quality? My concern here is getting the white balance performance the I get from the Noritsu.

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Old 02-22-2005, 05:23 PM
WilliamD WilliamD is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Europe
Posts: 25
Kodak Photo CD

I haven't had any PhotoCD scans done recently, but when I started out they were far more cost effective than drum scans. As I recall the highest res file on the disc was 72Mb, & after sharpening they came up really well. Eventually I was getting all my transparencies drum scanned (some of which weren't that good). One day I was taking some old images off a PhotoCD & realised the quality was better than some of the drum scans I'd had from pro labs.

I'm not sure how widely available the service is now, but I think Kodak's quality control was pretty high & the equipment was probably less prone to 'user error' than drum scanners
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Old 02-23-2005, 01:46 PM
Juliana Ross's Avatar
Juliana Ross Juliana Ross is offline
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 92
Abut the Frontier Scans

The Fuji software creates the files at such a size as to open at 72dpi (screen resolution) so the files often need to be resized to whatever your end result will be. It bites but that's the way they set up thier software.
As well, there are two folders it creates "Previews" and "Photos", make sure you are viewing the correct folder since the software auto runs with the preview images.

The mesh pattern is usually caused by the equipment not being cleaned. If the negative carrier is not cleaned every day the build up of residue will cause scanning artifacts, which sounds like what you are seeing.

Check to see what size they are setting the machine to when they do the various scans, we do our low res at the 5x7 print setting to get a 2 to 4 meg file and the high res at 10x15 setting to get a 12 to 16 meg file.
Scanning at higher resolutions we use both an Epson Scanner and a Nikon Coolscan.
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