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Photo Restoration Repairing damaged photos

Scan or Photo ??

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  #1  
Old 05-13-2009, 11:43 AM
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fut fut is offline
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Scan or Photo ??

Got a quick question, is it better to scan an old phot or to use a Digital Camera and take another shot of the original (using correct lighting).

I have a scanner but I'm getting loads of imperfections on the scanned image, more than are actually on the photograph itself.
I've cleaned the scanner glass.
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Old 05-13-2009, 12:00 PM
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Re: Scan or Photo ??

A good quality high resolution scan is usually better than a photo. With a photo you need to worry about keep the camera perfectly perpendicular otherwise you get paralax or other distorion. There is usually more detail with a scan if you set the resolution at the appropriate level.
Regards, Murray
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Old 05-13-2009, 02:03 PM
Mike Mike is offline
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Re: Scan or Photo ??

Quote:
Originally Posted by mistermonday View Post
A good quality high resolution scan is usually better than a photo. With a photo you need to worry about keep the camera perfectly perpendicular otherwise you get paralax or other distorion. There is usually more detail with a scan if you set the resolution at the appropriate level.
Regards, Murray
Disagree!

As long as you use a good high resolution camera, and shoot full frame, its quicker than a scanner, especially if you have a large number to do. It really does not take any longer to square up a camera than it does to clean a scanner. And if it is not quite square, one can fix that in PS. Using the correct lighting and filters gives a better result especially if you have a silvered print.

Cameras Rule!
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Old 05-14-2009, 12:29 AM
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Re: Scan or Photo ??

Scan. .
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Old 05-14-2009, 01:30 AM
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Southbay Southbay is offline
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Re: Scan or Photo ??

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Originally Posted by fut View Post
I'm getting loads of imperfections on the scanned image...
What kind of imperfections?

High end scanners will often scan too "sharp" revealing significant surface texture and imperfections of the photo. This has only been a problem for me with my 10000XL from time to time. In which case I'll play with the focus, or go to my other flatbed which scans a bit softer and gives me some latitude to tweak the capture sharpen with scanning software.

Make sure your own scanning SW isn't set to over sharpen, and that it's not doing some other unwanted processing during the scan.

Dust on, or under the glass, might be annoying, but it's hardly ever the cause of crappy scans. Depending on the age and condition of your scanner you may have dirtied up the mirrors or lens somehow, but that's rare in a sealed unit (if no cooling fan). I'd try everything you can think of before cracking the case, though. And I wouldn't clean prime mirrors unless you know what you're up to.

I've never had to shoot a print yet, and would consider it only as a last resort.

I'd just keep experimenting to narrow down the possible cause. And maybe post back here, with an example or a better description of the scanning "imperfections".
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Old 05-14-2009, 08:26 PM
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Re: Scan or Photo ??

Well Fut, everyone has good feedback. And, it may depend on the quality of both the scanner and the camera. A lower end device on either end may not yield as good results as you want.

I have used both with great success. I use the scanner for most of my better images simply because I have not invested in a high res digital SLR. However, I use a digital camera for archiving many of the less important photo's. It is much much faster. With a little practice, you can do 20 images a minute. That makes a big difference when you have several hundred to do. It does help to have a copy stand, either a commercial model or home made.

If you are seeing artifacts in your scans, you may also want to examine your resolution. Anything above 600 dpi will pick up dust and scanner glass artifacts you don't need. I only scan higher than 600 when the image is very small, less than 2 inches square. (Yes, you do run across those... like old pocket watch images.)

Do as Southbay suggests and post an example of the "imperfections".
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Old 05-14-2009, 08:38 PM
Quantum3Studio Quantum3Studio is offline
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Re: Scan or Photo ??

As far as I know, taking a pic is much better than scanning due the scanner interpolation, even better than those scanners that scans negatives. That was what I have read in many books. For the other hand, the camera avoids that type of interpolation, giving a much more consistent image with better definition. That was what I read.
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Old 05-14-2009, 10:05 PM
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Re: Scan or Photo ??

Scanners don't begin to interpolate before a certain point. I have an hp 5500c (about 6 years old) and I can scan 35mm negs to 2400dpi which gives me more than enough for an 8x10 with no interpolation.
If I tried the max scan setting which is 9600 then yes, it would interpolate but the resulting file would also choke photoshop to death.
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Old 05-14-2009, 10:24 PM
Mike Mike is offline
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Re: Scan or Photo ??

Again, with the proper equipment, one can also photograph either negatives or slides with a SLR style camera. Works like a champ!
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  #10  
Old 05-15-2009, 03:06 AM
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Re: Scan or Photo ??

Thanks for the info, I'm looking at upgrading my scanner to something like an Epson V700.
I also already have a setup where I can attach my Canon 5Dmk2 on a stand and use that for taking shots of the photo's I want to archive.

I also picked up the "Photoshop - Restoration And Retouching" by Katrin Eismann, she also suggests that a high end Digital Camera is now her preferred (although not sole) option.
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