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Not like the Original

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  • Not like the Original


    I have a question... has anyone encountered the problem where a customer says "oh it doesn't look exactly like the original"?

    I have a black and white that I reproduced for a customer...straight reproduction as the original is recent and in good shape.

    Either through my scanning or monitor callibration or printing or whatever I can't get the tonal values "exactly" like the original.

    I'm open for suggestions on how to handle this.

  • #2
    Without a drum scanner, which only companys can afford, you will never get a perfect reproduction. Only a reprint from a negative can guarantee that. Flatbeds have their ranges from low end to high but even at the high end there will still be some things the scanner won't pick up. I usually tell the customer that if they ask why something isn't exactly the same as the original. You can get a "reasonable facimile" from flatbeds but that's about all. I sometimes double scan to help pick up info lost in the highlights and shadows and then combine the two. Go to tips in the forum for details. That usually helps.


    • #3
      Thx DJ,

      On my way to check it out now.


      • #4
        Chris , Did the customer give any specifics or just a general comment? I believe it was Dj who so correctly pointed out that a reproduction will seldom match the original.Most of the time any scanned image, unless from the high end units ( we are talking price of new car, possibly new IMPORTED SPORTS LUXURY ITALIAN TYPE CAR here) won't have the same "snap" as on original print in good shape. Part of this has to do with the position , mechanics and the quality of the CCD scanning heads and associated electronic components plus software of a flat bed scanner vs drum type and its sophisticated electronics and optics not to mention software which can cost up into the $1000 plus range VERY easily. I usually tell my customers who want a straight scan and print that there will be some minor differences in tone, etc. due to the completely different processes and materials involved in making a traditional type darkroom print vs a computer driven one. That being said, unless this type of comment is common from your customers, I think I would just tuck it away in the " hard to please" file. If other customers are making the same comment, look at a new scanner or possibly some new software. Good luck, Tom


        • #5
          Thanks for the input Tom,

          This is a rare fact only have had it a couple of times.

          I think you're right that it's just one of those hard to please customers..I should have guessed it when she made a point of telling me that it was an "award winning" black and white photo and she wanted a copy of it. Perhaps I should have suggested she go to a place in the city where they have the high end equipment for that important of a photo.

          But I always try to please and do the best I can so I'm giving her 1 more printout and if that doesn't do it then she'll have to go to the big city.

          I'm very confident in my scanner and software as well as callibration as I've spent a lot of time (I'm talking days) in making sure everything is working together.

          Thanks again for the input and I'll probably have to tuck her away!


          • #6
            Chris, Customers who use those terms and present a nice photo for copy always raise red flags with me. I usually ask who took the picture, where was it developed and who has the negative ,as, if the photo was taken by a studio or a Pro photographer, in order to reproduce it you MUST, I believe, get a signed release from them before doing any work on the item, unless the customer has the negative. I run into this a lot as some of the High School seniors dont use the local Photographer and head 90 miles out of town to the next nearest place to get their Senior pictures done. ALWAYS they discover that they need one or two extra 5x7 or such for some obscure relative no one has seen since the Wild Bunch held up the train near here and come over wanting prints. As the place which took the photos retains the negatives,they retain the copyright as well and they WILLNOT allow any reproductions except by them(I cant blame them either, although our local photographer gives the clients the negatives and fervently tries to avoid any reprinting by telling the customers to go wherever they like and get as many prints as they want). Also, if the customer presents a really nice photo I get curious about the negative and in that case(depending on my "read" of them) I will ask them to bring it in as a much better print can be made from a scanned negative vs a scanned print, other wise I just say I cant help them because of copyright laws and leave it at that. In short, it doesnot sound like you have a problem, however it can be kinda distracting to listen to and mull over complaints. Just dont doubt your ability. If the majority of your customers are happy , so should you be!! As is said up here " Some folks would complain if you hung "em with a new rope". Old saying but very true. Tom


            • #7

              Don't you worry as soon as I saw the picture I had a release signed by the customer.... she said she took it but moved and couldn't find the negative... immediately I had a release signed.

              Thx for the positive does kind of frazzle you when you get a customer that's a bit difficult.


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