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huge project in progress, Epson endorsement

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  • huge project in progress, Epson endorsement

    Whew... I am just finishing up scanning two photo albums from 30 years ago. Getting a solid scan for each photo at 800dpi---an ordinal fraction of the capacity of my scanner, and big enough for high-quality 8x10s later---and adjusting histograms on each and every one in order to get the most info out of each pic as possible. 5-10 minutes per scan, 25-meg TIFFs (scanned at 48 bits and saved at 24) means about 8 *gigabytes* of information. I have been at it for about two weeks on and off, with a 5-hour stretch today to try to finish up.

    And to think, I haven't retouched *any* of these yet. Luckily most will only need contrast fixing, but sharpening will be tough since the grain is showing in most of them. Next step is to use PSP's batch-processing mode and save them all as PNG, which will use only about 60% of the disk space, and then drain them all onto CD for retouching later. Probably 8 CDs worth.

    I only wish I had as much knowledge about the process three years ago when I started scanning ancient family photos, that I now want to go back and redo with more skills and better equipment. Actually, what I really wish is that I had at hand the kind of skills and equipment that I will probably have at the END of this project...

    So consider this a message from a tired scanner to keep practicing before starting on big projects!

    (Also consider it a BIG endorsement for the Epson Perfection 2450 as well as Silverfast and Paint Shop Pro)


  • #2
    WoW!! I applaud your dedication to the task. Trouble with waiting until you have amassed the knowledge to do it the best way possible is that you set yourself up to never tackle the important jobs because no matter how much you learn you always find better ways of doing things. Even if you mastered the skills you are constantly learning and you will always look at the things you've done before with a "I should have done this..." attitude. I know because I feel the same way you do. I even rescanned my wedding album photos on my new Epson.


    • #3
      I would definitely echo your endorsement of the Epson 2450. I got mine about a month ago and have been extremely pleased with it, although, I have not done the volume of scanning you have!


      • #4
        Did you remove each photo to scan? I ask this because I have 2 boxes of albums from my Grandma to scan and some are glued on the pages, some are in the magnetic/sticky albums. Thank~


        • #5
          For this batch I did remove each photo, as they were in corners, and also because they had information written on the backs that I wanted to preserve. In the past, however, I have done what you describe. Easiest way is to simply plop the whole page down--remove the top if you have to, but make sure the page won't budge while you scan.

          One mistake I made in the early days: do NOT just scan the whole page using the automatic settings, expecting to crop out individual photos later. I did all my grandma's albums this way and the scans are awful. However, if you scan each photo individually from the sheet, you will have much better results.

          I hope that's clear. In other words, don't let your selections include non-picture things like the white or black space between pictures. Scan each picture as if it were the only thing on the scanner bed, and you should be fine.

          As far as scanning through the plastic sleeve on magnetic sheets, well, I haven't had any major bobbles with it, but I have heard reports of odd colors appearing in high-res scans due to the light bouncing around inside that thin sheet. The sheet is about .0001 inch, or about 2.4 pixels deep, enough for light to reflect around inside as it does in a camera lens that's pointed near a light source. Depends greatly on the scanner, of course.

          Good luck!


          • #6
            Thank you so much for that hint! I had tried doing just as you said...scanning the full page and besides taking forever to scan and wasting space with pics I don't didn't come out very well~you saved me a lot of time! Thank you


            • #7
              Kaulike I'm really interested in your project. And, I'm somewhat awed at the multiple ways people tackle similar projects here!
              I come from the world of traditional photogaphy and so I'm always considering project working time when I read these posts and making the logical comparisons with traditional methods.

              Can I ask, what is the end use for your scans, are you going to print additional books for your family or will the final product be CD's? And one more question if you don't mind, what made you decide to scan the pages rather than using film copies?

              I admire your patience, and thanks for posting information on the time element - it's helps some of us get a little better idea what we might be getting into if we decide to take on projects like yours with scans instead of using film.

              Jim Conway


              • #8
                Wow, 5 to 10 minutes per scan! I'm with Jim, awed by your patience. On a large job like that I would really look at doing it with a camera, with my first choice being a digital one.
                We always try to get the customer to remove the prints from the album so we do not have to (otherwise we charge for the time). The last time I did a collection of a 100 or so, we set up the camera tethered to the computer so we could see on the moniter. It worked rather well and quickly, I would guess not more than 2 or 3 minutes per orginal.


                • #9
                  huge project

                  You have taken on a gigantic project - but sounds like you have it under control. I agree with your tips on scanning each image individually. Load the tray, and select each one carefully.

                  I offered to do a collage for my niece as a wedding gift, and was avalanched with about 300 photos - family pics. I have an Epson 1640 SU and think it does an exceptional job too. I am only scanning these at 200 dpi for large format printing, but still takes enough time to be considerable. Most photos will only take minor cleaning up and color correction.

                  I hope to cull out the best photos after working on them, re-scan the ones I care about at higher res..and make some prints for the whole family. Sometimes these big projects have added benefits we don't think of on the front end.


                  • #10
                    Looks like Kaulike isn't the only one to dive into a huge project. 200 photos to scan is a biggy also and you know when you scan a good photo you will certainly find details and color casts to correct. Good luck on your project as well. Keep us informed of your progress. Love that Epson scanner. I got one too but mines the 1650.


                    • #11
                      I'm interested to know why you scanned at 800dpi? Are you going to do enlargements? For printing at the original size, the most that you should need is about 300dpi (I normally use 220dpi). The printer can't resolve much more than that anyway.

                      The size of the files is going to make them painfully slow to work with, especially once you start making them even bigger by adding layers for your adjustments.


                      • #12
                        Thanks for the link, Al. I'll have to study that.

                        I have heard so many theories on resolution. From very low to very high. Now I print at 360 to a printer resolution of 1440. Maybe wasted, but 360 is one of the resolutions I've heard advocated and it works allright for me. But there is a lot of room for argument.

                        I think different pictures require scanning at different resolutions and sometimes you just have to go with trial and error.

                        Again, thanks for the link. I'll probably be changing my workflow again.



                        • #13
                          Epson Perfection 2450 Photo Scanner

                          I’ll give another thumbs up for the Epson 2450 Photo Scanner. I just got mine and I love it and it seems to be compatible with XP as well! I plan on scanning some old family photos to one, bring a little life back into them as they are faded and two, make copies for other family members.



                          • #14
                            I just realized I forgot to answer the question above.

                            I scanned at 800dpi because that is an even divisor of the scanner's maximum optical resolution of 2400dpi, and it gave me very close to 8x10 at 360dpi for the prints I was scanning.

                            I also print at 360dpi image resolution, as that is an even divisor of the printer's max resolution, though I rarely print at 1440dpi printer res---I simply can't tell the difference between 1440 and 720, and 1440 uses more ink. (This is on an Epson Stylus Photo 870.)

                            I try to scan and print at these ordinal numbers in order to prevent either device from interpolating anything. It's probably a non-issue, particularly with the printer since it has to convert RGB to CMYK anyway, but it gives me a warm fuzzy. I am so impressed with both scanner and printer that I could just split my face smiling.

                            On the 2450, I did some test scans of transparencies at ultra-high resolution---greater than 2400---to see whether the scanner did a better job of resampling than Photoshop/PaintShopPro/etc. It was remarkable! I got useful, smooth images up to 12800dpi, scanning about 1/10 of a 35mm slide. Not really photographic quality, but it gives me hope for making stills from old 110 negatives and super-8mm movie film. It really is one heck of a scanner.


                            • #15
                              On a similar subject, how do folks store and present large albums full of photos? I created a simple HTML page showing thumbnails of all of the album's photos in a table, one row per album page. Clicking on the photo led to a screen-size version, while clicking on a "print" button at the bottom yielded a 5x7-ish printable version at about 300dpi. In other words, there were 3 versions of each pic on the CD.

                              All of these were JPG, obviously--the PNG masters filled 8 CDs, while the CD fit easily onto one CD, in fact it's only about 90mb.

                              I was just wondering how others did it. I like the flexibility of making my own HTML page, and everyone has a web browser they can use to just double-click the file on the CD to get started. I thought about using one of the free or shareware slide show routines but was worried about it becoming obsolete and unusable in a few years, and also not usable on other types of hardware (Macs, Linux, etc).


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