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Adjust in scanner software or pp?

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  • Scanning: Adjust in scanner software or pp?

    Firstly, as it is my first post here,

    I recently got a scanner to scan a load of old family photos. They are both prints and slides so I went for a flatbed (epson v300). So far I have been plleased with the quality of scanning prints with it but undecided about negs/slides.

    My main question is one that I have searched the internet for an answer to and asked in a couple of places without a definitive answer so when someone pointed me here I thought I would try again.

    Simply, is it better to do basic adjustments using the scanner software or do it all afterwards in something like photoshop? Many photographers say that if you want the best quality you use a raw file and don't let the camera adjust the image at all because image editing programs will do a better job. Is this the case with scanning? Does the scanning software change the way the scan is actually done or does it just change the output after the scan is made?


  • #2
    Re: Adjust in scanner software or pp?

    bailout, welcome to RetouchPRO (RTP) and good luck with your project!

    Look at it like this... When you scan anything you want to retain all the information possible.. anything that changes the information scanned will also change wanted information therefore If you have the expertise, time and the proper programs to do Post production that is the best way to go.. because you can selectively change whatever you want to correct the picture...

    If on the other hand if you are not competent in your abilities with Photoshop or other programs or just plain do not have the time to invest... AND/OR... you are perfectly satisfied with the results from the scanners automatic or manual settings.... then use what you are comfortable with.!

    This thread does not speak specifically to film or slides but contains some good info that is applicable to them

    Also, typing "Scanning slides" or another suitable term into the Search box after clicking the SEARCH button above will yield many results such as "How to Scan Slides" among a bunch of others (change terms to suit your search!)


    • #3
      Re: Adjust in scanner software or pp?

      my background is with high-end scanners which make corrections to the image before it gets converted to 8 bits per channel, having that option was great for underexposed images as i could make corrections on the scanner that weren't possible in photoshop...


      • #4
        Re: Adjust in scanner software or pp?

        I agree with OlBaldy, in that I prefer to do the adjustments myself where I can control the settings and experiment some. Otherwise, you must accept the scanners output, or rescan if you don't like it. So, I don't think there is a "definitive answer". It may be personal preference. It also depends on whether you are doing batch jobs, or one at a time (read below).

        However, if I were doing a batch job where all the images or slides had similar issues, I may consider allowing the scanner do all the adjustments, after I experimented on one image. With good scanner software, the output can rival that of Photoshop.

        Allowing the scanner to do the adjustments may require upgrading the software that came with it. Silverfast AI or a similar program is quite adept at doing all the adjustments available in Photoshop. I trust its output and reliability. You should download a trial version and look at the options yourself.

        Also, don't forget that you must calibrate your scanner to achieve consistent output. This requires obtaining a good target(s) and reliable profile builder software. Some scanner software (like Silverfast) also allows you to build profiles. This way you don't have to buy two packages.


        • #5
          Re: Adjust in scanner software or pp?

          When scanning old photographs, newspaper pictures and old documents I suggest that you use white cardboard or a stack of white paper behind the image. I did a very old newspaper article with a photograph of my daughter in law's parents when they got married. The newspaper was yellow and the grain of the paper showed. I said all of that to say that I "cleaned" the paper texture in Photoshop filters Noise>Median. I do restoration/retouching for my wife who does geneology and has photos well over a 100 years old.


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