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Will Scanning at 48bit with no adjustments work?

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  • Will Scanning at 48bit with no adjustments work?

    I use silverfast AI studio, and love it. However I have about 10 more photo albums to scan in 2 weeks, and they are from the 1940s and 50s.

    Usually I lower the saturation for the black and whites to 0, then adjust the colors to get better tones. This takes a long time though. I also adjust the greyscale gamut to around 10 - 245 so I get useable black and white shadows and such.

    Question, If I do not do any touching up at all, and just scan at the full 48 bit on my epson 4490, leaving the saturation, colors, EVERYTHING alone. Then import it into photoshop CS2 later to deal with all that, will I have the same ability to make the changes?

    For some reason I figured that if I removed color casts (on some of the few color shots from the 60s) and did tonal changes from the scanning level I would be better off, but I am unsure how this will impact my work,

    I am scanning in at 1200 dpi to a tiff, and I know that is overkill but I like to work that large then scale down.

    Disk space is not an issue.

    Thanks for the help in advance.


  • #2
    In my opinion (and experience) you are better off doing your high res scan with NO adjustments either in AI or in your scanner's software. No Descreen, No color adjustments, No sharpening, No brightness, No Levels, No curves.
    Take you 1200 ppi scan at 48 bit and save it to a DVD or hard drive. Using Compressed (Lossless LZW) Tiffs will save some file size.

    The problem with letting the scanner s/w make the adjsutments is that they are permanent and oftyen destructive. If you don't get it just right, soem "corrections" are not reversible without loss of image quality. This method is more important with slides and negative film and color prints which deteriorate over time. If you have B&W, well preserved, then you can always go back and scan the prints again.

    The other advantage by post processing in PS is that you can process images in batch mode setting up some actions to automate your some of your work later.

    Anyway that's just my 2 cents worth.

    regards, Murray


    • #3
      i tend to like no adjustments on the scanner for simple archival purposes. like MM said, you arent really archiving if you're altering while you're scanning, but if speed is the primary importance here and your scanner does a good job of its alterations and saves you a ton of time, i'd go for it and worry about archiving later. but, it's also true what MM said about batch processing, actions and scripts. automation is a great thing and if your images are all similar in nature as to what they need done, or least the first few basic things, then i think i'd still go for no adjustments on the scanner and use the actions/scripts to speed things up.

      lol. now, having said all that, i've also seen posts about Gem and/or Digital Ice which say you can save a ton of time by letting the scanner and its software do most of the major work for you, including dust and scratch removal. so, all things considered, i guess it comes down to what you have, what it can do, and what you can set up within the time frame you have to work in. aint that always the case, though



      • #4
        Well, I decided to ask Katrin Eismann, Author:"Photoshop Restoration & Retouching" 1st, 2nd, and 3rd editions,, "Photoshop Masking & Compositing",
        "Real World Digital Photography" 1st & 2nd editions

        She was amazing to take the time to answer my questions especially since I know how busy she is. So for the benefit of everyone here, here is her take on it.

        BTW, I am DS and she is KE if you could not figure that out!! =]

        KE: Since you are doing so many images – getting the better image in makes sense. But my question is – are you faster in Silver Fast of PS? I still prefer the full 48 bit slightly flatter file to be brought into PS as I can work non-destructively with adjustment layers – something you cannot do in Silver fast. BUT since you are scanning so many images you could with best intentions use the faster method if it is high bit.

        DS: I presume you mean by "flatter file" you mean untouched or altered and then do non destructive work with adjustment layers in PS.

        KE: Flatter means no clipping of black or white.

        DS:I was under the impression that Silverfast AI studio was just an alternative to the ugly and hard to use Epson Scan Software.

        KE: Silverfast is excellent scanner software.

        DS: I am not using the scanners scratch and dust correction since I have better plugins for that in PS.

        KE: Good call.

        DS: The ideal scenario would be the ability to scan a full page at a time, without having to crop each photo until I bring it into PS, but I figured that the colors/tones would be harder to deal with that way, as opposed to adjusting each individual photo. Unless scanning it in as an untouched, altered, corrected, 48 bit photo would still give me the same ability to do the adjustments in PS later on.

        KE: That is exactly what I suggest.

        DS: One fear I have is that I am setting the greys to about 10 and 245, giving myself less of a gamut to work with, I may be doing things in silverfast than I really should be doing in PS and just scan without touching the actual grey scale spectrum at all.

        KE: Most old photos don’t have a lot of detail below 10 or above 245, based on the original materials and fading. But you can always set those values to 5 and 250 and stil get good results.

        DS: So I guess my question is, If I scan at 48 bit, with no adjustments, a full page of pictures, thus getting every level of the gamut in the scan, should I be able to go back in PS , crop and tone/level/curve adjustment with the ability to reach the same quality (looks wise) that I would get if I was to do one by one in Silverfast?

        KE: This is what I would do.


        I hope this helps you all too....

        Dane S.


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