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Pixel lines on scanned photos

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  • Pixel lines on scanned photos

    Well I guess this is a place as good as others to ask about my problem. I know people here deal with photo restoration daily so they also have to know about scanning.

    My problem goes like this. I was recently in the need of getting my paper photos into digital format, so I bought a Canon LIDE 220. This decision was taken after I saw that the scanners on my HP Printers don't produce the best results. While the Canon is indeed a good dedicated scanner, I encountered the same problem I was facing on the HP ones, respectively a sort of vertical pixel tear that appears on every scan, as can be seen here . This becomes apparent on 600 dpi resolutions and above, when using the Photo profile and Unsharp Mask in Canon Software.

    Seeing this, I wrote a message to Canon support explaining the issue, but they just replied with a canned response. Interestingly enough, in the video they sent me, where a guy explains how scanning at higher resolutions work, you can also see they kind of tearing I'm encountering .

    Don't get me wrong, this isn't a huge issue to me. I can repair the tears in Photoshop by using motion blur perpendicular to the tearing then painting it on a mask just in that place, but it's an unnecessary step that is added to my workflow of archiving the photos.

    Now judging by the fact that the HP scanners also did the same thing and on that video, I am starting to deduce this is more like a sensor limitation to these type of scanners. Also, I'm inclined to send the Canon back and get an Epson V19, but I'm afraid it does the same thing.

    What is also interesting is that there are always 2 tears/photo and also by measuring the distance between the pixel tears, they are always at the same distance no matter how many photos you place on the scanner bed or in what position.

    What can people with more experience tell me? Is this a common occurrence? Is it a problem of cheap scanners?

  • #2
    Re: Pixel lines on scanned photos

    Originally posted by Adreno View Post
    a sort of vertical pixel tear that appears on every scan, as can be seen here . This becomes apparent on 600 dpi resolutions and above, when using the Photo profile and Unsharp Mask in Canon Software.
    Difficult to see, but I finally saw it. (you should circle the areas in question).

    Looks like a glitch in the way the scan signal is processed, which most likely has more to do with software. But even high-end drum scanners had issues as times that needed a tech to come in and fix them. Often an upgrade to the software worked, but sometimes they replaced the motherboard. It was never the scan head for something like this.


    • #3
      Re: Pixel lines on scanned photos

      You certainly should not have to resort to repairing this artefacting in PS.

      Difficult to say what has caused this either a scanner or software issue but if it is either IMO you have goods not fit for purpose.

      I have never experienced this using several scanners print and neg at all sorts of resolutions.

      To rule out a software issue you may want to try the demo of Vuescan.


      • #4
        Re: Pixel lines on scanned photos

        When you let the scanner automatically do any processing on the data, it will most likely round off or clip/lose some information which may be useful to applications which have the capability to process high bit depth images. Turn off all automatic scanner enhancement settings and anything that auto dust & scratch removal, no descreen or denoising or despeckle,( these processes utilize algorithms containing such things as Masks, Tile Size (which may be what you are seeing), Detection Levels, Feathering, Etc..) no auto anything. All of that can and should be taken care of in photoshop. Then save the raw scan preferably as an LZW-compressed tiff. (it will give you about half the file size and is quick and lossless compression,) uncompressed tiff or psd at full size. Take the raw scan and import it into Photoshop or appropriate image processing software and make your own adjustments if you need them.

        More Scanner info can be found here


        • #5
          Re: Pixel lines on scanned photos

          I've tried scanning in VueScan and even on a Ubuntu machine with Xsane. It does the same thing, so I guess we can rule out the software glitch.

          Also, the lines are visible, albeit no so much even when I don't apply any post processing from the scanner's software.

          There's not really much I can do other than resorting to Photoshop. Canon support was not very helpful and the other option I have in this price range is Epson Perfection v19. For all I know, it could have the same problem, so I'm not really in the mood of RMA-ing and changing this one.

          I will probably shoot another e-mail to Canon.


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