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  1. #1
    Nicole's Avatar
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    Please help - Scanning negs

    I recently bought the Epson 4870 Scanner which is great (for proofing etc...) and it scans 24 negs at once. Very nice!

    But, I'm having trouble getting the best possible scanned results from my negatives. The scans show a lot of grain where there is hardly any on the negative. It's not dust/dirt either.

    I'm trying to produce proof prints of 6x4's, and 5x7's from the scans. I'm scanning at 2400 dpi and 16 bit.

    Any tips/suggestions you may have would be most appreciated.

    Thanks very much and kind regards
    Nicole

  2. #2
    rbarker's Avatar
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    A lot depends on the software being used, Nicole. I'm not sure if you're scanning color or B&W negs, but many scanner/software combinations get fooled by B&W negs - including the otherwise very-capable Silverfast plugin often bundled with Epson scanners.

    One way around the problem of this introduction of bogus grain is to scan the B&W neg as a color positive, and "invert" in Photoshop. Just remember that things are reversed when setting parameters in the scanning software. When doing this, the preview of the image will look like a "good" negative.

    Also, scanning at 2400 PPI may be overkill if your objective is to simply produce good proofs of 5x7 or smaller. I'd suggest scanning at a resolution that will produce a file of the desired print size at your printer's so-called sweet spot - probably around 300 DPI. If you're using Silverfast, setting the print size and output resolution is one of the options.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

  3. #3
    Nicole's Avatar
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    Hi Ralph, I'm using PS CS for all my scanning although I have installed Silverfast, just haven't looked into it yet.

  4. #4
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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    Nicole,

    for 4 x 6 and 5 x 7 300 dpi is enough to give very good quality proofs, not difficult at all, the area you want to look at is you white balance which will balance the prints out more evenly, is this a flatbed? if so make sure your table is very clean and your transparancy illumination is also clean, this will help with contrast and even illumination..

    Dave

  5. #5
    Nicole's Avatar
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    Hi Dave, the scanner's a flatbed. I'm a little confused as to whether to set the scanning at "original" or preselected 5x7's or some other size, but it then crops the neg, which I don't want. I'm not sure what the benefits are over these and can't find much on it in the online manual.
    Thanks for your input Dave.
    Cheers
    Nicole


    Quote Originally Posted by Satinsnow
    Nicole,

    for 4 x 6 and 5 x 7 300 dpi is enough to give very good quality proofs, not difficult at all, the area you want to look at is you white balance which will balance the prints out more evenly, is this a flatbed? if so make sure your table is very clean and your transparancy illumination is also clean, this will help with contrast and even illumination..

    Dave

  6. #6
    rbarker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicole McGrade
    Hi Ralph, I'm using PS CS for all my scanning although I have installed Silverfast, just haven't looked into it yet.
    I also use PS CS for image editing, and the Silverfast PS plugin for scanning. I wasn't aware that PS CS included its own scanning software, however. Is that through the WIA-support option under the "import" menu item?

    There may be device configuration parameters that need to be set to optimize the WIA software for your 4870. I'm not sure about this, however, so I can't offer advice in that regard.

    Having installed Silverfast, does that appear as an option in the import menu? If the scanner was connected and turned on when you installed Silverfast, I'm surprised that the installation procedure didn't prompt you for additional info. If you had an earlier version of PS installed, the Silverfast stuff may have been placed under that version's menus. There is a procedure for copying that to the CS directory, but I don't recall the specifics. You might need to consult the support documentation on the Silverfast Web site to get more info.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

  7. #7
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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    Nicole,

    Normally when I am scanning negs, I will set the scanner for 1200 dpi and scan at actual size, I then convert to the size I want at 300 dpi, which produces a good quality size for the print/proof I am making, in other words, scan at true size 1200 dpi and then resize in PS to 5 x 7 at 300 dpi or 4 x 6 at 300 dpi which produces very printable files with good contrast..

    Dave

  8. #8
    Helen B's Avatar
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    Hi Nicole,

    There's a fair amount of information on the web about this issue. Search on 'grain aliasing'. Here's one link. Does your scanner have 'ICE'? In particular 'GEM' (?grain equalization and management?)? This works, at least with my Nikon scanners, with conventional B&W film when it is scanned in RGB instead of greyscale. It isn't necessary with most B&W films, but it is useful with some of them.

    I usually send files to my Epson printers at 360 or 720 dpi instead of 300, by the way. Different printers seem to like different resolutions - it is a factor of the native resolution of the printer. (360 = 1440/4).

    Best,
    Helen

  9. #9

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    irony

    Is it it not ironic that to show our work on this site we have to use digital imaging? To me it seems almost like a minister having to learning dirty words to produce a good sermon.

  10. #10
    rbarker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Claire Senft
    Is it it not ironic that to show our work on this site we have to use digital imaging?
    Yes, an interesting irony. But, the only alternative would be to beam ourselves back and forth, Star Trek-like, presumably over some sort of (again, digital) broadband connection. Considering all the hackers out there, that might be risky with a "denial of surface" (sic) attack.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

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