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05-06-2009, 09:19 AM   #1
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Best Parameters for Scanning Negatives?

I am processing my B&W negatives and then scanning them. I'm using 400TX film.

Currently, I set my scanning software to scan as greyscale at 600 dpi for a target size of about 3300 by 2000 pixels, or about 300% enlargement.

I am curious to know what settings are used by others in scanning your negatives. I'm pretty happy with my results, but I wonder if maybe the resolution I'm using is exaggerating the grain. There has to be a "sweet spot" for scanning and I have a feeling someone has already discovered it!

05-06-2009, 09:42 AM   #2
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This is the general guide I use...why re-invent the wheel, right?

Scanning at 1200-2400dpi is what I do...just to have the benefits of a big image...I don't keep a "ton" of images so file size isn't a huge issue for me. My Epson software has been acting up so it scans the whole neg into one file...5 pics averages about 70MB in total, then split up and process the 5 which leads to ~11MB each (this is only changing the dpi number...not messing with the "size" boxes).
05-06-2009, 09:54 AM   #3
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While I don't have a deticated negative/slide scanner (yet), I do have a Epson flatbed which does a pretty good job. It's main downfall is it's Very slow. I scan at 48bit, 2400dpi (max hardware) and 100%. This takes about 5min per image and gives me a 6MP or 3200x2100 image to work with. I save as *.tif and 'edit' in SilkyPix. If there are any blemishes, etc. I use to clone them out. I then save as *.jpg and 900px on the long side when posting to the web.
05-06-2009, 10:39 AM   #4
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i always scan using the scanners native DPI figure

my scanner is advertised as 4000 DPI, that is what setting i use.

also, some scanners have additional features, such multi scanning, dust removal, shadow adjustments, and so forth

i only play with these if there is a need.

05-06-2009, 03:04 PM   #5
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The Shutterbug article linked to by Ryan S looks pretty on the money. The only difference in my technique is I scan all my b&w as colour. I then convert to black and white in PS using either the Lab B&W or Gorman/Holbert techniques (actions for these can be found on the internet). Once again, these leave you with a colour RGB file which is adaptable to many situations.

I never convert to 8-bit except when spinning jpegs off the final TIFF. I find even slight tweaks to the levels on an 8-bit black and white file can lead to nasty posterization effects. On the other hand, the seemingly narrow tonal space of the 16-bit files can be expanded endlessly, like rubber.
05-06-2009, 06:22 PM   #6
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Oh gosh, I have spent hours and hours scanning film and trying all kinds of things and still I am looking. The one thing I have settled on is that VUE SCAN software is a must. My scanner is nothing special. I have an HP G3010 that I am very happy with.
I scan to 1200dpi at 600% enlargement size.

I scan both to Jpeg and Tiff at the same time. works for me.

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