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06-17-2009, 06:41 AM   #1
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Rescans

So I shot my first (ever) roll of film and scanned the negatives. But feedback suggested that I upscaled way too much (600%).

Having searched opinions on the max size one can print from negativess, the majority opinion was 8x10 or 8x12. A 600% uprez was required to reach that size. Anyway, I decided to rescan my images at 2400 dpi (up from 600 dpi that I used originally) and without any upscaling. This produced 1.45x.91 inch (2176x3400 pixel) images at 22.23MB each.

They can be found here: Film Scans - a set on Flickr

Still not that great.... but hopefully better film, better shooting conditions, and more practice with the MF lens will help.

Camera: Pentax ES
Lens: All shots were handheld with a Takumar SMC 50mm 1.4
Film: Cheepo Fujicolor 200
Development: By Ritz camera
Scanned negatives: I used an HP Scanjet 8300. I scanned at 2400 dpi without upscaling.
Files were then imported to Photoshop, corrected to my liking and saved for the web at 720x480.

06-17-2009, 02:19 PM   #2
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Well, basically, you'll never, ever need to upscale at all. If your scanner is anything like mine, it won't actually get what you'd expect from 2400dpi (which would be about 8MP of detail). 1200dpi seems sharp for me, but I don't make any prints from scans. That's what I decided after reading a bunch of scanner reviews -- even though I don't believe you can get more resolution out of 35mm than say the K10d, the scanners just don't do the job well enough. So I scan to archive my photos and show them to my friends, and if I need a print, I get one made from the film. It saves me a bit of money because I don't print bad or blurry pictures, though it costs me a lot of time!
06-17-2009, 02:57 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by brkl Quote
Well, basically, you'll never, ever need to upscale at all. If your scanner is anything like mine, it won't actually get what you'd expect from 2400dpi...
This was my experience with my Microtek flatbed scanner. It is supposed to support 4800 dpi, but scans at even 1200 dpi were disappointing. I upgraded to a Nikon Coolscan 5000 (mucho dinero) and the difference is beyond night and day. I guess the point I would make is that unless you have a very good flatbed, your results scanning film may be somewhat variable.

While I put out the bucks for the Nikon, there are other dedicated film scanners at a more moderate price point. Check out the various Plustek units. I also saw this PrimeFilm (aka Reflecta) unit at Costco.com on sale for under $200:



LED light source, 7200 dpi (probably about half that in real life), and digital ICE...Woo! Hoo! Here is a link to a review of a similar unit: http://www.filmscanner.info/en/ReflectaCrystalScan7200.html

Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 06-17-2009 at 03:04 PM.
06-17-2009, 03:40 PM   #4
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7200 dpi? That's almost 25MP... Talk about overkill. That's nowhere near what you need. Anything near 3000 actual dpi should be enough for any film. But yeah, good scanners cost money and I'm not convinced that they are so essential. You can still just make prints the old fashioned way and they'll be better.

06-17-2009, 04:27 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by brkl Quote
7200 dpi? That's almost 25MP... Talk about overkill. That's nowhere near what you need. Anything near 3000 actual dpi should be enough for any film. But yeah, good scanners cost money and I'm not convinced that they are so essential. You can still just make prints the old fashioned way and they'll be better.
7200 dpi is a bit of an overstatement. Yes, it is 25Mpx, but the actual resolution is closer to 3200dpi. It is that way with all of the 7200 dpi film scanners. I don't know what kind of results you get scanning at 3200 dpi. The Nikon is still the quality champ for currently available non-commercial scanners at a verifiable 4000dpi. (Unfortunately, rumor is that the Nikon Coolscan 5000 ED is being discontinued...)

Steve
06-17-2009, 04:48 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by brkl Quote
...even though I don't believe you can get more resolution out of 35mm than say the K10d, the scanners just don't do the job well enough...
That has been my conclusion as well for most films, with most lenses. With the finer-grained films, an optical enlargement will yield much more detail than you can get with a non-commercial scanner.

Having said that...absolute resolution is not the only consideration. For most viewing sizes at normal viewing distances, a well-scanned negative or slide will present every bit as nicely as a K10D digital image. I did a few scans of some old Fujichrome mountaineering slides and did a little pixel peeping. The results were pretty impressive in regards to the amount of texture and detail captured even though the grain was clearly visible. I was very surprised to see a guy standing on a rock in one of the scans of a wide angle shot about a mile distant from the camera. I thought our party was alone on the mountain that day.

Then there is the matter of tonality and dynamic range, particularly in the case of B&W...

Steve
06-17-2009, 04:58 PM   #7
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The question I would have..Is it the scanner or the software that is more important?
06-18-2009, 01:15 AM   #8
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I scan in my 35mm at 4800dpi (within the optical resolution capability of my scanner, with no interpolation) and have VueScan do a JPG reduction of a factor of 2, based on the recommendation of the VueScan developer, which takes the image down to 2400dpi and improves sharpness.

I print them off anything up to A3 size with no problem.

06-18-2009, 06:23 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by brkl Quote
So I scan to archive my photos and show them to my friends, and if I need a print, I get one made from the film. It saves me a bit of money because I don't print bad or blurry pictures, though it costs me a lot of time!
I think this will be my path as well. Scan without any upsizing and use those as web-distributable files... and if I find something is really nice, let a lab print something from the negative.
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