Photo scanning quality

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by znd, Jan 11, 2005.

  1. znd

    znd TPF Noob!

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    Hello

    I am in the process of scanning some very old photographs for archiving purposes without the disadvantage of paper decay etc. I might want to re-print them in the future. I started scanning the photographs at 600dpi but then I started wondering if this quality was enough. I wouldn't want to end up 3 years from now realizing that computers and scanners have improved and feeling the need to rescan the whole batch in higher quality. My questions is, at which point does it become useless to try to scan photos at higher and higher resolutions? Surely there must be a limit to the number of dpi we can reasonably reprint on paper? Of course I know a reprint of a scan cannot possibly be as good as the original, I'm just trying to find the best compromise here. I thought maybe some photo experts here might give me some advice on this.

    Thank you
     
  2. Mumfandc

    Mumfandc TPF Noob!

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    Well, from the rule that I've always followed...300dpi optical resolution scans (with regard to the final output size) is sufficient enough and will produce good results...I don't think a discernable difference is possible going with higher resolution scans.

    Of course, nowadays there are the digital "printers" (as opposed to inkjet) like LightJet/Lambda prints, and from what I've read, many customers can't tell the difference between an original scan of 150dpi and 300 dpi.

    The best scans are always direct from the negative. Higher scans result in more leeway for cropping. And also, if your scanner's program has "sharpen" capabilities, you should turn it off...it's better to leave sharpening up to something like "Unsharp Mask" in Photoshop...otherwise you may end up oversharpening your images (resulting in degradation of quality).
     
  3. rmphoto

    rmphoto TPF Noob!

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    i use 600dpi

    and unsharp mask is the key.
     
  4. Contra|Brett|

    Contra|Brett| TPF Noob!

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    a 4000 dpi scanner is generally accepted to get all the information off slides or negatives.

    it is suitable to make prints of up to 16x24 (possibly a little bigger)
     

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