Scanner DPI

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by LOST, Dec 4, 2006.

  1. LOST

    LOST TPF Noob!

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    Hi, sorry to bother with a question. I'm trying to scan very old pictures for a photo project and my scanner only goes up to 300DPI. When I crop the pictures it gets fuzzy and then to little squares. Are there scanners that scan at higher than 300 DPI? Or would real photo places be able to get better cropped photos printed?

    Oh and another question. I need to buy a photo program for my computer, which do you recommend?

    Thanks so much for your time.

    Diana
     
  2. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Modern photo scanners handle up to 4800X9600 dpi and can scan film as well as opaque objects. They cost around $200. They are available from HP, Epson, Canon, Microtek and others.
     
  3. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    From what I've seen, when scanning prints, anything above 300dpi tends to be a waste of space. Photo paper has only so much resolution.

    I'm not sure what you mean by cropping results in little squares unless you are resizing. The scanner should let you chose what part of the scanner area you want to scan. If you outline the photo and scan it at 300 dpi, you shouldn't have to do anything else with sizing.
     
  4. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    If your scanner is 300dpi you can basically only keep the print the same size. If you are trying to enlarge an original then you will need a higher resolution. You can get a decent flat bed for about $100 now a days (really good ones for $200 and up). Some scanners may even come with a basic photo program with them. Some even have automatic fixes for repairing old pictures (color, dust, small imperfections).

    Microtek scanmaker i320 is very good for the price. $99. It is a 3200 dpi scanner with an adapter for scanning 35mm negatives. But it also includes a version of Digital ICE which is a good dust removal system. It also includes Photoshop elements 3.0 which is a good basic photo program. Includes a couple other software options too. For the price its a very good deal!!
     
  5. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    You can print a 300dpi scan at a larger size. The print will be lower than 300dpi at that point, or you can resample if the lab really needs 300dpi. My point was that this is no worse than scanning at 600dpi and printing at 300dpi to double the dimensions. Scanning at a higher resolution, as far as I know, won't get you more detail, so why waste the disk space. Scanning from a negative is a different story, as a negative's resolution is much higher than paper. If you need more detail from a print, you need a larger print, not higher DPI.

    http://www.scantips.com/resolut.html
     
  6. LOST

    LOST TPF Noob!

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    http://www.flickr.com/photos/45314195@N00/

    Thanks for all the info. But I am not the most photo literate person. So I will tell you what I am trying to do and maybe you can answer that. The above link is to the two photos. The second one is the one I am trying to crop so I can get a closer up of the two young women. When I do this though, it's gets blurry and I am wondering if that can be helped. The actual photo is about 3" x 4" and I scanned it at 300 DPI. I'd like to crop it in and get a 4 x 6 out of it. So is there anything I can do? This is what I meant Mark, taking a small chunk of the picture and making it into a bigger one. Sorry that I wasn't clear. This is a photo of my mother and mother-in-law as teens. I thought it was kind of neat, not everyone has a picture like that.

    The first picture I am wondering if there are ways of deleting people out of pictures, like the girl behind with the covering on her head.

    I'm only doing about 15 old pictures in my project so I don't think it's worth getting new scanner. I may check out the photo shops here in town and see waht they can do for me.

    Thanks so much for your help, I am amazed at how fast I got a repsonse.
     
  7. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    Gotchya. Yeah, that doesn't have anything to do with the scanner itself. Whenever you crop, you cut away pixels, so the remaining pixels have to become larger to keep the same print size. If you then want to make the print even bigger, the pixels have to be bigger again. This can end up making the image look blurry or blocky. There's not much you can do about it. There is software out there that can help "fake it", but it can be expensive. If you look at the original print with a magnifying glass, you'll probably see that the faces of the two women aren't all that detailed anyway, so having higher DPI won't help.
     
  8. Groupcaptainbonzo

    Groupcaptainbonzo TPF Noob!

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    OK guys one minute here...
    Scanners and printers are different.... If you scan at 300 dpi (That's probably what you woulkd print out at) you may be scanning at 300 dpi from the original, or at what would be required to print out an A4 reproduction at 300 DPI.. The software should tell you and you need to bare in mind that a 35mm trannie scanned at 300dpi will not print well at A 4 or whatever... COULD be as simple as that. Also monitors / VDUs are usuall at about 65 PPI
    you can't scan a picture and print it bigger and hope the detail remains. almost all scanners that I have seen in the last 10 years will scan well enough to reproduce a 6 X 4 or a 10 X 8 at original size. but if you scan the centre section of a 6 X 4 you will not be able to make a good A 2 copy even if you have the gear to print it with.
     
  9. LOST

    LOST TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for your help guys. I've decided to just crop it as much as I can before it gets nasty looking and leave it at that. Thanks so much. And Bonzo you lost me, severely :lol: But thanks. Some day when my kids are in school, I would love to get a better camera and get into photography, I think it would be so much fun.
    Thanks again,
    Diana
     
  10. Groupcaptainbonzo

    Groupcaptainbonzo TPF Noob!

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    Sorry Diana,
    Your scanner should be fine for the job. But if you scan a small image and "blow it up" the computer needs to put detail into the extra size . and usually it cant. If you can find a way to get your computer / scanner to scan MORE dots eg 400 dpi or 1400 dpi. then as long as the detail is in the picture . the scanner should record it. Most scanners are able to do this. an example of the image and a discription of the size of the original and the software that you are using may be helpful
     
  11. LOST

    LOST TPF Noob!

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    Cpt. Bonzo,
    the link to the photo is http://www.flickr.com/photos/45314195@N00/

    the original was a 3" x 4" old picture and I'm using Jasc. It's what my computer came with. I am wanting to purchase a new photo program. Don't know what to get. But anyways here's the answer to your question.

    :hail:
     
  12. Groupcaptainbonzo

    Groupcaptainbonzo TPF Noob!

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    O.K.

    3" X 4" is quite small. So if you are going to make it much bigger you will need more detail than it actually contains. As it is a print and an old one at that, the detail will probably be a little limited to start with. Old negs were a little softer than we are used to these days. The film emulsion and the lens glass has leapt ahead since these photos were taken (I don't know about you, but even though I have no relationship to the people in the images, I could spend all day looking at old photos). and of course every time the light goes through glass it pics up the distortions from tiny imperfections in that glass. Also of course thay are prints, not the negative, So some detail will be lost in the printing ( the image has to go through another set of lenses and onto the paper which has a texture).
    If you look at the "Control Panel" that your computer displays on the screen when you use your scanner. There should be an option to scan at a higher level of DPI. (I am guessing as I don't know Jasc very well , but all the other programms that I have used contain something similar). or if not, you could scan to a memory file (Maybe on the desk top or in "my photos") and then use the "Control Panel" from the Scanners software. This may offer some improvement, But in the end every time you alter something you loose a little detail, and although you can always remove detail, you can't replace it. Maybe you will just have to settle for either a reasonably sharp 3" X 4". or a softer but larger print( most images are viewed from a distance which suits the size of the print anyway. So making it larger will probably just mean that people hold it further away in order to see it).
    Sorry if this has not been too helpful. Does anyone else have any ideas?

    New software? Really, unless you want to be a pro photographer (When you will need Photoshop CS at about £500 a pop). there are a wealth of options. Photoshop Elements is a really good one, and a friend of mine said that for family use you can do a lot worse than Jasc ( well you should know the answer to that one...). "Nero" do photoshow express. which has a good write up. For my money ... I have always used PhotoShop since version 3. So I am a bit stuck in a rutt. But Elements is a very powerful tool and has the benifit of being very like the industry standard PhotoShop CS, so it is often easy to get answers to questions that you may have. But ultimately your buget will have to decide.
    Tim.
    P.S. Again, Love the photos almost a past innocence about them.

    P.P.S. I know what I forgot to say...
    What type of scanner do you have?.. It may shed some light on the matter ! ! (Sorry !).
     

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