Scanning Family Glossy Color Photos

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by contino, May 16, 2010.

  1. contino

    contino New Member

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    Hi everyone :)
    I hope you can help me out with a scanning problem I'm having. I'm using a HP 5180 all in one to scan 100's of family photos.

    I'm getting weird patterns in dark areas plus dust no matter how well I clean the top glass and photos.

    The sample photo will hopefully show you what I'm talking about.

    Do I need to clean underside? While that might help w/ the dust, the dark patterns are confusing me. To compensate, in Photoshop, I adjust the contrast to make the picture much darker so that the pattern doesn't show, but looks aweful in terms of bringing in the details within the dark areas.

    Do I need a new scanner? Is this typical?

    [​IMG]

    Look at the gown ... these patterns are in ALL pictures that I scan. I hope that there is a simple fix. If you recommend a new scanner, what might be a good, economical one to purchase?

    Thanks!

    Carl Contino
     
  2. magkelly

    magkelly New Member

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    My Photos Are NOT OK to Edit
    I might be wrong but it looks like it's the gloss finish itself has aged badly. Be better to scan the negatives if you've got them, but otherwise you're going to have to try to take the cracking out with the dust and scratches filter in your imaging program. I don't think you're going to get a better scan on these. I think the gloss coating is just crackling. You tried scanning at 300/600 dpi using descreen?
     
  3. contino

    contino New Member

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    Thank you for your help ...

    All of the pictures I'm scanning have the same glossy coating and are all pretty recent and look like they're in excellent condition. I'm hoping a different scanner will do a better job. Any recommendations on an affordable scanner would be great.

    And yes, I've tried scanning at higher resolution but with same results.

    I've already scanned 320 pictures for my father who likes them but his wife was less than enthusiastic. I'd really like to do a nice job for them but am lost as to what the next step should be.
     
  4. Dwig

    Dwig New Member

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    My Photos Are NOT OK to Edit
    The pattern that you are seeing is a limitation of the scanner. It has a somewhat too narrow dynamic range (Dmax) and the deep blacks are displaying a noise pattern. I've seen this in several low end scanners, including one of my HP All-in-One models. These units do very well with documents, but many of the lower end models are rather marginal with photographs. The HP 7580 that I use at work does do decent work. Its never produced this type of noise pattern, but it is no match to the scanner I use at home when it comes to clean shadow detail.

    At home, my primary photo scanner is an EPSON v700 (not a particularily inexpensive scanner) which has never produced this type of problem. You might consider the EPSON v500 (or newer v600) and perhaps the v300 as less expensive options that are still capable of good photographic work.

    Dust, on the other hand, is always a problem. It is extremely difficult to clean the glass and print well enough to eliminate all traces. I suggest using a very clean micro-fiber cloth to clean the glass and print. Never use paper towels or paper tissue.
     
  5. contino

    contino New Member

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    Thanks Dwig :)
    It's encouraging to know that it's just my scanner and that I should be able to get much better results w/ a better device.

    I've read the reviews on all the Epsons you recommended and am considering the v600.

    Two questions:
    - I am only scanning photos (not slides/negatives). Is there a feature I should be looking for that will help scan many photos quickly such as a holder of sorts for the 4x6 (mostly) photos so that I don't have to open the lid every time?
    - Is there a difference between the v500 and v600 that's significant?
    Thanks!

    Carl
     
  6. contino

    contino New Member

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    Oops ... just thought of another question:

    How important is it to have a scanner that will output to TIFF as opposed to jpg? And do the Epson models such as the v500 and v600 offer TIFF as output?

    Thanks again!
     
  7. Mike Bevans

    Mike Bevans New Member

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    My Photos Are OK to Edit
    Hey Carl - if you've got hundreds of photos to scan, I hope you give www.snaphaven.com/freescan.html a try. Let us do all the work for you ;)

    At SnapHaven, we are trying very hard to encourage people to backup their family photos before it's too late. Scanning your photos is a great way to preserve them.

    Thanks,

    Mike
     

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