Scanning prints- advice?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by law_kid, Nov 23, 2009.

  1. law_kid

    law_kid TPF Noob!

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    Hello- long time lurker, first-time poster.

    Been experimenting with film photography lately. However, it seems like a film pic scanned into a jpeg file (at least when I do it) is never anywhere close to the quality of the same picture with a digital camera to begin with. My prints scans are often flat, or contain speckles and things. However, I often see shots posted on this forum and elsewhere that were film prints scanned in, and they look great. I have to believe it's not just hours spent with Photoshop.

    I think I have a fairly good flatbed scanner. Does anyone have any basic suggestions for scanning prints? Resolution, settings, or other tips? Thanks.
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    You will get much better results if you scan the film, rather than scanning the print. Some flatbed scanners have special trays/holders for this, but to get the better results, a dedicated film scanner is the way to go.

    You may still get dust spots etc, but some scanners are bundled with software to specifically deal with this (Digital ICE for example).

    I think that many people just have their film scanned at a lab these days. You can usually have them put onto a disc when the film is developed...or you can take specific shots back in and have them scanned. You can even have then scanned at higher resolution than the typical CD.

    Scanned images may still need a bit more work (in Photoshop) but you can get stunning quality from good film and a good scanner.
     
  3. a.rodgers

    a.rodgers TPF Noob!

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    I've had this problem a lot when scanning photos even though i have a high quality scanner. I use photoshop to get rid of dust spots and such.
     
  4. law_kid

    law_kid TPF Noob!

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    Thanks. I've gone the "scanning the negative" route at the local lab and have been very happy with the results there. However, there are a few older prints in particular that I am trying to scan for which I have no negatives; I guess the answer there is "it will be kind of crappy, so deal with it?"
     
  5. BuS_RiDeR

    BuS_RiDeR No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well yes and no... I know I have some old prints I've scanned that are very bad quality because of dust and a dirty scanner (visit my blog if you want to see what I mean). But I plan to (if I can find the original prints) re-scan them after following these steps.


    • Clean the scanner (see manufacturer's instructions for best results that won't damage any coatings that may be on the glass/plastic) as best as possible.

    • Clean the photograph itself to ensure no/little dust. (be sure to use something that will not damage the actual print)
    If you haven't got the option of scanning the negative or film or slides, these things might help.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2009

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