Size of Negative Scans

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by Chromag, Mar 29, 2010.

  1. Chromag

    Chromag TPF Noob!

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    My wife has a ton of negatives of some pictures she shot a long time ago. We used to have a Minolta film scanner that they no longer make and that did a great job.

    We recently needed to scan some actual photos so I bought a Canon CanoScan 8800F since it seemed to have a lot of positive reviews and would perform double duty of scanning negatives, slides and photos.

    When trying to scan negatives they keep scanning in at 1.4 inches wide no matter what settings I choose. If I tell the scanning software to scale it up the image size gets ridiculously large. For example, scaling up to an 8x10 says it's going to be over 500MB (and it turns red so I'm guessing it won't let me even if I tried) and will take a really long time to scan.

    Anyone know what I'm doing wrong? We never had this problem with the Minolta scanner. I'm sure I'm doing something idiotic.

    Should I just return it for an Epson V700? We're looking at doing maybe 8x10 prints at the largest - although this is mostly for archival purposes.

    Thanks.

    EDIT: Uh oh, DPI confusion - if that's the problem I'm going to kick myself repeatedly. I'll find out later today when I get home.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2010
  2. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    Its probably a matter of how the scanning software treats the "upscale" instruction. If it maintain your requested PPI in the upscaled image it will, of course, become huge.

    After all, if you scan a 35mm neg (approx scanning width of 1.4") at some particular resolution (e.g. 3200ppi) the image would be 4480 pixels wide regardless of whether its tagged as being 1.4" wide and 3200ppi or 10"wide and 448ppi. Personally, I never worry about the "1.4 inch" bit. I scan from Photosop (I use an EPSON v700, btw) and deal with any PPI vs. Inch Size alteration in PS after the fact. All too often I over scan (higher resolution than appropriate) so I can do some retouching before downsampling to a more appropriate resolution (retouching artifacts/flaws are often suppressed by doing this). Also, I frequently scan past the edges of the image and to a final precise crop in PS. Since I'm doing such resizing and cropping in PS anyway, doing the non-resampled resize there is no real additional work and is easier than trying to tweak my scanning software (usually EPSON Scan) to do it for me.
     
  3. Chromag

    Chromag TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the response. So it sounds like it doesn't matter that the image is tagged as being 1.4 inches as long as it's scanned in at a decent resolution. That's what it looked like in Photoshop - it showed as being 1.4" but the actual dimensions of the image (in pixels) was quite large and the quality looked great.

    Even though on the screen it was great - if I tested a print by scaling it up to around an 8x10 size and sent it to my HP Photosmart 8450 the quality was horrible. I could easily see the terribly pixelated quality. Maybe the scaling caused this or printing to the 8450 from the Mac just wasn't working out well.

    Thanks again.

    Oh, by the way, anyone have any opinions on the cheap(ish) flatbed film/slide scanners like the CanoScan 8800F versus the Epson V700? I'm seriously thinking about sending the 8800F back and upgrading to a V700.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2010
  4. Vautrin

    Vautrin No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The Canoscan 8800 does a great job but it's not very user friendly.

    Couple of things:

    1. Remember to take the cover off the light for the negative scanner.
    2. Remember to do the following (with negatives in the holder):
    In PhotoStudio hit acquire
    Go to the advanced mode tab
    I assume your resolution is something high like 2400?
    Set the source of your film to negative or positive (if it's slides), and whether or not it's monochrome
    Turn off auto tone, auto unsharp mask, and all the other correction options. You're going to have to tweak your photos in photoshop
    REALLY STUPID OPTION Go to preferences and make sure the "Enable 48bit / 16bit" option is checked


    Now try scanning.

    You should be able to hit prescan, have it find all 24 frames, then click scan (with the frames you want to scan checked) and get all the scans

    You can get better results with the silverfast software but it's very user unfriendly.

    Let me know how that works out -- I have the same scanner so I'm happy to help
     
  5. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    Scaling went awry somewhere, for sure. You only need about 1200x1800pixels to get a smooth 8x12 (or cropped 8x10) out of an image. True, that's only 150ppi at the printer and 2400x3600 (300ppi) would likely look somewhat sharper with most of the better printers, but 150ppi won't show visible pixelation except with the sharpest papers and very close examination.

    I don't have any experience with the Canon 8800F nor can I point you to any good head-to-head test. I can say that I'm very pleased with the results from my EPSON v700. I've used it for just about every format from 16mm subminiature to 4x5, including some odd antique formats. Most of my scans have been B&W negs and color slides and transparencies. I've never been a color negative fan and neither was my father (the source of many of the older family images I've scanned). There is a good review of the v700 & v750 which include some well done comparisons between these and dedicated film scanners. Check out:

    EPSON V700 review
     
  6. Professional

    Professional TPF Noob!

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    I have Epson V750, still learning on it, and hope to get great results with it as soon as possible.
     

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