What resolution to set for scanning slides?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by LaFoto, Feb 20, 2005.

  1. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    For my birthday in December I got a scanner that also scans negatives and slides.
    In my "archives" I've got 30-year-old slides that I took as a teenager, and younger ones (though still from at least 10 years ago), and some of them are really nice photos - hidden and long forgotten.

    So I decided to make a big job out of it and scan the best ones.

    I am thoroughly unhappy with the result. I had hoped for a much better quality.
    The scanner is set to a 200dpi resolution.

    Is that too little for slides and negatives?
    Would a higher (maybe even much higher) resolution be required?

    Who knows about these things, and who can help? (I'm now trying at 600dpi, wondering what the results may be?)
     
  2. spike000

    spike000 TPF Noob!

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    Set the scanner to the highest optical resolution that it has. The more the better as you will pick up more detail from the original negs and slides.


    Spike
     
  3. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    LaFoto, I am scanning with a dedicated film scanner at 3600 dpi and have scanned at 7200 dpi. I believe the best possible job with good (and not grainy) slides will be done between 1800-3600 dpi. After that grain begins to show, believe it or not. You will be much happier with a dedicated film scanner. I also have a Canon flat-bed scanner that scans negatives (35mm through 4x5) but I get much, much better results from the dedicated film scanner.
     
  4. Jess

    Jess TPF Noob!

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    My scanner has a negative pull as well. I scan at 300 DPI and am happy.

    I was scanning some negatives that were maybe 3 - 10 years old this weekend however and found that they were much poorer scans than those I did of my recent developes. Regardless of the DPI I used.

    However, I suppose if you scan them in at a higher DPI you'll have more to play with if you try to correc them. It'll just take ages to do each one. Good luck :)
     
  5. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    You're actually better off scanning the prints on a flat-bed scanner!

    Obviously it depends what you want to do with the end image, but 200dpi for negatives is going to be useless, and so is 300dpi. The end result needs to be 300dpi at your desired print size. A 300dpi scan would therefore be fine for printing out a 35mm print, but anything bigger than that will start to show the errors.

    So enlarging your negative scan to 6"x4" at 300dpi is going to require a scan at a minimum of 1,300dpi (ish). To enlarge your negative scan to A4 is going to require a minimum of 2,600dpi (ish).

    As Mitica says above, a range of 1,800-3,600 should be about perfect. If in doubt, use more resolution not less.
     
  6. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks for your advice. Very kind of you.

    So I'll try again - but Mitica - yet another, a "dedicated negative scanner", would no longer make my husband happy (who was so proud to give me the new thing for my birthday in December - and well, I actually want to scan some slides in order to be able to show them here, plus to make them more accessible than they are right now).

    You'll hear about my results - or even see them (?)
     

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