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Soft prints after scanning

 
 
PaulC
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      09-16-2004
Probably an old question but.......

Like everybody else, I suspect, I have a stock of negs and slides pre
digital days. I have been scanning them for archive on an HP S20 at full
res (2400) and correcting any faults in Photoshop. All scans need some
sharpening and this I have been doing with the PS Unsharp mask.

The problem is, even though the scans look pin sharp on screen when printed
from the files at a reputable commercial lab all are soft or grainy or look
very out of focus. Negs, prints from negs and slides all sharp the problem
is only after scanning.

Any suggestions as to what I am doing wrong here??
 
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Martin Francis
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      09-16-2004
"PaulC" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:Xns9566E7529AD39Groucho706@216.128.74.129...
> Probably an old question but.......
>
> Like everybody else, I suspect, I have a stock of negs and slides pre
> digital days. I have been scanning them for archive on an HP S20 at full
> res (2400) and correcting any faults in Photoshop. All scans need some
> sharpening and this I have been doing with the PS Unsharp mask.
>
> The problem is, even though the scans look pin sharp on screen when

printed
> from the files at a reputable commercial lab all are soft or grainy or

look
> very out of focus. Negs, prints from negs and slides all sharp the problem
> is only after scanning.
>
> Any suggestions as to what I am doing wrong here??


*if* they are sharp on-screen at 100%, then the printer is at fault and you
need a new lab. If the images look unfocused at 100% on the screen, the
scanner is at fault. Sadly, flatbed scanners are crap at negs- they don't
hold them flat enough for genuinely sharp scanning (my Canon D2400 is
testimony to that). This is why Nikon/Canon/Minolta can charge so much for a
dedicated film scanner- a film scanner will yield much sharper results, even
at lower or equal resolutions.

--
Martin Francis http://www.sixbysix.co.uk
"Go not to Usenet for counsel, for it will say both no, and yes, and
no, and yes...."


 
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Doug Robbins
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      09-17-2004
The HP S20 *IS* a film scanner.


"Martin Francis" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:cid87v$2ln$(E-Mail Removed)...
> "PaulC" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:Xns9566E7529AD39Groucho706@216.128.74.129...
>> Probably an old question but.......
>>
>> Like everybody else, I suspect, I have a stock of negs and slides pre
>> digital days. I have been scanning them for archive on an HP S20 at full
>> res (2400) and correcting any faults in Photoshop. All scans need some
>> sharpening and this I have been doing with the PS Unsharp mask.
>>
>> The problem is, even though the scans look pin sharp on screen when

> printed
>> from the files at a reputable commercial lab all are soft or grainy or

> look
>> very out of focus. Negs, prints from negs and slides all sharp the
>> problem
>> is only after scanning.
>>
>> Any suggestions as to what I am doing wrong here??

>
> *if* they are sharp on-screen at 100%, then the printer is at fault and
> you
> need a new lab. If the images look unfocused at 100% on the screen, the
> scanner is at fault. Sadly, flatbed scanners are crap at negs- they don't
> hold them flat enough for genuinely sharp scanning (my Canon D2400 is
> testimony to that). This is why Nikon/Canon/Minolta can charge so much for
> a
> dedicated film scanner- a film scanner will yield much sharper results,
> even
> at lower or equal resolutions.
>
> --
> Martin Francis http://www.sixbysix.co.uk
> "Go not to Usenet for counsel, for it will say both no, and yes, and
> no, and yes...."
>
>



 
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bob
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      09-17-2004
PaulC <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in
news:Xns9566E7529AD39Groucho706@216.128.74.129:

> The problem is, even though the scans look pin sharp on screen when
> printed from the files at a reputable commercial lab all are soft or
> grainy or look very out of focus. Negs, prints from negs and slides
> all sharp the problem is only after scanning.
>


Have the lab scan one of the negatives and print it.

If thier scaned print is good, then either your scanner or your process is
at fault. If theirs is bad too, then their printing process is at fault,
and you should repeat the procedure at a new lab.

Bob

--
Delete the inverse SPAM to reply
 
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=?iso-8859-1?Q?mark=5Fdigital=A9?=
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Posts: n/a
 
      09-17-2004

"PaulC" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:Xns9566E7529AD39Groucho706@216.128.74.129...
Probably an old question but.......

Like everybody else, I suspect, I have a stock of negs and slides pre
digital days. I have been scanning them for archive on an HP S20 at full
res (2400) and correcting any faults in Photoshop. All scans need some
sharpening and this I have been doing with the PS Unsharp mask.

The problem is, even though the scans look pin sharp on screen when printed
from the files at a reputable commercial lab all are soft or grainy or look
very out of focus. Negs, prints from negs and slides all sharp the problem
is only after scanning.

Any suggestions as to what I am doing wrong here??
-----------------
-----------------
-----------------
For the moment, only that you failed to mention how large your prints are,
and what compression scheme you use.

 
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PaulC
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      09-17-2004
bob <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in
news:Xns9566EC4825C73bobatcarolnet@207.69.189.191:

> PaulC <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in
> news:Xns9566E7529AD39Groucho706@216.128.74.129:
>
>> The problem is, even though the scans look pin sharp on screen when
>> printed from the files at a reputable commercial lab all are soft or
>> grainy or look very out of focus. Negs, prints from negs and slides
>> all sharp the problem is only after scanning.
>>

>
> Have the lab scan one of the negatives and print it.
>
> If thier scaned print is good, then either your scanner or your
> process is at fault. If theirs is bad too, then their printing process
> is at fault, and you should repeat the procedure at a new lab.
>
> Bob
>


Thanks for the tips...I am certain that it is my tecnique that is at
fault perhaps not sharpening enough. The lab has scanned and printed a
neg and a slide for me both perfect, although their scanner is a
commercial professional one so it doesn't compare with my home S20. I
have checked some scans again and at 100% resolution they do look less
than perfect in comparison to jpgs from my d60.

Any tips for calibrating the scanner or sharpening the images to attain
print quality?

 
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Alan Meyer
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      09-17-2004
"PaulC" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:Xns956756CAF163BGroucho706@216.128.74.129...
> bob <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in
> news:Xns9566EC4825C73bobatcarolnet@207.69.189.191:
>
> > PaulC <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in
> > news:Xns9566E7529AD39Groucho706@216.128.74.129:
> >
> >> The problem is, even though the scans look pin sharp on screen when
> >> printed from the files at a reputable commercial lab all are soft or
> >> grainy or look very out of focus. Negs, prints from negs and slides
> >> all sharp the problem is only after scanning.

> ...
> Thanks for the tips...I am certain that it is my tecnique that is at
> fault perhaps not sharpening enough.


You haven't said how large your final prints are.

If you're scanning a 36 x 24 mm image at 2400 dpi,
then printing at 8x10, you're getting nearly 300 pixels
per inch, which is a reasonable size for sharp photos.
If the prints are larger than that, then you may be
enlarging too much.

I know this is a dumb question, but I'll ask anyway -
Are you absolutely certain that you're scanning at
the full 2400 dpi capability of the scanner?

If you are, and if your enlargements aren't too great,
then I don't understand how it's possible for a scan
to be "pin sharp" on screen and still produce an
unsharp image.

Maybe you're fooling yourself about the "pin sharp"
appearance. A sharpening mask doesn't add
any detail to an image, It just increases the
contrast between adjacent pixels where the program
thinks a line should be. You may be increasing
apparent sharpness on screen, but not helping
much or at all on the printed image.

I guess the best thing to do is to find the best
printed output you've got and study it carefully,
comparing it to the digital image it was made from,
then doing the same with the photos that show
poor results. You might be able to spot the
difference on screen that gives you the
difference on paper.

If you can't spot a difference on screen then, no
matter how much you trusted the lab, you've got
to suspect them. Try a different lab and see
what happens.

Alan


 
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