Soft prints after scanning

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by PaulC, Sep 16, 2004.

  1. PaulC

    PaulC Guest

    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??
     
    PaulC, Sep 16, 2004
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. "PaulC" <> 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...."
     
    Martin Francis, Sep 17, 2004
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. PaulC

    Doug Robbins Guest

    The HP S20 *IS* a film scanner.


    "Martin Francis" <> wrote in message
    news:cid87v$2ln$...
    > "PaulC" <> 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...."
    >
    >
     
    Doug Robbins, Sep 17, 2004
    #3
  4. PaulC

    bob Guest

    PaulC <> 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
     
    bob, Sep 17, 2004
    #4
  5. "PaulC" <> 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.
     
    =?iso-8859-1?Q?mark=5Fdigital=A9?=, Sep 17, 2004
    #5
  6. PaulC

    PaulC Guest

    bob <> wrote in
    news:Xns9566EC4825C73bobatcarolnet@207.69.189.191:

    > PaulC <> 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?
     
    PaulC, Sep 17, 2004
    #6
  7. PaulC

    Alan Meyer Guest

    "PaulC" <> wrote in message
    news:Xns956756CAF163BGroucho706@216.128.74.129...
    > bob <> wrote in
    > news:Xns9566EC4825C73bobatcarolnet@207.69.189.191:
    >
    > > PaulC <> 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
     
    Alan Meyer, Sep 17, 2004
    #7
    1. Advertising

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

It takes just 2 minutes to sign up (and it's free!). Just click the sign up button to choose a username and then you can ask your own questions on the forum.
Similar Threads
  1. Joseph Meehan

    Re: Scanning old photos - prints vs. negatives?

    Joseph Meehan, Sep 8, 2003, in forum: Digital Photography
    Replies:
    5
    Views:
    3,646
    Maw888
    Sep 9, 2003
  2. David J. Littleboy

    Re: Scanning old photos - prints vs. negatives?

    David J. Littleboy, Sep 9, 2003, in forum: Digital Photography
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    461
    David J. Littleboy
    Sep 9, 2003
  3. Sb083459

    Scanning negatives as prints

    Sb083459, Oct 28, 2003, in forum: Digital Photography
    Replies:
    2
    Views:
    397
    Azzz1588
    Oct 28, 2003
  4. Brian Stirling

    Preparation for scanning slides and prints (Minolta 5400)

    Brian Stirling, Nov 14, 2003, in forum: Digital Photography
    Replies:
    2
    Views:
    441
    Bart van der Wolf
    Nov 14, 2003
  5. Grace

    After scanning it prints too big

    Grace, Aug 20, 2006, in forum: Computer Support
    Replies:
    6
    Views:
    482
    Plato
    Aug 22, 2006
Loading...

Share This Page