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Will Whitaker
21-Feb-2015, 11:47
What would be the recommendation of those in the know for scanning large prints (12x20 and 14x17, to be specific) for web presentation. I do not need or want high resolution scanning for making digital negatives or anything of the like. I simply want to be able to scan a 12x20 contact print, re-size to fit and upload it to my website (or even just to this forum) for sharing.

If this involves scanning in sections and then stitching, is there a reliable stitching software for Mac that does not involve Photoshop? I would prefer a standalone application. I do not own Photoshop, nor do I want to go to the expense of purchasing Photoshop.

Thanks in advance.

djdister
21-Feb-2015, 12:02
If it's a large print and all you want is to post on the web, why not take a digital shot of it?

Robert Oliver
21-Feb-2015, 12:12
Digital photograph... If you want to do it right, light it with 2-4 lights at 45 degree angles. A copy stand would be ideal.

Tracy Storer
21-Feb-2015, 12:24
+1 for sticking it on the wall (or copystand) and shooting with digicam.

Jim Fitzgerald
21-Feb-2015, 12:26
Will, I think I use Adobe Elements from an old computer for my 8x20 prints and then stitched them. For the 14x17's and 11x14's I had to photograph them with my digital camera. I haven't done a large image for a while and the lighting is always the problem.

Will Whitaker
21-Feb-2015, 12:53
The digicam is winning way out in front. I have an ancient and basic Nikon D40 with the kit zoom lens. If I could find a different lens (perhaps a prime), I'd feel more confident of the end result. The kit lens is not terribly sharp. The best thing I can say about it is that it has great bokeh, but in places bokeh shouldn't be!

But understand, too, that I'm NOT looking for an excuse to buy a new digital camera!! I'd love to be able to do this with what I have already on hand.

'Course, I could hang the F3 on a copy stand and shoot b&w film, then scan that into the digital realm as I have better lenses for the F3 and a Coolscan 35mm film scanner. Talk about the long way 'round! But all I'd have to buy is some film...

Somehow that appeals to my inner Luddite.

Doug Howk
21-Feb-2015, 12:54
If the prints are just B&W, then should be no problem with digicam on copystand or wall mount print. If they have some color, however, then light temps and color artifacts may be obstacles.

Oren Grad
21-Feb-2015, 13:01
I'm wrestling with this problem too. I have a copy stand, but I'm finding it difficult to achieve even lighting over anywhere near that large an area.

For smaller originals I've done some tinkering with photographing a blank white sheet at the same magnification with the idea of making a correction overlay for Photoshop, but it's a nuisance and so far I haven't gotten it quite right.

Merg Ross
21-Feb-2015, 13:28
That size should be easy to evenly light and copy as suggested above. I've had galleries copy mine for auctions with digicam and they look fine on the monitor (of course not as good as the original)! I think some were done outside on an overcast day.

Look forward to seeing the results on your website, or here!

Steve Sherman
21-Feb-2015, 14:02
What would be the recommendation of those in the know for scanning large prints (12x20 and 14x17, to be specific) for web presentation. I do not need or want high resolution scanning for making digital negatives or anything of the like. I simply want to be able to scan a 12x20 contact print, re-size to fit and upload it to my website (or even just to this forum) for sharing.

If this involves scanning in sections and then stitching, is there a reliable stitching software for Mac that does not involve Photoshop? I would prefer a standalone application. I do not own Photoshop, nor do I want to go to the expense of purchasing Photoshop.

Thanks in advance.

Thx Wil, This is a question I've wondered about for a long time. I have a good friend who owns a large studio, they shot many of my 7x17 with copy lights and a Canon 5D, noticeably better results than my dinosaur 20D nevertheless only a small % of the 5D shots were acceptable to post to the internet.

Years ago the same studio shot the majority of the 80+ shots on my web site with a view camera with a digital back and an infrared sensor to balance the distances from each corner of the D back to the plane of the finished mounted prints. Terrific results, simply not practical when you only want to record only a few images as you need them.

When I ask the same knowledgable D photographer about what scanner would suffice, the answer always comes back, if you buy too old a scanner (less $$) than you run the risk of updated software not being able to communicate with the files being generated, or something like that.

Will watch with interest, Thx Will.

Cheers

jp
21-Feb-2015, 19:25
Take the 50mm lens off your F3, put it on the D40 and go to it. A fifty has less pincushion distortion than the cheap zooms. If your D40 has the optional grid lines in the viewfinder that will help you get it squared up.

Greg Davis
21-Feb-2015, 19:36
There are simple adapters out there to use enlarger and copy lenses on dslr cameras. That may give you better flatness, or a good macro lens may work.

Peter De Smidt
21-Feb-2015, 20:07
Try the 50mm first. You're not near the macro range with that size subject. It will be plenty good. The keys are alignment and lighting.

Randy Moe
21-Feb-2015, 20:28
Like others I think a D40 and a 50 will be great.

If you have white ceilings, I find I have better lighting by bouncing my lights of the ceiling. I use 2 strobes, but anything can be made to work. Nothing is moving...

Then open the file in PS and try 'auto color' Try that first, then try other things. Also shoot in color not B&W.

Gary Samson
22-Feb-2015, 07:28
Hi Will,
If you have two lights and can control the ambient light in the room, set the lights to a 45 degree angle to the artwork and adjust for even illumination. You should have polarizing filters over the lights and the lens to eliminate all glare. As others have said, the 50mm on the D40 should be a good combination to record your images.

Kimberly Anderson
22-Feb-2015, 07:34
In my studio I have two Eversmart Pro II scanners that can scan HUGE prints and negatives. HOWEVER...for making a quick'n'dirty copy of a large print you should do exactly what Randy Moe suggested above. It's usually what I do. I have 9-foot flat white ceilings in my studio and I take my two Speedo head and bounce them way back so I get very even illumination on the copy work. If there's any *very slight* falloff from top to bottom, it is easily corrected with a graduated filter in Lightroom. I also like to shoot the copywork with a color and greyscale chart so I can get an idea of light temperature and scale.

Here's an example of a 4x10 and a 12x20. The 4x10 is a pt/pd print and the 12x20 is a salted paper print. I use this method all the time and I get wonderful results.

Will Whitaker
22-Feb-2015, 09:05
Take the 50mm lens off your F3, put it on the D40 and go to it. A fifty has less pincushion distortion than the cheap zooms. If your D40 has the optional grid lines in the viewfinder that will help you get it squared up.

Indeed! Several 50mm Nikkors scattered about, so grabbed the first one that flew by and sure enough! It worked! I had been under the impression that older lenses would not work on the D40, but I set it to manual and it's like a new toy to play with! I'm still hunt and peck on the exposure, but I do have meters. My only concern here is that 50mm seems a bit long for the D40's miniature sensor. But this is a big step forward. I'll sandbag the little Nikon down on a heavy studio tripod. I have a couple of vacuum easels that should help with this. And I've got a small Speedotron kit now for lighting.

Thanks to all of you who responded! This aspect of ULF had bugged me for a while. I had been afraid that I would have to invest money in scanners on the brink of extinction, drivers and image processing software that I don't want to have to pay for and have little use for otherwise. Great to be able to use the small bits that I already have on hand.

So much work to be done!...

Randy Moe
22-Feb-2015, 13:07
Watch out for some Pre AI Nikkors on some newer Nikon cameras.

Read this and don't break any Nikon bodies. http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/compatibility-lens.htm

Will Whitaker
22-Feb-2015, 13:26
Thanks Randy. The lens I grabbed this morning is an old Non-AI 50mm, f/2. I figured I'd lose metering even before I determined that it was Non-AI. But that's OK. I could find the correct setting by guessing, then hunting and pecking until it looked good. But I'll be careful; don't want to break anything!!

Randy Moe
22-Feb-2015, 14:19
Be careful with newer than D40 cameras.

I had one f 1.2 converted by http://www.aiconversions.com/

Great honest guy. He actually told me not to convert a lens as it was collector quality.

Ari
25-Feb-2015, 15:39
Does everything said here so far pre-suppose that the image to be copied is a print?
I don't have a darkroom for printing, just film developing in a Jobo; I plan on shooting 14x17 in the next year, but doubtful that I'd be able to have a darkroom for contact printing.
If anyone else here goes only as far as a negative, what do you do to have it digitally printed? Or is it scanned/photographed to share on the web?
Thanks

Oren Grad
25-Feb-2015, 16:52
Be careful with newer than D40 cameras.

Any of the D40/D60/D3xxx/D5xxx cameras should be safe with pre-AI lenses. These camera bodies don't have any aperture-coupling lug to break.

Will Whitaker
25-Feb-2015, 19:54
Does everything said here so far pre-suppose that the image to be copied is a print?

Ari, that is what was stipulated in the OP. It's a personal choice on my part. My reasons for shooting large negatives are that I still like using in-camera negatives and I want large (relatively) contact prints (alt process and otherwise to hang on the wall. A very old-fashioned notion, I know. But that's what I like about photography. There is some wonderful work being done in the hybrid and full-digital realms. It's just not my cup of tea. However, I do want still to be able to share my work without excessive shipping charges. Being able to email a digital image of the finished print is important. And if I ever do anything worth sharing, I'd like to be able to upload an image to the Portraits thread. Plus there's one juried show this spring in my area that demands electronic entries. If you're invited, then you can hang the real print, but the electronic copies are what get you past the gate. Plus I have a small web site which I would like to populate with the work I intend to do. So my question for scanning the print came out of that. I'm not sure why anyone would even consider shooting 14x17 unless they intend to print from the negative. It's just too much work and too much expense. But I'm not trying to question motives, only explain my own.

Oren, thanks for that. I had not seen any sort of aperture-coupling lug and I looked three times!

Ari
25-Feb-2015, 20:17
Will, I know you're right about the contact printing and why one would shoot ULF without making a contact print. I just lack the space for that kind of darkroom.
One day, it may be possible, but for now, I don't have the room. I am eager to try a very large format and see how it goes, if I like it, but I know I won't be able to do justice to the entire process just yet.

And immediately after writing my post, I noticed the word "print" in the thread title.

Randy Moe
25-Feb-2015, 20:39
Any of the D40/D60/D3xxx/D5xxx cameras should be safe with pre-AI lenses. These camera bodies don't have any aperture-coupling lug to break.

Equally most higher end and newer Nikons will be damaged by non converted Pre AI lens. Including many Nikon film cameras.

My link to the hated Ken Rockwell site has all that info, he is one of the few to publish it all in one place.

tgtaylor
25-Feb-2015, 20:49
For my mounted and framed (16x13) salt prints I've been hanging them on the wall and shooting them with a Canon G9 attached to a tripod. For lighting I use 2 small Photoflex soft boxes - one to each side. I take 3 shots of each image and pick the best one from the camera's preview and download into the laptop and open with PS CS3 and adjust the brightness, contrast and color (if toned) to match the print. From there I crop-out the wall (I'm learning how to crop) and downsize the image for the web. There's no need to spend thousands on a scanner when a decent (if ancient) point-n-shoot will get you there.

BTW, you don't need a darkroom for POP alternative printing. Just a dimly lit place to coat the paper and to wash and tone it after printing. Exposure is easily (and best) done using sunlight or open shade. All you need is a good contact printing frame and 1 or 2 trays regardless of the size of the negative.

Thomas

Bruce Barlow
26-Feb-2015, 00:33
Neanderthal that I am, it occurs to me that the perfect should not become the enemy of the good.

Nothing is more irritating to me than sites and photographs that load slowly because the author wants me to see a resolution that is, for me, overkill. I'm interested in the image, I'm willing to forgive technical blips, and give credit that the photographer knows what he's doing, and has made sensible compromises for the web.

Well, watermarks are more irritating, but that's for another thread.

I care about the image.

So I guess that's a vote for the digicam. "Try it, you'll like it."

Randy Moe
26-Feb-2015, 01:01
Yes, resolution, meaning pixel dimensions should be appropriate for the viewing device. Even jpg quality settings can be vastly reduced without visible differences when using tiny screens such as phones and tablets.

The file size and pixel dimension rules this site uses are sufficient to grasp an image 'concept'.

Yet, we are all gaining higher resolution 'Retina' quality as we upgrade viewing screen qualities.

What looks OK here and now on this site, in a few years will not on newer devices. 6K monitors will change the game and make all older digitalization look like 1951 TV.

John Jarosz
26-Feb-2015, 07:00
I care about the image. "

That's fine for silver prints. Alt process stuff isn't the same (IMHO). Spending the time to make an alt image is all lost if all you want to see is a thumbnail sketch of the graphic part of an image. And to convey the tonal qualities on a monitor almost requires more work and software than making the original alt process image.

It's kinda like looking at fine vintage silver prints in the AIC basement with no illumination - which is what you're forced to do by the curators. I won't go there to see a photography exhibit either. And I can't see the value of looking at a tiny representation of what WAS a print that took hours to make.

My opinion anyway.

John

Peter De Smidt
26-Feb-2015, 19:17
One issue with using a high-res scan or dslr picture of a print for web use is that you have to down size it tremendously for the web. Photoshop doesn't do a very good job of that. My favorite program for that is Resample_by_Percentage_V122.bat by Bart van der Wolf. It's free. See: http://forum.luminous-landscape.com/index.php?topic=91754.0;wap2 To use it you'd need ImageMagick on your machine. It's also free.

Randy Moe
26-Feb-2015, 19:40
One issue with using a high-res scan or dslr picture of a print for web use is that you have to down size it tremendously for the web. Photoshop doesn't do a very good job of that. My favorite program for that is Resample_by_Percentage_V122.bat by Bart van der Wolf. It's free. See: http://forum.luminous-landscape.com/index.php?topic=91754.0;wap2 To use it you'd need ImageMagick on your machine. It's also free.

So you really see a noticeable difference at 750 x 750 pixels and less than whatever it is here? 2.5 KB?

I'll try anything free.

Well maybe not. I feel any software without GUI is simply not ready for me.

I use CL only if absolutely forced to.

I read ImageMagick's offerings.

Peter De Smidt
26-Feb-2015, 21:05
Yes, it does a better job. I'm not a fan of command line .... but this is easy even for me. Right click on image. Choose "send to bat..." Command box opens. Programs asks for output size, optimize for decrease/increase, and sharpening amount. Everything is explained step-by-step. Once you enter the info, which takes seconds, the resized photo pops up in the same folder as the original image. The sharpening uses de-convolution. I'm pretty beat, but I'll post some examples soonish.

tgtaylor
26-Feb-2015, 22:02
Well here's an image that I just shot with a Canon G9 for my website:

http://www.spiritsofsilver.com/yahoo_site_admin/assets/images/Untitled-2014.56203505_large.jpg

I "downsized" it in PS CS3 as shown in the screen shot:

129978

what am I doing wrong here?

Thomas

Randy Moe
26-Feb-2015, 22:42
Well here's an image that I just shot with a Canon G9 for my website:

http://www.spiritsofsilver.com/yahoo_site_admin/assets/images/Untitled-2014.56203505_large.jpg

I "downsized" it in PS CS3 as shown in the screen shot:

129978

what am I doing wrong here?

Thomas

That's a leading question. I imagine in 24 hours you will hear a few opinions. Not from me.

Randy Moe
26-Feb-2015, 23:32
Since Peter went to bed I will give him something for the morning. :)

I downloaded ImageMagick henceforth called (IM) and used the suggested desktop icon method of getting it going rather than command line. That should make no difference in how it works.

It does work and is rather simple to use. I spent an hour trying to make a set of comparison images. However within the posting image size limits here, I hit a sizing snag. I can't make equal size and resolution images to compare without using CS PS.

I saw on my screen that CS PS lightened my original and changed contrast as compared to the more invisible size conversion done with IM, but I can't show it here. I give up for tonight. :(

jp
27-Feb-2015, 06:16
Whether or not you strip the color management profile makes a difference in how it's handled by online services and web browsers. I find images display more consistent online if I save it srgb colorspace and without the color profile info. PS's save for web can do this.

tgtaylor
27-Feb-2015, 09:39
Whether or not you strip the color management profile makes a difference in how it's handled by online services and web browsers. I find images display more consistent online if I save it srgb colorspace and without the color profile info. PS's save for web can do this.

Thanks for the tip JP. I wondered about leaving the ICC profile checked when saving for the web. I'm going to leave it unchecked going forward.

Thomas

Peter De Smidt
27-Feb-2015, 09:50
Thomas, it looks a little soft on my screen, but maybe that's how it's supposed to be? When you use bicubric smoother to reduce the size of the print, you should probably do a little sharpening after the resize. If you email me the file, I'd do a version for you to compare with.

Randy, my understanding, which could certainly be wrong, is that for web display only the pixel dimensions matter. Resolution does not. Because of that I only match pixel dimensions.

tgtaylor
27-Feb-2015, 10:12
Thanks Peter. I shot this with a 250mm Imagon lens @ H5.7 and printed it on Art 300 so it should be a little soft. It's toned in Nelson's Gold toner. Send me your email address and I'll attach a copy.

Thomas

djdister
27-Feb-2015, 10:53
Well here's an image that I just shot with a Canon G9 for my website:

I "downsized" it in PS CS3 as shown in the screen shot:

what am I doing wrong here?

Thomas

I'll venture an opinion. The size in pixels that you downsized it to would be considered practically a thumbnail size. If you are downsizing it for display on a computer, just think about typical computer screen resolutions, is 1024x768, 1280x1024, and etc, and consider downsizing it to fill one of those dimensions for display on a computer screen. You downsized it too far...

robertrose
28-Mar-2015, 23:10
I second that.