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View Full Version : What file size should I expect from B&W 5X7 negative



rrunnertexas
14-Apr-2015, 04:56
I am new to large format and need some advice.

I shot 4 images with my 5X7 Korona View camera on Ilford B&W film, then sent them off for developing and "enhanced" scanning.

Upon return, I received the negatives as well as a CD with the images. To my surprise, the scanned negatives were all about 2.1MB files.

Is this small file size normal? In my mind I was thinking they would be much larger since the negative is so large.

What am I missing? Help!

djdister
14-Apr-2015, 05:17
Some questions for you:
What did the lab promise you could do with the scanned image files (i.e. for web, for printing, etc)
When you open the files in Photoshop (or whatever), what resolution and bit depth are they?
What file format are the scanned images in?
and lastly
What do you want to do with the scanned image files? If you want to print them, how large do you want to print them (same size, or larger than the actual neg size)?
How large you expect to print them with an inkjet printer will drive your requirements for how large a scanned image file is needed.

mdarnton
14-Apr-2015, 05:33
The simple answer is that with that file size you might as well be using 35mm. Beyond that, the answer is that the file should be as large as you want or need, for what you intend to do with it, usually at 300dpi or better for a print. There is no absolute answer.

Really, what you have is probably a jpg, which doesn't explain much to us about the real size of the file you have because it's compressed from what ever size the picture really is; it could be incredibly high resolution, mercilessly compressed, or abysmally low resolution not compressed at all: pixel dimensions would tell much more.

rrunnertexas
14-Apr-2015, 05:40
The files are 2.1MB on the disc and when opened in Photoshop they are 17MB. Not sure about the bit depth.

They are .jpeg scans. When saving the file in Photoshop the resulting file size in .jpeg is about the same, 2.1MB. Tiny!

I was hoping to be able to print up to 30X20 if I wanted to. Is that realistic for 5X7 film?

I did read another post on the forum and it seemed like the files they had were at least 50MB or more.

I am confused...

koraks
14-Apr-2015, 05:49
So that's approximately 17 megapixels @ 8bit (jpeg is 8 bit only). That's enough to print 20x30...cm! Not inches; too little image information for that size. And yes, a 20x30" print from a good 5x7" negative is absolutely possible; even bigger than that.

Although comparing jpeg file sizes doesn't say much, here's one to give an impression: when I scan a 4x5" in black and white at 3200dpi and save it as jpeg (so 8bit) with the quality setting at 11 (out of 12), I usually end up with a file around 20Mb (Photoshop says it's about 160Mb uncompressed, so roughly 160 megapixels). File size with jpeg depends very heavily on the image, but it's safe to assume that your 2Mb jpeg files are low resolution scans with a fair bit of compression as well; my scans with the same number of megapixels (which happen to be 35mm scans) end up around 5Mb jpegs at quality level 11.

My guess is the lab scanned your negatives at somewhere around 300dpi. That's not of much use, only for small prints and web viewing.

rrunnertexas
14-Apr-2015, 05:58
Koraks,

Your example of your scan is exactly what I thought. The 20MB file size should yield a nice size print, vs the 2.1MB file size I have.

What scanner are you using and what software?

My question is why does the lab offer an "enhanced" scan when it is such a small file size?

koraks
14-Apr-2015, 06:05
I use an epson 4990, which may not be state of the art, but it's good enough for 40" prints from 4x5's. I use the stock epson software, which is more than adequate for my purposes.

Maybe the lab processes their scans to suppress grain and call it 'enhanced'. Either way, most of the labs I checked out only provide small scans for an affordable rate; high res scans usually cost upwards of €20 a piece where I live, maybe (much) more. I don't see the point in that except perhaps for the occasional drum scan of an exceptionally nice negative that needs to be printed wall size. And that's likely to cost much more still. How much did you pay for these scans?

Nigel Smith
14-Apr-2015, 06:11
what are the file's pixel dimensions? Quoting file sizes is not a great indication, other than 2.1MB from a 5x7 neg is not what I'd expect

in the above example, 4x5 neg scanned at 3200dpi would give you a 12800x16000 pixel file. Printed at 300ppi, that would make a 42"x53" (approx). A 5x7 file scanner at 3200, would obviously be bigger.

agree with above, low res scans, probably significantly compressed.

bob carnie
14-Apr-2015, 06:14
This is normal..

you are getting back Jpeg for viewing only purposes.

If you require scans for large prints then you need to specify size of print and your lab will make an appropriate size scan.
Larger scans will cost you more.

regards

Bob

I am new to large format and need some advice.

I shot 4 images with my 5X7 Korona View camera on Ilford B&W film, then sent them off for developing and "enhanced" scanning.

Upon return, I received the negatives as well as a CD with the images. To my surprise, the scanned negatives were all about 2.1MB files.

Is this small file size normal? In my mind I was thinking they would be much larger since the negative is so large.

What am I missing? Help!

koraks
14-Apr-2015, 06:19
Quoting file sizes is not a great indication
It isn't, but the file size that Photoshop displays under the image generally is, as it's uncompressed size. At single channel 8bit depth, it translates more or less directly to the number of (mega)pixels. With the aspect ratio in mind, you can figure out the dimensions in pixels, which should be around 3500x5000 in this instance.

rrunnertexas
14-Apr-2015, 07:27
Bob,

Well, that must be what I have then.... "enhanced" scans for viewing purposes. I paid $5 per scan for their service.

What should I expect cost wise for a scan that I can use to print up to 30X20?

What are some recommended labs that can do this work?

Thanks!

bob carnie
14-Apr-2015, 07:41
Yes I think that is what you have.

Lenny can do super high rez scans for you on his Premier scanner - about as good as you can get
You also can get scans from many vendors...locally to you in Texas and California..
I make great scans but you have to send internationally and IMO there should be someone within driving distance of you that would do a good job.


Price varies as well as dedication of the scanner operator.. if the operator is negligent no matter what scanner you will get crap.

Also when doing high rez , you can save yourself some money if the operator supplies you with the raw good scan and you do the clean up.


regards
Bob

Bob,

Well, that must be what I have then.... "enhanced" scans for viewing purposes. I paid $5 per scan for their service.

What should I expect cost wise for a scan that I can use to print up to 30X20?

What are some recommended labs that can do this work?

Thanks!

fishbulb
14-Apr-2015, 07:44
I shot 4 images with my 5X7 Korona View camera on Ilford B&W film, then sent them off for developing and "enhanced" scanning.


From my general experience, lab scanning is a huge scam. You pay a lot for generally very small file sizes. For large format, it's even worse.

If you want to print 30x20 at 300 dpi, you need a file that is at least 6000 x 9000 pixels, or 54 megapixels (20x300=6000, 30x300=9000, 6000x9000=54,000,000).

To get a 54 megapixel file out of a 5x7 you need to scan using at least 1200 dpi, which would get you a 6000 x 8400 pixel file. (5x1200=6000, 7x1200=8400)

A flatbed scanner like any of the popular high-end Epsons (4990, v700, v750 etc) has a stated max resolution of 6400dpi, but in practice the actual maximum it can resolve is about 2000 dpi, plus or minus a few hundred depending on how you've got it set up and calibrated. For 5x7 you can print really big with a 2000 dpi scan - up to 33x47 inches and still maintain 300dpi on the print.

If you want those kind of scans from a lab, plan on paying $15-20 per sheet (http://www.bluemooncamera.com/DigitalReScan.php). That adds up fast - after a dozen or so scans, you could have just bought a used Epson. Learning to scan your negatives takes a bit of time, but if you get a decent Epson and the software that comes with it, it's really not bad. There are plenty of tutorials online too.

Ken Lee
14-Apr-2015, 07:47
If you're shooting 5x7 on a regular basis (and not using simpler cheaper methods), you're probably keenly interested in overall image quality. If you want to capture tonality as well as resolution, the person who does your scanning should be competent. A competent scanning service is not cheap.

You may find it more economical to purchase a scanner and make the scans yourself. That is the best way to ensure that you get your "money's worth" out of your LF effort.

Having someone else do your scanning - particularly on a budget - is a bit like considering yourself a chef while having someone do the cooking for you.

gregmo
14-Apr-2015, 08:14
Yes I think that is what you have.

Lenny can do super high rez scans for you on his Premier scanner - about as good as you can get
You also can get scans from many vendors...locally to you in Texas and California..
I make great scans but you have to send internationally and IMO there should be someone within driving distance of you that would do a good job.


Price varies as well as dedication of the scanner operator.. if the operator is negligent no matter what scanner you will get crap.

Also when doing high rez , you can save yourself some money if the operator supplies you with the raw good scan and you do the clean up.


regards
Bob

I also recommend Lenny Eiger for high resolution scanning. He scans my 5x7 film at 4000 dpi which yields roughly a 3gb file (approx 27,000 x 19,000 px).

Tyler Boley
14-Apr-2015, 08:17
I offer drum scanning and also shoot 5x7 film myself, and of course, drum scan it. The scans you are describing sound somewhat generic and for general consumers, I'm not familiar with what kinds of hardware labs use for services like this, but terms like "enhanced" don't help much.
I won't try to sell my services here or tell you how another vendor "should" do it.. I'l only say your files should have been larger (for prints you want) and more information should have been available readily.. also given what goes into it, I can't possibly compete with those prices, so they are giving you something fast and automated. I'm afraid this step of the process will require more commitment in terms of cost and/or learning. Things are always more complicated than the appear!

rrunnertexas
14-Apr-2015, 09:57
I'm afraid this step of the process will require more commitment in terms of cost and/or learning. Things are always more complicated than the appear!

Yes, I can see that it sure can cost a bit. I was looking at the Epson V700 and V750 scanners and see they are expensive new and still expensive used! That is why I was seeking to have my negatives scanned by someone else.

As far as I can see, it appears that the Epson flatbed scanners are about the best option for $700 or so.

djdister
14-Apr-2015, 10:07
Yes, I can see that it sure can cost a bit. I was looking at the Epson V700 and V750 scanners and see they are expensive new and still expensive used! That is why I was seeking to have my negatives scanned by someone else.

As far as I can see, it appears that the Epson flatbed scanners are about the best option for $700 or so.

With a bit of looking around, used Epson V700/V750 scanners are being sold on Craigslist or on this forum for around $400. Epson is selling a factory refurbished V750-M scanner for $600 too...

By the way, there is no Epson film holder for 5x7, but you can either scan it right on the glass or make a simple film holder (like out of two mat boards) and get very fine scans from 5x7 negs.

fishbulb
14-Apr-2015, 10:19
On a budget, I'd look for an Epson 4990, which was the predecessor to the V700/750 models. The 4900 "PRO" model was the same scanner but also included color calibration targets and calibration software. It will resolve up to about 2000dpi plus or minus, so it's a solid choice for large format scanning. There are a couple for sale on Amazon, used, for $140, whereas a used V700 will set you back $500.

As with any used scanner, make sure you get the software, cables, manuals and all the rest, but especially the software.

Nathan Potter
14-Apr-2015, 11:52
I've made some measurements of the Epson V750 scanner and found that the equivalent pixel size is about 25 to 30 m at something like 100% contrast. That is about 1000 pixels per inch so for a 5 X 7 you can expect a scanned image of about 5000 X 7000 pixels. For a critically sharp print you may want about a 100m pixel size which equates to a 4X enlargement or a 20 X 28 inch print. Working with a 1 mil pixel using an Epson V750 and a 100% contrast also gives you a lot of grey scale separation to work with when using photoshop.

Assuming a smaller pixel size (or higher DPI) from that machine means that you will be losing some of the original information on the negative, and how much you lose depends of the efficiency of the scanning software; a mystery held by Epson.

Nate Potter, Austin TX.

rrunnertexas
14-Apr-2015, 11:52
Fishbulb,

I see what you mean about the Epson 4990 on Amazon. One is in great shape, but missing software discs.
Going to the Epson website I see they have available for download - TWAIN Driver and EPSON Scan Utility v3.04A. Is this all that is needed? If not, what is missing?

Thanks for the idea!
David

fishbulb
14-Apr-2015, 12:05
The Epson Scan Utility is the very basic program for scanning. It will do the job.

This is what the scanner would have come with:


The included software is the difference between the two versions. Both the 4990 PHOTO ($449) and 4990 PRO ($599) include Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0, ABBYY FineReader Sprint Optical Character Recognition software and EPSON Scan with Easy Photo Fix, the basic scanning software. Additionally each version includes:

Epson Perfection 4990 PHOTO ($449)
LaserSoft Imaging SilverFast SE 6 (more complex scanning software if the other basic software alone isn't enough for you)

Epson Perfection 4990 PRO ($599)
MonacoEZcolor 2.5, the important color calibration software and targets
LaserSoft Imaging SilverFast Ai 6 (much more complex scanning software if the basic software alone isn't enough for you)
ArcSoft PhotoStudio, ArcSoft PhotoBase and ArcSoft Panorama Maker

You can still buy SilverFast if you want, the 4990 is still supported and it costs $50-500+ depending on what version you want. This would be a good choice if you can't get Epson Scan to work with your operating system. https://www.silverfast.com/buyonline/en.html?product=483

Another option is Vuescan, which also supports the 4990 and is $90. http://www.hamrick.com/

I have never used any of the three programs, but you could always try the basic Epson Scan, and then if that's not doing it for you, get Vuescan or Silverfast.

Edit: if you want to do more research on it, search the site: https://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.largeformatphotography.info+epson+4990

Lenny Eiger
14-Apr-2015, 16:19
Just for comparison I do 5x7 scans all the time. The file size is around 3 Gigabytes. Quality is exceptional.

If you're on a budget, get your own drum scanner, they re around $1500 these days...

Lenny

fishbulb
14-Apr-2015, 17:13
If you're on a budget, get your own drum scanner, they re around $1500 these days...

I dunno... I can't recommend that for most people, personally. I did it - bought an old howtek 4500. It weighs 150lbs and takes up a ton of space - 8'x3' closet, counting the mounting station. Just getting it functioning and set up takes a high level of technical competence, much less getting good scans or keeping it maintained. Further, there are the costs of drum cleaner, mounting fluid, optical wipes, optical cellophane, and tape, plus the costs of maintenance items like belts, wear pads, and bulbs. It is a very large storage, cost, and learning commitment compared to a flatbed, and shouldn't be done on a whim ... which is what I did. 'Even the fool learns from his own mistakes, but the wise man learns from watching the fool.'

rrunnertexas
14-Apr-2015, 17:35
I did notice that the Epson 4990 does not have a 5X7 holder... and the V700, V750 don't either.... So I would have to use a mat board as a holder? Can anyone post an image of what that looks like?

fishbulb
14-Apr-2015, 19:09
If you want an out-of-the-box solution, get one of these: http://www.betterscanning.com/scanning/mstation.html

Otherwise, yeah, the matboard would just be a square with a square hole in it, as described here: http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?20944-Building-a-neg-carrier-for-Epson-4990

Or just tape it to the glass. But you may find the best-focused scanning height is not directly on the glass, but a bit above it.

There are also some tips here: http://www.dpug.org/forums/f6/5x7-negative-scanning-1752/

koraks
15-Apr-2015, 03:13
From my experience, the 4990 achieves optimal resolution at 1-2mm above the platen. The exact distance isn't very critical (I did some comparisons a couple of months ago), so any piece of cardboard, metal or plastic sheeting that has good flatness can be used to make a mask/holder. Preventing the film from sagging will be the main challenge. I would recommend suspending the film above the glass, as I noticed that sharpness noticeably drops when the film is placed directly on the glass. When scanning for really big prints, this will at some point become an issue. With anything up to 11x14 or so, it isn't really a concern.

Lenny Eiger
15-Apr-2015, 08:48
I dunno... I can't recommend that for most people, personally. I did it - bought an old howtek 4500. It weighs 150lbs and takes up a ton of space - 8'x3' closet, counting the mounting station. Just getting it functioning and set up takes a high level of technical competence, much less getting good scans or keeping it maintained. Further, there are the costs of drum cleaner, mounting fluid, optical wipes, optical cellophane, and tape, plus the costs of maintenance items like belts, wear pads, and bulbs. It is a very large storage, cost, and learning commitment compared to a flatbed, and shouldn't be done on a whim ... which is what I did. 'Even the fool learns from his own mistakes, but the wise man learns from watching the fool.'

"One man's ceiling is another mans floor."
-Bob Dylan, I think...

I found this easy to learn, set up, etc. But the real things was the first print I pulled from a good scan was the kind of image I was looking for.... it had all the quality of the original. When I encountered consumer flatbed (afterwards) and tried it, I couldn't stand it...

Lenny

sanking
15-Apr-2015, 11:26
If you're shooting 5x7 on a regular basis (and not using simpler cheaper methods), you're probably keenly interested in overall image quality. If you want to capture tonality as well as resolution, the person who does your scanning should be competent. A competent scanning service is not cheap.

You may find it more economical to purchase a scanner and make the scans yourself. That is the best way to ensure that you get your "money's worth" out of your LF effort.

Having someone else do your scanning - particularly on a budget - is a bit like considering yourself a chef while having someone do the cooking for you.

I totally agree with Ken. If you plan to shoot a lot of 5X7 B&W film, my advice would also be to purchase an inexpensive Epson scanner and learn to scan. You can get really good print quality up to about 4X from scans made with Epson scanners like the V700/750 and the newer V800 series. No, scan quality is not quite the level of a professional flatbed or drum scanner, but it should be good enough to capture most of the information in well exposed and developed 5X7 B&W negatives.

I have done several comparison scans of 5X7 film with the V700, Howtek D4000/7500 and Eversmart Pro, and actually preferred in many cases the one made with the V700. The V700 will capture most of the detail in as 5X7 negative (in fact, all of it if your shooting aperture is f45 or more), but it does not have enough resolution to image film grain. So you get all of the detail/resolution in the film, without ugly grain aliasing artifacts.

BTW, for scanning B&W negatives I prefer the Twain software that comes with the Epson to both Silverfast and Vuescan.

Sandy

rrunnertexas
16-Apr-2015, 05:45
Sandy,

Interesting.... I appreciate all this information - very helpful. I appears to be able to shoot any great volume of 5X7 I will need to save up for the V700 and then make or buy an aftermarket film holder in this size.

With all that in hand I can make reasonable looking enlargements.

If I decide to upgrade later, then save even more and....

jnanian
16-Apr-2015, 06:19
Bob,

Well, that must be what I have then.... "enhanced" scans for viewing purposes. I paid $5 per scan for their service.

What should I expect cost wise for a scan that I can use to print up to 30X20?

What are some recommended labs that can do this work?

Thanks!


good luck finding a scanner that does what you need it to do --
i got mine ( a long time ago it seems ) at epson.com ... they have
a refurbished sale area, and sometimes they are quite a deal. i got a refurb 4870
the scan-lid is big enough it seems for full plate, and does 5x7 with no issues.
things have improved by leaps and bounds since then you should be able to get what you need
or have a professional do their magic ...