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Thread: Scanning. How large is too large?

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    i like pie bizarrius's Avatar
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    Scanning. How large is too large?

    So after alot of troubles and search i got my self a really cheap 3200 epson perfection (30 whole dollars) and started scanning my negatives.

    The question is, how large is too large to scan a file? i've scanned a few and they are 15053 x 12072 pixles. thats too much since we live in a way smaller world

    i use vuescan. anyone care to share their output prefferences and amount of dpi etc i should go for? i know the larger isn't the better but what is an acceptable file for "high quality" of scanning my files so i can do some editing (i only do levels) and general share on the internet.

    what if i wanna print digitally? do i scan as big as i'm going to print? i guess?

    right now im editing some and my photoshop is at 6% magnification. that can't be normal

    thank you for your much appreciated help

    Dimitrios

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    Christopher Barrett's Avatar
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    Re: Scanning. How large is too large?

    Without getting into highly technical debates, it's generally agreed upon that the best resolution for Epson printers is 360 dpi. So, you just have to ask yourself how big do you think you will ever print? While 64" wide printers do exist, 44" is a more common size for big machines. I drum scan my 8x10 negs at 1333 dpi, this yields a roughly 36"x39" image at 360 dpi (after cropping the edges). I don't think I have any need to go bigger than that.

    While 15053 x 12072 pixels is pretty big, if you can get good scans at that Res then why not? The answer to that is, does the file size make working with the image on your current system too slow? Are the scans quickly filling up your storage? Since I shoot commercially, I've got over 100TB of storage, but if you don't want to invest in big storage, then that's another consideration. If the files are bogging down your system's performance then the big scans are going to be counterproductive.

    I guess my short answer is... you can always make files smaller, but you can't really go bigger (and maintain the quality we all strive for) so, make the biggest scans that seem reasonable. The definition of "reasonable" will vary by user.

    If you can tell us the largest print size you'd consider and what format you're shooting, I can make a resolution suggestion.

    Cheers,
    CB

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    i like pie bizarrius's Avatar
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    Re: Scanning. How large is too large?

    thank you for your answer,

    To be honest the biggest i think i wanna print if i ever have my own exhibition is i guess 60x75? but i might go full darkroom prints for that. i shoot 4x5.
    whats a good scanning dpi and output file for 60x75? the biggest i can print in cyprus is 100x125 and i don't think i'll ever go that far. im not that good yet

    my main use for the time being is putting it up on the internet and viewing in computer screens. i just want a fair size.
    its not always about storage but it does matter at some point. also, scanning speed. i guess 3200 dpi takes way longer than 1000

    any help would be greatly appreciated

    Dimitrios

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    Christopher Barrett's Avatar
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    Re: Scanning. How large is too large?

    Ok, I took one of my 4x5 scans and cropped it just inside the rebate for maximum image area. That gives us an image that is 3.75" x 4.67". To get that to 60x75, you would need a scan that is 5800 dpi. Now, my V850 will do a 4x5 at 6400 dpi, but I'm not sure what the quality will be like at 60x75. My suggestion would be to scan the bulk of your work at a more reasonable resolution and then if you are going to have an exhibit of 60x75's, have Lenny Eiger or someone else reputable drum scan them at 8k dpi. If you are going to spend the money to print that big, get the best scans money can buy.

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    Re: Scanning. How large is too large?

    I scan 4x5 at 1200dpi and 8x10 at 600-1200dpi. But I do soft photos mostly and only have a 13x19" printer. I used to have a 24" roll printer and it didn't get enough use, so I've tossed aside theoretical print sizes and base it on actual printing options.

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    David Lobato David Lobato's Avatar
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    Re: Scanning. How large is too large?

    For emailing friends and family and internet posts, 1200 dpi is more than sufficient. A4 paper size fits easily for casual prints, A3 is also possible. I scan my 4x5 negatives at 1200 dpi for a first scan to see what the negative contains. I can scan later at a higher resolution if needed.

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    Christopher Barrett's Avatar
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    Re: Scanning. How large is too large?

    By the way, This is what a good drum scan looks like at 100%. No sharpening applied, just a sharp lens, fine grain film developed in some high acutance soup and digitized through PMTs.

    Fuji Acros 4x5 in PyrocatMC


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    Re: Scanning. How large is too large?

    You might find this article helpful: Scanning Tips (with Epson and VueScan Software)

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    Re: Scanning. How large is too large?

    i forgot to say i am not a pixel pipper. i just want a fair negative scan of my 4x5 so i can show off on instagram facebook and my website

    as for prints as i said, if i ever wanna print ill go in my darkroom like a good boy

    thanks

  10. #10
    jp's Avatar
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    Re: Scanning. How large is too large?

    I like darkroom prints myself, but consider the scan sort of a backup of my negative, in addition to the scan's immediate practical purposes
    If my negative got damaged, I could make prints (or digital negatives) up to a certain reasonable size from the scan.

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