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Thread: large format scanning and printing

  1. #1

    large format scanning and printing

    Simply stated, I want to print large photos with a computer and not in a darkr oom. What is the best way to get there ?

    I am interested in scanning large format negatives and then printing them digita lly. I would liketo be able to scan from a 4x5 to an 11x14 neg and print up to a B size (11x17) picture (even larger if possible, I like big)

    Can anyone give me any advice as to which scanner, printer, paper, software, etc to buy. Are my size requirements too ambitious fora n aerage budget and if so, what size might be more affordable for a non-professional.

    Also, what kind of detail (dpi, lpi, 10x mag), re sharpness, contrast, transiton , is it reasonable to expect and can it be as good as a true photo process?

    Thanks, Larry

  2. #2

    large format scanning and printing

    Be prepared to spend BIG bucks on a 4x5 negative scanner. Check macworld's produ ct reports - I think that they reviewed a scanner within the last six months. Ev en if you don't have a Mac, this article will give you an idea how much the scan ner costs and who manufacturers 4x5 scanners.

  3. #3

    large format scanning and printing

    View Camera Magazine, the May/June 1998 issue, covers 4x5 scanners in a two page spread (pp.60-61). The price of the scanners that they mention range from $10K to $20K. At those prices....

  4. #4

    large format scanning and printing

    Let's see. You'll need to spend about $6,500 for a flatbed scanner with a transp arency adapter, and you still may not get quite to 11x14 negatives. Then you'll take these scans into your computer with 1.5 gigabytes of RAM and two 9 gb hard drives (one for a scratch disk), a 20-inch monitor, a tape backup etc. Figure ab out $13,000 for the computer (128mb DIMMs are expensive). Next you'll need a 1,2 00 dpi printer capable of 11x17 prints. That'll set you back about $3,500 for bl ack-and-white. Color will run well over $10,000 at the size you want.

    For all that your results won't be anywhere near photo quality.

    A less expensive, higher-quality alternative is to get your negatives drum scann ed and send the Photoshop files to a service bureau with a Light Jet 5000 digita l printer. The Light Jet prints are extremely good, but you'll need a Power Mac stuffed with $7,200 worth of RAM to work on 11x14 drum scans. The 4x5 drum scans I've seen are around 300-350 mb. I don't even want to think about how large an 11x14 drum scan could get.

    Just do it the old fashioned way in a darkroom.

  5. #5

    Re: large format scanning and printing

    Just a flashback...Technology/price has improved a bit (or is that byte) in 11 years.

    Richard

  6. #6
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: large format scanning and printing

    Hi End:

    1. Get either an IQ Smart 2 flatbed scanner, or a used Howtek/Aztek drum scanner.
    2. Get a Canon IPF6100 or HP Z3200 printer, because clogged nozzles, Eps..cough, cough..really suck. Big time.

    Mid-Range
    1. Get an Epson 750, and make sure you learn how to use it to maximize quality.
    2. Get a non-epson printer from Canon or HP that can do 13x19s. Don't know specifics about alternatives at that size.
    "Why can't we all just get along?" President Dale, Mars Attacks

  7. #7
    Steve Gombosi
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    Re: large format scanning and printing

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Martel View Post
    Just a flashback...Technology/price has improved a bit (or is that byte) in 11 years.

    Richard
    Except that there *aren't* any 4x5 film scanners any more.

  8. #8

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    Re: large format scanning and printing

    At the low end, you're going to need about five grand plus by the time you invest in a decent consumer flatbed, wet mount holders and fluids, a Mac, a decent consumer printer with lumadye or quad tone inks, print papers, and software. Your first prints off of these will astonish you (even though 13x19 is about the max size you can go), but you'll quickly get disillusioned as you stack your prints next to those that are drum scanned, corrected on dedicated systems, and output on LightJet type systems on papers designed specifically for high quality output.

    If you're really serious about it, then I would find a local service bureau and find a way to establish a partnership with them. I myself have the "home-based system" described above, which allows me to sort of proof my work. Then if I have something I would like to see at 20x25 or 30x40, I take the neg, get a drum scan, take the scan and process the file on my Mac (the strong element in my system, lots of RAM, processors, and terabyte drives), then output them on LightJet printers on a chosen substrate. I mount my own prints so I save a few bucks there, but overall large prints still cost me a bundleóbut then I don't lots and lots of them.

    Like most endeavors we choose in life, there are always costs involved, one way or another.


    BVS

  9. #9

    Re: large format scanning and printing

    Hi Larry,

    Here is what I use and can highly recommend. To scan I use an Epson V750. This has a maximum negative size of 10x8 but it should be possible to scan a 11x14 negative in four sections and join them together in Photoshop using Photomerge. I haven't used a fluid mount. This detail and sharpness is fine without. To scan large sheets of film you will need to make your own mask out of mount board to keep the negative off the glass. If you want to scan 5x4, then a holder is provided to scan two sheets at a time. Silver Fast is also bundled with the Epson Software.

    To print, I use an Epson 7800. The current model is an 7880 which is soon to be replaced. So check out the very latest model. This prints 24" wide media by any length. It is best to buy the paper on the roll. A guillotine cuts the paper after each print. I would also advise buying the 220 ml cartridges for extra value. I have tried various paper. If you are looking for a paper that has the feel of traditional photo paper then Kodak's Professional Inkjet Paper is excellent. If you are looking for a paper that has the appearance of fiber based paper, then Permajet Fiber Gloss is the best inkjet paper I have ever tried.

    http://www.digitaldarkroomuk.com

  10. #10

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    Re: large format scanning and printing

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter J. De Smidt View Post
    Hi End:

    1. Get either an IQ Smart 2 flatbed scanner, or a used Howtek/Aztek drum scanner.
    2. Get a Canon IPF6100 or HP Z3200 printer, because clogged nozzles, Eps..cough, cough..really suck. Big time.

    Mid-Range
    1. Get an Epson 750, and make sure you learn how to use it to maximize quality.
    2. Get a non-epson printer from Canon or HP that can do 13x19s. Don't know specifics about alternatives at that size.
    You're responding 11 years after the question was asked?
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

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