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Thread: How to use Epson V850 to scan contact prints for website use

  1. #1

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    How to use Epson V850 to scan contact prints for website use

    Hi follow members,

    I got a V850 some weeks ago and I am trying to learn and scan some of my contact prints (from 4x5 to 8x10) and put them on my personal website.

    I know literally nothing about digital processing including scanning. I have read through a few of 91 pages of Digital Processing and understand very little.

    A few questions to get me going:

    1. Do I use Auto or Professional mode scan contact prints?
    2. What dpi do I use? 300 or 600 or higher?
    3. Do I click Dust Remover on the scanner?
    4. Do I need photoshop later?
    5. What are the right steps I should take?

    Thanks a lot.

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    Re: How to use Epson V850 to scan contact prints for website use

    1-Professional
    2- For the web it won't matter, you'll have to size it down regardless, but if you want to archive the scans then 600 or more would be better.
    3-No. Take care of dust in Photoshop.
    4- Yup, if you want the scans to look good.
    5- Make a preview scan, then set the levels so they do not clip. Include a scanning target in the scan so you can correct everything later. I use a Gretag mini color checker, but you could use whatever as long as you know what the color numbers are. Open the file in Photoshop and use a levels layer to adjust the scan using the eyedroppers to the color checker or whatever you used. Take care of the dust, crop and save it, then resize and save it as a jpeg for the web. Easy peasy. The important thing with the color checker or whatever else you use is to have a reference so everything is consistent. Most people just make a hot mess out of their scans, adjusting them until they "look right" which is wrong...

    Here is what a proof scan looks like with the color checker included.




    Hope that helps you, but I'm guessing you are going to have questions....

  3. #3

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    Re: How to use Epson V850 to scan contact prints for website use

    It helps me lots. I printed it. Hugo will have to speak for himself!
    Peter Collins

    On the intent of the First Amendment: The press was to serve the governed, not the governors --Opinion, Hugo Black, Judge, Supreme Court, 1971 re the "Pentagon Papers."

  4. #4

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    Re: How to use Epson V850 to scan contact prints for website use

    PRJ,

    5- Make a preview scan, then set the levels so they do not clip. Include a scanning target in the scan so you can correct everything later. I use a Gretag mini color checker, but you could use whatever as long as you know what the color numbers are. Open the file in Photoshop and use a levels layer to adjust the scan using the eyedroppers to the color checker or whatever you used. Take care of the dust, crop and save it, then resize and save it as a jpeg for the web. Easy peasy. The important thing with the color checker or whatever else you use is to have a reference so everything is consistent. Most people just make a hot mess out of their scans, adjusting them until they "look right" which is wrong...

    Do I do this with V850 scanner or Photoshop? A very deep learning curve for me. Is there a youtube I can watch?

    BTW, very nice scan.

  5. #5

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    Re: How to use Epson V850 to scan contact prints for website use

    Let me describe what IMHO it would be the sound workflow that it would be deserved for a fine contact print. You may do less if not needing a perfect result.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hugo Zhang View Post
    1. Do I use Auto or Professional mode scan contact prints?
    Both will work, but I'd go to "Professional" mode directly, IMHO the "Auto" mode is suitable for office bureocracy, allowing little control for photography.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hugo Zhang View Post
    2. What dpi do I use? 300 or 600 or higher?
    I'd go higher, in special for 4x5. The requirement depends on the size you want to post, but you may want to see a good image taking all monitor.

    A challenge in digital processing is the pixel level acutance. When a web browser resizes an image it may use nasty methods that are fast but do degradate the result.

    The same happens with photoshop, you should do all scanning/edition at 16bits per channel, save always TIFF and at a resolution that has to be higher than the wanted for the final file, after edition you use the Image Size dialog to resize the wanted output image size. That dialog (bottom) allows to select an algorithm, normally you will want bicubic, ideal for reductions.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    After the final resize to the wanted output you may need a final additional sharpening to optimize the look, before saving the image. Even if you depart from a high resolution image the size reduction may make it look not very sharp.

    If you want to catch all what's in a good contact print from a sharp negative you may need 2400 effective, but of course the web image has to be smaller. For an image to be displayed in a 4k monitor you need some 4k dots, in a 4x5 this is 4000/5 = 800 pix per inch, (or a bit less because aspect crop), but you need to scan at some x2 more density to do a good job, because of discretization and edition effects on sharpness.

    So I'd scan at ar least 1200 for 8x10 and 2400 for 4x5, later you may edit and output at lower res, being the edition res always higher than the output res.


    You'll have to edit the tonal curves anyway (ctrl-M) because monitors are a different medium than paper and also have a different response (gamma), so a direct translation of print densities to digital gray levels is not nice. In the same way that it's not easy to visualize how a print will be from how it looks in the monitor it happens the same in the other sense.

    If you rotate the image in Ps do it a single time, each rotation degradates the image, so if rotation was not good don't add new rotations, just undo and make a corrected rotation.



    Quote Originally Posted by Hugo Zhang View Post
    3. Do I click Dust Remover on the scanner?
    Let me suggest something like a honeywell hap-16200 air purifier (https://www.amazon.es/Honeywell-HAP-.../dp/B003UER1KA) for the (better if small, empty and clean) room in what you scan, start it 10min in advance and try to not generate dust, this is the way to do it. With that I don't need any scanner feature for dust.

    This is also amazing for the darkroom, so this is great dual-use (digital-analog) technology !


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_ICE

    ICE works for color film, which is IR transparent, so an IR channel detects the dust that is casting shadows. BW has silver that is opaque so IR not useful. The silverfast bundled software has the SRDx feature that also works with BW: https://www.silverfast.com/highlights/srdx/en.html, works different.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hugo Zhang View Post
    4. Do I need photoshop later?
    Of course, you will need an edition for sure. There are other software like corel photopaint, and simpler tools. An old (say) CS4 version, old license, is more that enough for that, you don't need the the CC subscription, perhaps this is legal: https://www.ebay.es/itm/Photoshop-CS...UAAOSwLFVc0yFZ

    I strongly recommend that you learn basic Ps, it is painful to have to learn it, but it's well worth. You should spend some 12h by doing a tutorial (pdf or book or youtube) to learn layers and basic operation, 12h should be enough for the basics. As said, paper and monitors are different mediums and (IMHO) a difficult adaptation is required to show a share of the print soul in a monitor.




    Quote Originally Posted by Hugo Zhang View Post
    5. What are the right steps I should take?
    Let me sumarize:

    > A silver print has many nuances and a monitor is a different medium, you'll need a wise edition and a refined workflow to show a share of print's soul in a monitor.

    > Air Purifier, for dust removal, for BW you may also use Silverfast SRDx, but the HEPA air purifier is the key factor.

    > Learn Ps, use Epson Scan in Pro mode, play a bit with silverfast

    > Scan end edit at 16 bits per channel, always save TIFF (scanning and edition), if saving BMP or jpg only 8 bits/channel are saved. Each time you save jpg the image has an additional degradation, TIFF has no loss.

    > In Proffesional mode, take all dynamic range shown in the histogram, don't allow the auto button to crop the dynamic range, the image may look dull but you with adjust the curve in Ps.

    > Rotate only once, undo if necessary.

    > Edit curves (Ctrl-M in Ps), and local adjustments, work with layers and "adjustment layers" when you learned it.

    > Edit always at higher resolution than the intended output and in 16 bits, editing the curves in a 8bits/channel image may deliver nasty "banding" effect, and easy texture loss in the shadows.

    > After edition, resize to the wanted output size, use "bicubic ideal for reductions"

    > Make an additional sharpening just before saving the output. If output is jpg then also save the TIFF.

    > If output is a jpg, check different compression quality (Ps asks it always before saving a jpg) and check at what compression (Max file size is "12" level) you loss perceptible quality. But also save a TIFF version at the release size, for the case you want a lower compression later.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    > Remember that is browsers/servers resize your pixel level optimizations can be lost.

    > Pixel level optimization for the monitor is important because monitors have not many pixels per inch, a Full HD monitor 15" wide (not diagonal) has some 125 pix per inch, if 4k then it would be 250, wich is near to good graphic quality.
    _________________

    For a single contact print you will have to keep next files:

    > Original scan TIFF

    > Edited TIFF image at high res, perhaps different versions, perhaps PSD file with all layers and adjustment layers, etc

    > Resized+sharpened TIFF at the output size

    > Jpg released file.

    > Backups !

    This keeps your options open, if you want to release other versions, and it keeps the effort you made for the case you will want to something else with the image in the future.

    _________________

    Note that scanning at 2400 dpi with an EPSON will yield less than 2400 effective performance, to have effective 2400 effective you may need beyond 3200 scans.

    Do this exercise, take a ultra sharp 4x5 negative (or contact print) and scan a (sharp area) crop at different dpi, from 300 to 6400, see the differences on your own, and see when there is a difference after reducing all originals to a certain size. This depends of the resolution on the medium and on personal preferences. Compare the digital image with what you see with an x20 magnifier, this will give you first hand information.

    All EPSON scans require later a degree of sharpening. More pro scanners do that digital optimization by default. That optimization is convenient for an scanning service but many prefer having a rawer result and doing it manually.


    _________________

    Sorry for the long answer
    Last edited by Pere Casals; 9-May-2019 at 06:43.

  6. #6

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    Re: How to use Epson V850 to scan contact prints for website use

    Pere,

    Thank you so much for this detailed instruction! I will try to learn this.

    Hugo

  7. #7
    Steven Ruttenberg's Avatar
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    Re: How to use Epson V850 to scan contact prints for website use

    It is a small learning curve, but not too terribly bad once you get the hang of it and understand the controls and their effects.

    We should set up a webinar or google chat, or whatever with video and then we can teach you in real time. Plus I suspect many would join in with their techniques and that would be quite helpful. I think Corran teaches classes on this or at least digital photography. Let's see if we can set this up. I think it would be fun, plus we could do other classes/get togethers for all kinds of large format stuff, like developing, printing etc.

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