The logistics of film scanning
- From: ventudg@xxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: 29 Jan 2006 03:40:34 -0800
Hello. I inherited a 35mm SLR from my grandfather. Up until now, I've
been taking pictures with a 5 mega pixel Canon Powershot, which, while
nice, leaves the perfectionist in me irritated with the lack of
contrast, shallow tones, and CCD noise from low light conditions. So,
since I enjoy publishing my photographs on the web, and working with
Photoshop, I thought it would be interesting to scan my negatives and
slides, and have some really nice quality digital images to work with.
I take shots with Velvia and TMax, mostly, each of which having scanned
at the labs I use is prohibitively expensive, and in addition only ends
up being about a 1600x1200 resolution JPEG anyway.
As far as which scanner would be good, I have seen people mentioning
the Nikon Coolscan 4/5000 series and Minolta Elite 5400 II quite a
number of times, so suppose they are the best consumer models.
However, from this point on I'm not sure what the hard numbers are.
1) Does the 5400 dpi of the Konica provide a vastly superior image to
the 4000dpi of the Nikon?
2) Do features like auto dust and scratch removal really help out?
3) If I plan to do post-scan editing in Photoshop, wouldn't it be a lot
smarter to scan to TIFF instead of JPEG? (though this consumes a LOT
more resources it seems)
4) What really is the amount of time I'm going to have to invest for a
36 shot roll of film?
a) Times quoted on the store "comparion sheet" say 25-50 seconds per
frame. However, after reading some other materials I think this is
just one phase of the scanning? I suspect there are multiple passes,
prescans, warm ups, copies to hard disk, etc.
b) I've seen the term "batch scanning" mentioned. How efficient is
this? Do I need to come back every 10 minutes and reinsert another
strip and click through a bunch of dialog boxes (or can I queue them on
top of each other like a copy machine)? Can I start this at night and
wake up and have all the raw files copied to my hard disk?
5) If I'm not going to physically print the images myself, what the
differences between printing from the negative at the lab
(enlargement), and having them print a digital file I give them?
Obviously if I do any editing in Photoshop it has to be the latter, but
if I find a shot I took that I really like naturally, and am thinking
about printing it for display at a gallery, I should just get
enlargments from the negatives, right?
I think 4) is the most important to me, because I work overtime a lot
and my free time is very precious to me. I'd like to be spending more
time taking pictures than feeding negatives into a machine. Give it to
me straight, what's the most efficient way to get exposed film into my
computer for editing and how long will it take roughly?
Lastly, this is a corollary, but,
6) do I need to have a monster machine to scan all this stuff? I
choked when I heard someone say 200 megabytes for one image at max
resolution / TIFF. Is the processing bandwidth for this sort of work
going to cripple a 2003 Pentium 4 computer?
As a footnote, I'd like the scanner to play nice with Linux, but I
think that is a message for another newsgroup. :)
Sorry for the long post, I REALLY appreciate a nuts-and-bolts answer to
this question. I'm an engineer! :] Thanks for the help everyone!!!
- Dave in Tokyo
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