old photos to pc; scan or photograph them?

  keef66 14:47 06 Apr 2006

i have a number of old B&W prints of long-gone family members. Some of them are quite tatty, and I'd like to try 'improving' them in Photoshop. Which would give me the best quality digital image to start with; photographing them at max resolution / quality with a 4mp digital camera, or scanning?

(I just tried scanning one in the mfd at work, but it came out quite blocky, and I can't really start messing about with the settings on the thing)

  Totally-braindead 14:55 06 Apr 2006

Scanning would be better in my opinion but you need a good scanner. If its not a good scanner then I would say the image would be passable. I've done a couple of one off photos on my scanner and its not very good, the results I think were pretty poor but it was for my elderly parents and they were happy enough with the results.

Another thing to consider is taking them to a photo shop, most deal in digital imaging and can copy photos and put them on CD for you and you could then muck about with them to your hearts content, saving them to another disk if you wish.

  pj123 14:57 06 Apr 2006

I would scan them in but do not use the black and white setting on the scanner. Use the Grey Scale setting and 300dpi.

Once scanned and saved (possibly as a .jpg) make a copy of it and save the copy as a .bmp or .tif.

Use the copy to make the changes as every time you make changes to a .jpg and resave it the picture deteriorates.

  keef66 15:06 06 Apr 2006

ta for the rapid response. I'll ask around to see if anyone close has a decent quality scanner I can make use of.

  Diemmess 15:13 06 Apr 2006

Any half decent scanner will make the best of the paper print.

Using any camera will introduce possible errors both with initial shot and selective enlargement as well as the D&P process itself.

Straight into Photoshop from the scanner and then you can enjoy yourself restoring the old folk!

  [email protected] 15:55 06 Apr 2006

Scan them then go for Serif photoplus 10 or anything like it Then you can touch up in colour if you wish changing the B&W but remember to make 2 copies so you always have a spare until you have a finished pic you want to keep I tried some mining pics and knowing the real colours I had a lot of fun best of luck

  pj123 16:06 06 Apr 2006

If you don't mind paying a good alternative is

click here

I have used them many times and can't fault them.

  keef66 16:13 06 Apr 2006

I think I know why the scanner in the work mfd produces such a poor result. I was able to scan @ 300dpi and using greyscale as pj123 suggests, but then it sends it as an Acrobat document to my pc. I obviously need to get hold of a scanner and attach it directly to my pc at home.

  stylehurst 17:02 06 Apr 2006

I have always scanned old photographs, including glass positives.
I use what is now a rather old scanner, an Epson 9600 SCSI machine.
I always scan at 400dpi if I want the whole photograph, and at larger dpi if I only want part of the photo.
I always save as TIFF and work on touching them up in that format.
On completion I resample to 300dpi & convert to jpeg for storage.
Works well with PShop 7

  Diemmess 17:04 06 Apr 2006

If you can make the works scanner save it as a TIF file (no compression so no loss of quality)
Can take a pen drive copy home??? then you don't need to buy a scanner for yourself........
.........but it won't be so much fun!

  Stuartli 17:06 06 Apr 2006

The resolution requirements for a black and white photograph are considerably lower than for colour and a basic scanner will prove perfectly adequate for the job.

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