what resolution to scan at?

  jay9614 18:59 30 Dec 2006

hi, i want to scan all my photos(6x4) and negatives.
what resolution should i use?
i wont be enlarging much(might want to print an a4) but dont want to lose quality.
any other tips welcome!

  Totally-braindead 20:11 30 Dec 2006

You say you do not want to lose quality. Unless you have a really good scanner then I would forget it and take the photos to a specialist shop that can scan them and burn them onto CD for you. The Fuji shop can for example do this but I'm unsure of the cost and if you have quite a few photos it could be quite expensive. For negatives you will need a negative scanner a standard scanner cannot do it unless you have a scanner with a negative holder.
I've scanned a few photos and printed them out but they are not as good as the original by any means but its only a cheap Epson scanner I have.
What scanner do you have?

  Diodorus Siculus 20:11 30 Dec 2006

click here

Never saw a definitive answer to that but the above gives some indication of a mid-path.

  jay9614 20:38 30 Dec 2006

ok, i havent got the scanner yet but im either going to get the hp sj4850 or the canon 4400f.
by the way ive got a lot of photos so i dont think i could afford taking them to fuji

  terryf 02:29 31 Dec 2006

When you get your scanner, I suggest that you try scanning one photo at different resolutions say from 72 to 400 and then in your photo editing program try looking at the photo to see if you you can see any difference.The higher the resolution, the bigger the scanned file size so if you are scanning for posterity you should scan as high a resolution as you can subject to storage space and remember to name the scans so that you will know what they are ie don't use pic1, pic2, pic3 but 'holiday 2005' for example

  Diemmess 10:11 31 Dec 2006

I shunned scanning old transparencies..... until I replaced my ancient flatbed scanner with an Epson V100.

I find this will make very good files from 40 year old transparencies that would otherwise never be seen again.

Resolution depends on what you are going to do with your pictures.
For display on screen only - 72 - 150 will do.

You could use 360 as an average, but this is either excessive for screen display or not enough for selective enlargement.
Once into the 1200 zone, enlargement shows my camera shake before the image shows pixels.

It is slow anyway and not that much faster using low resolution, but a real wallow in nostalgia for the days when the subjects were young.

  jay9614 13:59 31 Dec 2006

so why do scanners go up to 4800? is it just for scanning small things and making very big enlargements?
i thought i would need to scan at higher resolutions than around 400.

  Diemmess 14:17 31 Dec 2006

Short answer to include the finest detail in case of huge prints or selected bitts much enlarged.

Helps sales to pretend the scanner is upmarket and better than a rival, but resolution is only one of many factors that affect quality.

terryf put it sensibly. When you get your scanner try all sorts with it intil you know what you and the scanner can do together!

  Z1100 23:20 02 Jan 2007

For a guide on scanner resolutions specific to Negatives, look here; click here

Negatives are best Scanned using a dedicated Film Scanner because of their IR Dust and Scratch Removal and the Adjustable Focus as well as their ability to scan the Negative at up to 4000dpi in around 2min.

For Normal Photos a Flat Bed Scanner set to scan at 600dpi will be perfect for your 7 x 5 inch (re)prints. 800 will be more than enough for 10 x 8 inch (A4) and the file size will increase.

Images Scanned at 200dpi can actually come out at 11mb. Not much, but start hiking up the Resolution and your Box better have a chunk of RAM on board.

If you have a an old photo and want it fixed after you scan it, look here.
click here

And if you want to Scan Black & White images scan them in using the Scanners Colour Scan Mode to give you the best (widest) range of Black to White. This becomes more important if you need to touch up or repair the image.


  rupie 01:22 03 Jan 2007

Scans for print are done at nothing more than 1440 or 720 DPI. scan at your printers native resolution. From prints a higher res than this in not any better from a printed scource; scanning from negs if difference but if you print yourself then scan at the printers res.

You should find a scan at 360dpi will give you a good A4 print and not too large a file size. Scan jpg. For the colour use 24 bits as 48 bits is not always supported in applications e.g. PSE4 although CS2 and GIMP will.

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