Scanning question/Minolta 5400/Vuescan

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by neil_swanson, Mar 12, 2006.

  1. The tile says Minolta 5400 w/Vuescan but this may just be a wide
    ranging question for others. I should know the answer to this question.

    I scan 99% B&W negs. I print on an Epson 2200 so 13x19 is my max size.

    My general scanning workflow is to scan at max 5400dpi for 13x19.
    Later as I need I start from the TIFF I produced and downsize it if
    needed and print at 300dpi/ppi on the Epson.

    So here is an example. Today I was scanning some negs that will most
    likley end up 4x6 and @6x9"s. So I did the scans for 8x12 prints to
    give me some crop space.

    At 5400 scanning rez for an 8x12 the file is at 625dpi and 167mb.

    Just for interest I changed the scanner setting to scan for 300dpi
    output instead of print size. At 300dpi the print size is 25x16"s
    and is again of course 167mb.

    I've done this before and in the final print I really can't see a
    difference but am curious as to what the "real" recomended workflow
    should be.

    What should give me the best quality print or maybe I should say be
    the least damaging as far as lose when I size for print is the question?

    IN CS2 would you resize the 300dpi 25x16 to 6x9"s or change the dpi
    of the 8x12 scan to 300dpi/ppi?

    I guess I could make the question really simple and just ask is it
    better to scan for output size regardless of scan dpi or scan for
    printing dpi and adjust output size in inches as needed. Maybe that
    makes more sense.
  2. You have more options if you scan at maximum optical density and do all sizing/scaling
    operations for specific purposes of print and web presentation in Photoshop.

  3. I'd say scan at 5400 pixels per inch, you never know when you might want/need it. Everything else, print size, dpi calc's etc, is really just smoke and mirrors.
  4. I second the advice from Godfrey and Mendel.

    I'll add that you may want to reconsider resizing to 300 ppi. I doubt that it will made much difference, if any, but I believe your Epson printer uses 720 ppi and that the printer driver will resample whatever ppi you give it to 720. Therefore, rather than downsample to 300 ppi, if you have enough pixels, consider using 720. If you have less than 720 ppi at you print size, but at least about 180 ppi, try not resizing at all (you printer driver will do it to 720).

    Also, I understand that your scanner is not physically able to scan at odd ppi's, like 3000. Instead, if you select something like 3,000 ppi, what actually happens is your scanner scans at 5,400 ppi and then just down samples the data to 3,000 ppi.

    Here is a link to an article you may want to read. The advice given in that article is not the same as the advice given here so far.

    Also you may want to review the coments on that article here:
  5. Thanks for the advice from all. I just thought I needed to be at 300 or 360, I'd heard but forgottn that the Epson then does it's own thing anyway.

    But one reason that scaling down to 300 or 360 is file size/storage, oh and how long it takes for Photo Kit Sharpener to do its thing on a 200meg file. Let me tell you, the 1st capture sharpen step takes a long time on a 200 meg file with a 1GHZ G4. Oh well another reason for a new Mac.
  6. Hi Neil. How's it going? I've got the same setup and I scan at 4000 dpi. The files are plenty big and I've never had a problem because of resolution. I, personally, find that scanning at 5400 with a 400 or higher ISO film exacerbates the grain to an unacceptable level.
    Good light and good luck.
  7. Hi John. I don't mind grain, in fact I like it. I haven't found that 5400 dpi makes it more obvious.

    Until a few weeks ago I hadn't shot any film since June. I've been shooting digital in every lighting condition (low light mostly where I've been shooting Leica) where I had been using film and working on a workflow that made it look the way I want.

    I may be a minority here but I'm not looking to make digital look like medium or large format. I like the look of 35mm, I like grain and if I get some grain/noise at ISO 1600 fine. I shoot a D2HS body that is very good at high ISOs.

    I find the 5400 at 5400dpi can see and scan the difference between HC110 and D76, Rodinal at 1:50 and 1:100. So I can still get the character of different films and developers. The digital sometimes is too clean and smooth, like Plus-X in Microdal. YUCK!

    Sometimes the DPI/PPI and scan and print resolution just gets me turned around. In the end my prints look good so maybe I'm concerned with nothing.
  8. Niel, if you opt for lower ppi than 5400, I'd say still scan at 5400, then downsample in Photoshop, using bi-cubic. Vuescan, for one, will allow you scan at any lower res you care to specify, but it appears to use some sort of downsample on-the-fly, with results of poorer quality than Photoshop bi-cubic. I think it is similar to "nearest neighbour" in quality, but I really don't know the first thing about it. I do know the results are a lot more "steppy" looking.

    Minolta Scan Utility apparently also scans at 5400, regardless of specifying 5400 ppi or 2700 ppi (the highest two choices, with a vast gulf between), and again downsamples on-the-fly, by who knows what method.

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