Scanning questions : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Okay - I just took the plunge and bought an Agfa Arcus 1200 scanner. It does trannies up to 10x8. I am planning to use it for up to 4x5 A couple of questions: 1 What settings should I do use for an exihibition print of 11x14 in color of B and W? 2 What about a 4x5 for publication in a newsletter? 3 the same as above for the web 4 The name of a good book that will answer the above and give me more info on Adobe PhotoShop Many thanks in advance!

-- Yaakov Asher Sinclair (, July 15, 2001


The best text I have used is "Real World Scanning and Halftones" by Blatner, Fleishman and Roth (Peachpit Press). Good info is also contained in "Adobe Photoshop 5.5 for Photographers" by Martin Evening (Focal Press). The latter text also has a lot of general Photoshop info and is directed toward photographers.

-- David Rose (, July 15, 2001.

Yaakov, 90% of my scanning is done at 300dpi at 4x5" and burned to cd's. Then when I need a jpeg for the web or a clients presentation, I just convert it. As far as enlargements from scans, I scan at 254dpi to size (11x14 in your case) and the lab makes the enlargment. Hope this helps a little.

-- Scott Walton (, July 15, 2001.


I do a significant amount of drum scanning. One thing that I almost always do is scan my negatives (color or B&W) at the highest native optical resolution of the scanner at a 1:1 size. This way, I can then re-size as needed (without interpolation) getting the best quality image without having to re-scan.

I save all scanned files and label them "RAW" in the file name. I make a second copy of the original scan for manipulation and save it without the "RAW" designation. That way I always have an original un- manipulated copy of the file for future reference. Both files are saved to a CD in .tif format.

If I need a B&W image, I make a third copy and add "b_w" to the file name and save it to the same CD.

I would always recommend scanning without filters such as unsharp masking, or color adjustments. I scan all images with the white and black points of the curve pushed out to the left and right. This gives you a straigh line curve and preserves all of the available information that the scanner can resolve from the negative. I scan my negatives and transparencies as 48bit Raw RGB files. I scan all as positives and never use the negative option. I then invert negatives in Photoshop.

Manipulations are made after scanning in 16 bit ("high-bit") mode using Photoshop or another adjustment program such as Silverfast HDR. No levels or curves adjustments are ever done in 8 bit mode unless absolutely necessary or if adjustment layers are required. This preserves smooth gradations and avoids a "fingered" histogram.

I find that when ready to print, turn off the "re-sampling" option in Photoshop image size and then resize your image as needed. The dpi will change with image size and Photoshop will not use it's algorthims to mess up your image. Never save an image as a .jpeg unless you are publishing it to the web. All record files should be saved a .tif or .psd files.

Hope this helps, these are my preferences and as such they work for me in my studio. Obviously, you will need to develop your own preferences over time and find out what works for you.


-- Mike Kravit (, July 15, 2001.

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