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-   -   Help scanning images - My head is going to explode!! (

andsoitgoes Mar 2, 2008 7:18 PM

Okay - So I just purchased a Canon Canoscan 8800F scanner specifically to scan in pictures that were done up for us, and to archive older pictures.

The primary use was to do top quality scans of top quality pictures that we cannot get reproduced at a typical location.

I'm having the worlds most frustrating time with this, however.

The pictures are 8x10, I use Elements to import them, with the standard backend Canon software.

When I scan them in, I have to use the reduce dusts/scratches (which baffles me, the scanner has only been used a handful of times and the images are barely a week old and have only seen the light of day to actually go onto the scanner) - and the other settings are there - Auto Tone (if I don't, the image looks bland) and Unsharp Mask (without, the image almost looks blurry)

I don't have the money to purchase additional sheets to reprint the photos, but I don't know how to increase the quality - I have the 48 bit setting checked, I'm guessing that 300dpi is okay, and I've even done 600dpi

Now, if I can something about the overall quality, I need to have a file size of 6mb for any uploading I want/need to do.

Max JPEG pushes it to 7 megs, the next step down drops the size to just over 3. There's no in-between!

I'm just at a loss - I want to reproduce these pictures as good a quality as possible, I know they're not going to be JUST like the original, but I'd like it to be close!

Thanks in advance for the help, and yes - I've checked - I'm lost in that site, and it's far too confusing to me.


smitbret Mar 3, 2008 2:49 PM

300 dpi should be just fine if you're scanning an 8x10. The best tip you'll ever get from scantips is how to use the levels tool, setting the black and white points. If you get nothing else out of the website, you'll be just fine. After you'[ve previewed the image in the Canon software, just click on the "Levels" adjustment and drag the end points to where the information on the histogram starts toshow up (on the left) and tail off again (on the right), then import. This shold give your photos Everything else you can do adequately in PSE. As for dust and scratches..... I've never scanned a photo that didn't have dust on it.... ever. Just a fact of life. I always Unsharp Mask my scans, but not too much, since I think PS does a better job of this than my scanning software.

granthagen Mar 4, 2008 12:48 AM

andsoitgoes, you might not be looking at a scanning problem, but a post processing problem. Making scanned images look good uses the same image editing tools and techniques that digital photography takes. If you are not really confident of your editing skills, then check out some of the huge volume of free online tutorials pertaining to Elements. There are many that are specialized for retouching scanned photos, but those are usually for damaged or faded photos.

If the dust isn't too bad, you might do better to manually touch them up with the clone tool rather than applying a dust filter to the whole image. Sometimes the filter doesn't know as well as you do what is dust and what is valid detail.

Try wiping the print and scanner glass off with a microfiber cloth. Scanning with an output resolution of 300dpi (ppi) at 100% should be fine -- if you want the recipient to print it at original size. For top quality, you should scan for an output size that will be pretty much the same as the final printed size. That means that no interpolation (adding or deleting pixels) will need to be done after the fact. Interpolation always has some effect on image quality, though a little bit one way or the other might not be noticeable -- especially on smaller prints. Also, sharpening is largely display-size specific. That is, the same image can properly take different levels of sharpening depending on it's final viewing size and even whether it is to be printed or just viewed on a monitor.

I don't know what to tell you about the 6MB file size target. All settings being equal, images with more detail will compress less efficiently (so have larger file sizes) than images with lesser detail.

If hitting pretty close to the 6MB target is really important, you could try to scan the photos at slightly lower output resolution -- say, 240dpi at 100% scale. Not many people can tell the difference between an 8x10 print scanned at 300dpi and the same one at 240dpi. That might get your max' quality JPEG closer to 6MB from 7.

I hope some of this is useful!


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