Questions about Scanning Print

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by SLR2009, Oct 25, 2009.

  1. SLR2009 macrumors regular

    Mar 19, 2009
    Hi I have 3 prints with the same image, all different sizes, I have a 10", 14", and 20". I would like to scan only one of them so I could view it on my computer. I will be bringing it to office max to have them scan my print and put it on a disk for me. Which print would have the best quality when scanned? My friend said that if I scan the 20" it would look pixelated on my computer, is this true?

    I have a Canon MP620 printer in my house. Will my scanner produce the same color quality as the scanners in Office Max? When I scan the print I don't want any loss in image quality.

    Any info is greatly appreciated. Thanks
  2. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
    The largest print will have the most detail thus you should use it to scan.

    The optimum would be to scan the negative or slide film if you still have it but otherwise choose the print with the most detail to scan from i.e. the largest print.

  3. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Mar 25, 2009
    Folding space
    I don't really think the larger print will give a sharper digital image. If the 10in print is scanned at 300dpi it would print out very close to the detail in the original. For your computer screen you only need 72dpi for good viewing. If I were you I would have it scanned at 300 and change the size down in the computer. I use PhotoShop, but I think you can do this in iPhoto too. That would give you a file big enough to do something different with down the road without extra expense. I have scanned photos and found that one of the big factors is the finish on the original. Glossy prints scan better than matt finished ones. It has to do with the bumps in the surface of the matt paper messing up the focus of the scanner.

    By the way, scanning the original slide or negative is much better. A photo finisher or camera shop can do this for you.

  4. SLR2009 thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 19, 2009
    Thanks for the help. Should I scan it using my Canon MP620 or bring it into a store and have them scan it? which will give me better results?
  5. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
    Well you could scan it yourself for free, and if the quality is not sufficient for what you want to do then you could look into a service option. I think if you were to be careful about it the result from Office Max would not be any better than what you could get at home on your own scanner. Theirs probably just goes faster and can accommodate a larger print.

    However it all depends on what you are trying to scan for. If you just want something to use as your desktop, self-scanning will be fine. If you're looking to create an archival copy of the print or to work on it further in PS, then you will want to get the highest resolution scan possible (most good scans are done at ~4800dpi) and using the largest clearest print. Again, for maximum quality you need to get the negatives scanned and this can be done by a professional service using high end wet-scan drum scanners ($50,000+ machines) which will yield the best detail. Obviously at the highest cost, however. But if you don't have the negative, I would say you're going to get near the best possible quality by just carefully cleaning the print and scanning it yourself at highest resolution at home. The professional scanning really benefits if you have the benefit of the original negative/slide.

    Just what I have heard about scanning as I have never done it myself.

  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    It depends on the quality of the print. Likely the print if the print is any good at all it is better then what your monitor can display. In other words the monitor is the weak link here.

    I assume this photo has taken with a film camera. You'd get the best results be scanning the film. But then if the goal is to be able to show it on-screen it hardly matters. Just scen the 8x10 at 300 DPI. Even that will be to much resolution for your screen.

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