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Scanning your original photos - What settings do you use?


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Just curious on anyone on here that scans their original photographs........what settings on your scanners do you use? I was just doing 600 DPI jpgs in I guess like regular color. I got a new scanner a few months ago and started scanning up to it's max, which can go to 4800 DPI. But files were huge obviously and even just opening them in their folder took a long time. I got to thinking maybe that was overkill. Also, someone mentioned to be using a TIFF file instead......so anyways......what do you do? Thanks!

506th Fighter Group Historian

Interested in all items relating to the 7th AAF, especially those of the VLR P-51 Pilots of the 15th, 21st, and 506th Fighter Groups.

 

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If it's an 8x10 photo or larger, I go with 600dpi. If it's smaller than 8x10, I go with 800 dpi. For the small 2x3 sizes and such, I go with 1200dpi. I've never had a use for scanning anything more than that, even for using small portions of small photos for my books (e.g. faces and such).

Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Peace is not the absence of war, but the defense of hard-won freedom. -Anton LaGuardia


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Oh...I also don't scan anything less than 360 dpi, save for photocopies of documents that I'm only scanning to use as references. I'll then do 300dpi so I can scan them quickly. Anything smaller than 300dpi and you've got a chance of losing detail in the documents that might be needed.

Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Peace is not the absence of war, but the defense of hard-won freedom. -Anton LaGuardia


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Thanks guys, appreciate the suggestions. Now do you scan in B&W or just leave it on color in terms of the scanner options? And save files as jpg's? or something else like tiff files?

506th Fighter Group Historian

Interested in all items relating to the 7th AAF, especially those of the VLR P-51 Pilots of the 15th, 21st, and 506th Fighter Groups.

 

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From an editor's point of view:

 

Scan as large as you can tolerate...Storage is inconsequentially inexpensive.

 

You can ALWAYS reduce an image size, but you can never go up. You don't know what your requirements will be in the future: Covers, posters, carpet, wallpaper, billboards, etc. Scan as big as your system will allow. My scanner will let me scan at 1200 dpi. This usually means about 4-5 minutes per scan. You can group images on your scanner bed, scan them at 1200 dpi, drag them to your photo processing program, duplicate and then cut them apart. That way, you can usually do 4 postcard-size images on a normal-sized flatbed scanner.

 

Rarely do I scan an image smaller than that unless I am bulk scanning. But usually, if bulk scanning (e.g, at an archives doing hundreds of photos in a day), than I switch to a copystand and use an SLR camera. I do some "in-field triage to determine what should be scanned as opposed to copy standing, based on likelihood that it will be used for covers, calendars, or other pixel-intense projects down the road).

 

Scan everything in 48-bit color. You can ALWAYS drop color information later, but you can't add it.

 

Don't scan into tiffs...this WILL tax your storage limitations. Almost all publishers want you to submit in jpg format. They will convert to whatever format best suits their needs (most often, tifs for print, but if you are submitting to online publishers, there are a variety of formats that are much friendlier to the designer than tifs!)

 

The key is: Scan as simple and as large as you can. Don't try to anticipate or "fix" things in your scanning process. A scan is RAW material...It can be molded into other formats as you call it up for projects. Keep your scans as simple--and as large-- as you can.

 

FWIW,

John A-G

Editor, Military Trader & Military Vehicles Magazine

Top dollar paid for WWI AEF Tank Corps uniforms, medal groups, equipment and photos,
unit histories and rosters...especially anything associated with

301st (Heavy) Tank Bn
Drop me an email and let me know what you have.

 

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I really can't say much more than what John said above. He pretty much hit the nail(s) on the head!

 

The only thing I can say otherwise is that I scan into a TIF format for the exact reason he noted above...you can always scan larger instead of smaller. My publisher requires everything as a TIF, so I just scan and keep it the same format. Yes, it sucks up a TON of room on a hard drive, but hard drives are cheap and with 5TB drives now in the $100 range, it's worth it to keep things big.

 

I spent many years reducing file sizes, and ended up with some fantastic stuff that's too small to see the detail on...and I'll never get it back to do it again. :(

Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Peace is not the absence of war, but the defense of hard-won freedom. -Anton LaGuardia


donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

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Thank you very much guys! I appreciate the info and pretty much I have an idea of what I want to do now in terms of what I already have scanned and for future reference!

506th Fighter Group Historian

Interested in all items relating to the 7th AAF, especially those of the VLR P-51 Pilots of the 15th, 21st, and 506th Fighter Groups.

 

donation2016.gif

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