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Old 17th of November 2010 (Wed)   #1
hania
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Default Scan or photograph old photos?

Any ideas which may give the better results?

Scanning will takes ages but can do a whole sheet at a time - these are photos from the 1940's and so are only about 3x2 in.

photographing - can get in really close with macro lens - but have to do each individually - could do a whole page i suppose but harder to get exactly parallel.


any ideas ? not sure if this is in right place; I did try searching forums but didn't find anything.
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Old 17th of November 2010 (Wed)   #2
crn3371
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Default Re: Scan or photograph old photos?

I'd get an inexpensive flatbed scanner. They should scan fairly quick as you don't need to scan at a very high resolution for prints. 300 dpi, 600 dpi max.
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Old 17th of November 2010 (Wed)   #3
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Default Re: Scan or photograph old photos?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hania View Post
Any ideas which may give the better results?.
Scan. But first get Ctein's book, Digital Restoration from Start to Finish, 2nd Edition.

Also Katrin Eismann's Photoshop Restoration & Retouching.
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Old 17th of November 2010 (Wed)   #4
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Default Re: Scan or photograph old photos?

The other issue with photographing the prints will be lighting/glare.

Get a scanner, it will be much faster and give more consistent results.
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Old 17th of November 2010 (Wed)   #5
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Default Re: Scan or photograph old photos?

I got curious about the relative quality, so I just did this quick test. I took a 4x6 photo (originally shot on film), and scanned it with a Canon 8800F scanner at 600 dpi. Then I photographed it using a 40D with a Tamron 90mm f/2.5 macro lens at ISO 400 using f/4, mounted on tripod (admittedly shot under CFL, so I had to correct WB during post processing) as a RAW file converted with Lightroom 2.
As scanned, the result was 3512x2376 pixels; as shot the result was 3888x2592 pixels. I then took about a 10% section of each photo (leaving sections at 100%)...

As scanned...
http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i63/wiltonw/as_scannedphoto.jpg
As shot...
http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i63/wiltonw/as_photographed.jpg

Not sure if I could improve the photographic version with changes in post processing settings or by shooting at f/5.6, but based upon this quick test, I would not bother with the photography, but I would use the scanner.
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Last edited by Wilt : 17th of November 2010 (Wed) at 11:33. Reason: oversized
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Old 17th of November 2010 (Wed)   #6
René Damkot
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Default Re: Scan or photograph old photos?

I'd take a look at your sharpening / NR settings in LR. Or try DPP.
The "shot" image could be much better with decent sharpening IMO.
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Old 17th of November 2010 (Wed)   #7
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Default Re: Scan or photograph old photos?

Quote:
Originally Posted by René Damkot View Post
I'd take a look at your sharpening / NR settings in LR. Or try DPP.
The "shot" image could be much better with decent sharpening IMO.

Originally used sharpening settings of 132/1.7/57/49 in LR. I altered the Radius from 1.7 to 3.0 and output this, as shot...

http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i63/wiltonw/as_shot2.jpg

As scanned...
http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i63/wiltonw/as_scannedphoto.jpg

No doubt futher tweaking of brightness and contrast, etc. in post processing could get more improvement from the as-shot version, but with the immediate and easy superiority of the scanned version, I don't think I'd want to spend the time and effort of tweaking the photographic process further. Way too easy to plunk the photo on the scanner, compared to having to mount it temporarily on a flat surface to photograph.
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Last edited by Wilt : 17th of November 2010 (Wed) at 11:32. Reason: oversized
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Old 17th of November 2010 (Wed)   #8
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Default Re: Scan or photograph old photos?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilt View Post
No doubt futher tweaking of brightness and contrast, etc. in post processing could get more improvement from the as-shot version, but with the immediate and easy superiority of the scanned version, I don't think I'd want to spend the time and effort of tweaking the photographic process further.
Agree with that.

Oh, and linked the images since they were larger then 1024 px
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Old 17th of November 2010 (Wed)   #9
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Default Re: Scan or photograph old photos?

Quote:
Originally Posted by René Damkot View Post
Agree with that.

Oh, and linked the images since they were larger then 1024 px
mea culpa! Thanks for remedying the oversight, René. My brain had 1280 as the max just now.
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Old 17th of November 2010 (Wed)   #10
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Default Re: Scan or photograph old photos?

I scan old photos at 600dpi, 48 bit mode (16 x 3), and either Adobe RGB or ProPhoto RGB.

When rephotographing, there's no reason not to use HDR techniques just like any other photography.
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Last edited by ChasP505 : 17th of November 2010 (Wed) at 12:28.
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Old 17th of November 2010 (Wed)   #11
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Default Re: Scan or photograph old photos?

As long as your scanner is set up correctly and profiled, like your camera (in RAW) is, then color reproduction should be no problem. If your scanner produces color results that shift or cause issues in a color managed workflow, then you should address that before having to correct all of the images you scan. With photographing using RAW, you can shoot a CC target under the lighting conditions you set up (2 lights at 45 degrees to the photo surface) and get an accurate color profile that you can apply in batch to all of the images, in a RAW converter like LR.

If the photos are aged and may have issues with mounting for photography or may get damaged in a flatbed scanner, that may something to consider.

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Old 17th of November 2010 (Wed)   #12
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Smile Re: Scan or photograph old photos?

many thanks to you all - shall scan I think !
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Old 17th of November 2010 (Wed)   #13
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Default Re: Scan or photograph old photos?

I haven't used a scanner in some time, but I know that at least some scanning software will recognize multiple "objects" which could be a huge plus with smaller photos -- scan 6 or 8 snaps at a time and they are automatically saved as separate images.
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Old 17th of November 2010 (Wed)   #14
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Default Re: Scan or photograph old photos?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonylong View Post
I haven't used a scanner in some time, but I know that at least some scanning software will recognize multiple "objects" which could be a huge plus with smaller photos -- scan 6 or 8 snaps at a time and they are automatically saved as separate images.
Photoshop (CS and newer I think) can do this as well.
http://help.adobe.com/en_US/photosho...b64-762ea.html
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