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Re: filmscanners: Filmscanning vs. Flatbedding

Alan Tyson wrote:

> Just to add an alternative, broader view to the
> discussion....
> I agree that scanning the negative always has the potential
> for a better result, and that's what I always do myself as
> first choice. BUT let us not forget that simple flatbed
> print scanning has its place, because......

Great post, and good points.  I couldn't agree more.

A flatbed is a good first step to scanning, and as you said, a much 
easier one, in terms of operations, computer hardware demands, and use 
to get to a final result.

My only complaint with your statements is you are encouraging everyone 
to do this... gee, soon I'm just gonna be another regular guy that does 
digital scanning... where's the elitism there? ;-)

As an aside, I interact with a lot of local artists here.  One hired me 
to take some of his very fine detailed rather small sculptures and 
photograph them and ultimately scan them for several projects he had in 

I gave him a price for the work I expected to be involved, and offered 
to work "in trade" because I really like his work and also he is really 
just starting out, (first child on the way)...

On a lark, before setting up some involved rigging and lighting, I 
decided to get some idea of the detail I was looking for by popping them 
on my flatbed scanner and scanning at 1200 x 1200 dpi (the scanner is 
actually a 600 dpi optical with 1200 dpi in the stepper motor direction)

I did some clean up and color balancing, and a bit of sharpening, and 
printed them and showed him.  He was blown away with the results.  When 
I told him I could cut the cost of the project by over 50% using this 
approach (no film, no trips to and from the lab, no film scanning) he 
was chortling.

As it turned out, a few pieces became more challenging (had white and 
black in them) but overall the job went well.  Now, he has some other 
ideas, and I also told him due to the basic simplicity of the method, I 
can do one or two at a time, at minimal overall cost, and he now has 
several other ideas in mind, for which we'll collaborate.

He was dead-set against flatbed when he hired me because a friend had 
done some for him, and they frankly looked like heck.  I'm using a 
medium priced (back when it came out 2 years ago) UMAX consumer grade 
scanner that today goes for under $100 CAN here.

Of course, it is my Photoshop and photographic skills that make me able 
to get the results he needs from a flatbed, but never underestimate a 
flatbed scanner for reflective art.



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