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RE: filmscanners: Fast, decent, low res scans



Phillippe wrote:

>Say you have a portfolio of 35mm slides.  On short notice you are asked to
scan two hundred of them and burn them onto CD, low res.  What would be a
good scanner and workflow for creating the actual low res JPEGs?  What are
good ways to make FAST, DECENT, LOW RES SCANS of 35mm slides?

"Short Notice" may be the key, here, Phillippe, and "Decent" is the other
criterion. If you're talking about a $150 budget (and I think you were),
you're not likely to get "decent" results from anything you could *buy* for
that price. "Rent" is a possibility, and "Hire" is another. If you can hire
someone to scan these slides for you, either as Raw scans or as corrected
scans--and *which* would depend on how adept you are at working imaging
programs--you should be able to come in at or under budget.

Renting a scanner would be another option, which would depend *a lot* on how
fast you can get "up to speed" on scanning and retouching. It could be
cheaper, or not. It would definitely be a lot more work. I think you should
go to "Work for Hire," at least for the Short Term.

The "Low Res" requirement has nothing to do with the eficacy of your scans,
only the final quality of what is seen. You may or may not be talking about
"Down and Dirty," but a "Low Res" scan takes almost the same time to do as a
"Hi Res" scan--the Time difference is measured in seconds. The Quality
difference is measured by how much you expect to *do* with the scans, and
what their final purpose is. It's much harder to retouch a "Low Res" scan
than a higher-res scan, and your results are much better with the latter.
You can *always* resample down, but resampling *up* is usually a
disappointment.

As for JPEG quality, I've found that it's not difficult to get "decent"
quality at about 120-100kb per picture, at a size at or below 900 pixels
maximum dimension. If the final destination is the Internet, 500ppi is fine.
Not all pictures cooperate, of course. Check out Larry Berman's Compression
Comparisson page on the Net. It's a Must.

Per your other questions:

*** Does the scanner you recommend come bundled with software that would
allow me to crop and set Auto Levels without entering Photoshop?

No. Auto Levels, AFAIK, are a Photoshop thing. Setting Levels, OTOH, is
something that most imaging programs do, one way or another. Ditto cropping
and basic color-correction. Some scanners bundle PS-LE (Acer, for one).

*** The cheaper, the better.

No, the cheaper the worser. ;-) That's an unfortunate Law of Physics and
Economics, and it can't be overturned AFAICT; not often, anyway.

> If it's in the area of $150, we may be able to get 2 or 3 of them, so if
one scanner is being used, a second will be available.

If you can get 3 scanners at $150, then you can get one Acer or one
Minolta--so do it. If it doesn't last for at least 200 frames, you'll be
allowed to shoot the salesman, and no jury selected from this List would
ever convict you. :-)

Best regards--LRA


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