On Wed, 23 May 2001 04:38:25 EDT (TREVITHO@aol.com) wrote:
> A scan at 12,000 would only be employed
> by a repro house for a 40 x 60 inch high quality repro from a 35mm
> trannie but only in the most extreme quality circumstances. For
> magazine repro they'll use much less.
Bob, I know what you say makes perfect sense - the 150-180LPI screen needs
no more than ~300dpi at repro size. But the run-ins I have had with these
guys suggest that they regard 12,000ppi as necessary, because that's what
they get out of their drums and send to the imagesetter. They frighten
production eds silly with this sort of nonsense, and I have come across it
enough to think it isn't just lack of communication or different
conceptual frameworks of different industries. They just want to hang on
to magazine scanning as it's their bread and butter.
In recent years, magazine repro houses have begun factoring in scanning to
their overall package - the price includes all the scanning the mag will
need, and they get no discount for not having scans done. This causes me
problems, as art eds really don't want to pay twice, yet I am doing
scanning for a quite different reason, as part of the production of a
useable image from colour neg.
A couple of months ago I did a job for a magazine on commission, indoor
informal portraits of a big shot during interview. I shot available light
on Fuji400 colour neg, and told the client I would want to scan to CD.
They agreed, if that was going to get best results.
After I shot the job, I got a call from the mag, asking for C41 prints
instead, as their repro house had warned them off photographer-produced
scans. Well, WTF - I come up against this often enough to know the
futility of arguing, so I did the C41's and also some sample scans to show
the overwhelming superiority of the results, and sent both to the client.
Sure enough I get a call from him, and he is blown away at how much better
the scans are. He orders 15 scans, and says the repro house will just have
to do as they are told.
I do the scans and send them, client very happy. I send the bill.
2 weeks later I get a call from the client : the bill is too high.
15@£15/scan too high, as it turns out. 'If I'd realised how much they were
going to cost I would never have ordered them, we'd have got them done by
the repro house' - although my prior-to-the-job email quote stated exactly
what the price would be and why I should do them. (It's interpretive and
part of the photography, in the same way that darkroom printing is not
For some bizarre reason the client thinks my price for scanning should
compete with the repro house charges which are, er well, nil, bundled into
the overall contract.
Mexican standoff. They won't pay the bill unless reduced, I need cashflow
desperately. I cancelled the scanning charges and told them to return the
CD, and will never work for Mayo Sayers Publishing ever again (less
polite version). They have paid the reduced bill, after 80 days, but have
not returned the CD. I suspect they used the scans, but it's a controlled
This sort of thing happens all too frequently. I should pursue each one
with a lawyer and a baseball bat, but there already aren't enough hours in
the day. A lot of clients are fine, the ones I work with repeatedly, and
their repro houses seem able to cope just fine. But there is a low-level
war of attrition going on here, and conspiracy theory is an entirely
appropriate way of understanding most of the b*ll*cks spouted.
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