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Re: filmscanners: Hello

Here are some quick answers to some of your questions.  Hopefully, others will give you better answers.

Get PS6 if you can afford it, but if you have to ask the question, you'd probably be happy with PSE.  PS6 is needed if you want to send images to a printing press.  It also has features not available in PSE (somewhere, maybe at the Adobe web site, there's a list of those differences).  Some plug-ins work with PS6 but not PSE.  It's your choice.  Most people you talk to will be familiar with PS6 but not PSE.

If in doubt, save to a TIF file as it's the most common.  I've never had a need to use BMP.  I mostly use the PSD Photoshop format.  JPEG will cause you to destroy pixel data.  Don't convert to JPEG until the last step.  Don't sharpen a JPEG as it will only bloat it back up in size, which is the opposite of why you used JPEG in the first place and sharpening can't restore the lost data anyway. I suggest you convert to the Photoshop PSD format as soon as you can (you may need to use TIF as an intermediate step, for example, if you are doing a 16-bit scan and PSD is not one of the options).  If you read a TIF file with Photoshop, simply save it as a PSD file and you will have done the conversion.  By saving the image file as PSD, Photoshop can be used on it again at some later time without having to reconvert.  I even print directly from PSD and let Photoshop and the printer driver figure out what needs to be done.  If you need ! to compress an image for transmission over the net, then use JPEG.  But keep a copy in PSD (or TIF, or any other format that doesn't do destructive compression).  If you need to use JPEG to compress an image for storage and can't afford the save larger PSD (or TIF, etc.) files, realize that someday you may have to rescan the image because JPEG destroys data and such a file may not be useful for some new future application.

Gamma refers to adjusting the midtones and is used to describe the slope of the curve which you adjust so as to lighten or darken an image.  I can't give you a really good explanation as I've never heard of a good one, but maybe someone can enlighten both of us.

Keep the questions coming.

In a message dated 10/20/2001 10:03:31 PM Pacific Daylight Time, kdurling@earthlink.net writes:

Greetings -

Can you handle another newbie?  (I heard that groan) ;-)

OK, not entirely new to scanning, but just got my first film scanner -
a Canon FS2710 that I got 2nd hand.   Seems to be working fine.

it's making me realize that I need to get into a whole other level of
control and understanding of what I'm doing.  Prior to this all my
work - about 4 years of it - has been on a HP 5200C flatbed, with the
bundled PhotoDeluxe and occasionally Corel Photo House.  I've gotten
pretty good at the basics.   I've tried out Photoshop Elements and
like it, but at this point am wavering as to whether I should get the
whole PS6 package or if PSE would do it.  IAny advice appreciated.  I
know you need to know more about what I want to be able to do.  

At this point I mainly am striving to just get the absolute best
quality photo and then reproduction thereof that I can, given my
budget, which is why I'm limited to 2720 dpi.  Probably it will be
fine for my purposes, which is mostly web-based right now, but
eventually I'd like to make my own prints, up to 8x10, with a very
occasional larger one.  Don't have a photo printer right now, just an
HP Color Inkjet, but will probably eventually get an Epson 1280 or a
smaller one.  

Right now I think most of my questions concern procedure with these
large scans, which are new to me.  I'd appreciate any tips no how to
minimize loss when compressing to a jpeg.  For example, Is there any
substantial difference as to whether I save the original scan as a
.TIFF or a .BMP?  These seem to be the main options offered by the
Canon software.  I do have a trial copy of Vuescan, which I'm *very*
impressed by so far, and will be going over to a full version of that
probably, unless I'm convinced otherwise here!  Vuescan seems to be
able to handle different films much better.  

Another question when working with large files like this is at what
point do you do most of your image adjustment?   Do you do all your
color balancing, sizing, and similar image property work on the .TIFF
and then compress and run sharpen on the jpeg?    

So I have a lot to learn about color control, and have basically zero
experience with color management.  But I'm not doing a lot of printing
just yet, so that's probably not my first concern.  To start with I'd
appreciate a good explanation of "gamma."  

Anyway, enough for now!  Needless to say, some or all of the above may
be able to be answered by links and FAQ's, please feel free to refer
me to the requisite sources, I'm a good reader!

If you want to critique what I've been doing thus far, I have a
portfolio at photo.net:


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