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Author Topic: Reproducing Old Photographs  (Read 13619 times)
Mark D Segal
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« Reply #20 on: February 03, 2007, 08:18:20 AM »
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Jonathan and Howie

Both of you are being extremely childish wasting peoples' time trading barbs over what is supposed to be a website dedicated to education and awareness. For goodness sake GROW UP  

Anyhow all this useless banter tweaked my interest to simply do a fast search on Google for how Monaco EZColor can be made to calibrate a monitor without a colorimeter and here is the answer (from Bodoni Systems in the UK):

<<MonacoEZColor is a complete profiling solution which lets you calibrate your monitor, scanner and printer. Monitor calibration is achieved using a visual method. Monaco EZColor comes with an IT8 target which is used to calibrate your scanner and printer. What makes this bundle very good at generating printer profiles is the use of the IT8 target on the same print. This makes sure that your scanner is capturing the colours produced from your printer very accurately.

<<EZColor does not include a monitor colorimeter, but uses software controls to change monitor calibration (similar to Adobe gamma). EZColor is available as a bundle with Monaco OPTIX XR for more precise monitor calibration.>>

I happen to own a license to use Monaco EZColor which came with my Optix XR colorimeter. Where Jonathan is technically correct is that this software is not a  substitute for a good colorimeter. The results are completely unreliable because of the scanner interface, the need for perfect scanner calibration and the visual acuity involved in using what is essentially a souped-up Adobe Gamma approach (also generally speaking no good); I tried it for calibrating and profiling a printer and learned that EZColor with my scanner was far inferior to a good custom profile using a proper profiling package - and indeed far inferior to Epson's supplied profile for 4800/Enhanced Matte paper.

All that said and done, if by happenstance Howiesmith is getting results that satisfy him given his particular needs and computing environment, he has solved his own problem and that is fine for him, eventhough it isn't recommendable it in general.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #21 on: February 03, 2007, 01:40:44 PM »
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MonacoEZColor uses either a visual comparison method or a colorimeter to profile monitors. Howard says he's using a flatbed scanner to color correct his monitor. I'm just trying to figure out if Howard misstated his monitor calibration procedure and is using either the visual comparison procedore or a colorimeter, or is actually using a flatbed scanner in the process as he claimed. I understand how a scanner can be profiled with an IT8 target and then used to profile a printer, but involving a scanner in the monitor profiling process does not compute with me. Inquiring minds want to know.
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pixtweak
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« Reply #22 on: February 03, 2007, 04:09:09 PM »
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I am reproducing and retouching a series of very faded and discolored prints. All of these due to the wishes of the owner are to remian in their frames. This compromises the final results significantly, but also requires that I use a camera. I might add my personal view is using a camera or scanner is a toss up, and where a camera and propper copy stand/lighting might offer the greatest potential, for most people a quality flatbed scanner may be the easier and more reliable solution.

I wanted to mention that I took advantage of Kodak's free trial of their Digital ROC plugin V 2.0 . The print I tested was severely discolored. I compared my initial adustments to a copy corrected by Digital ROC. Regarding accuracey of color correction Digital ROC was better, and it appears to have reduced some of the mildew/unidentified growth on this particualr print. What I did not like about the Digital ROC adjustments is A) that it seemed to clip the highlights and shadow even though I backed off the "Contrast Ajustments" to 0%. B ) the adjustments are limited and particularly the "Brightness" adjustment I found to offer minimal control. Still it offers a quick option and one that can get you very close to where you want to be, from which you can make additional final adjustments. There are other similiar tools that others may want share their experience with. I still like to think if a tool can do it I can do it better, but that often means spending allot more time than may be justified for a particular job.

One more note these plugins are often bundled with the better flatbed scanners.

If you decide to use your camera and tripod keep these things in mind. The two biggest challenges will be even illumination of the print and eliminating reflections. Reflections can come from both your lighting source and reflections from the environment you are shooting in including your camera and tripod. Black masking tape is very usefull to cover up reflections from camera and tripod. A good way to eliminate reflections from the room or area in which are shooting is to place a large black cloth/backdrop directly behind the camera (idealy place the print on a black background as well). If this is more than you care to deal with, a polarizing filter can sometimes be effective as well, although I prefer to not use one.  If your camera has a spot meter, meter your print left, center, right from top to bottom a grid of 3 x 3 would be a decent starting point. Using an incident light meter at the print is very useful as well. The goal is to keep your readings across the print or work being copied within 1/3 of a stop of each other. That covers the basics I think, and also gives you an idea of why a flatbed scanner has its advantages.

Here are a couple of links you might find helpful:

http://www.plantpath.cornell.edu/PhotoLab/...opyLighting.htm

http://www.videomaker.com/article/6807/
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pixtweak
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« Reply #23 on: February 03, 2007, 04:38:26 PM »
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I am not sure that Videomaker article was the best. The music stand idea is fine, just be  sure that your work being copied is parrallel to the film plane. Focus, in particular edge to edge sharpness is critical. Using a cable release or timer release to reduce camera shake is highly recomended. Where I differ from the Videomaker article is that I would shoot straight on, not tilting the camera down or up. The first diagram from Cornell illustrates this, as well as propper lighting position.

A good focal lenght to use for copy work would me anything between 50 - 105mm. An f stop between f/8 - f/11 will usually provide optimum results.

I did not discuss color temperature of your lighting, which is another critical element obviously and another reason a flatbed scanner makes life easier. Hopefully you are shooting digital and your experience with white balance will allow you to address this.
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latkins
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« Reply #24 on: February 06, 2007, 01:41:04 PM »
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A flatbed scanner is a much better idea than rephotographing. Flatbeds aren't that expensive.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=98545\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Thanks, Jonathan. I didn't realize the flatbeds were so reasonable, so I will get myself one. I already have a Nikon Coolscan VED on which I scanned all my 35mm slides, so now I'm into the project of scanning of all my old prints, both black & white & colour. Now the big question is which one? Because I've already spent so much on my Nikon, I need to keep the flatbed under $100. On researching the net, it appears the Canon CanoScan or Hewlitt Packard are popular. Can you recommend any of them for my purpose?
Cheers.
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latkins
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« Reply #25 on: February 06, 2007, 04:08:36 PM »
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You'll have much less problems with reflectance, variable colour temperatures and maintaining sharpness by doing what Jonathan suggested: buy an inexpensive flatbed scanner. Once you have it, you would be surprised - you'll find yourself using it for other stuff too. Comes in very handy for all kinds of document preservation and transmission, especially combined with Adobe Acrobat.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=98557\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Thanks, Mark
What kind of flatbed scanner do you recommend (under $100) for reproducing old black & white & colour prints? I have Windows XP Home Edition system.
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larryg
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« Reply #26 on: February 06, 2007, 05:54:02 PM »
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MonacoEZColor uses either a visual comparison method or a colorimeter to profile monitors. Howard says he's using a flatbed scanner to color correct his monitor. I'm just trying to figure out if Howard misstated his monitor calibration procedure and is using either the visual comparison procedore or a colorimeter, or is actually using a flatbed scanner in the process as he claimed. I understand how a scanner can be profiled with an IT8 target and then used to profile a printer, but involving a scanner in the monitor profiling process does not compute with me. Inquiring minds want to know.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=99051\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Actually a couple of years ago I used the Monaco system and in order to calibrate the printer 1.  you print out the chart on your printer  2.  use a flat bed scanner to scan the print  3.  upload the scan file to Monaco to calibrate with the It8 target etc.
This never seemed to work well for me.  Thank goodness for a maturing digital field that makes things a little easier to use.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #27 on: February 06, 2007, 06:20:24 PM »
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Thanks, Mark
What kind of flatbed scanner do you recommend (under $100) for reproducing old black & white & colour prints? I have Windows XP Home Edition system.
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Under 100 I don't really know, because I haven't been in the scanner market for several years, when I bought an HP 5400c. It was more than 100, but not hugely expensive; however, they keep getting better and cheaper. For good in-depth material on how to chose a scanner go here: [a href=\"http://www.scantips.com/chap3.html]http://www.scantips.com/chap3.html[/url] and read the continuing pages.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
jorgedelfino
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« Reply #28 on: February 07, 2007, 05:39:50 AM »
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Under 100 I don't really know, because I haven't been in the scanner market for several years, when I bought an HP 5400c. It was more than 100, but not hugely expensive; however, they keep getting better and cheaper. For good in-depth material on how to chose a scanner go here: http://www.scantips.com/chap3.html and read the continuing pages.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=99535\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

even a 3 in 1, (combination, scanner, printer, copier), like the canon PIXMA MP 150, will do a great job as a scanner, for a little over $ 100
Lights, copy stand etc will cost you more than that, will take longer to setup and probably you'll never use again, with the PIXMA, you'll have a nice brand new printer!
 
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Goodlistener
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« Reply #29 on: February 19, 2007, 10:00:00 PM »
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I have hundreds of old photo prints but unfortunately no negatives for these. Is it possible to set up a tripod and take photos of these with my digital camera so that I can download them onto my pc? I realize the quality won't be great, but they would only be shared with family and I can't afford to have them reproduced professionally and can't invest in a flatbed scanner because I just purchased a slide scanner for the other half of my project, which was to scan thousands of 35mm slides. Any suggestions out there on a solution to my dilemma would be most welcome!
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=98542\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

It looks like the discussion may have wandered off a bit but I can share my own limited experience with scannning family photos on an inexpensive scannner. IT WORKS.

The scanner is a combo printer/scanner/copier Canon Model Pixma MP-150 which was recently discontinued. I got it free after rebates after buying a new Mac.  Retail is $100 even.  I have totallly ignored all of the complicates settings and "just do it".  It scans 3 of 4X6s at a time and puts them up in separate JPG files with no trouble at all. For those of us who like to control the technical details, there are a million different settings with color curves and various types of image processing that come with the scanner software.  Informed opinions in the various fora suggest that getting a raw or TIFF file of some kind and then using a specialized image management program (such as Photoshop) is better than using the bundled software.  My own experience is with photos that do not need "restoration" or with ones that may be a little bit faded etc but I just live with it.  

PS:Scanning a few photos does not take much time, but a lot of photos takes a lot of time.

Hope this helps your process.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #30 on: February 19, 2007, 10:04:58 PM »
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It really is a huge waste of time, effort and potential image quality to do this work with a camera, tripod, lights, etc. A cheap scanner will be much more efficient and most likely yield "higher quality per ounce of effort".
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
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