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Author Topic: Scanner for large prints  (Read 4702 times)
rgvsdigitalpimp
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« on: August 30, 2011, 01:44:14 PM »
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I got a quick question I hope you all can help me with.  What kind of scanner should I be looking for if i want to print on large format such as 40x60 (Max size)?  What resolution should I be looking for as far as scanning?
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framah
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« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2011, 02:11:13 PM »
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Depends on how big the original is.
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rgvsdigitalpimp
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« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2011, 02:14:31 PM »
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I'm hoping nothing bigger than an 8x10.  I'm wanting to start a canvas printing business here in my hometown.  Already have a Canon ipf8300 on order with BC's Lyve Canvas on order as well.  Gonna do some test prints but I know I'm going to eventually have to scan photo's people want on large print. 
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framah
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« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2011, 04:01:37 PM »
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Even a flatbed scanner with a bed of 12x18 can allow you to scan pieces far larger by scanning sections and then piecing together in PS.
I have scanned 18x24 in sections with no problem.

I also have a studio setup where I have a 4x5 camera with a Betterlight scanback in it. Depending on how much money you want to spend, you can do some really large pieces this way. I have shot 4x5 foot pieces in sections and have come up with enormous files and could print the same size as the original with these files.

Buy the best your money can afford for the scanner as you need to have the resolution top notch otherwise the reproductions will not look as good as the original.
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rgvsdigitalpimp
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« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2011, 04:53:07 PM »
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Thanks Framah.  I'll do that.  What do you personally use?
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louoates
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« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2011, 05:21:41 PM »
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Why not just use your digital camera? Until about a year ago I printed for about 45 artists on canvas or paper. All those digital files were via my Canon 1ds Mark II or Mark III and needed minimal PS work.
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framah
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« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2011, 07:34:58 PM »
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I personally have a Creo scanner which unfortunately isn't being supported by Kodak software wise anymore but still puts out amazing scans. As long as i don't upgrade to Lion, I'm good. Epson makes some good high end scanners as well... just not like a Creo.

The reason you don't "just use" your digital camera  as the other poster suggests is because you aren't getting enough information to enlarge to the sizes you want to make a really professional grade print for the artist.
 If I take a shot with my 1Ds Mark III of a large piece of work in a single shot, then try to blow it back up to the original size, it will be a poor reproduction of the original. Just because someone can shoot with a mark II or III doesn't mean they got the best file to reproduce from. I have seen stuff come in that was shot just like that and just using my flatbed scanner  my prints would run rings around that print. I made a comparison print of these different methods and my Creo was almost a match for my Betterlght in the studio. I also scanned a 4x5 transy and compared it to scanning the original and shooting with the Betterlight and the transy came in last.

It all comes down to garbage in, garbage out. If you print mediocre work for your customers and they don't know any better, than you will be a god to them. Try that with a customer who knows the difference and that will be the last time you do any work for them.
If you want to do the best you can for them, then you need the best you can afford.

If you try to print up to 40x60 from a digital mark III shot of an 8x10  piece of art, I guarantee it will fall apart at that size.

Just for grins and giggles, go to the Betterlight website and check out their stuff.   http://www.betterlight.com/index.html

« Last Edit: August 30, 2011, 07:37:14 PM by framah » Logged

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rgvsdigitalpimp
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« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2011, 08:14:36 AM »
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What if I want to blow up a 4x6 image onto a 30x40 or something along those lines?  Am I looking for a scanner with very high resolution options?  High DPI? 
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framah
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« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2011, 08:40:30 AM »
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Yes.
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louoates
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« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2011, 10:00:40 AM »
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You are correct framah. Those huge print sizes are outside the range of simple Mark III enlargements from small prints. I was thinking in terms of work that I was doing which was very inexpensive prints on paper and canvas from original art in the 16 x20 range. Most of that work was for art show artists who needed prints in the 11 x 14 sizes to retail for $49-$99 on paper. As such I set up the lighting/shooting/Photoshop/printing on Epson 9800 workflow to take no more than five minutes per piece to the printing stage.

Very interesting to be setting up a canvas printing business in the face of so many cut-rate on-line providers and the retail services now provided by the likes of Costco and Walmart. Rg, I hope you have a base of potential customers to justify that investment. I know there's a large market out there of hobbyist artists who simply cannot do their own copying or printing and lack the knowledge to use on-line services. Good luck with your new venture.
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Dan Berg
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« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2011, 11:24:33 AM »
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What if I want to blow up a 4x6 image onto a 30x40 or something along those lines?  Am I looking for a scanner with very high resolution options?  High DPI?  

Your asking an awful lot. My business is canvas so I do a fair amount of this. When a 4 x 6 print comes through the door it really has it's limitations. I can get that size to look pretty good at 13 x 19.
 I have done 1 - 4 x 6" print scanned from my Epson v750 on canvas at 20 x 30 and it was ok but that's about it.
 With a good 8 x 10 print and I can get a half decent 20 x 30 canvas print.
Unless your talking medium format 4x5 or 6x7 negatives, scanning small prints is something I would not promise very large.
Get folks to send you their digital files or negatives and your product out the door will be of a much higher quality.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2011, 12:30:05 PM by Dan Berg » Logged

rgvsdigitalpimp
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« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2011, 12:26:07 PM »
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Lou, I do have a large amount of "potential" customers.  I'm hoping they come through.  Everyone I talk to about it down here where I live says "Wow ..  good idea!"  So they must now know about the online retailers available.  I'm going to try to match prices or stay in the same range at the same time as using very HQ canvas and finish.  I'm hoping going business to business with nice tri-fold brochures will help convince people to get a canvas print.  The investment is nothing thats going to break my bank so I'm crossing fingers hope all works out. 
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Dan Berg
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« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2011, 12:49:30 PM »
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Would love to have you here for our 1 day canvas printing,finishing and mounting workshop.
Quite a bit to learn even if you have been doing this for awhile.
What part of the world are you from? (Your profile is incomplete.)
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rgvsdigitalpimp
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« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2011, 01:10:02 PM »
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Dan I would love to attend but I'm half way across the US  Smiley  Anyway we can do some video conference type scenario so i can attend online?
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Dave Gurtcheff
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« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2011, 03:28:19 PM »
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I have a similar query. I have an 11"x14" hand made darkroom "Salon" print my Dad made in the late 1930's (He died in 1940 at age 29). The print is mounted on a 16"x20" mat board. My flat bed scanner will only accept 8.5"x 14" max size. I want to copy the print and make SAME SIZE prints for my children and grand kids. My plan was to use a Pentax 645D, and 120mm Macro lens (about as sharp a lens Pentax ever produced). ISO 100, mirror lock up, sturdy tripod. Any one tried using a macro lens for same size prints? I will be photo copying the print, and small amount of the mat, as I want the title and my Dad's signature to be visible in the copy prints.
Thanks in advance
Dave
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Randy Carone
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« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2011, 04:15:48 PM »
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David, do two scans and put them together in Photoshop.
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Randy Carone
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« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2011, 04:31:09 PM »
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Lou, I do have a large amount of "potential" customers.  I'm hoping they come through.  Everyone I talk to about it down here where I live says "Wow ..  good idea!"  So they must now know about the online retailers available.  I'm going to try to match prices or stay in the same range at the same time as using very HQ canvas and finish.  I'm hoping going business to business with nice tri-fold brochures will help convince people to get a canvas print.  The investment is nothing thats going to break my bank so I'm crossing fingers hope all works out. 

Competing with or matching online printers' price is most likely a fool's errand. They have massive economies of scale, and I guarantee you can't match them no matter how big a metropolitan area your shop is located at - this even when taking shipping into account.

Where you can compete is service, quality, personal touch, and (possibly) speed.
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graeme
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« Reply #17 on: September 01, 2011, 05:15:56 AM »
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David, do two scans and put them together in Photoshop.

+1

I regularly do this when making copies of my partner's design work.

Graeme
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lenny_eiger
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« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2011, 01:02:41 AM »
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I got a quick question I hope you all can help me with.  What kind of scanner should I be looking for if i want to print on large format such as 40x60 (Max size)?  What resolution should I be looking for as far as scanning?

You want to calculate 60 inches times 300 dpi to get the total number of pixels you are interested in. That would be 18,000, at a minimum. If you have a 4x5 original, then you want to scan at approximately 4,000 ppi, which gives you 20,000. You can then crop, etc. To have any kind of sharpness at all, at that size, you want to use a drum scanner.

Lenny

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Pete Berry
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« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2011, 12:53:06 AM »
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You want to calculate 60 inches times 300 dpi to get the total number of pixels you are interested in. That would be 18,000, at a minimum. If you have a 4x5 original, then you want to scan at approximately 4,000 ppi, which gives you 20,000. You can then crop, etc. To have any kind of sharpness at all, at that size, you want to use a drum scanner.

Lenny

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That's overkill for an enormous canvas, particularly in a production situation. I'd recommend scaning a 4x5 print at 2400 ppi and an 8x10 at 1200, which will much more than extract all detail, giving you 200 ppi to print a 40x50. The pro shops down here in Monterey I'm familiar with print their larger canvasses for very particular photographers at 180 ppi, with beautiful results.

Pete
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