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Author Topic: Scanner for large prints  (Read 5510 times)
ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #20 on: September 25, 2011, 02:04:34 AM »
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Hi,

I scanned Velvia 67 with a Minolta Dimage Scan Multi Pro at 3200 PPI and made a few 30x40 enlargements on Durst Lambda, absolutely stunning. So 3200 PPI is quite enough from 6x7 cm. Preparing the print was a lot of work.

Would I need larger film I'd buy one of the Epson V-series scanner, looked out for a used Imacon or sent the image to a lab for drum scanning.

On the other hand, I have made a 30x40 from a 10 MP APS-C, and it's OK if viewed from more than 80 cm distance. I have a stitched Pano from the same 10 MP APS-C camera made from stitched images at 20x40" and that one is good enough for pixel peeping at 30 cm. Now I shoot with a 24MP DSLR but have not made any high quality meter size prints yet. Not making good enough pictures for that.

Best regards
Erik

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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Dan Berg
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« Reply #21 on: September 25, 2011, 07:00:04 AM »
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Your asking about super large sizes but typically what happens when you open the door is at the complete other end of the spectrum.
Just a word from some one that has been there and done that.
The small prints that come in here for scanning and printing on canvas are usually 4" x 6"
 and are usually of pets or some other sort of family function.
These folks typically do not want to spend alot of money.
When I started in business I got a fair amount of this small size scanning and printing work.
4 x 6 scans with a canvas gallery wrap of 8 x 10 or 8 1/2 x 11. Just no money in that size work.
Maybe $30 and you would have 2 hours or more by the time you
completed scanning,printing,building the stretcher frame,varnishing and then stretching.
I deleted those smaller sizes from my offerings and the smallest I do now is 11 x 14".
Even that size does not produce enough revenue for the work put into each wrap.
I have signs all over the place pushing large and it still is a tough sell.
I find that a $50.00 job is about break even and have to get into the $60 to $70 size job to really make it worthwhile for the time invested.
Your part of the country and your business overhead will certainly change those numbers for you.
Larger work does sell but is usually of my landscape and nature photography,mostly panos.

Ps. I have the v750 pro. It cannot single scan larger then 8 1.2 x 11 but is an excellent machine.
The new edition Silverfast 8 scanning software is also a great product.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2011, 07:26:54 AM by Dan Berg » Logged

lenny_eiger
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« Reply #22 on: September 25, 2011, 01:46:44 PM »
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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

There's quality, and then there's quality. I would never consider printing at 180 if I had a choice to go to 300 or more. I can see the difference quite easily, without a loupe and without sticking my face into the print. There are 2 other factors. The first is that they likely don't have much of a scanner. It's hard to see the extra detail from flatbed scanners. The best CCD's max out at about 2,000-2300 ppi's of optical resolution. And btw, the Epson is not an excellent scanner, its something that some people get to work for them. It's a tradeoff between cost and results. Then there is the printing process. Some Lightjet type equipment suggests they don't get much more past 180. I think this is likely not true... but some have expressed this. Then there is the paper - or in this case, canvas. Canvas has a pattern to it that masks some of the lack of detail. If you want the same kind of quality you can get from Costco, or what you call a production shop, then go with 180. Those shops are interested in quantity, not quality. Personally, I would never want to go with a production shop for my work...


Lenny
EigerStudios
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #23 on: September 25, 2011, 03:34:35 PM »
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Hi,

I posted some samples here, just to give some idea.

One image scanned from Technical Pan at 4800 PPI and two scanned from 120 Ektar 100 at 3200 PPI. Camera used Pentax 67, with 90/2.8 at f/8 resp f/11. Technical Pan image taken by a foldable Fuji camera on 120 film.

http://echophoto.dnsalias.net/ekr/images/Scaninfo/

Best regards
Erik


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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Pete Berry
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« Reply #24 on: September 25, 2011, 05:04:02 PM »
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There's quality, and then there's quality. I would never consider printing at 180 if I had a choice to go to 300 or more. I can see the difference quite easily, without a loupe and without sticking my face into the print. There are 2 other factors. The first is that they likely don't have much of a scanner. It's hard to see the extra detail from flatbed scanners. The best CCD's max out at about 2,000-2300 ppi's of optical resolution. And btw, the Epson is not an excellent scanner, its something that some people get to work for them. It's a tradeoff between cost and results. Then there is the printing process. Some Lightjet type equipment suggests they don't get much more past 180. I think this is likely not true... but some have expressed this. Then there is the paper - or in this case, canvas. Canvas has a pattern to it that masks some of the lack of detail. If you want the same kind of quality you can get from Costco, or what you call a production shop, then go with 180. Those shops are interested in quantity, not quality. Personally, I would never want to go with a production shop for my work...


Lenny
EigerStudios
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Lenny, you signature indicates your perspective, which I certainly respect, but the OP is starting a business which, at this time, is starting from the ground floor of experience in the field, not state of the art. If you really think any 4x5 photograph a person brings to him has anwhere near 4000 ppi of resolution that could be captured by any existing scanner, I'd love to see the reference. For film, of course this is possible. For starts, what would a state-of-the art drum scan of his print cost him outsourced, and what would the scanner itself cost?

The "pro" shops I'm familiar with in Monterey are custom large-canvas printing shops catering to professionals and advanced amateurs who demand high quality and get it at 180 ppi on an intrinsically low resolution medium. They sell their large canvasses for $600-1200, and generally work with a much higher resolution image than a scanned snapshot or portrait. Perhaps there are fractional improvements in smoothness seen looking very close, but the complexity and time involved in post-processing 320 MP image out of the scanner on hopefully a daily basis may not boggle your mind, but it sure does mine!

Pete
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #25 on: September 26, 2011, 03:25:25 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.

Hi Lenny,

I wonder, given that most modern prints do not have a higher intrisic resolution than 10 lp/mm, if a 4000 ppi scan is needed unless one is interested in the paper structure of the original. For film one would want to avoid grain-aliasing and scan at 4000 ppi or more, but I doubt there is more resolution in most second generation captures than a 1200 ppi scan can extract from such prints (contact prints excepted).

There can be several advantages from using the quasi resolution that is added by some dedicated upsampling applications, e.g. Photozoom Pro or even Qimage for Windows (or Mac via 'Parallels'), to get from 1200 ppi to the required output size for the printer.

Cheers,
Bart
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lenny_eiger
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« Reply #26 on: September 26, 2011, 12:49:57 PM »
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First of all, in response to Pete - yes, I am quite biased. I am a quality nut. I don't do anything that's beyond the diminishing returns, however, I am careful of that. Honestly, I was sure that he was talking about quality and I think I got some threads mixed up. That said, I don't believe in the concept of "pro" shops that you suggest. These are usually just offset printers for whom the key idea is quantity. I am not interested, nor would I suggest that the OP start such a business. One needs a lot of volume to justify it.

Hi Lenny,
I wonder, given that most modern prints do not have a higher intrisic resolution than 10 lp/mm, if a 4000 ppi scan is needed unless one is interested in the paper structure of the original. For film one would want to avoid grain-aliasing and scan at 4000 ppi or more, but I doubt there is more resolution in most second generation captures than a 1200 ppi scan can extract from such prints (contact prints excepted).

This brings up an interesting point... as I believe you have realized, that resolution is one thing and number of pixels is another. I would rather have my scanner generate the pixels vs these other apps. The resolution is set by the film, lens and aperture. The number of pixels generates is the number of samples taken, at that resolution. It gets very complicated. However, my scanner (and scanner software) is better at generating more data that is any one of these apps..

Lenny
EigerStudios
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #27 on: September 26, 2011, 03:23:46 PM »
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Hi,

I met a guy today who printed from 4x5" scanned on Epson V700 three meters wide, that is ten feet. He found that sharpness was excellent. I guess that illustrates that folks may have somewhat different standards. I made a 70x100 cm print from one of my 6x7 Velvias (scanned on my Minolta Dimage Scan Multi Pro at 3200 PPI) which I regard to be excellent but I guess Lenny would say it's lacking in everything.

Best regards
Erik

First of all, in response to Pete - yes, I am quite biased. I am a quality nut. I don't do anything that's beyond the diminishing returns, however, I am careful of that. Honestly, I was sure that he was talking about quality and I think I got some threads mixed up. That said, I don't believe in the concept of "pro" shops that you suggest. These are usually just offset printers for whom the key idea is quantity. I am not interested, nor would I suggest that the OP start such a business. One needs a lot of volume to justify it.

This brings up an interesting point... as I believe you have realized, that resolution is one thing and number of pixels is another. I would rather have my scanner generate the pixels vs these other apps. The resolution is set by the film, lens and aperture. The number of pixels generates is the number of samples taken, at that resolution. It gets very complicated. However, my scanner (and scanner software) is better at generating more data that is any one of these apps..

Lenny
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Pete Berry
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« Reply #28 on: September 26, 2011, 04:11:18 PM »
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First of all, in response to Pete - yes, I am quite biased. I am a quality nut. I don't do anything that's beyond the diminishing returns, however, I am careful of that. Honestly, I was sure that he was talking about quality and I think I got some threads mixed up. That said, I don't believe in the concept of "pro" shops that you suggest. These are usually just offset printers for whom the key idea is quantity. I am not interested, nor would I suggest that the OP start such a business. One needs a lot of volume to justify it.

Lenny
EigerStudios

Lenny, it's dawning on me that you are being just simply dismissive, obtuse, or unaware of the commercial archival large canvas printing world that uses, eg Fredrick canvas, and state of the art Epson 11880 printers, as does "180 ppi" Rick Forshino's Coastal Giclee catering to the large number of artists and photographers in the Monterey Peninsula area. And he's not alone. I doubt you do such work yourself, but I could be wrong. This forum has many who do the same quality work commercially or personally, and it would be nice to hear their perspective on the180 ppi vs 300 for large canvasses.

I just did a quick comparison of 300 ppi vs 180 ppi prints of Atkinson's very high quality printer test image - a pastiche of 15 or so small, highly detailed images and 5 color bars, patches, and a large grayscale gradient, 13x16" size, on my iPF5100 at maximum quality, using a finely textured satin paper.  With bifocals at 18", I can see no difference except for slightly more vibrance in the 180 version, but it's fresh and the 300 is several days old. But using the superhuman vision in my greatly myopic left eye which focuses at 8" uncorrected, the finest detail is sharper, as expected, in the 300 ppi print.

Now this image at pixel level displays on my 94 ppi HD monitor 40.7x51.3 inches - perfect for the large canvas comparison. I took a 100% crop in an area of fine detail and subtle gradations - the yellow rose and the forest frens, upres'd first to 180 ppi, and with careful output sharpening, printed; then further upres'd and sharpened for the 300 ppi print. Not unsurprisingly, the results are similar to my close and "supernatural" vision in detail, color and gradation, but with a slight increase of vibrance in the 180 dpi print. Each of the 8x17" slices from the roll consumed the same 0.7 ml ink. I rest my case, and this using a much higher resolution medium than canvas.

Pete
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lenny_eiger
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« Reply #29 on: September 26, 2011, 06:22:57 PM »
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Lenny, it's dawning on me that you are being just simply dismissive, obtuse, or unaware of the commercial archival large canvas printing world that uses, eg Fredrick canvas, and state of the art Epson 11880 printers, as does "180 ppi" Rick Forshino's Coastal Giclee catering to the large number of artists and photographers in the Monterey Peninsula area. And he's not alone. I doubt you do such work yourself, but I could be wrong. This forum has many who do the same quality work commercially or personally, and it would be nice to hear their perspective on the180 ppi vs 300 for large canvasses.

Pete, I don't mean to be dismissive, and certainly don't want to be disrespectful to anyone. However, I consider myself to be a serious artist. I went to school for Photography and got a Masters degree, I taught for many years at Parsons and Cooper and have had my work in galleries and museums. This colors my perception, and sometimes my off-hand opinions. I have a buddy in Hawaii who prints for all those folks who paint pictures of hibiscus flowers and mangos. He makes a living and that's fine. But it isn't very interesting to me and I don't think the industry is actually serving anyone, or adding value. There's a huge difference between a Carleton Watkins or Timothy O'Sullivan and your everyday picture of the sunset. There are a lot of good photographers today who are doing work as thoughtful and fabulous as Mr. Watkins and Mr. O'Sullivan did. I celebrate this. When I look at a work of art, I want to be moved, I want to learn something. I don't need more hibiscus pictures. Is that dismissive? Maybe, I don't really know...

Now this image at pixel level displays on my 94 ppi HD monitor 40.7x51.3 inches - perfect for the large canvas comparison. I took a 100% crop in an area of fine detail and subtle gradations - the yellow rose and the forest frens, upres'd first to 180 ppi, and with careful output sharpening, printed; then further upres'd and sharpened for the 300 ppi print. Not unsurprisingly, the results are similar to my close and "supernatural" vision in detail, color and gradation, but with a slight increase of vibrance in the 180 dpi print. Each of the 8x17" slices from the roll consumed the same 0.7 ml ink. I rest my case, and this using a much higher resolution medium than canvas.

What you have found is correct, uprezzing doesn't help you at all. That doesn't mean there isn't a difference. The difference occurs when you have enough pixels to start out with - so that you don't have to uprez. Then you will see the difference.

Lenny

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Pete Berry
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« Reply #30 on: September 26, 2011, 07:52:54 PM »
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Pete, I don't mean to be dismissive, and certainly don't want to be disrespectful to anyone. However, I consider myself to be a serious artist. I went to school for Photography and got a Masters degree, I taught for many years at Parsons and Cooper and have had my work in galleries and museums. This colors my perception, and sometimes my off-hand opinions. I have a buddy in Hawaii who prints for all those folks who paint pictures of hibiscus flowers and mangos. He makes a living and that's fine. But it isn't very interesting to me and I don't think the industry is actually serving anyone, or adding value. There's a huge difference between a Carleton Watkins or Timothy O'Sullivan and your everyday picture of the sunset. There are a lot of good photographers today who are doing work as thoughtful and fabulous as Mr. Watkins and Mr. O'Sullivan did. I celebrate this. When I look at a work of art, I want to be moved, I want to learn something. I don't need more hibiscus pictures. Is that dismissive? Maybe, I don't really know...

What you have found is correct, uprezzing doesn't help you at all. That doesn't mean there isn't a difference. The difference occurs when you have enough pixels to start out with - so that you don't have to uprez. Then you will see the difference.

Lenny

EigerStudios

But surely when you're scanning at 10-15x the resolution of the print media scanned, what you end up with, as was said above, will be very fuzzy detail and paper texture instead of interpolated pixels. Being a quite compulsive person, my next venture will be scanning a small patch of the above test print at 3200 ppi, or 4800 if it will fly on my V700 (no 4000 in my driver), and compare with an upres'd 1200 ppi version. Yeah, I know, crappy scanner, but hey, it's all this old fool has!

Pete
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lenny_eiger
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« Reply #31 on: September 26, 2011, 09:17:35 PM »
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But surely when you're scanning at 10-15x the resolution of the print media scanned, what you end up with, as was said above, will be very fuzzy detail and paper texture instead of interpolated pixels. Being a quite compulsive person, my next venture will be scanning a small patch of the above test print at 3200 ppi, or 4800 if it will fly on my V700 (no 4000 in my driver), and compare with an upres'd 1200 ppi version. Yeah, I know, crappy scanner, but hey, it's all this old fool has!
Pete

Two things. I did a set of prints for a project. I tried using a 750 but quickly moved over to the drum scanner as it was faster and better. The process might help you understand this a bit more. I looked at how many pixels I wanted and chose about 2000. They were not being made very large. Then I set the aperture to the right size. The first scan showed me the texture of the paper, clearly too much, so I made the aperture larger until it matched nicely. The aperture is what determined the amount of detail the pixels gave me enough to make the print I wanted to make.

I rarely do prints. I am mostly doing film, where everyone wants the very high resolutions. (Understandably.)

The other thing is that you won't get any more resolution by doing things on your scanner at 3200 or 4800. The scanner can only resolve optically about 2000-2200 (with the film height set correctly). Asking for more pixels does you no good... The difference with a more expensive scanner is that the optical resolution is higher so when you ask for 4,000 it can actually do it (providing the original has enough. You want to be careful not to test uprezzing algorithms.

Lenny
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #32 on: September 30, 2011, 02:34:10 AM »
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But surely when you're scanning at 10-15x the resolution of the print media scanned, what you end up with, as was said above, will be very fuzzy detail and paper texture instead of interpolated pixels. Being a quite compulsive person, my next venture will be scanning a small patch of the above test print at 3200 ppi, or 4800 if it will fly on my V700 (no 4000 in my driver), and compare with an upres'd 1200 ppi version. Yeah, I know, crappy scanner, but hey, it's all this old fool has!

Hi Pete,

As I said before, I doubt there is more resolution in a good print than what a 1200 PPI scan can extract. I'm confident that your test will show something similar. Here is an older test that shows that 600 PPI still has a small additional benefit over lower scan resolutions. Unfortunately he doesn't mention the scanner he used for the print scans.

The V700 does a decent job, but like most small desktop scanners can be beat by a dedicated scanner with lower glare and optimized focus. Using some deconvolution sharpening can narrow the gap with the top end scanners a bit. I still think that for printscans above 1200 PPI, scantime and file size drawbacks will lose out to the benefits of dedicated resampling programs like Photozoom Pro.

Cheers,
Bart
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Pete Berry
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« Reply #33 on: September 30, 2011, 01:23:52 PM »
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Hi Pete,

As I said before, I doubt there is more resolution in a good print than what a 1200 PPI scan can extract. I'm confident that your test will show something similar. Here is an older test that shows that 600 PPI still has a small additional benefit over lower scan resolutions. Unfortunately he doesn't mention the scanner he used for the print scans.

The V700 does a decent job, but like most small desktop scanners can be beat by a dedicated scanner with lower glare and optimized focus. Using some deconvolution sharpening can narrow the gap with the top end scanners a bit. I still think that for printscans above 1200 PPI, scantime and file size drawbacks will lose out to the benefits of dedicated resampling programs like Photozoom Pro.

Cheers,
Bart

My little exercise was to scan Andrew Rodney's test image, 8.5x11, at both 760 and 1200 PPI, with identical settings - these chosen because the ratio is that of 180:300, and without resampling, the print size at those resolutions is 34x44. Haven't gotten around to printing samples for comparative IQ. The v700 clearly captures more background paper detail at 1200, but no difference in image details on close observation - but will print out samples soon - no uprezzing involved.

Part II involved uprezzing the 760 PPI scan image to 300, simply using CS5's excellent bicubic routine in two variants - bicubic smoother and straight bicubic. At 100% with "smoother" the background was definitely softer than the 1200, and detail was essentially the same with the printing screening very evident, and nothing but the snarper background to separate them to my eyes looking at a pixel level print size of 108x140". The standard bicubic variant, though, had noticeably better defined image detail on the hand with jewelry (unexpected) and a bit more snap, as well as the expected slightly better background definition. I'll print out 8x10 sections of the two - the lovely model's head and shoulders, and the hand/jewelry.

Pete

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