I have recently been scanning some old photos on an inexpensive flatbed (Canon).Â Others I have beenÂ scanning negatives using a Plustek 7200i (which I could not get working on my Mac, even using Parallels).Â I didn’t take many photos before going digital, so I have almost finished scanning the negatives I care about.
I have noticed a large variation in the quality of negatives – buying cheap film in the 90s was obviously a poor bargain! Â I used the default QuickScan program from plustek to perform my scanning, though I read today to get quality scans from negatives, you should use a program like Silverfast (which I have access to), which has a profile for every brand of negative.Â Apparently the same is not true for transparencies and you can pretty much scan them with the same profile.Â Anyway, I only really care about the quality of a few of the photos I scanned, and they look ok to me. I have some postprocessing to do before they get up to flickr.Â The main edits I perform are highlight and shadow adjustments, exposure adjustments, and cropping.Â I’d eliminate the highlight and shadow adjustments if I knew how to take the photos correctly in the first place.Â Sometimes I tweak the white balance. Rarely I blur a background in Photoshop.
The negatives I really cared about I scanned at 3600dpi.Â The pictures scanned at this resolution average 8 MBytes.Â I might just edit them, reduce the size to a megabyte and toss the originals.Â Or I might keep the original scans.
I have been shooting with a Canon Rebel XTi lately – I got really frustrated with shutter lag on my point and click. I use a Tamron 18mm-250mm zoom lens, shoot almost entirely on automatic mode.Â Essentially, I have an expensive and heavy point and click.Â But the shutter speed is instant once I press the button and I get way more shots.
I chose the Tamron lens because it gives a lot more range than buying a kit with a Canon lens.Â The less I change lenses the better.
Until recently, I left the settings at the highest resolution and lowestÂ jpeg quality.Â I think the images are taking way more space than they need, and in fact the 10 megapixel photos are probably no better than the photos taken on 6 MP or 8MP editions of the same camera.Â I am not sure if taking photos at lower resolution results in downsampling after taking a full resolution picture, or simply sampling fewer of the sensors pixels.Â I need to remember to take smaller size photos for snapshots.
I never shot in raw, I always thought the noise introduced by a couple JPEG conversions during editing would be minimal.Â I feel vindicated by this article.
I am toying with getting a standard 50mm lens.Â This would make the camera less heavy around my neck.Â From a technical point of view, I am interested in trying to have the backgrounds blurred (narrower depth of field) and haven’t had much success with my zoom lens yet – possibly because the lowest f-stop is 3.5.Â I still have some experimenting to do before I give up on the zoom lens for this technique.
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