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Scanning negs

nickthompson 10 157 England
1 Oct 2012 11:28PM
I'm wondering if it's better to scan the negs into hi res jpegs or scan the prints into hi res jpegs. I only say this as I had some negs processed and prints made. I then scanned the photos to see how they would come out. I was quite pleasantly suprised how good the scanned prints came out. Does anyone have a preference?

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Snapper Plus
12 4.3k 3 United States Outlying Islands
1 Oct 2012 11:37PM
It pretty much depends on the scanner you have. If it is a flatbed then you need to enlarge the neg quite a bit to get a decent sized photo, whereas you can either scan the print to the same size or just enlarge it a bit, so the print can do quite well on that basis.
monstersnowman 12 1.7k 1 England
2 Oct 2012 5:46AM
Well having absolutely no experience of this I am surprised to have an opinion BUT here goes .. the print is a reproduction of the neg so is unarguably of less quality so it seems logical that a scan of a print is of even lesser quality than a scan from a neg ... if I am told otherwise this will turn much of what I presumed on its head and I will struggle to even believe it regardless of the experience of the person responding :o)
mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
2 Oct 2012 9:24AM
in response to monstersnowman it will be a comaprison of two chains of events:
(1) scanning a negative and magnifying from 35mm to A4 (for example)
(2) projection of a negative through an enlarger lens (plus colour rendition etc), gamut of the paper, scanning and many multiplications less of magnification to reach A4
It is a matter of trading off those different factors. Also, note that Nick is wanting to scan to high-re jepgs, not TIFF so the idea of 'better quality scan' from a negative need not necessarily apply.

In theory if the print is a good quality print there should be marginal realistic difference between the two but you are relying on the printer's idea of what the picture should look like. If it is a machine print then in my experience you could get something more to your personal preference. All in all, if it is a simple scan-print-hang-on-the-wall then either will probably do. If you think you can do better on the image by changing colour balanace etc and once decide you want to do photo manipulation you are entering into the RAW vs JPEG territory and scanning the negative may be preferable.
I have tried both and getting a good quality negative scan can be trickier than getting a decent quality print scan, especially if you are using a flatbed which generally does not have autofocus. But I am still (sporadically) experimenting myself.
timbo 15 596 United Kingdom
2 Oct 2012 9:44AM
Surely the cost of producing prints to scan is prohibitive? You can get a good quality 35mm neg scanner for less than 100. With the right software and a bit of practise it's easy enough.
User_Removed 7 299 4 France
2 Oct 2012 11:48AM
one of the issues I found with scanning colour negs is the orange / brown film itself exhibits a lack of contrast so results from the original print can be far better if a low quality scanner has been used for the film.
nickthompson 10 157 England
2 Oct 2012 7:57PM
Thanks for your comments. I normally get my negs processed and then scanned as jpegs at the lab. Just for a change I thought I'd get prints and scan them on the flat bed scanner. I then opened them up in photoshop and tweaked them a bit. As I said I was pleasantly surprised. This also means I've got prints as opposed to images on my hard drive! Think I'll go down the road of having prints done and any negs I really like or for competitions, I can get scanned. I may even buy a decent scanner to do the job. Thanks again.
23 Oct 2012 10:13PM

Quote:Surely the cost of producing prints to scan is prohibitive? You can get a good quality 35mm neg scanner for less than 100. With the right software and a bit of practise it's easy enough.

I have many 35mm negs to scan but have been put off by the high cost of a decent scanner. Which model of scanner is good quality for less than 100?

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