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hortense

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I need an 8 x 10 scanner for just black & white prints. I have no knowledge about scanners. Would appreciate recommendations on a scanner for this use. Primarily it will be used to send scans to web sites or fellow photographers with whom I work. On the recpients recieving monitor, the scan should show a good range of tones as they appear in the print. I am not concerned about reproduction.
 
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For these requirements, there are many models which should fit the bill. Getting the tones correct and not blocking up shadows and burning out highlights is the major headache. This is a function of having an ICC calibrated monitor and using the scanner software well. Avoid the "auto" settings, they will soon undo your hard work in the darkroom!
Third party scannner software is available that operates a wide range of scanners. Vuescan at www.hamrick.com is great value with unlimited upgrades and can increase effective scanner performance, especially the multi-pass feature to reduce noise in shadows. It is not everybody's cup of tea requiring numbers in boxes,but you can calibrate and save settings which is a huge help. You can also transfer it when you change scanner.
Silverfast (at www.silverfast.com) is more expensive but graphically led. Personally I struggled to get to grips achieving consistency with Silverfast. Despite having studied the 370 page manual!
Hope that this assists your entry to the digital minefield.
Bax
 
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hortense

hortense

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Thanks Baxter. What if the print is already printed as desired? Then when e-mailing to a recipient, is any maniplation with the software required to just "match" the print?
 

Ole

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hortense said:
Thanks Baxter. What if the print is already printed as desired? Then when e-mailing to a recipient, is any maniplation with the software required to just "match" the print?

In my experience, ALWAYS. It is posible to store the setup and adjustments in Vuescan, but it always takes a little tuning anyway.
 

rbarker

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I think you'll find that while almost any flatbed photo scanner will "do the job" of scanning B&W prints, the advantage you'll get with buying a reasonably good scanner, Hortense, is both better scans and better software with the scanner.

Thus, you might be well served by something like the Epson 3200, or the current enhanced model, the 4870. If possible, try to find one that has the SilverFast software (which works as a Photoshop plug-in) bundled with it. Without good scanning software and a fairly good image-editing package (e.g. Photoshop or PaintShop Pro), you'll have a hard time matching the quality of the scan to that of your print.

I have a brief article on my site that discusses the basics of scanning. You might find it helpful.

http://www.rbarkerphoto.com/scanning-tutorial.html
 
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Ralph's tutorial is very comprehensive and should help enormously.
The monitor calibration is key, the visual equivalent to musicians tuning their instruments. Thus with your calibrated monitor, you are able to adjust the scanner software and possible subsequent tweak in Photoshop (or equivalent) so that the image on your screen matches the original print. Then everyone else who has a calibrated monitor will also share your original vision, crafted in the dark room. A setting of 5000K with gamma of 2.2 (PC or Mac) is now regarded as the standard for print viewing.
Baxter
 

Deckled Edge

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rbarker said:
Thus, you might be well served by something like the Epson 3200, or the current enhanced model, the 4870. If possible, try to find one that has the SilverFast software (which works as a Photoshop plug-in) bundled with it. Without good scanning software and a fairly good image-editing package (e.g. Photoshop or PaintShop Pro), you'll have a hard time matching the quality of the scan to that of your print.

Good advice. I just upgraded from the Epson 3200 to the 4870. It comes bundled with Photoshop Elements (2.0, not the very recent 3.0) as well as SilverFast, which is a very powerful and professional application that you will find yourself using frequently to insure good matching of the original. You will scan in Silverfast; after a few scans, you will learn the algorithm that best suits your needs; and you will resize in PSE. Then it's off to the web or e-mail.
 
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