indicates that traditional B+W photographic film is no longer a
good method of recording since B+W film does not record enough of
the variations. This was because the photographic paper (darkroom
paper) could only reproduce a narrow range. Thus there was no need
to have film capture what the paper could not reproduce. The best
way to get B+W in the digital era is to start with color slides
or transparencies. I personally would avoid color negatives--they
are more difficult to scan than color slides.
scanners, in the midrange, Evening gives high marks to Agfa, Umax,
(Heidelberg CPS) based on the quality of their bundled software,
Binuscan (for Umax) and Linotype (for Linotype-Hell scanners, preferred
by most professionals).
offers a multifaceted review of the Kodak
Photo CD system. I find the consumer level Kodak Photo CD scans
fairly priced (50 cents per slide if you send in large lots of 500
slides minimum and are in no hurry). But professional level scans
are about $5 each, which I personally feel would be more effective
handled by obtaining your own in-house scanner. I believe a dedicated
(non-Kodak Photo CD system) is more likely to produce a good scan
than a Kodak system. The Official
Kodak Photo CD book admits that this low-end system is rather
wrenching for the poor pixels and color values. Furthermore, the
Kodak Photo CD system I used in Japan cost (in 1995) over $125,000!
The new Polaroid SprintScan 4000 is less than $3,000, and I would
suspect that a scan from this new Polaroid could beat any Kodak
scan of a 35mm slide.
most helpful information in Chapter 1 is on "precision transforms"
and how to open a Kodak Photo CD image. This alone is worth the
price of buying the book.
Better Light and Dicomed
4x5 digital inserts are scanning backs, I read with interest this
portion of Chapter 1 (pages 16-17). He recommends HMI lighting,
which is great if you can afford it. I used tungsten and fluorescent,
and even mixed light sources (fluorescent for its coolness, tungsten
for its magnitude). I review the results from 6 months studio testing
of light sources for digital photography in several areas of www.digital-photography.org.
book provides an introduction to the confusion of resolution, especially
acute for beginners (a stage of development I can still painfully
remember). Since you will hopefully be ordering this useful book,
you can read Evening's observations directly. I will, however, note
one interesting observation, namely to interpolate in stages, 50
dpi at a time (p. 25).
the meantime, while you are waiting for his book to arrive, I can
add a few of my own learning experiences.
your printer can reproduce at 1200 dpi (QMS
2060 for example) at European A3 size or American 11x17 inches,
you may freak out wondering how to obtain a scan at 1200 dpi of
this size. Of course the dpi of the printer is not the sole controlling
factor. In the case of the Encad NovaJetPro 300 dpi printer, it
can handle only about 150 dpi. More than that chokes even a dedicated
RIP. In the case of the QMS, it prefers about 200 dpi; maximum the
PostScript can handle is about 290. Feed the PostScript 300 dpi
and it croaks, dead as a doornail.
is crucial for obtaining
quality in the QMS is the lines per inch. For photographic reproduction
you need a bare minimum of 85; I prefer 90 for dark images and 95
for lighter subjects.
a relief--no need to generate a 1200 dpi image. Your computer could
probably not handle a file that large anyway. I have 800 MB in my
Mac and although I can handle a 410 MB TIF file, you only need a
25 MB file to nicely fill full tabloid size (about A3 paper size
in Europe, Latin America, and Asia). You can easily get this with
any dedicated 35mm slide scanner, minimum 2700 dpi at 35mm size.
I use a Nikon
LS-2000 CoolScan and can get exhibit quality photos at tabloid
sized enlargement. With the new Polaroid SpringScan 4000 it should
be able to create magnificent images on the Xante Accel-a-Writer
3G, which can go to 2400 dpi at 133 to 150 lines per inch (lpi).
The Xante can print up to 13 wide by 35.5 long. Ideal for long images
like rollouts or panoramas.
3, RGB and CMYK Color
and intermediate level users can never get too much discussion of
color. I learn something from every such chapter.
4, File Formats
at the intermediate level it never hurts to learn some more about
the more obscure file formats. If you get stuck in a file format
that is not a TIF, you may have to flatten the image before it will
convert to a TIF. TIF and TIFF of course are the same thing, but
PC Wintel software uses only three letters as an extension, so it
became also known as a TIF.
chapter is up to date, including even instructions on how to handle
a FlashPix formatted file. Although you can buy entire books on
how to prepare files for the Internet, Evening provides a practical
walk-through series of do's and dont's for preparing JPEG and GIF
files. I must admit I would never compress my files outside of Internet
use. Even for the Internet I prefer the high side of medium. It
is a shame to JPEG the quality out of photographs that cost thousands
of dollars to take on dangerous expeditions to remote areas of Central
America. Within the next few years people will have faster connections,
and it is not very practical to redo all my Web images so I start
off with a higher quality at the beginning.
offers an interesting suggestion to use EPS format for desktop publishing,
a polite way of saying for printing with laser printers. I will
have to try this myself to see whether I can tell the difference.
I have always automatically saved and worked everything as a TIF