Need a Scanner - Digital ICE for Photo Prints any Good??


T

TJ

I really need some advice. I've been reading the posts in this group
for some time now and I have been researching the perfect product to
buy for probably 6 months. After reading reviews and the many posts
here, I just can't seem to nail the exact product that I need. So, as
I've seen here in the past many times, I'm going to tell you what I'm
doing with my [future] scanner and hopefully I can get some excellent
advice.

I have hundreds and hundreds (probably over a thousand) prints that I
want to scan. I have a few slides, but generally they are prints -
let's say 98%. They range in size from wallet to 8X10 though 80% of
them are in the 4x6 to 5x7 range. I no longer have any negatives. I
want to scan them all as TIFF, correct major issues with the photos
(tears, creases, major spots, color) and then export to JPEG for
various uses.

I NEED A SCANNER! I was first going to invest in the Epson Perfection
4990 because it provided Digital ICE for both photos and film. Reading
reviews of Digital ICE for photo print technology on Microtek scanners
though, I'm finding out that it... well... sucks. I don't know that
that's the case on the Epson 4990, but it seems to be the general
consensus on the Microtek scanners (ScanMaker i320, i900, 6800). The
only reviews surrounding Digital ICE on the 4990 that I can find
involves the film version.

So, does anyone have any experience with Digital ICE for photo prints?
Is it worth paying anything for it at all? Would I be better off with
just a good, run-of-the mill photo/film combo flatbed and then just
making my corrections in PhotoShop? If that's the case, what scanner
is going to the best job?

PLEASE HELP! I'm looking for a solid recommendation for a specific
model of scanner, considering what I'm doing. Any help would GREATLY
be appreciated... I'm getting ready to burn them all if I don't
figure out something soon!!! (I'm just kidding, of course... but
it's tempting). Oh, and I don't have the money to have them all
professionally done.

Thanks!
 
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?

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From what has been posted on the net, ICE for prints is a bit hit and miss
with any brand of scanner. Even if you use it, you will still end up doing
many corrections by hand. ICE for film definitely has a higher success
rate.

Doug
 
T

TJ

Thanks Doug. I think that's the consensus.

So, on that note, if I'm just wanting a really good scanner for photos,
is your regular $99 variety probably sufficient? In other words, I'm
going to do all of my post-processing in Photoshop - I just need some
hardware to make an excellent digital representation of my photo.

I don't have my scanner terminology down yet, so bear with me. I guess
I want something that will give me accurate colors, shadows, etc.

Any suggestions?
 
D

Don

Thanks Doug. I think that's the consensus.

So, on that note, if I'm just wanting a really good scanner for photos,
is your regular $99 variety probably sufficient? In other words, I'm
going to do all of my post-processing in Photoshop - I just need some
hardware to make an excellent digital representation of my photo.

Yes, virtually any garden variety flatbed will do the photos quite
nicely.

One thing to keep in mind is that photos contain relatively little
information (for a number of reasons). In most cases at 300 dpi you
will be retrieving everything there is in the photo. Perhaps, in some
special cases e.g. contact prints from a large format negative, you
may be able to get some more data but scanning photos at anything over
600 dpi doesn't really make any sense with regard to data retrieval.

Now, if you have a small photo and want to blow it up by printing out
a poster size picture, then you may boost resolution but you would be
getting virtually identical results by simply scanning at 600 dpi and
then scaling up in Photoshop. That will probably be faster as well!
I don't have my scanner terminology down yet, so bear with me. I guess
I want something that will give me accurate colors, shadows, etc.

Any suggestions?

You say in your original post you will be scanning as TIF but your end
product will be JPGs. It's not clear whether you will be archiving the
TIFs but if you do then you should scan "raw", that is to say, turn
off any image editing in your scanner software.

Scanning "raw" makes even more sense if you will do the
post-processing in Photoshop, as you say. Not only will you do a much
better job in Photoshop than the quick-and-dirty sub-standard editing
scanner software comprises but Photoshop has a full complement of
tools rather than the minimal subset available in scanner software.
The golden rule of image editing is to limit the number of steps in
order to avoid data loss. Therefore, don't do a half in scanner
software and then continue editing in Photoshop.

The bottom line: Scan at maximum bit depth (i.e. 16-bits per color)
and turn everything else in your scanner software off or, if that's
not possible set all things (like curves, etc) to neutral settings
(flat). This will be your "digital negative" you can archive and then
work on a copy for "consumption". This also freezes further
deterioration of your originals! Then later on when you get a new
printer or monitor with higher resolution (or after your prints fade,
and they will!) you can always go back to your "digital negative" and
produce another copy to accommodate your new printer/monitor.

Don.
 
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T

TJ

Thanks Don! You answered all of my questions as far as what I need to
buy. Actually, you and the poor reviews of Digital ICE for photo
prints just saved me about $400USD.
 
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D

Don

Thanks Don! You answered all of my questions as far as what I need to
buy. Actually, you and the poor reviews of Digital ICE for photo
prints just saved me about $400USD.

Your 're most welcome!

Spend that money on something important. Don't waste it on rent, food,
etc... ;o)

Don.
 

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