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Photography Question 
Nana O. Malone
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/7/2006
 

Resolution: Film to CD


Hi,
I recently took several action shots on the beach. When I had the film developed and put on CD, the resolution was horrible. Every single photo was grainy and choppy. I was using a Canon EOS Rebel Ti with a Sigma 90-200mm lense. Does anyone know how I can clean up the photos so they're crisper? Please let me know.

10/8/2006 3:21:33 PM

 
Ariel Lepor
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/8/2005
  I think Adobe Photoshop has plug-ins and stuff to reduce noise, sharpen them, etc. Maybe the developer or CD maker did something wrong. High ISOs or photos taken when it's dark could lead to grainy photos.

10/8/2006 8:21:12 PM

 
Alan N. Marcus

member since: 3/4/2006
  Hi Nana,
Your camera is a 35mm using conventional silver-based film, which can produce images with fantastic quality. In addition to the developed film, you received paper prints and a CD. Your film was chemically developed in one machine and the resulting film was sent to the paper/processor. Prints on paper were made by exposing images of each negative (one at a time) onto light-sensitive color photo paper. After exposure, the print paper was chemically developed.
To make the CD, the film, in a separate operation, was sent to a film scanner. The scanner digitized each frame and the data transmitted to a computer which utilized software to burn a CD.
Now consider that the film scanner and software utilized by this lab has a high limit. Their high limit might be below your expectations. You need to find out what their policies are with regard to resolution. You may find that they normally work at a default resolution that is low. They might burn at a higher resolution if requested (higher takes more time, and time is money). Your film can be re-scanned and a new CD produced. Many labs will do this at no charge to satisfy a disgruntled customer.
You must talk to the lab to get their specifications. Best of luck,
Alan Marcus
ammarcus@earthlink.net

10/8/2006 10:52:52 PM

 
Ken Henry

member since: 9/16/2003
 
 
 
Hi Nana,

Alan is very correct.

Getting CD's from "discount stores"(I do not know if that is what you did), such as CVS, Walmarts, Targets, etc. are of course very low resolution scans and bad quality. Target CD scans are basically about 72dpi @ 7x11" print size which equals 0.4 megapixels. Resample Off to change print size to 4x6" and dpi increases to 130.

CVS/Savon is about 256dpi and very decent quality. Really nice 8x12" prints. My little 4mpxl A520 Canon makes better quality Photos at 11x14". AND no film. So, take your film to different places to see who has the best quality scans.

A pro photo processor will charge about $20 to $50 for each photo high res scan, approximatley 12 plus megapixels. Hi res scans take about 10 to 30 minutes each photo.

So I put the numbers together and bought myself a film scanner. I normally scan at about 22megapixels. Really superfine details, about 10 minute scans. Time consuming, Time consuming. But I don't see a print difference from a 12mpxl scan. Hmmmmm

Also....film quality.... The smoothest, sharpest, color accuracy is Fuji Reala 100iso. Also Fuji PRO films 160, 400, 800. Using two different films would require two cameras. Hmmmm

So, let's see, Cost of high quality film scanner, second camera, a mixure of film, film processing cost, cost, cost...time consuming scans, additional time consuming PS editing of scans, additional time comsuming min ONE YEAR intensive learning curve on scanning.

SOLD! Canon 5D 12megapixel camera $2000.00 on line.

The following 3 pictures are comparisons of scans from Target and my scans. My largest scan here is only 6mpxl.

Thankyou Nana, I just sold myself a 5D.

Ken

10/11/2006 10:41:12 PM

 
Ken Henry

member since: 9/16/2003
 
 
 
Hi Nana,

Alan is very correct.

Getting CD's from "discount stores"(I do not know if that is what you did), such as CVS, Walmarts, Targets, etc. are of course very low resolution scans and bad quality. Target CD scans are basically about 72dpi @ 7x11" print size which equals 0.4 megapixels. Resample Off to change print size to 4x6" and dpi increases to 130.

CVS/Savon is about 256dpi and very decent quality. Really nice 8x12" prints. My little 4mpxl A520 Canon makes better quality Photos at 11x14". AND no film. So, take your film to different places to see who has the best quality scans.

A pro photo processor will charge about $20 to $50 for each photo high res scan, approximatley 12 plus megapixels. Hi res scans take about 10 to 30 minutes each photo.

So I put the numbers together and bought myself a film scanner. I normally scan at about 22megapixels. Really superfine details, about 10 minute scans. Time consuming, Time consuming. But I don't see a print difference from a 12mpxl scan. Hmmmmm

Also....film quality.... The smoothest, sharpest, color accuracy is Fuji Reala 100iso. Also Fuji PRO films 160, 400, 800. Using two different films would require two cameras. Hmmmm

So, let's see, Cost of high quality film scanner, second camera, a mixure of film, film processing cost, cost, cost...time consuming scans, additional time consuming PS editing of scans, additional time comsuming min ONE YEAR intensive learning curve on scanning.

SOLD! Canon 5D 12megapixel camera $2000.00 on line.

The following 3 pictures are comparisons of scans from Target and my scans. My largest scan here is only 6mpxl.

Thankyou Nana, I just sold myself a 5D.

Ken

10/11/2006 10:41:37 PM

 
Robert  Weeks

member since: 1/12/2006
  A Nikon film scanner will cost about $1500.00, other brands are available and costs very depending on scanner resolution. You have a choice. A Canon 5d is about $2,500 to $3,000 for the body only. You then need a real good lens(s) which you already have for the 35mm. If your lenses are e mount then they will fit on the 5d. You will not have some of the features but you can save big bucks till you get the itch to spend more. I just bought a 5d w/ the 28 to 300mm auto stabilization and a dedicated strobe $6,500.00. You can bye a digital scanner that will give you 16meg or more resolution from a good exposed 35mm negative and still have the ability of sending out the neg for even a better print than you would get from a 16meg digital image. However print difference above 16meg digital on a 11X14 is not apparent to the eye unless examined under glass. I personally use both. The scanner primarily for my film shot over past 40 years.

Hold on to the money as long as you can, photography nick nacks are always needed.

Robert

10/13/2006 4:27:03 PM

 
Nana O. Malone
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/7/2006
  Thanks guys. You've been really helpful. I learned my lesson now, no more discount places for scanning my negatives. Any more recommendations on scanners?

Nana

10/13/2006 4:33:27 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/17/2005
  Let's see.....Beach, sand, grain..sand..grainy sand...sounds right to me.

First Nana, as I recall, weren't you asking for info a week or two ago on how to take photos at the beach? How did you measure your exposure?

I think the one issue that's been overlooked here is what do your negatives actually look like. Thin negatives, ones that look more transparent (indicating underexposure) or extremely dense negatives (indicating overexposure) in any process, whether conventionally printed or scanned, don't print or transfer well by and large, and especially underexposed negs may print or transfer and look quite "grainy".

How grainy also depends on the kind of film it is. Higher speed, say 400-3200 ISO films will tend to look a lot grainier than slower ones, say ISO 25-200.

Just thought I'd mention it.
Take it with a grain of sand ;>)
Mark

10/13/2006 5:40:04 PM

 
Ken Henry

member since: 9/16/2003
  Well....Nana,

Top-of-the-line, Nikon Super Coolscan 5000 ED 35mm dedicated film scanner.
Approx $900-$1000.

Specs are @ 300dpi, 23megapixels, 66megabits, at print size 12"x18".
And a good lab can can make a nice 24"x36" photo from this file saved as Tiff on a CD. And a lab in Hollywood/West LA can print up 12feet. And that's printed on vinyl coated canvas.

I use an 1800 Epson Printer, also for your info.

All right, I didn't buy the 5D. Camera plus extra batteries, Large file cards, getting too close to $4000.oo, hmmmmm.

10/14/2006 8:45:49 PM

 

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