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Photography Question 
Clayton T. Williams
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/16/2006

On Screen Resolution - Scanned Images

I am an amateur photographer and use a Minolta Maxxum 5 35mm film SLR camera. When I develop my film and have it put on a CD, the resolution on the CD isn't very good. The pictures appear very "pixely". Where is the best place to have pictures put on CDs at the best resolution for computer viewing and/or what can I do to make my pictures look better on-screen?

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6/3/2007 1:59:46 AM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
  If the photos don't look good on screen, they weren't scanned at a high enough resolution. Actually, I think it must have been really low because you don't need that high of a resolution, or a file that big, to view on screen. Screen views at 72ppi and an uploaded file just needs to be 300-400k.
Now if you're trying to zoom in on the image after you get it on your screen, then, yes, even a slight increase in image size will start to show pixels. But scanned negatives can be scanned at different resolutions. So if you used a one-hour lab that provides a CD with your pictures, the resolution is probably low in order to make it a quick.
Find a better lab or a print shop that does scans, if you know of no other people who own a scanner.

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6/3/2007 2:50:37 AM

Christopher Gardner
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/24/2006
  Hi Clayton. Gregory gets to the point towards the end of the answer... you need to find a lab that will scan your negatives to CD properly. If you're using the lower cost, standard retail outlets for film developing, this might explain some of the poor quality on CD.

Your question "Where is the best place" is difficult to answer because it is subjective based on your own concerns such as location, budget, urgency/convenience, etc. There are some good online labs (such as Snapfish and Photoworks) and some good local labs, but you'd have to research that in your area.

Best of luck to you!

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6/5/2007 5:50:54 AM

Clayton T. Williams
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/16/2006
  Thank You both. I think I am going to try a couple of different labs. I may send a roll to snapfish, photoworks, mpix, and a local lab just to see which I like best. thanks again.

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6/5/2007 6:30:43 PM

Roy Blinston
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/4/2005
  Everything above is correct. However one technical point... it is not the quality of the CD but the quality of the pics "on the CD".
Many labs offer varying quality scans - some give you a range of resolutions (ie: low for viewing or web only, and high for print quality etc).
If you intend to do extreme enlargements of your pics then you will need to get extremely high quality/resolution scans of your images.
By far the best quality scans you can get are done on a "Drum Scanner". Unfortunately many Labs do not possess a drum scanner and instead use desktop methods. Drum Scanners can cost anything between $40,000 up to $250,000.
If you want the very best quality scans, look through your local phone book for anybody offering drum scans. Be prepared to pay a good price too. Quality comes at a cost. Depending on your requested "finished size", around $20 - $70 per scan is not uncommon on a high end drum scanner.... but absolutely nothing can beat it for quality.

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6/5/2007 6:34:09 PM

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