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Old 07-10-2011, 10:36 AM   #1
Ronald
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Default Scanning Old Photos for Print & Video

My brother and I are secretly working on a documentary project about my grandparents' lives and the general family. The other night, we researched the best way to scan old photos which, for us, has 3 purposes: digital archiving, printing, and video (documentary).

We scanned one photo (a 3.5x5 I believe) at 300, 600, and 1200 dpi, put all three versions on an SD card, viewed them on a flatscreen TV, and decided 600 dpi seemed to have the best screen quality, though not by much. We'd like to slowly pan and zoom on photos as you'd see in a documentary.

So at this point, I'm hoping that scanning at 600 dip in TIFF format is the best method for all 3 purposes. I haven't printed high quality versions of the scans but I would hope there wouldn't be a big difference between 300 and 600 (I read that basic old photos should be 300 dpi and nice portraits should be 600 dpi, and that too high a dpi can be bad for small photos). For format purposes, any photos we want to use in the documentary can be saved as JPEGs if needed.

Does this sound good? I'd hate to have to scan them twice.
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Old 07-10-2011, 12:09 PM   #2
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It sounds like a good plan to me, Ronald. 600ppi TIFFs at the original photo size are the standard required for the state and national photo archives.

   
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Old 07-10-2011, 01:00 PM   #3
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Quote:
ronald: Does this sound good? I'd hate to have to scan them twice.
I think 600dpi is very reasonable That's the ppi/dpi I use to scan old photos because it gives me flexibility in final sizing when I finish any clean-up and exposure corrections. Once clean-up/corrections are done, I resize the width/height dimentions and set ppi/dpi to 300ppi/dpi for printing...

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Old 07-11-2011, 12:29 AM   #4
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Thank you, annc and terrie. Good to know I was on the mark.

Well, Grandpa finally died today (Sunday). He was in the final stages for the last few days, bedridden without fluids or food and unable to communicate. I wrote his obituary with some help from Grandma. My brother and I hope to spend a whole day scanning their many photos soon. The documentary will be a fine tribute to both of them when she leaves us too.
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Old 07-11-2011, 11:48 AM   #5
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So very sorry to hear about your grandfather...

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Old 07-12-2011, 08:49 PM   #6
BobRoosth
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The only reason to scan at 1200 or higher would be for the purposes of major enlargement. 600 allows easy printing at 7x10 (2x original). Higher sometimes allows one to clean up artifacts that are blurry at lower rez.

A great book someone on this forum one recommended: Digital Restoration from Start to Finish, by Ctein, pub. by Focal Press.
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Old 08-07-2011, 06:47 PM   #7
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Thank you, Bob. I'll look into that book.
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