Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 8:15 am

Scanning Slides/film

Thu Mar 23, 2000 7:04 am

Hello everyone,

I have recently purchased a Jenoptik JS21 slide/film scanner in an attempt to get some of my aviation photographs included on this site. I'm new to this hobby so I expect results to be less than optimal early on but I am really disappointed with the results so far with the slide scanner.

What I need more than anything is a recommended procedure for scanning a slide, such as best resolution, when to scale, when (if ever) to sharpen the image, etc, etc.

I see other pictures and they are all sharper and more colourful than my efforts. Now I appreciate that is in part due to the relative experience but given a well exposed slide I would expect to be able to get a high quality image onto my PC. What I find is graininess, lack of definition, washed out colours - all sorts really, even when the slide looks fine (ok, it is very small in the viewer and this might account for something).

I would welcome any suggestions. Some of my scans are hmmmmmmm, ok, but others are really a bit naff! They are on my website if you care to critique them and I would welcome any comments.

Thank you,
Posts: 1488
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 1999 11:08 am

RE: Scanning Slides/film

Thu Mar 23, 2000 11:01 am

I just bought a HP PhotoSmart S20 a few weeks ago. I too get very
flat images during the initial scan, but once I get the images in Adobe
Photoshop I can improve them. Part of the reason you get a flat scan
with poor contrast is because of the differences in the film. Kodak film
is different than AGFA or Fuji and the differences do show up in the
scanned image. Some scanners have film settings for the film type that
can improve the initial scan. If yours doesn't have this then there's not
much you can do about it.

I look at the prescaned image and usually bump up the color saturation,
decrease the brightness slightly (I find that dark images are easier
to work with than light ones), play with the contrast a little bit, and
bump up the sharpness slightly. Then I scan to TIFF format at
1200 dpi.

In Adobe Photoshop LE I deal again with the color saturation,
brightness/contrast, and remove any debris in the image. Then I take the
image down between 700-800 dpi. I may sharpen once more, but
sometimes this actually makes the image look worse. The final step that
I do is convert to JPEG. So far I've gotten 76 out of 78 images from
slides accepted. The other two I knew probably wouldn't pass, but I tried anyway.

Hope this helps.

Mark Abbott
Minneapolis, MN
A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man...
Posts: 3902
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2000 5:03 am

RE: Scanning Slides/film

Fri Apr 21, 2000 12:52 pm

Dear Dean,

I've been submitting photos to for four months, and have encountered exactly the same problem you have. I take crisp photos, but can't get them to scan with the kind of scan quality lots of photographers at this site achieve.

Johan has said that even lower-priced scanners can produce good enough scans to meet the site's newly-stiffened photo-quality standards. Also, he has said that Paint Shop Pro, which I use, should be able to produce acceptable image improvements.

I've learned the various photo-maniuplation techniques (gamma balance, etc) but they don't help if the intial scan isn't crisp. I scan at 900 to 1200 dpi, so dot/pixel density isn't the problem.

I too ask our fellow photogs, what settings and techniques do you use to get great results with ordinary scanners?

A fellow seeker of scanner wisdom,

Jim Kruggel
Washington, DC
Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)

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