Best Scanner Settings for PL4

Well, I got out my (unregistered) copy of VueScan to see how I would set it up.

First, I use the Professional mode and here are my Input settings for scanning a 5"x4" neg…

The output settings are equally important…

For a 5"x4" neg, at 2400ppi, this gives me a file size of 196MB and is the equivalent of a 98Mpx digital camera! For printing at 240ppi, this gives me a possible print size of up to 50" x 40" without interpolation.

And, of course, the higher the resolution, the longer it takes to scan, because it seems that VueScan does the whole scanning area, not just the cropped area :roll_eyes:

Cleaning negs is always a nightmare unless you live in a vacuum or in the shower room with the shower running. Even the dust from your hair can find your way onto the neg after you have cleaned it. Don’t used compressed air cans because they can contain propellant which can come out in microscopic droplets. I use a rocket blower and lint-free cloth myself.

Best to just anticipate long hours spent spotting the scanned files.

For scanning 35mm film, here is a table of scanning resolution, digital equivalent and possible print size without interpolation…

By the way, dpi is a term only properly used for printer resolution. For computer manipulation, it should always be ppi, even though a lot of software uses the wrong term.

Resolution Mpx equivalent Print size
2400 8.5Mpx 15" x 10"
3200 15Mpx 20" x 13"
4800 34.5Mpx 30" x 20"

I don’t know what the file sizes are likely to be but, needless to say, with a 16bit TIFF file, they are not going to be as light as RAW :wink:

PL balks at some DNG files because they are not “real” RAW files, just containers for a TIFF or other format.

With the settings I show in my screenshots, I got a (large) positive and reversed TIFF that PL opened without any problem in PL4.

What! they don’t support a Rodenstock 210mm lens? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Anyway, here’s a screenshot of PL4 with the resulting scan, just to prove it does work…

Now, let the spotting begin :nerd_face:

My settings are very much like yours, but set for 35mm negatives. One thing though VueScan is supposed to scan ONLY the image area, not the surrounding area - according to the PDF file explaining how to use it. Somehow I got that wrong, as my images were all surrounded by “extra” stuff.

I suspect I need to set the file size for the scanned image to 24x36mm, or a tiny fraction larger, but I haven’t yet tried that - maybe I’ll do it right now.

Last night I used one of those micro-fibre cloths for cleaning eyeglasses - worked fine. Hardly any “debris” left.

Somehow I fixed that - I should copy my settings here. PL4 then accepted the TIFF files I created.

Screen Shot 2021-02-25 at 20.09.33

Screen Shot 2021-02-25 at 20.09.50

Screen Shot 2021-02-25 at 20.12.53

Which led to this - I had to manually set the crop area:

Screen Shot 2021-02-25 at 20.21.35

And after scanning:

So I clicked “Save”.

And got this:

2021-02-25-0001.tif (33.1 MB)

Oops, after all that, it failed. Somehow it created a ‘dog’ and not a standard ‘TIFF file’.

Back tp the drawing board…

Screen Shot 2021-02-25 at 20.38.36

Fixed - somehow “Professional Mode” got turned off. I turned it back on, and put a check next to Tiff File, and it worked.

When it’s all done, I guess I don’t need to click on SAVE - I’ve been doing that, with the result being that I get two saved copies of the same image.

Joanna, the crop area is now pretty close to what I wanted. I selected 24x36 for image size, but it changed that.

Ignore the image - I cut it off the negative strip, and it was destined for the waste basket, but I figured I would use it for today’s testing.

Hopefully there is a way to save my settings, so VueScan doesn’t change them on me. Need to search for a way to do that.

Added later - while I intended to dump the negative in the garbage, I figured why not play with it for a while. Now it really does look like something I photographed when I was a kid!

Looking at my recent work (all 16-bit samples with Zip compression):
4800 dpi B&W ~= 39 MB
4800 dpi colour ~= 110 MB

The colour ones are highly variable going up to 171 MB in a couple of cases. Busy scenes will not compress as well as sky vistas!

Yes, I also scan my old slides using 4800 dpi. The files average 156 megs. I don’t want to ever have to go back and rescan, clean and size - if I want to print one. So, I’m almost done my 4,000 slides.

Epson 4990 Photo scanner
Always saved to 16 bit Tiff’s