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Author Topic: looking for advice before scanning prints  (Read 3782 times)
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« on: May 12, 2011, 08:11:34 AM »

I have and Epson V500 and VueScan pro software.  Questions are not VueScan-specific... just looking for some general advice on which settings to choose before starting.  I have lots of scans to complete and would like to settle on a consistent setting before getting started so I don't have to change half-way through.  I am a complete NOVICE at editing, touching up, etc digital images... BUT I want to be sure to save these images in a format/settings that will allow me or others to do any cleanup, touchup, etc in the future without wishing I had scanned differently. In fact I don't own any editing software.  I do use IDImager for DAM, so I use its editing capabilities in limited manner.

These are scans of both BW and COLOR prints.  I am not scanning any negatives.

My options

Input settings
I'm planning on scanning at 400dpi resolution.  I don't think the next step up (800dpi) is any better for prints.  I can't tell much difference in my tests.

Bits per pixel: (24bitRGB, 48bitRGB, 64bitRGBI (infrared))

Output Settings
TIF file type: (16bit gray, 24bitRGB, 48bitRGB, 64bitRGBI (infrared), 16bit infrared)
RAW file type: (16bit gray, 24bitRGB, 48bitRGB, 64bitRGBI (infrared), 16bit infrared)

TIF compression: (on,off,auto)
RAW commpression: (on,off,auto)

What I know (or think I know) and am thinking now....
- I discovered that VueScan "raw" is really just a non-adjusted TIF, NOT the equivalent of a camera RAW file. I am considering generating TIFs as the image files I actually work with and add to the collection AND raw files that I will keep in case I need to use VueScan to reprocess the scan without needing to rescan the media.

- I don't think I need to even consider infrared options for input or output since I'm dealing with prints.

- I think I may as well use compression for TIF and RAW to save space and deal with any slowdown in reading/writing to the files. (as I understand it, this compression is lossless).

- I have tested a few color and BW and it seems that I get smaller TIF files (that look just as good to me) when I choose 24bit color as my input source and 24bit rgb as the TIF file type.  For example a small BW photo scanned as 16bitgray input and saved as 16bitgray TIF file yields a 5.5MB file (compressed or uncompressed).  However, that same file scanned as 24bit rgb input and 24bit rgb as the TIF filetype, yields 1.5MB file compressed (8.2MB uncompressed).  I'm not sure why RGB seems to yield smaller files, but it does in all of my tests.  Is there any reason to avoid this counter-intuitive setting?

- My tests also show that for color prints: scanning with 24bit rgb as input and saving to 24bit rgb TIF yields the best filesize.

Any advice or clarification is welcome.  My main concern is creating a permanent archive of these images.  I'm not too worried about file size; I would definitely accept a larger file if I knew that it would yield better results, allow for better editing/touchups, etc.  I basically want to make sure these never have to be physically scanned again (and even though I plan on keeping the Vuescan raw files, I don't want to have to re-process them either).  But I also don't want to generate files larger than necessary.

I'm completely unclear if there is any benefit of using 48bit rgb as my input or output.

thanks in advance for any advice or clarification or additional info....

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