Thoughts on the perfect scan - is it that important?

Started 5 months ago | Discussions thread
tomnorth Senior Member • Posts: 1,078
Re: Thoughts on the perfect scan - is it that important?

Too often it seems that the idea of the "perfect scan" is all about getting the ultimate resolution out of a scan. I've made 13 x 19 inch prints from 35mm scans I made on my Plustek OpticFilm 8200i that I'm super happy with. I'm not interested in moving the wet-mount scanning or drum scanning. I'm not looking to eke the last bit of effective resolution out of a scan. I just want a scan that is pleasing to the eye. That means it should be in focus, have good highlights and shadows, and have pleasing colors and tonalities. My photos are not heavily dependent on ultimate resolution.

I've found that if I scan using SilverFast software on the Plustek at the highest resolution offered (7200 dpi) and then downsize the image in Photoshop to the size I need for printing, I get beautiful results that are nice and clean in the shadow areas with excellent gradations. I know that the effective resolution of the Plustek is closer to 3600 dpi, but if I scan at that level and the upsize the images to the size I need for printing, I get much dirtier shadow areas. Again, it's about how the scan looks for me rather than the effective resolution.

For normal sharing of images online I stick with the scans from my Epson V800 scanner, using the Epson provided trays. Those I do at 2400 dpi, which yields a 6mp image from 35mm film. That's just fine for me. I also use the SilverFast software when using the Epson.

 tomnorth's gear list:tomnorth's gear list
Nikon D850 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm F4G ED VR Nikon 85mm F1.8G +7 more
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