Photo scan resolution

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Tom

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I'm in the process of scanning a number of old B & W photos retrieved from family photo boxes during our recent trip to the UK. What is the optimum resolution for scanning? My scanner allows me to adjust resoultion from 75 to 19200 ppi, but obviously the higher the resolution the larger the resulting file size. I've scanned a few photos at 150 and 300 ppi and don't see a lot of difference. I've also scanned some at 1200 ppi, resulting in huge file sizes.

Would the optimum resolution change for color photos?

While I'm at it, I'll ask about file format; I'm temporarily using .tiff since this is a lossless format. Would I be better off using .bmp?

I could experiment more but, knowing that that some folks have already gone this route, I thought I'd save myself some time.

TIA.
 

woodartist

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I've done a lot of genealogy work and published some. I always used 200-300 dpi for the old B&W photos. Make sure they are saved as B&W because the default on some programs is color...therefore a larger file size. I generally used .PSD for the pictures and some Jpeg. Not sure if that is the correct way. If the pics are only for web use then 72 DPI is fine. What part of England were the pictures from?
 

Ned

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What is the intended use for the scanned images?  For viewing on a computer, 300dpi is certainly adequate.  If you're going to print 8x10" or larger prints, then I would scan at the highest resolution possible.  If the large file sizes are a problem, and you don't intend to do a lot of editing on the images, then store them as JPGs with a high quality setting.
 

Tom

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Thanks for that info. Most of my family photos go on the web, but I'd like to keep original scans for possible future printing. Sounds like 300 dpi is what I need.

What part of England were the pictures from?

They weren't. They were from Wales, most of them of family members and some of yours truly that I didn't have.
 

Tom

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Ned,

A B&W scan at 1200 ppi nets a 32Mb file in .tiff format. Hate to think what it would be at the highest resolution.
 

woodartist

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Well Tom, I thought I'd ask because I have a bunch of old relatives ( back to 1400's) from England...and you never know:) If you are going to use the pictures on the web then 72 dpi is fine. Small prints, then 200 is fine. I don't use large file sized images and haven't had a problem on the web, or printing 5x7's. Of course you would want photo paper and such.
 

Jeff

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woodartist said:
Well Tom, I thought I'd ask because I have a bunch of old relatives ( back to 1400's) from England...and you never know:) If you are going to use the pictures on the web then 72 dpi is fine. Small prints, then 200 is fine. I don't use large file sized images and haven't had a problem on the web, or printing 5x7's. Of course you would want photo paper and such.

Woodartist:

As you can see some natives of the British Isles will ALWAYS differentiate England from Great Britian.  ;D ;D

Tom moved here to join the rest of the insurrectionists.
 

Tom

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LOL Karl. There's obviously some gobbledygook talk going on because it's a 4800 dpi scanner.
 

Tom

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Thanks for that link. I'll experiment with that software.

Apologies about the "Wales, not England" comment, it's second nature to a Welshman, Scotsman or Irishman, although often used in jest.
 

Ned

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The scanner does interpolation to get the higher effective resolutions.  For printing, you can get by with 2400 or even 1200dpi.  Save a JPG to reduce the file size.
 

Tom

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I figured there was some interpolation going on for the higher resolutions. But, even at the 4800 dpi res, it would result in a large file size. Methinks that 4800 dpi is only necessary for slide and film scanning, which was one reason I bought this scanner.
 

Chet18013

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Tom,

Check out this site. It will give you a more complete answer to you question.

http://www.scantips.com/

I know your  scanner came with software drivers, but there is a inexpensive aftermarket program called VuScan  that I have found to give superior results when scanning old photos. see:

www.hamrick.com

Chet18013
 

King

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My scanner indicates the file size after I select the resolution.  Of course, the file size is driven by the original photo size.  If I intend to make 4X6, I usually look for about 5 meg,  If I want 8X10 I look for a little over 10 meg.  Depending on the subject, the high quality jpg reduces the file size by a third to a half.
Art
 

Tom

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Chet,

I downloaded and installed the trial version of VuScan. I like the way it works seamlessly with HP's scanner drivers while not imposing itself on my system. I'll play with it a little more before deciding whether to cough up $50 (or $90 for the pro version) to keep it and remove the watermarks. Thanks again for the link.
 
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