Q & A For Digital Photography
This column will attempt to provide solutions to problems readers may have in getting into and using digital cameras, scanning, and using digital photographic images with a computer and different kinds of software. All questions sent to me will be answered with the most appropriate information I can access and provide. However, not all questions and answers will appear in the column. Readers can send questions to me addressed to Shutterbug magazine, through the Shutterbug web site, directly via e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org or by US Mail to: PO Box 2830, Lompoc, CA 93438.
Q. I have read your
reviews of the Epson Perfection and Expression scanners. What I want
to know is, just how much quality difference is there between these
scanners (with a transparency adapter) and a film scanner when it comes
to scanning medium format negatives and 35mm negatives? I want to scan
my negatives with enough quality to print on an Epson Photo printer,
perhaps using the new archival inks and papers, for sale to clients.
And what is the quality difference between the two scanners?
A. First of all, I would recommend the Epson Perfection 636 to the enthusiast/hobbyist with a limited budget, while I would recommend the Epson Expression 800 to the serious user. There is an observable and significant difference in quality between scans made with these two models. For the purpose you describe, the Expression 800 is essential and the Perfection 636 is not as appropriate.
Q. Thank you very
much for your well written and very informative articles in Shutterbug.
Also, thank you for answering questions regarding digital imaging via
It would be quite easy to write several articles, even a small book,
to answer your questions with all the information you could probably
use. However, I hope you will accept a somewhat more concise answer
to your query.
Q. Regarding digital
image perspective control, 100 percent of my photographic efforts involve
photographing historical buildings in black and white utilizing a 4x5
camera. The latter is necessary so that I can make the buildings'
verticals parallel. I would like to use my 120 film format cameras that
do not have perspective control lenses.
Transform tool is included in Adobe Photoshop 5.0LE, which sells for
$99. But, the documentation does not indicate whether perspective control
capabilities are a part of the Transform options. Even if it is, because
it is a Layer tool, and does not work on the background base image,
I would find that it is not as easy and efficient to use as it is in
some other applications.
Q. In the October
'99 issue of Shutterbug, you stated that the addition of a second
monitor to a Windows based system was of "dubious advantage"
and that Windows apps "do not readily support multiple monitors."
I do plan to give this another look, in part because Matrox now has
the Millennium G400 graphics card which has excellent 2D performance
and quality color supporting Photo-shop, and allows plugging in two
monitors to the card--so you also do not have to use up a PCI slot for
a second graphics card, or that additional cost, and the 400 runs in
AGP which is much faster than PCI.
Q. I am just starting
a digital darkroom and have a few questions. I would like to get a slide/negative
scanner and am willing to spend in the $500 to $800 range. Is there
a large difference in this range? How important is dynamic range and
is it more important than the dpi of the scanner?
my choice for a 35mm scanner in the price range you indicated is the
Canon CanoScan FS 2710. I think you'll find in practical terms
that resolution is more valuable than dynamic range. Consider that few
slides will actually have a density range that matches the dynamic range
of the scanner, and will usually be less--and, negatives have a lower
Q. I am from Germany
and have opened a German-French bakery in North Carolina last year.
Due to the fact that I photographed with my middle format twin lens
Mamiya my entire life (black and white), I am confronted with a problem
in regards to uploading color pictures of our products on our web site.
Q. I'm a new
arrival in digital imaging, but a long-time active art photographer.
All that I have read gives me great confidence re-creating promotional
and catalog items but I'm really confused about the ability to
create color prints on an ink jet printer that could be sold with confidence,
to be put on someone's wall for a number of years.
Thank you for asking what I think is a very key question to many, and
having the confidence to direct it to me. I have been following developments
in this area for several years beginning with Ilford's and 3M's
work on stable ink jet inks for large format printers. With large format
ink jet printing one customer demand that is considerable is to make
large display ads which will hold color even when displayed outdoors.
Currently inks meeting these demands are available and are being used
successfully. So thanks to that very large monetary incentive fine arts
printers have also benefited. This includes inks for Iris printers showing
up first as they have been the established high-end printers of choice
in art circles.