Q&A For Digital Photography Page 2
Consistent Image And Print Arrangements
Q. You mention every now and then in Shutterbug about the Epson V700 scanner. I’ve had mine since 2006 and it’s the best one I’ve ever owned! I also got an Epson R2880 last year and can finally make good black-and-white prints (at last). Question: on Photoshop CS, can one lock the Canvas Size setting so you don’t have to set it up every time if you’re printing many pictures using the same setting?
A. No, there is no save function in Canvas Size. I would assume the reasoning is that because it reads the data of the open file, which file to file is often and different, that any change would be relative to the open file, and would not be relative to any other file.
You may want to explore what you can adjust and save in the Print (Preview) dialog window where there may be other ways to maintain a set of pre-adjustment factors. In other words, you may be able to predetermine factors such as the image size relative to paper size, including placement and borders.
Are Full-Frame D-SLR Cameras A Real Advantage?
Q. I have a set amount of money that I can spend on upgrading camera gear. There is enough that I can buy a Nikon D3X. I do a lot of portrait, landscape, and event photography, plus the occasional wedding. My question: is the substantial amount of money the camera costs in respect to a D3S or even a D300S worth the extra outlay? I currently use a D300, and I have one good Nikon lens that will work on a full-frame camera. Will you please help me with this dilemma?
A. Personally, I have had little experience with Nikon D-SLR cameras. However, my closest professional photography friend is a Nikon user so he keeps me up-to-date. He recently got a full-frame Nikon D-SLR and has been very happy with the work it is doing for him. I, too, prefer full-frame D-SLR cameras because the results are easier to edit and I believe they deliver the best image quality. I think that for the kind of photography you are doing you will probably benefit from the full-frame sensor size.
How To Scan Large B&W Prints
Q. I have a number of 11x14” black-and-white prints that I would like to scan to quality digital files. What is your recommendation, since prints this size don’t fit any normal scanners? Can you suggest models that combine quality and affordability? Is there a particular online store that deals in scanners of this size?
A. Epson has long been a supplier of large format flat-bed scanners. Their current photo model, the Expression 10000XL, has a price of $3000, so it is not something I imagine would interest you, but it is one of few left in the marketplace and one of the better ones.
You mentioned having a number of prints; possibly a service bureau or lab that has an 11x17” scanner will do the whole batch for a decent price per scan. This size scanning is done a lot in publishing so prices should be reasonable and not hard to find in any larger city.
Otherwise, you might check Adorama and B&H. They might have something refurbished that would be attractive if you want to own your own scanner.
Q. In a recent issue of Shutterbug you indicated that warped transparencies could be best scanned using glass mounts to straighten them out. Where can these be purchased and where would one find information on using them? Do the glass-mounted transparencies fit in the Plustek slide holder? Does your digital darkroom CD cover using the Plustek when discussing film scanning?
A. Glass-mounted slides are made by Wess Plastic and Gepe, and are available from both Adorama and B&H, as well as other professional photo suppliers like Calumet and Samy’s Camera. There is nothing much to learn—just slip the film frame in place and snap the slide mount shut. They are standard 2x2” 35mm film slide mounts, so they will fit in any scanner for 35mm-mounted slide scanning.
The Plustek OpticFilm series scanners come with LaserSoft’s SilverFast SE or Ai software that is covered in several articles in the collection in my Digital Darkroom Resource CD. You can get all the information about the CD in the “Announcement” box that runs at the end of this column.
Scanning APS Film
Q. I have several hundred rolls of APS film that I would like to scan to CD/DVD. I felt that it would be less expensive to purchase a scanner that would accommodate APS film than it would be to pay to have someone scan them. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find a scanner that will do that. It appears that the Nikon 5000 ED and the APS adapter Nikon made for it may have been the last of the breed and that they are now also part of history. I still shoot an occasional roll of film with my Nikon Pronea 6i and just get a CD when I have the film developed, but that doesn’t help with rolls I shot from 1996-2003. Do you have any suggestions?
A. The only contemporary, dedicated 35mm scanner currently is the new Plustek OpticFilm 7600i. But it does not have a holder for APS film. However, it does scan at 7200dpi which should reproduce good quality image files. So, what I would suggest is mounting the individual APS film frames in 2x2” plastic mounts made to hold APS-sized images.
A maker of slide mounts, Gepe, may also have mounts for APS film frames; you might try Adorama and B&H to see what they have.