Q&A For Digital Photography
This column will attempt to provide solutions to problems readers may have 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 this column. Readers can send questions to me addressed to Shutterbug magazine, through the Shutterbug web site, directly via e-mail to: editorial @shutterbug.net or by US Mail to: PO Box 2830, Lompoc, CA 93438.
Q. I am building a digital
darkroom. I have a new Dell Dimensions XPS T600 Pentium III with MMX Technology
and 256 Cache. It has a 16MB ATI Rage 128 PRO video card. I also have
an Epson 1270 printer. The printer came with Photoshop 5.0 LE. After installing
Photoshop LE, when I access the program I find two toolbar icons missing,
namely the Type Mask and the Zoom. The tools are there for my use but
it is very distracting not to see the icons. The computer setup seems
to be functioning O.K. The settings on the monitor are set for 32 bits
and 800x600 pixels. If I change these settings to 256 and/or a higher
pixel number the icons appear. I have talked to Dell and Adobe and no
one can help me. Dell tells me to talk to Adobe and Adobe tells me to
talk to Dell.
Q. Do you know of a good
image cataloging program? I thought Epson's downloadable one might work
but it won't just do thumbnails with descriptions. It wants to import
the whole large file as well. My goal is to scan all good images and keep
a database of them.
Q. I'm an amateur trying
to intelligently assemble my own digital darkroom. I'm sitting on a 50-year-old
family archive of 35mm slides and negatives, so a film scanner is key.
I'm willing to spend up to $2000 but find that scanners with the best
dynamic range of 3.6 (Minolta, Nikon Super CoolScan, etc.) invariably
have a top resolution of about 2700, while those with a top resolution
of 4000 (e.g., Polaroid) have a lower dynamic range (3.2-3.4 tops). Since
I apparently have to make a tradeoff here, in your opinion which is more
important--higher dynamic range or higher resolution? (I have an Epson
3000 printer and may upgrade that when the Epson 5000 prices come down
a bit.) Also, from your collective knowledge, which one or two scanners
in the $1000 to $2000 range should I try out first? Many thanks for any
advice you can give me.
Q. I need to buy a film
scanner that will handle 35mm and 120 film (just bought a 645). I am in
a position to pay up to $2000 or so. Can you tell me my options and possibly
provide a recommendation? Thank you.
Q. Can you tell me which
Adobe application files can be opened on either a Mac or a PC?
Q. I'm hoping you can give
me some suggestions with some problems I've been having with CD recordable
and rewriteable disks. I've been using a CD burner since July '99. I'll
give you some specs on my computer in case that's somehow an issue.
Q. I read your article on
archival inks but have not been able to find anything in the article or
in the links you provided for the Epson Stylus 870 Photo printer. If you
have any info, please let me know.
Q. Can anyone tell me if
the Sony Mavica Model 73 is a good digital camera for taking pictures
of items to be sold on the web?
Q. I am interested in purchasing
a new computer monitor and want to know if you have published any articles
in the past, or are planning on doing so. I have a Hitachi 720, 18" screen
with a smaller footprint. It is a year old, and I am wondering if there
is anything new that has a larger screen up to a 20" or 21" size without
having a huge footprint. I need high resolution as we use it as a point
of sale monitor. Any help on where I can locate this information will
be appreciated. I am a happy subscriber to Shutterbug.
Q. I use a Mamiya 645 for
basic architectural work and have a question regarding the difference
in resolution between silver halide and digital formats.
Q. I always look forward
to reading every article in Shutterbug magazine. Have you ever seen a
printout made using Genuine Fractals software? Does the software really
make it possible to scale a 35mm transparency up to 3x5' and still retain
photographic quality? Thank you.
Q. I am an amateur photographer
thinking of starting a photo restoration business. I have been told that
restorations can be done digitally without having to make a negative or
use any optical equipment. I would appreciate any information you could
give me on this subject; such as the type of equipment needed, type of
scanner, photo program, books on the subject, etc. Presently, I have a
200MHz computer with Windows 95. I'm not sure if my computer will be sufficient
to do this kind of work. Please send all the info on this subject that
you can as I know very little about digital photography.
Q. I'm ready to purchase
a scanner. I read your review of the Epson Expression 1600 in the June
issue of Shutterbug, and I'm confused. I will be scanning mostly 35mm
negs, black and white, color, and transparencies. Can you please give
me a short opinion to the following question: Considering the previously
mentioned information, would I be satisfied with the Epson Expression
1600, or should I lean toward a film scanner similar to the Nikon CoolScan
A. For photographers whose primary need is scanning 35mm a dedicated film scanner is the best choice. In the under $1000 category my recommendation is the Canon CanoScan FS 2710. For occasional print and medium/large format film scans not requiring super high resolution, get the Epson Perfection 1200 Photo flat-bed. Total cost for both: about the same as the Epson Expression 1600.
Q. What do you know about
duotones, tritones, and quadtones for the 1270 printer? Is that a big
improvement over using the color inks and is it a big pain to convert
from the six colors to the inks used for duo/tri/ quadtones? Thanks again.