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Old 07-01-2006   #1
Vicuna
 
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Default New to photography...

Hello.

I'm new to SLR film photography and was wondering if you guys could answer a few questions for me.

This is the equipment I'm working with:

EOS Rebel T2

Canon EF 70-300 IS USM

Subjects: Mostly Nature

Film: Kadak UC 400

I want to eventually purchase a Canon SLR Digital camera, but for now the above is what I'm working with.

My goal: To create those amazingly crisp and colorful photos that everyone loves. I would also like to have them available as digital files to start an on-line album of high-quality images. Currently I am using Shutterfly.com to develop and digitize my photos. However, I'm not thrilled with the results and really need to move ahead to bigger and better things.

So, what will I need to get top quality prints and digital photos? Do most of you get high quality prints and scan them to Photoshop? What exactly is the process and how many pixels should a great quality print be?

Will appreciate all responses.

Thank you.

RayJ

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Old 07-01-2006   #2
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Default Re: New to photography...

Shutterfly's specialty product is the custom photo book made from uploaded files. My brother works for Shutterfly, and this is the one item he pushes. Never used their developing service, as I would rather have a pro lab do it if at all possible.
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Old 07-01-2006   #3
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Default Re: New to photography...

Quote:
Originally Posted by RayJ

My goal: To create those amazingly crisp and colorful photos that everyone loves. I would also like to have them available as digital files to start an on-line album of high-quality images. Currently I am using Shutterfly.com to develop and digitize my photos. However, I'm not thrilled with the results and really need to move ahead to bigger and better things.

So, what will I need to get top quality prints and digital photos? Do most of you get high quality prints and scan them to Photoshop? What exactly is the process and how many pixels should a great quality print be?
Hi Ray, & welcome.

Naturally all images which originate on film have to be scanned before they can enter the digital world.* However to obtain any kind of quality, you must start by scanning the film, not a print. If your principal (or only) goal for the images is to create an on-line album or display them otherwise on the web, then super quality high resolution scans are not needed.* The digitized images you get from Shutterfly or similar operations (Kodak Gallery, formerly Ophoto and others) should be just fine.* Nevertheless most* scanned images will benefit greatly from some post processing, so you will need some software and then learn how to use it.

As for prints, the same digitized files from Shutterfly should produce good quality images up to about 6"x9".* (they are generally scanned at about 1000 ppi).* Here again some post processing is highly desirable as well as increasing resolution to around 300 ppi at the size you want printed.* Then you need to upload the reworked image to the lab for printing.* This approach produces much better quality prints than just ordering the prints when you send in the film for development.* This the workflow I used before I acquired my own scanner.

Let us know if you have any more questions.

Cheers/Mike.
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Old 07-02-2006   #4
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Default Re: New to photography...

Thank you both for your responses.

Mike: So would you suggest that I use a scanner to scan my negs into a program such as Photoshop for the best possible results?

Would the Epson 1650 Photo scanner do the trick? Or do I need to scan at a higher resolution? Or can I simply increase the DPI after I scan?

One last question for now: Would you say that most of the seemingly flawless pictures seen on photo sites are the result of work done in programs like Photoshop?

Thank you for your time and patience. It is much appreciated.

RayJ
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Old 07-02-2006   #5
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Default Re: New to photography...

Quote:
Originally Posted by RayJ
Thank you both for your responses.

Mike: So would you suggest that I use a scanner to scan my negs into a program such as Photoshop for the best possible results?

Would the Epson 1650 Photo scanner do the trick? Or do I need to scan at a higher resolution? Or can I simply increase the DPI after I scan?

One last question for now: Would you say that most of the seemingly flawless pictures seen on photo sites are the result of work done in programs like Photoshop?

Thank you for your time and patience. It is much appreciated.

RayJ
For the best possible results the negatives must be scanned and then post processed in Photoshop or some other software. As I suggested before, depending on what size prints you will eventually require, the scans provided by Shutterfly or other film processor may be adequate. If you want complete control and large final prints then you may need to get your own scanner. I am not familiar with the Epson 1650, but my guess is that it is a flatbed scanner and thus not well suited for negatives. With a good film scanner one usually scans at between 2000 - 4000 ppi.

As for the "flawless photos" seen on various photosites, a number of factors contribute to their quality, not the least of which is the photographer. Proper equipment properly used with attention to focus, exposure, lighting etc. And then the final touches are done with Photoshop or other postprocessing software.

In your case I would strongly suggest that you begin with the scans provided on disk by Shutterfly. Open an image in some postprocessing program and work on it. At the same time you would be learning to use the software which often involves a steep learning curve. Put the edited image on disk and take it to some nearby minilab to have prints made. You will undoubtedly encounter some problems so come back here and tell us what's happening.

Cheers/Mike
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Old 07-03-2006   #6
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Default Re: New to photography...

Thanks very much, Mike. This sounds like excellent advice. By the way, the Epson 1650 is 1600 x 3200 DPI and it is capable of scanning negs. There is a good chance that I can pick one up cheap, so I can have another option for working with my photos.

Thanks again.

RayJ
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Old 07-06-2006   #7
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Default Re: New to photography...

RayJ,

what is your main motivation for using your current setup?

You mentioned that you would like to go digital at one point in time ... is this a cost issue?

If so, you might also consider getting a used D30 (the old 3 MP one, not the new 30D) or Digital Rebel ... they should be available in the 300-500$ range.

More than the Epson 1650, right, but not that much more (especially if you consider what you will have to pay for film/developing).

Best regards,
Andy
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Old 07-07-2006   #8
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Default Re: New to photography...

Hi Andy,

Thank you for your response.

Ultimately, my objective is to take great photographs and build both a digital and print library. I am on a limited budget at this time, and your suggestion about starting out with one of the earlier model* digital Canons is a good one. However, I have my sights set on the Rebel XT at this point and have started to save towards that goal. The good thing is that when I do save enough for the XT, the prices should be a bit lower.

Thanks again, Andy.

RayJ





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Old 08-01-2006   #9
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Default Re: New to photography...

RayJ,

If you can, use a slower film and have them drum scanned for the highest quality digitization. Unfortunately, drum scanning cost $$ so if you decide to go this route, pick your images carefully.
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Old 08-02-2006   #10
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Default Re: New to photography...

My impression was that drum scans cost about US$50 per image, but that was a while ago and the prices may have dropped quite a bit since then. Anyone have an update on this?


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