I scanned some black-and-white negatives recently with my CanoScan 9000F Mark II and the ScanGear software that came with it, and I want to share the results.
I took much of the advice some of you gave me in my last CanoScan post. Namely, I scanned at 4800 dpi and turned off all of the image enhancements, including unsharp masking and dust/scratch reduction, that ScanGear offers.
My scans were still mighty soft, but what I learned from you is that this is to be expected, and it’s what unsharp masking is for. So I looked up some online information about how to use Photoshop’s unsharp mask tool and fiddled with the settings until I liked the results.
This is the scan I made that I like the most.
Here’s the scan Fulltone Photo made, after I Photoshopped it to my liking. Both scans have their positive qualities. I like the great detail the Fulltone scan shows in the brick foundation of the log cabin. My scan looks good to me and I would happily use it for any of my usual purposes.
Let’s pixel peep for a minute. At 4800 dpi, my scans turned out to be about 6800 pixels on the long edge. There’s minor variability among them in length and width because ScanGear determines each image’s edges individually. The Fulltone Photo scans are all 6774 pixels long. So these are comparable scans. Here’s a detail from my scan of the above image at 100%.
Here’s about the same square from the Fulltone scan at 100%. I’m straining at the seams of my experience here, but at 100% the Fulltone scan looks more usable to me despite its enhanced grain.
But at blog sizes, my CanoScan/ScanGear scans are great.
The Fulltone Photo scan is below. Both scans look wonderful to me.
I made 1200-pixel-long copies to upload here. 1200 pixels is big enough for every blog purpose I have.
Again, my CanoScan and ScanGear scans are, at blog size, in the same league as the Fulltone scans.
One more scan fro the CanoScan and ScanGear.
In this case, I prefer the Fulltone scan. As you can see, my scanner got some ghosting from the sprocket holes. Also, in my scan the barn is softer; its roof slats aren’t as defined as in the Fulltone scan.
I made these photos on Arista EDU 200 with my Nikon FA and 35-70mm Zoom Nikkor, by the way.
I am getting somewhere with the CanoScan and ScanGear. Thank you for your kind and excellent suggestions.
In this same scanning session I scanned more 35mm color negative scans, also at 4800 dpi with all image enhancement turned off. I’ll share results in an upcoming post, but I got mixed results.
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Last updated on 19 March 2020 by Jim Grey