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Doing calculations of what's sufficient based on 200 dpi for output resolution is, I think, misleading. I think 200dpi is the minimum of what could be considered "sufficient" for common source material. I can see a very, very clear difference between a 200 dpi and 300 dpi print from my EX on most prints (most of that improvement comes in going from 200 to 240-260 dpi; there's less improvement going from 260 to 300). I consider most 11X14s from my 2450 dpi scanner unacceptable; Pro PhotoCD scans (~4000 dpi) are significantly better. What's more, even when the resultion is "enough" (making an 8X10 from my 2400 dpi scanner gives me about 300 dpi, for instance), the scanner's resolution limits and noise interact with the film grain of higher speed film to produce visibly degraded results compared to what I get from Pro PhotoCD. Specifically, and seemingly paradoxically, I can easily see the difference between a 2400 dpi scan of 100 speed print film and 400 speed print film. A 2400 dpi scan of 100 speed print film produces an 8X10 with no visible grain (solid blue skies tend to have scanner noise, but that's another matter and can be dealt with). But a 4000 dpi scan of that same 400 speed film looks much better, producing 8X10s that are almost the equal of 100 speed film scanned with the 2400 dpi scanner! The printer is never the limiting factor in the quality of my results -- it's always the scanner (well, really it's always my skill of course). Printing an 11X14 at 300dpi requires about a 42 MB file. A fuller frame 10.5 X 15.5 works out to about 50MB. Working comfortably with that in Photoshop requires at least 200MB. So rounding up to common units, I'd say that to get the most from a 1200 or EX, you need 4000 dpi scans and 256MB RAM to work with them. Five years ago that was outrageous. Now it's quite reasonable (I pay $12/scan for Pro PhotoCD, and Microtek just announced a 4000DPI film scanner for $1600 list). With Fotonic inks seemingly solving the longevity problem for most uses, I hear a few more nails being pounded into the coffin of the traditional darkroom. I've had a long history of darkroom work -- having developed my own E-4(!) slides and done my own subtractive (including Cibachrome) and Unicolor (additive) printing. Once I replaced my Fargo dye sub printer with my Epson EX, I stopped feeling that I was making compromises compared to the best results I ever got with a wet darkroom. Russell Williams >> The $1700 Nikon LS-2000 can provide 200 dpi resolution for prints from >35mm >> film that conveniently match the Epson 1200's 13x19" print area, which is >> the most expensive part of the digital darkroom. Assuming you have your >> computer "anyway", the price of everything else, including the Epson >> printer and any extra RAM or disk you need to store that stuff, is in the >> noise. This price compares favorably to a wet darkroom. > > >There is, of course, a subjective point here. If one can't see the >difference between an 11x14" print made from a 35mm neg vs. a 6x6 negative, >maybe the LS-2000 will do just fine! - Please: Stay on topic. Trim quoted messages. http://www.leben.com/lists for list instructions.
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