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Re: "Best color, etc

Norman Shiren wrote:

>But that answers the wrong question. i.e. can you make a sharper print
>from a scanned 35mm neg than from a scanned 4x6 print from that same
>neg. I don't think so.

Information is lost any time you make an analog copy of something, so
assuming equivalent qualiity scanners and resolution adjusted for size
(e.g. the fact that the negative is smaller means you must scan at
correspondingly higher resolution to get the same total number of pixels),
the scan of the negative will be sharper. In practice, a 4X6 print doesn't
have anywhere near all the information that's on the negative, so a good
negative scan will be much sharper (not to mention having better highlight
and shadow detail) than the scan of the print. If your 16X20s from scans of
4X6 prints look as good as 16X20s from scans of negatives, you have a very
poor negative scan.

Of course if you are trying to reproduce the *print* and the artistry that
went into that, the fact that the negative may contain some or a lot more
information is irrelevant.

>Also, is your "sharper than photographic" 16x20 print from a scanned neg
>sharper before any massaging by Photoshop? What scanner do you use/ What
>is its resolution?

Assuming the photographic enlargement is done competently, no. Some level
of sharpening (preferably using unsharp mask) is always required after
scanning or resampling an image to compensate for the blurring inevitably
introduced by the sampling (or resampling) process. Applying some USM after
scanning or resampling is as much a part of the process as focusing the
enlarger for a  photographic print, and is generally incorporated in the
scanning software as a standard operation for high end drum scanners and on
many desktop scanners. Additional amounts of USM are required if your
output technology attenuates high frequencies (e.g. dye sublimation; you
don't need as much with inkjet output).

Russell Williams
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