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#1 Barry Lake

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Posted 31 October 2000 - 17:50

Not totally off topic - one question is about speeding up access to Atlas F1, the other is in regard to copying motor racing photos.

Has any one heard of InternetBOOST 99?

This popped up when I accessed Atlas F1 tonight (this morning?) and looks interesting - if it works without hitches. It claims to make internet access, particularly in regard to graphics, twice as fast.

Does anyone ehre use this or a similar programme? I just have the basic Internet Explorer.

Second question is about scanners. I notice there are some IT people among out group. Perhaps someone can help.

I have access to many collections of motor racing material, including original photographs and negatives. The owners are happy for it to be copied, but don't wish it to leave their sight.

The only way to do this is to copy it on-site with a lap-top computer and a quality scanner.

But there is no point unless the photos are copied to a standard suitable for reproduction in a high quality book.

Publishers always say there is no such machine; the material still has to be drum-scanned. The scanner people will tell you their $200 scanner will do the job. I think the truth is somewhere in between.

A photographic shop in Sydney, freqented by all the top photographers I know, has a scanner with the normal flat bed, plus "drawers" with different sized windows in it for "glass-less" scanning of negatives and transparencies. (This is one of my needs - there are many negatives without prints and the cost of black and white printing is prohibitive).

They tell me it will do the job to high-quality publication standard. The publishers still say an emphatic NO! Automobile Year have just told me they used some high quality digital material for the 1999/2000 book and received criticism from all over the world for the drop in quality.

Is there anyone out there who can give me some clues?

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#2 Barry Boor

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Posted 31 October 2000 - 18:44

Barry, for my sins I am Technical Equipment Co-ordinator at my school in Caernarfon, North Wales. Just 2 weeks ago, the Head of the Art department asked me to order for her a new scanner that has the capability of scanning slides and negs. as well as normal pictures. I didn't consult the Headmaster as I should have done because I wanted her to have it, for totally selfish reasons. I have slides from Monaco 1965 that I have always wanted to print, but have never got around to.
Rest assured, as soon as it arrives and I check out its efficiency, I'll let you know.

#3 Don Capps

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Posted 31 October 2000 - 19:17

Barry-Barry,

I finally rescued my HP flatbed scanner and it is now hooked up to my notebook. It works quite well, thank you. As for the print media, there is a point very soon where the scanners coming down the pike will equal or exceed the quality of an image that of the old drum-style scanners. And while they will be a tad expensive initially, they will soon drop in price. Digital cameras are getting better as well. I recently saw some images that were really impressive taken by a digital camera.

It is getting there.

#4 John Cross

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Posted 31 October 2000 - 20:02

Barry,

For reproduction in a high quality book, I don't think a $200 scanner would be adequate. I recently purchased an Epson Perfection 1200 Photo and am very pleased with the results. It is 1200 x 2400dpi and 36-bit colour. It includes a transparency adapter which I have not tried yet, but should give about 1700 x 1134 pixels from a 35 mm negative/transparency at 1200 dpi. The Nikon transparency scanners work at 2700 or 3000 dpi. Quite a difference!

One of the reviews of the Epson was in a photography magazine, and it came out as the lowest cost scanner that did an adequate job, mainly because it has superb shadow reproduction. But other scanners costing 5 times as much were also recommended, because of their superior performance. When you think about it, the optics on a $200 scanner are going to be pretty crude!

Another difference is that the 'professional' scanners can output the full 36-bits (or whatever - some are now 42-bit) to the PC - most, including mine, only output 24 bits - the rest are discarded in the scanner.

I should add that I have not been involved in the production of books, etc. This is just what I have deduced from my research when buying the scanner.

Check out the Nikon spec sheets for more on this:

http://www.nikon.co.uk/rangeele.htm

The scanners are at the bottom of the page.

#5 david_martin

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Posted 31 October 2000 - 20:50

Barry,

I am involved in materials science research and we spend quite a bit of time getting images out of things like optical and electron microscopes and I have a little bit of experience with this stuff.

On the topic of scanners I can offer a few suggestions. If you have a lot of negatives or slides to scan and quality is paramount I would strongly recommend a dedicated film scanner. They are basically like a conventional scanner, but the have a film holder for strip film or mounted slides (some go up to roll film format and plate sizes, although so does the price from basic units that will do 35mm). The resolution you can get out of these will leave any flat bed scanner for dead. Prices would start at about $AUD1000 (I presume your are in OZ) - the results you get would from a $AUD2000 model would be good enough to scan a 35mm cibachrome and keep the average printing press happy. Companies like Polaroid, Nikon, Afga make them. That is typically how print media get images into magazines, shoot onto 35mm slides then scan the slides into the computer, then straight to press from the computer.

Printed material is far more problematic (and expensive). I concur about the remarks regarding bit depth on scanners (the more the merrier), but I believe the most important thing is to get a scanner that can provide CMYK colour space scans rather than RGB. Without getting really technical printing presses run a four colour separation system called CMYK (C=cyan M=magenta Y=yellow K=Black), whereas computer monitors work in RGB (Red, Green Blue - the three electron guns in a colour TV or monitor). If you want to scan to a press environment it is essential that you can scan and keep you image in CMYK - you can use colour calibration systems to make sure the colour balance of the scans are correct and the contrast of the produced images will be far superior to an RGB image which must synthesise the black. If your there is a lot of black and white material this is particularly important. A lot of B&W RGB scanned images look pale and lack contrast. Fortunately a lot of this colour management stuff is taken care of in software, but it means you do need a scanner with a "pro" driver that captures in CMYK and use some "pro" software like Adobe Photoshop that can work in CMYK colour space. Traditionally CMYK scaning has been solely the province of drum scanners (which probably run from $AUD15,000 and up) but there are lower cost semi "pro" flatbeds that will probably do the job, but again you are talking about $AUD1000 minimum. Companies like Nikon, Umax, Linotype-Hell all make flatbeds designed for Desktop publishing and pre-press applications that might be what you are looking for.

The bottom line with digital is that price and quality are fairly proportional and if you work is intended for press then you are going to have to go up a few rungs from home office level stuff to get the results you want.

Phew... That was a lot longer than I intended, but I hope it is of some help.

#6 Flicker

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Posted 31 October 2000 - 22:49

"for home" I recommend Mustek 1200CU (price less than 80US$)
Posted Image
http://www.mustek.co...can/1200cu.html

but... for PRO use... heh... it's another question and another money! (from 5 hundreds + slide-scaner worth appr. the same amount)
As far as concerned the brand (HP, Umax, Agfa, Kodak, etc)... its all the same... :)


#7 Barry Boor

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Posted 31 October 2000 - 23:08

It is the Epson 1200 that I have ordered. Time will tell if it is any good. John seems to think so, so my confidence is growing.
On the subject of digital cameras, I have file full of images from the Coy's Festivals '99 and 2000 which I'd be very happy to show anywhere. (I'd attach a couple here, but I can't see how to do it!)

#8 Flicker

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Posted 31 October 2000 - 23:22

Barry! Barry Boor!
As far as concerned the posting of pics. If you have no... your own site-page, were you can upload your pics... it's impossible to show it to all us. :(
... or choose smb. from us (Ryner, Don, John), mail him your files and he will do it for you... and us :)

#9 Barry Lake

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Posted 01 November 2000 - 14:06

Wow! If I had known I would get this quality of response I would have asked the question sooner!

Of course I was being facetious when I mentioned $200 scanners. I always knew I was going to be well above that price.

I have a Hewlett Packard ScanJet 6200C, from which I get superb results for sending electronically to friends etc, as well as for doing newsletters and so on. I have ben very happy with it.

But there is a big step up from what looks good on a web site or computer monitor to a quality magazine. Then there is another big step from there to a quality book - or quality prints, for that matter.

The scanners that have been recommended to me (by the shop that deals with professional photographers) is around $4,000 - which is a lot of money to spend if it isn't going to do the job. It does come bundled with a cut down version of Adobe PhotoShop. David Martin's note about CMYK is important, that is the type of thing that is easy to overlook.

The feature of a drawer for negatives is important because a lot of the material I need to copy is on 1930s large-format (and unusual size) negatives.

I will check again on the make and model and post it here...can't understand why I can't find it.


#10 Barry Lake

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Posted 01 November 2000 - 14:11

But what about InternetBOOST 99?

Has anyone tried this or a similar program?

Imagine how much time we all would have if we could halve the time it takes to rattle through all these threads!

It would be particularly useful for the Amon thread.

#11 Falcadore

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Posted 01 November 2000 - 15:05

On the couple of times Motorsport News has used my photos, they've been scanned here on my flatbed (Canon 300) and e-mailed. And they've had some problems - I suspect the CMYK problem.

yours
Mark Jones

#12 Darren Galpin

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Posted 01 November 2000 - 15:16

I scan my images using a Black Widow 4800SP - an old scanner by today's standards, but it works fine - see the Schlumpf images I posted. It allows manipulation of the scan by contrast, brightness etc, and supplies its own graphics software for post-processing.

#13 GT Action Photo

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Posted 03 November 2000 - 16:22

Originally posted by Barry Lake
Not totally off topic - one question is about speeding up access to Atlas F1, the other is in regard to copying motor racing photos.
Second question is about scanners. I notice there are some IT people among out group. Perhaps someone can help.
I have access to many collections of motor racing material, including original photographs and negatives. The owners are happy for it to be copied, but don't wish it to leave their sight.
The only way to do this is to copy it on-site with a lap-top computer and a quality scanner.
But there is no point unless the photos are copied to a standard suitable for reproduction in a high quality book.


Barry,
It is about the number of pixels,a silver based photo emulsion
can be developed to million of pixels per square inch vs.
thousands of pixels per square inch with a digital
scan of a photo image.
I will submit a photo for print publication and scanned
digital images for preview and web site use.
I have three (3) scanners in my system, a PhotoDrive
built-in color scanner for 4"x6" prints in a HP Pavilion
7350P PC , an Epson Expression 636 flat bed scanner ,and
a Nikon LS-2000 35mm film scanner.Adobe Photoshop 5.0 is
used for photo enhancement,retouching, and composition.

I have 120 scanned images of my race car photos at:

http://www.ezl.com/~gtactionphoto

With kind regards,
Gary Trobaugh


#14 Barry Lake

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Posted 05 November 2000 - 12:50

Gary
Are you saying that you don't believe it is possible at this stage to scan to full print quality?

The problem is, it is a case either of copying these photos to the best quality possible now, or perhaps never having them at all.

Relatives of deceased motoring and motor racing people seem to have a bad habit of moving in and burning or dumping everything as soon as they die.

And most of this old material is owned by people who themselves are very old.

#15 Rainer Nyberg

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Posted 05 November 2000 - 15:30

Barry,

I tried something similar, like internet boost.
But I could not see any notable change in loading of images or graphic intensive pages.
I am not sure, but it seems like like it only increases the cache-files and more pages will be kept in cache.
I deleted it quite quickly.

This you can do without the booster as well.
It just becomes another software that sucks memory in your computer.
If it was something worthwhile, I am sure it would be standard software.

Any others with other experiences?

Rainer


#16 Darren

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Posted 06 November 2000 - 03:20

InternetBoost = InternetBollocks. It's not even so elegant as to compress data; it just fudges some of your Windows registry settings. As the following page so rightly points out, when it comes to modems, there ain't no substitute for cubes:

http://808hi.com/56k/speedup.htm

#17 Barry Lake

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Posted 06 November 2000 - 15:06

Thanks Rainer and Darren.

I always am very wary of such things, which is why I like to ask someone who has tried them.

I have another question - while I have the attention of those interested in this sort of thing.

For backing up onto CD-ROM I have a very old and inelegant program. It works, but it is a pain to use.

Does anyone have a favourite program for writing to CD-ROM? And can you tell me why you like it; what other tricks it can do, etc?

Many thanks.

#18 Darren

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Posted 06 November 2000 - 23:32

Just about any bit of software that comes with a new CDR or CDRW these days will do some pretty nifty things. I use Adaptec's Easy CD, which manages to be both easy and quite good for functionality. It works best if you have an ordinary CD-ROM and a CDR, but will work fine with a CDR only. You can create disc images from different directories and drop them on to the CD, providing you have enough disc space. It's easy and solid in my experience, but I have a fair old whack of processor and RAM to play with, so you should check the system requirements carefully. For speeding up your Internet connection, devote some of your scanner budget to a DSL connection.

#19 Barry Lake

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Posted 07 November 2000 - 06:53

Err... What's a DSL connection?

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#20 Barry Lake

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Posted 07 November 2000 - 06:54

By the way, Darren, I finally decided I had time to go and have a look at your web site - then realised I don't know the address.
Can you please tell me what it is?

#21 Darren

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Posted 08 November 2000 - 00:00

OK, so here's the situation. As far as any has been able to work out, notwithstanding the multiple points of connection involved in getting you from your PC to the lovely servers at Atlas F1, the only real way to increase your speed of connection is to increase the bandwidth: a) at your end; and b) on the main pipeline that gets you out of Australia. There's not much you can do about b) and there's not much that Telstra thinks it should be doing (criminals, vulgarians and pickpockets that they are) either, so let national telecommunications policy work itself out. But you can get real performance gains by increasing your own bandwidth. I imagine that you are using a dial-up connection (yer ordinary modem) running about 33.6kps or 56kps. The most available ways of improving that speed are to convert to either a cable modem or a DSL modem. DSL stands for digital subscriber line, and it simply means a different way of sending data down conventional telephone lines rather than cable or satellite connections. DSL is clearly the best way to go - it's fast (at least 256kps), you don't need a new phone line or cable connection and relatively stable. Sadly, it's not at all cheap - including installation and monthly plans, you'll be up for around $1300 a year.

As to my site, I think you might be after a different Darren. Unless you're likely to find excitement at the thought of Internet integration and consultancy, in which case go crazy at my employer's site: http://www.zivo.com. Yes, I know it's out of date, ugly and boring.

#22 Barry Lake

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Posted 08 November 2000 - 00:28

Darren
Thanks for the information. It is nice to know there is a faster way to connect - even if it is a bit over the budget at present.

And, soory, yes, I had you mixed up with Darren Galpin, who has the site with all the circuit maps.

Can someone tell me how to find Darren Galpin's site?

I want to check which maps he has, in case I can fill in a few more gaps for him. I have a couple of prospects in front of me right now.

#23 Darren

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Posted 08 November 2000 - 02:20

I think this would be the site you're after:
http://www.silhouet.com/motorsport/

#24 Barry Lake

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Posted 08 November 2000 - 05:29

Thanks Darren, for Darren's web site address.

Here are the notes I took when speaking to the camera shop about a scanner suitable for scanning to high quality publishing level and suitable for pre-WWII negatives of varying, large, sizes ($Aus2 = $US1):

A flat bed scanner with drawer - dual-lens system.
Takes transparencies and negatives up to A4 size.
Prices start at about $Aus1,200 and go to about the $9,000 mark.
Good resolution is required for publication quality.
The minimum level we would go to is the Agfa Hi D. Around $4,000.
How long have they been on the market? “Oh a couple of months”. (They told me the same 14 months ago!)
Next level up is Agfa 2500.
All scanners scan in three colours. You convert to CMYK afterwards.
You can set some to scan in CMYK, but you should not if the output is for print work.
SCSI drive.
Computer, ideally, needs 256 Mb RAM and a large, fast hard drive.

Any comments?


#25 Darren

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Posted 09 November 2000 - 05:42

Scanners not being my field, I can only report that it sounds good. For web work, RGB is the way to go. You'd want some decent photo editing software to go with the scanner, and Photoshop is pretty much the industry standard. I've always found it to be capable of much more than my poor talents ask of it and still turned out some ok material.

SCSI drives are good, but expensive. And you'll most notice the speed difference when you are running multiple drives, such as in server configurations. My current project PC is running dual drives, but they're not SCSI - they're a pair of 20GB ATA-100 IDE drives. The technicalities probably won't interest you, but the difference is between SCSI and IDE in ordinary home use or even higher level image processing isn't that huge. To underline the point, I can record a few musical instruments simultaneously to my hard drives without any trouble at all. Shifting around image files of a few MB from your scanner won't be a problem.

What the scanner guy is referring to is probably not a SCSI drive, but a SCSI card connecting the scanner to the PC. That's pretty much standard as far as good scanners go.

More RAM is always good - not just for the ability to do things you couldn't before, but for system speed and stability as a whole. 256MB is a nice number: it's what I have, and I haven't suffered because of it.

Bear in mind that if you are going to be using image editors and large image files, your processor needs to be up to the job.

Best of luck putting it together.

#26 Barry Lake

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Posted 09 November 2000 - 13:56

Thanks!!