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The minimum for Archive is 5MB, for Stock it is 17 MB.

 

I am digitising a lot of old film slides, I find it almost impossible not to 'dot-pick' everything I see. So that means I spend too much time on some images.

 

This is a typical file:

 

File size: 
52.5 MB (2.8 MB Compressed download)  
Dimensions: 5302 x 3463 px | 44.9 x 29.3 cm | 17.7 x 11.5 inches | 300dpi
 
I very much doubt that these old images will be published at those large dimensions. 
 
It would greatly simplify workflow to routinely reduce the pixel size of images - for starters dust spots and scratches would be much less obvious.
 
I would be interested to know the decisions that others have made about digitising old slides and what file size they contribute to Alamy.
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I've been copying 35mm (and 6x6) slides using a Nikon D7200, which gives an image size of 6000x4000 pixels.  I leave a little margin around the image to make sure I've captured all of it, then after tilt correction, cropping etc., I reduce to 5000 pixels on the long side. 

 

File size ends up about 47mb but compressed jpegs around 12 to 15mb.  I'm surprised at how small your compressed files are - I think you must be using a higher compression ratio.  I'm using minimum compression - 12 in Photoshop.

 

As to dust - I use the healing brush with a graphics tablet, which is infinitely faster than using a mouse.  I rarely spend more than half an hour on an image even if it's really dirty.

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1 hour ago, Vincent Lowe said:

I've been copying 35mm (and 6x6) slides using a Nikon D7200, which gives an image size of 6000x4000 pixels.  I leave a little margin around the image to make sure I've captured all of it, then after tilt correction, cropping etc., I reduce to 5000 pixels on the long side. 

 

File size ends up about 47mb but compressed jpegs around 12 to 15mb.  I'm surprised at how small your compressed files are - I think you must be using a higher compression ratio.  I'm using minimum compression - 12 in Photoshop.

 

As to dust - I use the healing brush with a graphics tablet, which is infinitely faster than using a mouse.  I rarely spend more than half an hour on an image even if it's really dirty.

 

 

Thanks Vincent,

 

It is not me but Alamy that compresses the files to that size. 

 

If you didn't keep the images at 5000 pixels then you could cut down on the time spent cleaning them - that is what I am thinking about. 

 

You get files at 47Mb but my question is why do you keep them at that size rather than reduce the image size and cut the work?

 

 

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When I was scanning slides for Alamy back in 2007 until about 2010, I left them at full resolution for the most part (5367 pixels on long side). They were uploaded as regular stock, and, much to my surprise, I didn't have a single QC failure. I used Nikon's Digital ICE for getting rid of dust and scratches with very good results, except of course for Kodachrome slides. Those older images are some of my best sellers (four this month, including one $$$ license). For archival route scans that I've uploaded since than, I usually downsize on an individual basis. I'd say that 3000-4000 pixels is plenty big enough for archival. My scanner isn't working at the moment, and I'm not sure that it's worth trying to fix it. Cleaning scans manually is a huge pain. Not sure that I'd have the patience or motivation to do it these days. Using a graphics tablet for cleanup sounds like an interesting idea. I've got an inexpensive one of those and shall give it a try if masochism returns. 😉

 

 

Edited by John Mitchell
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46 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

It is not me but Alamy that compresses the files to that size. 

 

Really?  I didn't know that.  My very earliest uploads were as tiffs and they are still shown as that in Image Manager.  I assumed they didn't do anything with them until someone licenced them.

 

46 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

 

If you didn't keep the images at 5000 pixels then you could cut down on the time spent cleaning them - that is what I am thinking about. 

 

You get files at 47Mb but my question is why do you keep them at that size rather than reduce the image size and cut the work?

 

 

I've tried reducing them further but it didn't seem to make much difference - the dust was still there but smaller!   I don't find it a problem tapping away with the graphics pen - music on loud, glass of wine (or two) by the side and tapping away in time to Tangerine Dream.  What's not to like....🙂

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37 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

I used Nikon's Digital ICE for getting rid of dust and scratches with very good results, except of course for Kodachrome slides....

....My scanner isn't working at the moment, and I'm not sure that it's worth trying to fix it.

 

I still have a CanoScan FS4000 but I found very slow and tedious to use. and I seem to get better results from the camera.

 

Is the scanner actually faulty or just a lack of drivers?  If the latter then try Vuescan, it will work with just about anything.

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Alamy accept minimum 5Mb files for Archive.

 

I'm just wondering what the point is of all this extra work to deliver approx 50 MB files when it is extremely unlikely that anybody will ever print/reproduce them at that size. 

 

I'm trying to thnk what would be the optimum compromise.

 

 

Edited by geogphotos
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3 hours ago, geogphotos said:

Alamy accept minimum 5Mb files for Archive.

 

I'm just wondering what the point is of all this extra work to deliver approx 50 MB files when it is extremely unlikely that anybody will ever print/reproduce them at that size. 

 

I'm trying to thnk what would be the optimum compromise.

 

 

 

One possible advantage of a larger file size is that the image might be more attractive to customers looking to make a print. PU sales can be better than regular ones nowadays.

Edited by John Mitchell
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3 hours ago, Vincent Lowe said:

 

I still have a CanoScan FS4000 but I found very slow and tedious to use. and I seem to get better results from the camera.

 

Is the scanner actually faulty or just a lack of drivers?  If the latter then try Vuescan, it will work with just about anything.

 

Yes, scanning is like doing your laundry in an old wringer washing machine. If I fixed the scanner, I would switch to Vuescan. However, I'd probably experiment with a camera setup before doing that. I also have a lot of b&w negatives dating back to the late 60's that I'd like to digitize one of these years. Not sure how I could do that without a scanner.

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7 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

I also have a lot of b&w negatives dating back to the late 60's that I'd like to digitize one of these years. Not sure how I could do that without a scanner.

 

I'm about to copy some b&w negs from a couple of Alpine trips I did in the seventies,  I've done some in the past with the scanner but I intend to use the D7200 this time.   I'll let you know how I get on.  These are not intended for Alamy but I might submit some if they are good enough.

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6 hours ago, Vincent Lowe said:

 

Really?  I didn't know that.  My very earliest uploads were as tiffs and they are still shown as that in Image Manager.  I assumed they didn't do anything with them until someone licenced them.

 

 

I've tried reducing them further but it didn't seem to make much difference - the dust was still there but smaller!   I don't find it a problem tapping away with the graphics pen - music on loud, glass of wine (or two) by the side and tapping away in time to Tangerine Dream.  What's not to like....🙂

I think I’ll come over and help you tap. Wait…maybe just help with the wine…although I prefer American country music. Aww, forgetaboutit, you wouldn’t open the door. 😉

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7 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

 

One possible advantage of a larger file size is that the image might be more attractive to customers looking to make a print. PU sales can be better than regular ones nowadays.

 

 

That makes sense.

 

A4 is 297mm x 210mm = around 25MB at 300dpi

 

Or in Pixels

 

3508 x 2480 px

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6 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

I think I’ll come over and help you tap. Wait…maybe just help with the wine…although I prefer American country music. Aww, forgetaboutit, you wouldn’t open the door. 😉

 

You would be welcome anytime here in rainy Manchester, though you might prefer the New Hampshire version.  Or any of the other twenty nine Manchesters in the US.....😊

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2 hours ago, Vincent Lowe said:

 

You would be welcome anytime here in rainy Manchester, though you might prefer the New Hampshire version.  Or any of the other twenty nine Manchesters in the US.....😊

We are in a drought, so rainy sounds very nice. I love walking in the rain. Umbrella, of course.
There we go…walking along in the rain with a glass of wine in our hands. See…umbrella because we don’t want our wine diluted.  The only tapping is when we tap our wine glasses together, toasting the rain. Forget about spotting images. That’s for when the sun shines. 😊

I suggest to all that when your spirits are low, create scenarios so real that you are transported. Vincent and I just became friends in my scenario and I got to visit the land across the pond.

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8 hours ago, geogphotos said:

 

 

That makes sense.

 

A4 is 297mm x 210mm = around 25MB at 300dpi

 

Or in Pixels

 

3508 x 2480 px

 

I had an historical image license (low $$) for personal use this month. Don't know if file size was a factor, but it was 5420 x 3642 pixels, which would make a large print.

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1 hour ago, John Mitchell said:

 

I had an historical image license (low $$) for personal use this month. Don't know if file size was a factor, but it was 5420 x 3642 pixels, which would make a large print.

 

 

I very much doubt that they would be printing larger than A4. 

 

I just wonder if smaller files take less work then there would be the compensation of having  greater number of images on sale more quickly. Even if this did lose a few ( I expect very few) sales from those that want huge files. 

Edited by geogphotos
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43 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

 

 

I very much doubt that they would be printing larger than A4. 

 

I just wonder if smaller files take less work then there would be the compensation of having  greater number of images on sale more quickly. Even if this did lose a few ( I expect very few) sales from those that want huge files. 

 

You may be right about that. Also, I've sold very large prints of images taken with a 10MP camera on POD sites.

 

I'm a low-volume contributor (especially these days), so a few extra minutes here and there doesn't make much difference to me. In your case, I can see that it might make sense to work with smaller files.

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Most of the images that I have online with Alamy are scans from 35mm chromes.  I only use CanoScan FS4000's

and only scan unmounted slides.  I have tried photographing 35 chromes with a D800 and was not happy with

the results.  I do not use any Auto Retouching software and for years I've had to use ViewScan to drive the scanner.

The film scans are my most licensed images, except of an old portrait of Steve Jobs (shot with a Kodak/Nikon DCS-620)

 

I do try to keep my finished files to above 50MB's.

 

Chuck

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52 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 

You may be right about that. Also, I've sold very large prints of images taken with a 10MP camera on POD sites.

 

I'm a low-volume contributor (especially these days), so a few extra minutes here and there doesn't make much difference to me. In your case, I can see that it might make sense to work with smaller files.

 

 

I find that I just can't ignore blemishes when they are there - even the tiny little ones that show at 200%.

 

So some images take a ridiculous amount of time - generally I would say it is the better ones most likely because they have seen more use and been left hanging around gathering dust and attracting smudges and scratches. 

 

The most effective way of cleaning them for me is a good session with a small air blower. 

 

The other option is to be much more selective and cherrypick only the very best and then trawl through again at a later stage. Maybe I'll do that first and leave the smaller sizes for now. Having said that,  on the other hand, when a family has given me permission/copyright I do want to do my best and be comprehensive.

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3 hours ago, geogphotos said:

 

 

I find that I just can't ignore blemishes when they are there - even the tiny little ones that show at 200%.

 

So some images take a ridiculous amount of time - generally I would say it is the better ones most likely because they have seen more use and been left hanging around gathering dust and attracting smudges and scratches. 

 

The most effective way of cleaning them for me is a good session with a small air blower. 

 

The other option is to be much more selective and cherrypick only the very best and then trawl through again at a later stage. Maybe I'll do that first and leave the smaller sizes for now. Having said that,  on the other hand, when a family has given me permission/copyright I do want to do my best and be comprehensive.

 

Before scanning (with Digital ICE turned on), I used to give each slide quick blast of compressed air followed by an application of liquid film cleaner. 

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I downsize to 3250 long size- it's just the size I use for ISO3200 images anyway But this was decided when I was using old enlarger lenses- the Tamron macro would probably be better.

I'm only working on my own material and it's been kept quite well so I rarely have a huge amount to do. I have a sort of threshold below which I don't bother.

I may be missing the point, but if you were trying to save spotting time you'd have to predict, viewing at 100%, what would show at the reduced size, if you get my drift.

I've decided that anything more than a few minutes' spotting isn't a goer. But I don't think I've ditched anything just because it was too dirty.

10 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

 

 an application of liquid film cleaner. 

Do the card mounts have to come off? That I've never tried, too scary. A wipe each side with an anti-static brush, then a rocket blow each side. 10,000 squirts of canned air would cost real money!

Edited by spacecadet
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14 hours ago, geogphotos said:

cherrypick only the very best and then trawl through again at a later stage

When doing my own I thought about that, but finally decided it would take a lot longer than just ploughing through the whole lot in one go. But much of mine is routine whereas, by the look of your albums, you seem to have a much higher ratio of "keepers" (unless you're only uploading the good stuff). I probably had far fewer though, and it was largely a one-off, not an ongoing process.

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I used to work somewhere where 'A4 @ 300 dpi' was the downloadable norm, images were scanned to A3 but they had to be asked for and sent separately. We're going back some, they were mainly very high quality scans from 35mm transparencies but digital was coming in, usually no more than 12MP. I think 3600 px long side is a good compromise, you really don't capture much more detail from film, even Kodachrome, and they'd need to be very sharp and printed big to notice.

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7 hours ago, spacecadet said:

Do the card mounts have to come off? That I've never tried, too scary. A wipe each side with an anti-static brush, then a rocket blow each side. 10,000 squirts of canned air would cost real money!

 

I always left the slides in their mounts (most of mine are plastic) and used a Q-tip to clean the slides with anti-static liquid. I never got around to counting the squirts of canned air, but I guess the cost could add up if you're scanning 10K slides. It would also be a lot of Q-tips.

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9 hours ago, Harry Harrison said:

I used to work somewhere where 'A4 @ 300 dpi' was the downloadable norm, images were scanned to A3 but they had to be asked for and sent separately. We're going back some, they were mainly very high quality scans from 35mm transparencies but digital was coming in, usually no more than 12MP. I think 3600 px long side is a good compromise, you really don't capture much more detail from film, even Kodachrome, and they'd need to be very sharp and printed big to notice.

 

 

Thanks Harry.

 

I have started adopting that file size. 

 

I am still opening at 200% on Mac but the acreage is somehow much more manageable.

 

Thank you all for your contributions.

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