I have now been playing with scanning my photos for a while and I have come to some conclusions. For the record, the scanner is a Canon Canoscan 9900F and I have connected it using USB2.0. My target is publishing them online but also saving them is original PSD (I use Photoshop) for later editing. The source is all negative film.
As you can imagine, the settings you use when scanning a photo affects the result and I have currently found that the following produces the best result.
* Resolution 1600: This produces files of about 2288×1464 pixels and each raw file is 9.56MB in PSD format which in turn can be compressed non-lossy to 7.2MB using Winzip with maximum compression. The resulting JPEG as created with Adobe ImageReady using JPEG quality 90 is 1.35MB. For comparison the PSD file becomes 34MB if the resolution is increased to 3200.
* Remove Dust and Scratches (FARE) Hard: FARE is a technique that uses infrared light to detect dust and scratches on the source and does a VERY good job in removing them. This features as I understand it is unique for Canon scanners. Most of my old negatives have been stored badly and are a bit damaged.
* Fading correction Normal: This makes the colors a bit more saturated.
* Grain correction: Normal This was actually the hardest one to decide on. If I set it on soft you can see the grains on e.g. white walls but if I set it to hard then the image gets to blurry. I decided to use normal.
* Quality High Quality: This just means that it scans in higher quality than normal.
* Not using Unsharp Mask: The unsharp mask is very important but Photoshop makes a much better job than the scanner software. More about this later.
Using these settings scanning on negative takes 5 minutes 20 seconds.
The scanner can scan 24 negatives at one time but that requires that the negatives are cut in sheets of 6 which most Swedish negatives aren’t (they are cut in sheets of 4).
That was the scanning part and I will post more details about handling tomorrow.
Update: changed the text about Fading correction.