1. BADGER.BRAD

    BADGER.BRAD

    Messages:
    379
    Name:
    BRAD
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    I was reading today about Polaroid photos and the fact that if you scan them you can't really go any bigger than the original photo size why is this the case when you can scan a 35mm/135 negative and have a relatively large photo from it ? I can't quite get my head round this ! Is it just the case that a Polaroid is really low quality ?
     
  2. viewfromthenorth

    viewfromthenorth

    Messages:
    2,581
    Name:
    Andy
    Edit My Images:
    No
    You’re comparing scanning a print with scanning a negative. You wouldn’t want to scan a 35mm print and try to enlarge that as you’d quickly get disappointing results.
     
  3. john.margetts

    john.margetts

    Messages:
    1,655
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    I suspect you would have much the same trouble with any photographic print. They are not designed for enlargement. To make it worse, Polaroids rely on the diffusion of the image from the film to the print. This must have a softening effect. Some Polaroid films produced a negative as well as the print and I suspect you would have more joy with those.
     
  4. BADGER.BRAD

    BADGER.BRAD

    Messages:
    379
    Name:
    BRAD
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Polaroids are a little too expensive for my tastes but are really interesting from a historical/technical point of view so I am unlikely to use them,although I'm glad that they are made again (if that makes any sense) but from what you are saying a photo automatically loses quality when it is printed because of the printing process so trying to enlarge it would only enlarge these imperfections ? Have you any idea which films produce a negative ?
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  5. john.margetts

    john.margetts

    Messages:
    1,655
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    There are actually quite a lot of issues here. Negatives work by light transmission - both when used for printing and when scanned. Prints can only work by light reflection (nearly always, that is).

    When developing a film, we usually take steps to keep grain as fine as possible. When we develop a print, the paper's grain is microscopic and cannot be seen so we make no efforts at all to minimise it. Rather, we use a developer that is faster and optimises tonal quality (and increases paper grain. If you want a grainy film, develop it in paper developer).

    The film's two surfaces are engineered to be as flat as possible and to ensure that the film has constant thickness. Paper is made to look good when viewed with reflected light.
     
  6. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger

    Messages:
    2,308
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    I think they were probably referring to image quality issues. The old Polaroid 1000 camera I used for a short time as a kid produced quite unsharp and undetailed images, which are difficult to scan and don't have much detail when enlarged. A high resolution scan of a good quality 35mm print in good condition should, however, capture quite a lot of detail and can often be enlarged, as long as the original print was a high quality one and had the detail there to start with. Basically, you can't scan what isn't there. Usually more detail will be captured by scanning the negative, but if the neg is damaged or missing (or difficult to scan with a home type scanner) then scanning a print may be the only option left.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  7. woof woof

    woof woof

    Messages:
    17,352
    Name:
    Alan
    Edit My Images:
    No
    I'd say try it and see what the results are like. Despite any possible quality issues I've been going through old family photo albums by photograph a print with my GX80 and 12-35mm and the results have been very acceptable even when heavily cropping.
     
  8. chris malcolm

    chris malcolm

    Messages:
    1,153
    Name:
    Chris
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    People are much less fussy about technical photographic perfection than photographers are. I'm often given ancient faded family photo prints with coffee stains, dust spots in the printing, only postcard size or even smaller such as 5cm square contact prints, and visibly soft to improve and enlarge. It's easy to improve contrast and colour balance which has drifted as well as faded, easy enough to "paint" out hairs and dust spots, and the easily visible softness can be improved a bit with careful sharpening along with noise reduction to avoid sharpening the film grain. People are very pleased to get an A4 print, and think it's much better than the original size, even though you can see it's a soft and blurry image from across the room.
     
  9. Teflon-Mike

    Teflon-Mike

    Messages:
    948
    Name:
    Mike
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Poleroids historically came in rather low quality 'consumer' grade, all in one cameras, or they came in very much higher quality 'professional' grade camera-backs for things like Bronica or Hassablads's etc. So there's a huge disparity between the two dumbbell ends before you begin.

    As has been mentioned; Lands' instant picture process, was rather compromised from the off, and produced relatively small size prints of lesser image quality than could be made conventionally from a negative.

    Then you have the matter of scanning; and the possible variation there is enormous, and starts with how good the print is before you start, which depends on the camera, the film, and more, whether it was well focused, composed and exposed and what the contrast range of the scene was.

    Debate over scanning from neg and scanning from print, has raged since digital imaging started to become viable; And as also already said, its VERY much down to your own ideas of acceptable image quality.

    My very first digitized images were made on a sheet-feed scanner, around about 1995.... I had to buy two bulk boxes of 1.44" floppy diskettes to scan a pack of photo's from boots! I got about 1-photo per disc (1.2ish MB! And 40Mb needed by a pack of photo's from boots would have FILLED a 'big' 40Mb hard drive of a computer of the time!) & ISTR that the scanner boasted I think a 300dpi resolution, which ISTR I had to down-rate to probably about 150dpi to save file size and time to make the job even viable.... but would have given me about a 10Mpix file out-put... that I have to say was pretty impressive in 1995! Was still impressive when I got a dedicated 35mm film scanner in Y2K, and remained reasonably impressive compared to direct to digital SLR's until a way past 2010.... Taking around 4-hours per photo to scan, with a pretty high end for the time IBM 486 computer, with 'enormous' 4Mb of memory, though, wasn't! Lol! Not that that particular issue has improved all that much, even with duel and quad core processors! But still.

    Point is that you CAN get some pretty impressive resolution scans from prints; even with a pretty low resolution and wobbly sheet feed one of old, and the limitations of the original image, and the print quality or its age degradation will likely become the biggest limitation long before the scanner starts to add any; then it's a question of how 'good' you need or want the digital reproduction, first on-screen, and then if you make a computer generated print.

    Many have 'enlarged' black&white 6x6cm contact prints to A4 / 10x8inch on a common office photo-copier, and got something good enough to hang on the wall or put in a frame on the mantle-piece, most folk believe is still a 'wet' photo-print, not a photo-copy, if behind glass....... that's around 4x enlargement from original, and gives a rough guide to how much enlargement you can apply.

    With old prints, B&W tends to suffer less degradation than colour, and is more easily salvaged or restored, and you have some greater tolerance to enlarge; but it is so much dependent on the original print.and ultimately how good you want it in final repro.

    Net 'lore' about scanning Polaroids is then very very mutable, vagaries and variations, and reasons for that are just endless and defy any meaningful generalization; other than, Polaroids are, compromised from the very start compared to 35mm or Medium format negative, so how good do you want or need, and if you want high quality and potentially larger images, Polaroid ISN'T the ideal place to start... but in a world of compromise? Which ones are you happiest with?

    Scanning 'archive' Polaroid media, its your only option really, and dropping one on a modern flat-bed, with a high dpi count, you can get an enormous pixie count, and pixel peeping you can quickly find the flaws in the original media.. but shrink to more moderate pixel / file size, and view at more reasonable enlargement, a lot of that will likely disappear.. play in photo-shop to your hearts content, but how good and how big do you really want/need? It's do-able, and you can recover and revitalize a lot of old photo's if you try hard enough, but you'll never make a silk purse out of a sows ear.

    From wobbly memory, none of the consumer 'cartridge' Polaroids for dedicated Polaroid cameras made negs as well as prints. And I think most of the polaroid backs for Med-Format cameras usually used the same cartridges; The only set-up I recall 'may' have produced negatives was the 35mm black-and-white polaroid system, that was a bit of an odd ball.

    From memory, again; the 35mm B&W Polaroid system, didn't make 'instant' photo's, straight out of camera; you bought a 35mm cassette, ran it through 35mm camera as you would any other 35mm film; then instead of taking it to boots or into the dark room and cracking the can; you had to pop it into the Polaroid Processor machine, to get tiny 1x1.5" Polaroid 'contact' prints out of it, and you might have got the original negs on the backing paper. Some 'pro' cartridges may have worked similarly, I don't really know.
     
  10. PhilH04

    PhilH04

    Messages:
    566
    Name:
    Phil
    Edit My Images:
    No
    Err ppi please, not dpi !!!

    As for negatives from the polaroid process it is indeed possible to reclaim a negative, you need to use a household bleach solution but it will give a printable/scannable negative.

    Of course one must remember Type 55 for 5 x 4 use, the negative was in fact of a very high quality and fine grained.
     
    HoppyUK likes this.
  11. john.margetts

    john.margetts

    Messages:
    1,655
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Polaroid Type 55 produced both a print and a negative.
     
  12. BADGER.BRAD

    BADGER.BRAD

    Messages:
    379
    Name:
    BRAD
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Does anyone have any examples of negative scans, scans from reclaimed negative (using bleach) ?
     
  13. BADGER.BRAD

    BADGER.BRAD

    Messages:
    379
    Name:
    BRAD
    Edit My Images:
    Yes

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice