What am I talking about? And what do you need to change?
What I'm talking about is JPEG Compression (if you're saving your scans as TIFF's, you don't have to worry about this stuff).
To help you understand what JPEG compression is, I scanned one of my old baseball cards. Have a look...
I scanned this card 3 times. Each time at 300 DPI. Each at different JPEG compression levels. And if you notice, 1 and 2 have less detail than 3. Have a look again, look at the "1990". It's a bit fuzzy in image 1.
This fuzziness / less detail is due to "compression".
Remember back in the 90's when it took 2 minutes to load a picture? Well, to help load images faster, you could compress them into a smaller file size. Smaller file sizes helped load things faster when when computers were slower.
But today's computer can handle JPEG's a lot better. There's no need to compress JPEG when scanning.
Let's have another look at these 3 scans in detail:
In scan 1, I used the highest compression level. This gave me a 500 KB scan. At a mid compression level, I got a 4 MB scan. At if I did NOT compress the JPEG, I got a 12 MB scan.
And as you can see, scan 3 has the most detail -- even though each scan is 300 DPI.
So what's the problem?
Here's the problem -- your scanner is set to compress your scans a bit closer to the middle. Why would a scanner scan at lower quality?
It could be because when you're saving a 12 MB file it takes a few seconds longer. So if the scanner is setup at a lower file size, then they can say, "scanning speeds as fast as 20 seconds!".
Anyway, whatever the reason let's see how to change this setting on your scanner.
Step One: Fire Up Your Scanner And Find "File Saving Options"
Most scanner's have a button to change your "File Saving Settings or Options". Mine is located by the Scan Button...
If you can't find this button, do a help search for "File Saving", "JPEG Compression", "JPEG Options".
Step 2: Open Your File Saving Options And Find "JPEG Options"
Once you've opened your File Save Settings, you should get another option to change JPEG settings. Here's what mine looks like...
This is where you'll be changing the compression levels. Here's how...
Step 3: Change Levels To LOWEST Compression / Highest Quality
Here's what my scanner's default compression is set at...
As you can see, my compression settings are a bit to high. To change this, just slide the Compression Level bar to High Quality. That way your scans are NOT compressed.
And you only have to do this once. However, if you re-install your scanner you have to do this again.
Do this right now. Fire up your scanner, and locate your File Save and JPEG Options. If you can't find this, do a help search for "JPEG compression", "File Save", "JPEG Settings". And check how much your scanner is compression your JPEG's. If the bar isn't set to Highest Quality, then you need make sure it is.
That's it my friend! Go ahead and click the Scan Button.
Thanks for coming along, and I hope my slide scan tips have helped.
Which of these scanning troubles do you want to overcome?
Hey, my name is Konrad. I've been scanning professionally since 2005. I've helped multi-billion dollar companies, pro sports teams, pro photographers, artists, museums, book publishers, etc. I've scanned over 930,000 slides, negatives, photos.
The reason I'm telling you this is because no matter what challenge or frustration you're having, I know exactly what you're going through. So, to help you RIGHT NOW, I've put together a super simple scanning guide to get you started.