Resolution to scan neg., output effective resolution?

From the IJM website, we read

*Scanning Resolution
…You can easily over resolve the resolution of your film. That is to say, you can easily scan in higher resolution than your film has silver grains - and that is not desirable…
…So how much is enough? In Piezography, you can not have enough (with respect to over-resolving)…Piezography prints at significantly higher resolution…"

I have a thousand or two 2-1/4" negatives my father shot around 1960. They only say ‘KODAK Safety Film’, I don’t see any reference to the stock used like 35mm does. It is B/W. Regarding the scanning resolution, what would be best, assuming I scan on my Epson V600 (CCD), 16bit, as a positive and no adjustments. I plan to select a set (from contact sheets, not scanning the entire archive) to print with Piezo HD-Carbon on PhotoRag308 at 16x16" image.

Well, I may decide to get the final set scanned drum with liquid mount. I would still want to know best resolution.

Finally, so what would the effective output resolution of Piezo on matte rag paper be? I’m just curious, the guide isn’t clear on that.

The V600 scanner will not scan at grain-resolution (take it from me who has basically used every scanner on the market). You need something with variable focus like the Epson 11000xl or a drum scanner for proper Piezo-level res.

The Piezo res is dependent on a lot of things like driver dither but also total # of dots per pixel which is 3x times epson K3 inks. There is longer explanations online . .

I was talking to a printer who remembers you (Walker) as a scanning expert, I think from Chicago, and was surprised when I talked about your printing role. So all the better to get your ideas about scanning these negatives.

So if I use the Epson 11000xl what would be the res to scan at? The film is probably Tri-X, by the way. My father thinks that’s what he would have used to catch action of falling buildings.

Once I identify the short-list candidates from the negative archive, I may use the V600 to get better images to decide the final cut to produce the gallery prints. What res gets me closest? I think 1200 dpi is the highest non-interpolated on that device. Also, I’ve seen film holders sold that raise the film a tiny bit for best focus. Worth buying?

Perhaps the best path is to get my final image list and have them drum scanned. That would be either at Duggal in NY or drive them up to VT for Cone to scan. What would be the resolution to expect? This route would be really expensive, but as I’m making prints for gallery sales, may be justified.

You’ll want to scan in the 4500 -> 8000 ppi range for 2 1/2 film.

FYI Duggal is basically now just a building wrap/banner advert printing company now. They have hollowed out their fine-art staff/knowledge . . . Latitude (in Chicago), and CEP (here in Vermont) and a few others on west coast are keeping the drum scan art alive . .


I’m sorry to hear that about Duggal. At the start of my career, decades ago, I site-measured and drew up plans for spaces in their original building, watched them grow to behemoth high-end from there. Well, if not in NY then it would be you, Cone, for drum scanning. I don’t want to ship 50+ y.o. negatives, so a drive. Plus I have a long history with Cone, so there is a lot of trust there.

I will look into the better Epson, and your fees to drum scan.