13 Replies Latest reply on Nov 8, 2009 8:43 AM by JW Stephenson

    Scanning with Lightroom?

    nortstudio Level 1

      I recently bought an Epson V500 photo scanner. I am wondering if it is possible to scan using Lightroom, or if I need to first scan using the included Epson software.


      Thanks in advance.

        • 1. Re: Scanning with Lightroom?
          Ian Lyons MVP & Adobe Community Professional

          Lightroom doesn't support scanning, so you'll need to scan your images using an external application then import the saved TIFF or JPG files.

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          • 2. Re: Scanning with Lightroom?
            nortstudio Level 1

            Do you happen to know whether Elements handles scanning?  I received that program with the scanner too.  I'm just wondering whether their is a preferred way to deal with the scans of old negatives/photos.  I assume like most things, there are some programs that are better suited than others.


            Also, would you recommend TIFF over JPEG?


            Thanks for the quick response.

            • 3. Re: Scanning with Lightroom?
              Ian Lyons MVP & Adobe Community Professional

              Yes, you can scan directly into Elements, but only if the scanning application supports it. From memory, Epson still provide a TWAIN compatible driver.


              TIFF have the advantage of not having the compression artefacts that arise when saving a file as JPG. However, JPG can be much smaller file size. Personally, I prefer TIFF.

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              • 4. Re: Scanning with Lightroom?
                Scooby007 Level 3

                Yes Elements supports scanning. Scan as tiff because it is a higher quality archival format.  Scan as 16-bits rather than 8 if you want to maximize quality by having more information about the colors captured at the time of the scan.


                Whether you use Elements or LR to work on your scans, the original scans should remain unchanged on your hard drive (if you're scanning your portfolio, and not just the odd photo for the odd project), which is how LR works anyway. There are several possible workflows


                1. Scan and work on the resulting tiff in Elements/Photoshop only. Dupe the scan and work on the dupe. This adjusted file becomes your "final tiff"


                2. Scan and work on the tiff in LR. No need to dupe. Bring it into LR, make changes, and export with changes if and when desired. You can't overwrite the original by exporting from LR even if you wanted to. This makes a new copy with your adjustments.


                3. Scan and work in LR, export new tiff, then further touch it up in Photoshop or Elements


                In all three your original tiff scan remains untouched on your hard drive. The point is that proper high resolution scanning is time-consuming, and you're better off doing it once and doing it right.

                • 5. Re: Scanning with Lightroom?
                  nortstudio Level 1

                  This Epson Scan program provides the choice of 48 bit color, 24bit color, 16 or 8 bit greyscale.  I am figuring to go with the highest quality.  Correct?


                  The attached image show the choices.Epson preferences.jpg

                  • 6. Re: Scanning with Lightroom?
                    Ian Lyons MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                    Yes, go with 48 bit colour and 16 bit B&W

                    • 7. Re: Scanning with Lightroom?
                      Conrad C Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      The preferred way depends on whether you are going to scan one or two, or hundreds; and if you need to fix them up a little bit, or a lot.


                      If you're going to scan just a few, Elements is fine. Elements supports scanning via the Photoshop plug-ins that some scanners come with. Even if there's no plug-in, you can always open the scanned image into Elements; some scanning software lets you set which program to open the image in after scanning.


                      If you're going to scan many rolls, Lightroom is better. Use the scanner software to make negatives positive and have it dump all the scans into one folder that you will use for processing. In Lightroom, set that same folder as a "watched folder" for automatic importing. As the scans pile up in the folders, you'll see them appear in Lightroom. Pick a sample image from a roll of film, make the necessary adjustments, then use Lightroom's Copy Settings or Sync features to blast those changes across all the other images in the same roll. If this doesn't fix a whole roll instantly, it probably gives you a great starting point for them at least. The point is, if you're going to do bulk editing, Lightroom will be infinitely faster compared to Elements. Elements will be better than Lightroom if you need to do major repairs on a damaged image, though.


                      Use high-resolution TIFF for any valuable images. I have a lot of rolls that are just snapshots though, so I'll scan those at far lower quality just to save disk space. There's no point in clogging up hard drives with 16-bit high-res TIFFs of fuzzy ASA 400 frames that came out of a point-and-shoot, so I might scan those at low-res 8-bit, just enough to look good at 4x6 inches or the Web. If there is something valuable in there I'll just rescan at higher quality.

                      • 8. Re: Scanning with Lightroom?
                        nortstudio Level 1

                        This is very helpful.  Although I realize it's all common sense - diving into a new program is always daunting.


                        Do you know offhand where I find the choice to "watch" the folder where I will be importing the scans to?  I looked around in preferences, and right clicking on the folder itself.  no luck.


                        Thanks so much for all the great info.

                        • 9. Re: Scanning with Lightroom?
                          nortstudio Level 1

                          Sorry, found it!

                          • 10. Re: Scanning with Lightroom?
                            Jao vdL Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            The attached image show the choices.

                            One of the things to be careful with is that the flatbed scanners usually do not have the resolution they claim at all. The V500 for example, really only manages 2300 ppi(dpi) or so(link for the V700 but it is optically identical). This means that you really don't have to scan above that resolution as you will just be imaging the optical quality of the scanner, not the actual detail in your image. 2300 is actually quite good for a flatbed, but it does mean that for a 35mm slide you only get about 7 MP of info.

                            • 11. Re: Scanning with Lightroom?
                              Scooby007 Level 3

                              to the OP, if in fact as your screengrab shows you are scanning an 8.5x11 original at 6000+dpi, you're going to have an absolutely massive file, many hundreds of megs.


                              If your output size matches your original - i.e. you're scanning a 4x6 photo to then be printed at 4x6. you basically need 300dpi, you can double it 600 and then reduce and sharpen it and you'll probably realize a quality increase, but in general think in terms of output size at 300dpi vs. input size to determine scan res.


                              A 35mm slide scanned at 4000dpi - the "hi-res" standard, gets you 3600x5400 pixels, or a 12x18 print at 300dpi. You scan slides at a very high dpi because the slide is small and you want to make a print that's bigger than the slide.


                              But if your original is 8.5x11 and you scan it at even the true optical res of the scanner - 2300 as Jao points out - much less at 6000dpi interpolated (not a good idea anyway), you have enough data to make a print the size of a house - a small rambler anyway.

                              • 12. Re: Scanning with Lightroom?
                                pgilpat Level 1

                                I'm sorry, but I don't mean to be a wet blanket, but would it be so hard to allow twain selection to load up a scanner driver?  Yes, most everything I have is digital, but I also have original images that I want to preserve, and the multiple steps add to the workflow.  Just my 2 cents.

                                • 13. Re: Scanning with Lightroom?
                                  JW Stephenson Level 4



                                  I also purchased that scanner and incorporated it into a workflow that fits with my existing LR catalog structure.  I can elaborate more if you are interested but basically my scan flow is as follows:


                                  1.     Use the Epson scan software

                                  2.     Scan images at 600dpi, 24 bit JPG color/16bit, slides at 3200dpi.  This means I can usually get the image up to the size of a full photo book page - usually.

                                  3.     Drop the scanned images into "RawScan" folder, then subfolders by year, then subfolders by theme.

                                  4.     When all or a large batch is scanned, process in NeatImage to remove noise introduced by scanner.  Dump resultant images into "ProcessedScan" folder structure with exact substructure.  This noise reduction is done in batch form.  More NR can be done inside LR on an image by image basis - this step it just to remove scanner noise and NeatImage (and other I am sure like Noise Ninja) is very effective.

                                  5.     Import the ProcessedScan directory into LR.

                                  6.     Convert all scanned images to DNG.  This is optional and is a bit of a waste of space, but I like all my "originals" to be non-JPG files since I use JPG files exclusively for exported images.  Keeps me from getting too confused when multiple images exist.

                                  7.     Develop the images (color, exposure, local adjustments), enter metadata, etc. as you normally would.

                                  8.     Move, by image or by folder, into yor normal catalog structure inside LR.


                                  This seems to work for me but is really only for family type photos.  Professional images probably should always be scanned using the maximum bit depth and the TIFF file structure and probably not do any "global" noise reduction as well.


                                  Hope this helps.



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