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Are your photos losing quality coming out of your computer or AFTER being photocopied?<BR>Our monthly magazine is printed via a color copier (Not only the color pages, but the B&W pages as well). The result is a copy that is very hard to tell from the original. Photos, whether scanned from prints or downloaded from our digital camera, look fabulous.

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To save cost, last year we switched from off-set printing of the Bulletin to xerography(?). I use scanned photos, digitized photos and a digital camera. The quality of reproduction that I am now getting is very poor. Any suggestions as to how I might improve the quality? I like the digital camera because I can take a photo today and use it right away rather than wait for processing. What games, if any, can I play with my software (Microsoft Picture-It, Paperport, Photoworks)to improve fidelity?<P>jnp

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John~~~ Bob is right on the problem. If you are happy with the photo then follow it thru the process steps and locate where you become unhappy. You might also describe what about the printed photo that you are unhappy with-<BR>color repeatablity, photo too dark , photo seem fuzzy, etc. This might give us a clue as to the problem.<BR> I am not familiar ( where is spell check when you need it --I never could spell that word) with the software you listed but most of them allow you to crop, alter the brightness and make some changes in color or tint.<BR> With out seeing the problem the first two things I would suggest is 1) Change paper. Go to a ultra-bright glossy paper. 2)Brighten the photo in one of your programs to the point that you think it is too bright then make it a little brighter and print. Good luck.<BR>later-jac

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John - when I was doing the Piston Popper we printed it on a Xerox Docutech at Sir Speedy. <BR>Reasonable cost and excellent reprodution of pictures, as you know. I used paste up art instead of digitized media, which would have cut the cost by 50% with the same quality according to their experts. Also, I used the cheapest 20# copy paper. What kind of Xerox are you using - from what I've seen it looks to be an ordinary photocopier.<p>[This message has been edited by ted schneider (edited 04-29-2000).]

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The problem with the pictures is after photocopying. The output from my printer is excellent. The photocopies are dark with limited shades of gray and grainy resolution. This is true on the digital photos only. Scanned prints seem to be okay but not as good as they were with offset printing. I am usually working with color prints; however the Bulletin is black and white only. Thanks to all of you for your comments.<P>jnp

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John~~~I have not forgotten about your question, I just wanted to talk it over with a printer who prints high quality brochures<BR>and catalogs before I made any comments.<BR>1. As stated above the printed photo will always look darker than that on the screen, thus the need to lighten the photo before printing.<P>2.Today's off-set printing will produce a better quality print than xerography. There are some machines in the 300,000 to 400,000 dollar range that will approach the off-set.<BR>Not every shop can afford these machines. The <BR>xerography is catching up fast and in a few year they may catch up and When the prices of those machines drop then we all can benefit.<P>3.Digital cameras are great but, and there is always that but, unless you have a 6,000 to 8,000 dollar digital the resolution is not as good as most scanned photo thus the grainy appearance on the printed copy. The digital is ahead on convience while the scanner and 35MM is ahead on quality.<P>4. As stated ubove , up grading the paper is a cheap way to improve the quality of the print.<BR>You can check that out real easy. Write on a paper towel with ink and then on a glossy paper and see which holds the line the best.<BR>I know you do not read Playboy but some time borrow Dan's just to check the paper quality.<P>5. While we have been talking about quality of reproduction, keep in mind that quality is in the eyes of the beholder. I have published<BR>photo that I thought were terrible and have members come up to me and say how great they were. They are grading the subject matter and not the print quality. I have two such photo in the May issue.<BR>They are copies of a 1947 picture taken half in the shade and half in the sun light, but a fantastic subject -one of our members in his first car-a pedal car.<P>Hope I have not bored you to tears.<BR>That is how one antique Antique Car Buff sees it.<BR>later-jac<P>PS~~ Are you by any chance the owner of the 1934 red Packard that was at New Bern and a its photo was printed in Antique Automobile?<BR>

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jac,<BR> Thanks for your research and reply. My software does provide the capability to brighten the image, so I'll try that. One thought is to print the photos on glossy paper and then scan them into my document rather than going directly. However, something tells me that a picture of a picture can't be better or even as good as the original picture! Incidently, the picture of Bill Smith and Nelson Neff awarding the Mustang raffle car to the winner in the current issue of the Antique Automobile Magazine was taken by me with my digital camera and printed on glossy stock! I don't know what they did with it but it doesn't look bad. No, I'm not the owner of the '34 Packard that was at the New Bern Meet; but I wish I were! I do have a handsome photo of a blue '34 Packard phaeton that hangs in my study. My oldest Packard is a '37 Super 8 limousine.<P>jnp

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John~~~ Another suggestion. Ask the printer to run a sample , make what ever correction needed then run you production. The reason I say this, I work up the newsletter on a computer at home, down load on a zip, bring the zip to work and load on computer here. The printed words are OK but I have to readjust the brightness and color. If I do not make that adjustment the photos will be dark and have a green tint to them.<BR>Just another thought.<BR>later-jac

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Im sold on the Xerox Docutec. It produces superior results for our Tidewater Region Mudflap - and you should see some of the stuff we get to work with! Not every shop has one. Best way to find out is to contact Xerox service and find out who in your area has one. I like the suggestion also to request the printer run a sample copy - make them work for the job. All too often an editor works hard to produce an outstanding product and then hands it over to the "night-crew" at the local quick-copy where they proceed to undo all the work you put into the project. Im sure there are a few shops in Baltimore that have the right equipment. Let me know how it works out.<BR>Terry

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Hi all, I use the local Staples mostly and some times Office Max. These places are OK sometimes and sometimes not. I get good results form some of the clerks, usually the full timers, they know be by name and we have our monthy chat. The part timers are another story, bad exposure, misprints, machine jams that cause the the originals to get out of order and they do not look at the page numbers to put them back the right way. I have even had to tell them how to work the machine. I only do 70 copies, which includes exchange and contest copies. But, they have good hours and turn around is good. SalG

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  • 3 weeks later...

John, if the problem is more pronounced with the digital photos than with the scans, it sounds as though the resolution on the former is not as small as that used by your scanner. Some cameras, such as the Sony Mavica that my company uses, have a high-resolution setting that produces sharper photos. But the big problem is that you are mixing digital photos (measured in pixels) with scans (measured in DPI). Use the same photo source for all of your images, and then you can follow through with quality issues in the printing itself.

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Paul,<BR> I have experimented with the higher resolution setting (four pictures per disk rather than sixteen). Surprisingly it does not seem to improve the quality! Your comment on consistency by using a single source (either scanner or camera) makes sense. For this month's issue I have been experimenting with Kodak Picture Easy software. It has an "enhance" mode that seems to improve on the graininess of the photo and increases the brightness significantly. The output from the print shop will be the acid test; but on my LaserJet 5P there is a significant improvement. Thanks for your suggestions.<P>jnp

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  • 2 weeks later...

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