Print Grain and Print Surface Resolution

AudioBlog LogoThis audio focuses on film grain and how it can translate through scanning into print grain. Plus- how is this connected to and affected by Print Surface Resolution (or PSR)… link to article here on FR on PSR.

3 thoughts on “Print Grain and Print Surface Resolution

  1. Hi Stephen

    A good article, but I’m not sure this really carries through to the Nikon scanners as reducing resolution doesn’t seem to impact on the underlying hardware resolution. As a result when I scan at 2000dpi (say) instead of 4,000 I don’t necesarily less grain. It’s tru though that I also don’r always see any less detail in prints of quite a reasonable size.

    I don’t tend to sharpen scans much for exactly the reasons you state – the grain can become dreadful – and similarly with digital images, I sem less aggressive than many other I discuss with. I’ve always felt a bit of a freak, but I don’t often see edges that hard in life, so don’t necessarily picture them either.

    I would be interested to know what resolution you find works for ektar and acros though.


    1. If your scanning something like Ektar it would be very difficult to see much grain as it is so fine (dye cloud)… I scan most of my Ektar and Acros negs at around 3200 – 4000 optical dpi (16 bit) on my Imacon… both wet and dry mount.


  2. Very interesting post. Thanks once again for sharing your experience and thoughts. Intuitively it would make sense to optically “oversample” the film grain, without applying any digital sharpening, so as to capture the true grain structure in the file; hence the common practice of scanning B&W film at high resolution (4000dpi or higher). However, what you’re saying (if I understand you correctly) is that scanning at high resolution *can* create “grain aliasing”, in which case using a lower, rather than higher, resolution can help mitigate the effect? Thanks for clarifying.

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