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Offset printing from scanned photos

Posted on 2000-05-02
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Last Modified: 2010-04-06
I do a series of newsletters every month and they are printed at a "quick" printer - black ink on ivory medium grade smooth paper. I'm getting complaints because my scans are not grainy enough for his camera to pick up the dots. I've scanned at 72 dpi. Have a LaserJet 5000 and print at 300 dpi. What else can I do for his equipment to read the dpi?
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Question by:woodgraphics
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11 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:netbug
ID: 2772074
try scnning it on a larger dpi or try
out scanning it with a greater percentage.
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Expert Comment

by:forkbeard
ID: 2778887
I think your problem is scanning the images at 72 ppi.  72 ppi should only be used for web work.  For print you need to at least double that number.  I usually aim for a resolution of 250-300 but the files get pretty big so you may want somewhere around 150-200.  I wouldn't go below 150 or everything starts getting fuzzy and pixelated.

When you print I would recommend using a printer at 720 dpi or higher.

forkbeard
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Author Comment

by:woodgraphics
ID: 2783792
I have scanned the photos at various dpi: 75, 150, 300 - any more than 300 dpi is a waste of time. The offset printer wants me to open up the dpi. In other words, make it so the dots are readable by his camera. The photo looks terrific when output from my LaserJet 5000, but his camera can't "see" the dots, the output is so fine. When the photo is printed, the ink blends making it muddy looking.
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Expert Comment

by:forkbeard
ID: 2784885
At 300ppi the image should look as sharp as the original photo.  Maybe that is your problem... the original isnt sharp enough for the offset printer.

Or in the other direction do you need to make the image less sharp.  Is he looking for something like a newspaper quality that you can see the dots clearly?
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Author Comment

by:woodgraphics
ID: 2785803
Thanks for your help. The images looks perfect coming off of my laser printer at 1200 dpi - they are as sharp as a tack! But, the person who prints the newsletters in quantity cannot read the dots because they are so fine. I found the answer, in case forkbeard and netbug would like to know. I had to change the LINES per inch, or lpi, to tell my laser printer how many lines of dots I want in the photo. Less lines of dots per inch appear a little grainy off the laser printer, but the camera that creates the plate for printing will be able to pick them up. Thanks anyway - it was a pretty tough question.
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Expert Comment

by:dask040100
ID: 2786189
A few questions for you...

What are you scanning....photos or images that have been offset printed?

Cant he use the original image files you generate while scanning?

does the quick printer create films and plates for printing?

we'd need to know the lpi that their press uses....the resolution (ppi) of your image as a rule should be double the lpi they use for printing...eg if they use 150 lines per inch you should scan at 300 ppi
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Expert Comment

by:forkbeard
ID: 2786785
Glad you were able to resolve the problem.

forkbeard
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Accepted Solution

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woodgraphics earned 0 total points
ID: 2790906
Thanks - it took a while. I'm used to setting up a publication and having half tones of photos shot by the printer. Printing directly from laser printer output - especially at 1200 dpi, well, let's just say the photos were too good quality for the type of "quick" printing used on these newsletters. Had to reduce the quality, which is opposite from my normal attempt to create the best quality! Thanks for your help.
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Expert Comment

by:forkbeard
ID: 2797057
Since you solved your problem you can delete the question and your points will be returned.

I agree w/ you that it was against the normal design process to intentionally lower your print quality to get better results.  What should have tipped me off was the mention of the offset printer's camera getting too much info and the inks blending together when printed.  We'll know for next time.

forkbeard
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Author Comment

by:woodgraphics
ID: 2797899
Thanks forkbeard,
I'll delete it just as soon as I figure out how - laugh.
Janet
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by:ianB
ID: 2799452
Community Support has reduced points from 100 to 0
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