Thursday, February 03, 2005

Scanning 19th Century Albumen Prints with DIGITAL ICE Photo Print Technology


We purchased an EPSON Perfection 4870 Photo Scanner in the hopes of using [Kodak's] DIGITAL ICE Photo Print Technology to remove the fine surface cracks that are present in all 19th century albumen prints and which significantly degrade the quality of such scans.

An example of how badly scans of high quality images are degraded by these ubiquitous cracks can be seen on [a] 1,200 dpi scan ...

Unfortunately, because the cracks are of a much smaller scale than the macroscopic defects in cracked prints for which your software apparently is optimized, automatic defect removal just does not currently work. The microscopic cracks are well within the 4,800 dpi resolution of the Epson scanner, but the software does not correctly identify these as defects to repair. No reason is apparent why your method of doing a double scan with different lighting angles should not work equally as well at the smaller scale needed to remove these surface cracks

We hope that the DIGITAL ICE Photo Print Technology could easily repair the fine cracks seen in albumen prints, if the parameters of your algorithm could be adjusted by the user for the microscopic size of the cracks, or if a "fine surface cracks" option could be added to the software.

Would Kodak be willing to attempt to make DIGITAL ICE Photo Print Technology useful for scanning 19th century albumen prints? Most museums and libraries have 19th century photographic prints in their collections, so making Kodak's software work to automatically repair historic albumen print images would be extremely helpful. ...



Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

Date: February 3, 2005 9:00:57 AM EST

Thank you for the inquiry into our Digital ICE technology which is integrated into the Epson 4870 scanner. We adjust parameters to provide the best defect removal possible based on the scanner hardware capabilities. The 4870 is a very good scanner for most applications. There are hardware characteristics that are not reflected in the scanner specification that limit the algorithms ability to remove the fine cracks in your albumen prints. The texture of these albumen prints also are a significant factor. The 4870 was not designed to address this level of defect removal. There are no additional adjustments we can do to correct these defects. One suggestion is to scan with a lower dpi such as 600dpi or 1200dpi with Digital ICE for Photo Prints enabled. The results may be more satisfactory to you.

It is possible on a future scanner to address micro-surface defects such as the texture in albumen prints. It would require very stringent requirements on the hardware manufacturer. There is no current activity by any scanner manufacture at this time to build such a scanner.

Thank you for your interest in our products and Best Regards,

Michael K. Conley
Kodak's Austin Development Center
8920 Business Park Drive
Austin, TX 78759
512-651-4076 Office
512-658-5945 Cell

2/03/2005 6:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Until the early 1890's, the overwhelming majority of photographs printed on paper were printed by the albumen process. The British Quarterly Review of October 1866 estimated that six million egg whites were used annually in England to supply albumen for coating paper. At the height of its operation in the late 1880's, the Dresden Albumenizing Company in Germany used 60,000 eggs per day."

"The strain on the chickens was phenomenal."

William Crawford, 1979

2/19/2011 7:20 PM  

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