Stars of Magic photo quality

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.
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erdnasephile
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Stars of Magic photo quality

Postby erdnasephile » September 30th, 2017, 6:05 pm

Someone just asked me how the photos in the original Stars of Magic loose issues compared with those in the bound books.

I recently acquired an original John Scarne issue and am posting a scan of some of the photos so folks can compare them to those in the bound version(s) they own (pg 20):

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Re: Stars of Magic photo quality

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 30th, 2017, 6:09 pm

You don't say which is which, however presumably the lower versions are the originals. The upper versions clearly show the dot pattern visible when photos are not properly rescreened.
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erdnasephile
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Re: Stars of Magic photo quality

Postby erdnasephile » September 30th, 2017, 6:11 pm

I'm sorry--I wasn't clear. The page I posted was a scan of the original. Here is what the same page looks like in my hardbound copy of Stars of Magic (published by Tannen's, circa 1977).

Image

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Re: Stars of Magic photo quality

Postby Leonard Hevia » September 30th, 2017, 6:42 pm

The difference in clarity is noticeable. To think that the Robbins reprint after the Tannens version looks worse.

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Re: Stars of Magic photo quality

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 30th, 2017, 8:37 pm

The act of scanning screened black and white photos without descreening them creates lines and moire pattern.
The only way to compare them is to take photographs of the photos and post those.
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Re: Stars of Magic photo quality

Postby lybrary » September 30th, 2017, 9:26 pm

It is not just the moire pattern. The reproductions are clearly overexposed.
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erdnasephile
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Re: Stars of Magic photo quality

Postby erdnasephile » September 30th, 2017, 9:59 pm

I don't have a good camera and light handy, but here is a descreened scan at 600 dpi on an Epson V800, using the descreening mode in the Epson software.

Image

Here is a descreened scan of the photos in the book

Image
Last edited by erdnasephile on September 30th, 2017, 10:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Stars of Magic photo quality

Postby Tom Gilbert » September 30th, 2017, 10:07 pm

Since I kind of started the thread on photo quality, I have purchased a red binder with the full set of Stars of Magic manuscripts. I've yet to compare to the Tannen's hardbound I have.

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Re: Stars of Magic photo quality

Postby Leonard Hevia » October 1st, 2017, 9:37 am

The quality of the photos in the Tannen's reprint is good enough. Acquiring the original Stars of Magic sheets seems like overkill for me, but anyone who doesn't have any Stars of Magic books whether it's the Tannen's, Robbins, or Yedid reprints, might want to consider a complete set of originals.

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Re: Stars of Magic photo quality

Postby erdnasephile » October 17th, 2017, 11:45 am

Continuing my current obsession with SOM:

For a great example of reprinting this type of vintage material, please see the L & L reprint of The Complete Ganson Teach-In series. Andrew Pinard documented how they discovered the original paste-ups which included over 700 of the original photos. Since they had access to the source documents, they were able to clean and enlarge the photographs while retaining the characteristics of the booklets. The result is a reference work that is, IMHO, superior to the originals. Kudos to Mr. Pinard and L & L for taking the time and effort to do this right.

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Re: Stars of Magic photo quality

Postby Richard Kaufman » October 17th, 2017, 2:38 pm

L&L's reprint of the Ganson series is irrelevant to this discussion because they were able to scan from the original glossy photographs. That is not the case with The Stars of Magic.
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Re: Stars of Magic photo quality

Postby erdnasephile » October 17th, 2017, 3:30 pm

Yes--you're right, of course. I guess I was just bringing it up because it's too bad Tannen's was unable to do the same.

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Re: Stars of Magic photo quality

Postby Richard Kaufman » October 17th, 2017, 3:41 pm

It never occurred to people to keep photos back then.
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Re: Stars of Magic photo quality

Postby AJM » October 17th, 2017, 4:08 pm

I understand that they still have the original footage filmed at the time using 4K HD cameras.

Apparently they have spent the last few decades trying to degrade the video quality to match the poor quality of the photographs in the reprinted edition.
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Re: Stars of Magic photo quality

Postby performer » October 17th, 2017, 4:23 pm

I am more intrigued by the palmistry aspect of the photographs than anything else. Ironic that Scarne was a gambling expert because his hand shows someone who doesn't take risks! Oh, and there are also signs he was inclined to chop and change his mind before coming to a decision. I also see from the length of his fingers he had an eye for detail.

As for the trick in the photograph I have been doing it all my life. That exact version. The bit at the end where the coin penetrates your trouser pocket leaving you clean is a real winner.


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