Some mod said in some discussion about what made for a better scan the following, but I felt a bit too cynical at the
time to even try to respond to what they said, but I feel it's important to think about what you think is good and why
-- are you trying to duplicate
a bad print of an original, or an original?
We prefer keeping raw scans then someone's own claims that they did better in whatever.
Details are more preserved in raw scans than filtered scans since nothing was done to them yet. If you keep filtering scans over and over, details will eventually diminish and be blurred away.
With raw scans, if anyone wants a scan in a certain way, then its easier for them to filter and edit to however they want it to be. Just like what you did in this case.
The details one strives to filter away are those caused by the printing process.
If you overscan something, then find the smoothness and clarity that were in the original. It's like the difference between an old-fashion photograph vs. a pixelated version taken by a digital camera. As you increase the # of pixels, you start to reach the quality of the photograph, but then it doesn't fit on normal monitor. I'm not sure who it was that started calling them 'retinal' displays (apple?) -- where the density of the display pixels approaches (or maybe exceeds) human specs. Even though we have individual receptor cells, cells around one getting the most stimulus get some minor stimulation as well.
In computer screens -- that technology is called 'anti-aliasing'. Now, in modern graphics cards, they are starting to have the ability to *overrender* a scene -- like render the image for 2-3x the size of the screen and use the compute parallel power to achieve more realism and a less "faked" -- blocky scan look. Books and prints have no such processor -- the closest one can come to overrendering is overscanning and trying to get an idea what the original looked like. Details caused by the printing process add *noise* to a scan -- that lowers image quality -- they are not a sign of a good scan but one done mechanically.
If you don't have some original analog version, you can't really tell whether or not it looks better scanned at
screen-res, or over-scanned and brought down. Most pictures can be improved if they are overscanned and reduced to a
smaller size. Problem with that is that the smallest printing imperfection becomes monstrous and the higher you raise
scanning magnification the worse it can look without an awful large amount of hand attention and doctoring to regain the
original artist's intent. Sometimes -- it's just not possible (and is more trouble than it is worth) when the details
the artist put in, are at or near the level of the printing. Nevertheless, if you look at the number of scans I've
submitted, you will see they are *few* compared to 'veteran [bulk] scanners'. That's because I tried to give each scan
personal attention to try to make it look it's best. I'd do things like scan the same pic, in different resolutions, and
profiles -- and sometimes using a mix of them to get a final product that looked better than any single scan -- but I'd spend time with a scan, USUALLY, because I liked what I was scanning and wanted others to see it as I could best present it.
If you can see pixels in your reality (not on a computer screen), but looking at the object in person -- you would see
it as fog or snow or a lack of contrast. That isn't what most humans see -- as they eyes are in continuous motion (or
the sensors in the eye literally stop seeing -- the signal stops -- if you've ever been able to stair at 1 point on an
image -- eventually the image starts to disappear -- because the sensors only send information on *changes*. The brain
constructs the continuous movement into a virtual reality where,
wherever we look, we see a distinct detail. Most people aren't aware of how low the detail is in "off-center" vision -- because as soon as you glance at it, it's sharp, and the mind paints your reality MORE clear than your eyes can register.
We wouldn't think that a pixelated view was "better" in anyway -- it would be a disease to be treated.
In summary, I would hope you'd consider the how the scan looks against the original image rather than how well the scan pics up the the detail of the printing process -- not about which scan shows more print-detail, but which looks more real. I value those images over the others far more because if the scan looks lower contrast or has more muted colors due to all the printer artifacts, it won't hit me or grab my attention vs. one that's been presented well.
If you really want to add fairness to the image and scan process -- through competing pictures into a A/B picture
flipper that lets you
flip between one or the other -- and hide which picture belongs to who -- and let people vote on them in various aspects (or discuss them). But the pictures could be given in a random order, with no mention if one is newer or one is already posted -- but just
as a little "side-task" that viewers could use to give input, that might approach fairness in the long term. But that's if you really
want to be more transparent and fair (despite historical allegations or behaviors) -- dedicate the project to the artwork -- no special 'admin' or 'moderator' view that lets you see who really drew what pic or who voted whichever way --- sure a mockery of such a review process could be created, but what's the point? You'd have nothing better or worse than you have now and no new data,
vs. having the opportunity to get 'new data' rather than conspiratorially reinforcing each other's biases in some "back, smoke-filled forum"...
I hope you'll try to appreciate that I tried to keep personalities and specifics out of this as much as possible and do the same.