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welly
28-Mar-2015, 22:51
I've got a question regarding the post title. I made a scan (with an Epson V700) of a negative recently and found that the highlights were close to being blown out. I managed to pull them back a bit with some tinkering in Lightroom. Managed to make a reasonable image out of them. Shortly after, I made a contact print and found the sky was perfectly exposed and there was plenty of detail in the sky.

So, either a. I'm not very good at scanning or b. photographic paper has a much wider dynamic range than my scanner or c. a bit of both. I'm sure there's more to this question but just wanted to get your thoughts.

Cheers

welly

biedron
29-Mar-2015, 07:00
Welly,

Did you do a preview and then adjust the resulting histogram? If not, I'd suggest trying that. Ken Lee has some useful scanning tips here http://www.kenleegallery.com/html/tech/scanning.php

Bob

cdk84
31-Mar-2015, 19:37
Did you do a preview and then adjust the resulting histogram? If not, I'd suggest trying that. Ken Lee has some useful scanning tips here http://www.kenleegallery.com/html/tech/scanning.php

Bob

This link was very helpful, thank you.

David

Jim Andrada
1-Apr-2015, 03:16
I don't usually have to play with histograms or anything to get a fairly wide range with the Epson - practically never run into blown highlights if the neg looks good.

What program are you using to make the scans?

biedron
1-Apr-2015, 05:39
I don't usually have to play with histograms or anything to get a fairly wide range with the Epson - practically never run into blown highlights if the neg looks good.

What program are you using to make the scans?

I probably should have used more precise language. The histogram is not necessarily adjusted per se, rather the input and output clipping points of the histogram is adjusted, along with the location of the midpoint. I find the the Epson software often does a less-than-optimal job at setting these points. I'm not sure about Vuescan, though IIRC Ken has Vuescan tips on his website too.

Bob

DrTang
1-Apr-2015, 07:27
here's my problem with scanners

in the olden dayz.. one would make contact prints of negs.. with normalized settings (exposure, lens , aperture, height - of enlarger...etc) so you could compare contacts and know what you had in the negatives.. and how hard they were going to be to print

scanners have no 'manual' setting..so it's all automagic.. it always adjusts to whatever it is scanning

so..in reality..you have zero way to compare two negs by their scans

Ken Lee
1-Apr-2015, 08:11
scanners have no 'manual' setting..so it's all automagic.. it always adjusts to whatever it is scanning

This is true with Epson scanners if we use VueScan. The Epson software is superior in this regard: it does not impose a correction which can't be adjusted.

Here is how I have addressed the problem of proofing with a scanner: http://www.kenleegallery.com/html/tech/testing.php#scanning. See the section on Printing/Scanning

bob carnie
1-Apr-2015, 08:16
If you use an on-board densitometer with any scanner you can read highlight and shadow to see if you have pixel information...With Macs I use a colormeter is in your applications and set it to the colour space you want
to read in.. I prefer the cLab space.


end points are critical for different papers and process and unless you have a way to read them you are hitting a golf ball in a snowstorm.. not much luck finding that ball.

adelorenzo
1-Apr-2015, 09:13
IME, Epson Scan will normally adjust for highlights and crush the heck out of the blacks. Worse is you can't make one adjustment and have to adjust each frame individually, which is fine for large format but something I can't be bothered to do with 35mm so I get terrible scans.

Vuescan can do a better job, if you take the time to work through it's user-unfriendliness. It cannot detect frames automatically and trying to do multi-frame scans is worse than pulling teeth so I tend to stick with Epson scan software except when I'm trying to scan a single frame for print.

Ken Lee
1-Apr-2015, 09:43
IME, Epson Scan will normally adjust for highlights and crush the heck out of the blacks. Worse is you can't make one adjustment and have to adjust each frame individually.

Epson Scan by default will offer corrections but we can remove them entirely. Unfortunately - as you point out - we need to adjust each scan individually.

This is better than VueScan because VueScan imposes corrections which cannot be disabled. We can choose a profile and combination of settings to mitigate them, but we can't step around them, only choose the lesser evil.

Randy Moe
1-Apr-2015, 09:54
Epson Scan by default will offer corrections but we can remove them entirely. Unfortunately - as you point out - we need to adjust each scan individually.

This is better than VueScan because VueScan imposes corrections which cannot be disabled. We can choose a profile and combination of settings to mitigate them, but we can't step around them, only choose the lesser evil.

As usual, I did not know this. I think we need to ask http://www.hamrick.com/ why he would do this. Seems odd for his software to be limited. He seems to support all kinds of variations. Another question I have for him, what are his legacy plans?

I have read Ken Lee's excellent scanning tips for both Epsonware and Vuescan. I use his recommendations.

adelorenzo
1-Apr-2015, 13:37
I've followed Ken's tips as well, and a big thank you Ken for taking the time to put them online.

My problem is I am a lazy, lazy man and I hate scanning film and screwing around with digital files so I normally just let the scanner to its bad job and move on. I just wish there was a way to get a decent, flat scan that captured as much detail as possible without having to jump through crazy hoops. Especially since I am only scanning to post images online, I get frustrated that the time to scan a roll of B&W film at medium resolution (2400 dpi) on an Epson V700 is longer than the time it takes to develop it and print a contact sheet.

Ken Lee
1-Apr-2015, 13:53
My problem is I am a lazy, lazy man and I hate scanning film and screwing around with digital files

Rather than shooting roll-film to get online photos in a hurry, perhaps you'd be better off with a digital camera and simple software like iPhoto or Picasa. Import the photos, upload them and you're done with a few clicks.

If for some reason you need roll film but don't want to scan it yourself, you can send it out to a service and get back a disk and upload those files with a few clicks.

Another option would to get a real film scanner which properly handles roll film: a film scanner rather than a flatbed. Some of them are designed to handle a roll at a time, or at least a number at a time.

jp
1-Apr-2015, 16:52
In epson professional mode, preview window, use the "Normal" tab rather than the "Thumbnail" tab. This will remember settings for each marquee'd scan area (negative) between prescans and scans. If your negatives are similar, it saves a bunch of time. Even if exposure changes, the most you have to change are the pointers at the endpoints of the histogram. Saves having to redo a bunch of settings for every scan. I'd still hate to use the scanner for bulk 35mm scanning. I just use it for LF and MF.

Ken's tips are good.

I've found scanners to be able to scan a bigger range than I can wet print. This is normally meaningless as exposure and development are traditionally used to present a realistic range for output. But if you get the sun in a photo, you can adjust curves and show extreme highlights that are unprintable, particularly with films that capture the long range like tmax 400 / portra 160.

adelorenzo
1-Apr-2015, 21:18
Rather than shooting roll-film to get online photos in a hurry, perhaps you'd be better off with a digital camera and simple software like iPhoto or Picasa. Import the photos, upload them and you're done with a few clicks.

Sorry I was a bit flippant, the rest of the story is that I enjoy making contact sheets and prints in the darkroom. Those are my "real" pictures. The stuff I post online is what it is. I take my time in the dark to make a good print, but I find it frustrating trying to make a "good" scan so I'm only willing to do so much.


If for some reason you need roll film but don't want to scan it yourself, you can send it out to a service and get back a disk and upload those files with a few clicks.

Another option would to get a real film scanner which properly handles roll film: a film scanner rather than a flatbed. Some of them are designed to handle a roll at a time, or at least a number at a time.

If I had a lab with a scanner within 2000 km I'd consider going that route, but it's more likely that I should drop the big bucks for a roll film scanner. Believe me I have thought about it. Just hard to drop $2K when there are so many other expenses like film, paper, etc.

Jim Andrada
2-Apr-2015, 00:26
I bit the bullet and got a Nikon Coolscan for MF - it's wonderful compared to the Epson.

The sweet spot format wise for the epson is 5 x 7 (or 5 x 8 if you're so inclined) because it still fits in the higher resolution band. I always wet mount for the Epson - quick and painless.