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Matus Kalisky
16-Jan-2012, 15:15
Trying to improve the fidelity of my C41 scans (with SilverFast and Microtek F1) I cam across the ColorNeg (actually called ColorPerfect) pluging for Photoshop from CF Systems (see HERE (http://www.c-f-systems.com/Plug-ins.html))

I have just downloaded the test version and tried it with Ektar 100 shot. So I did one scan with the Silverfast and NegaFix - came out rather live-less. The second scan was made as positive and the ColorNeg was applied as a filter. See the results below (note that as a test version there is a fine grid over ColorNeg image)

While both of these were made in a quick and dirty way - I wanted to see what would be the starting point before one goes into fine tuning.

1) SilverFast & NegaFix,
2) slight curves and resize in CS3 (I did not try to "rescue" the color - way too dull/cold to begin with):
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7142/6710546637_fb28d134cb.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/31007239@N06/6710546637/in/photostream)

1) SilverFast positive scan
2) ColorNeg filter: (select Ektar 100)
3) ColorNeg filter: slight adjustment on color balance (not much, really)
4) slight curves and resize in CS3
- probably too warm/yellow, but looks much richer to me
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7014/6710547855_dddde79516.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/31007239@N06/6710547855/in/photostream)

Please note - I am not sure whether my SilverFast Settings (Options) are optimal - in particular the way the gamma (2.0) and color profiles are set (though pretty much default settings) what would influence both scans.

My question(s):
1) I find the ColorNeg worth a shot, but I am a bit in a loss as there does not seem to be some decent manual that would explain the logic. I am reading through the PDF file from SF Systems webpage, but it is far from easy. So - if anybody out here has some reasonable workflow it would be great if you could share.

2) What would be the optimal basic settings (for the SilverFast) to get as least "biased" scans as possible from the SilverFast so that subsequent conversion with ColorNeg gives the best results.

I have yet to try E6 scans, but right now I am concerned about the C41.

Peter J. De Smidt
16-Jan-2012, 16:20
I've looked at their info, but I haven't used it, as I don't do much color negative scanning. Personally, I'm hesitant to get more software, unless I'm very sure that I can't achieve what I need with what I have.

Here is a quick color correction of the silverfast scan:
http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae37/peterdesmidt/playground_edited.jpg

Matus Kalisky
16-Jan-2012, 16:38
Peter, that actually looks quite good - would you be so kind to mention the steps you used?

Peter J. De Smidt
16-Jan-2012, 18:48
Hi Matus,

Sure. When I'm in a real hurry, I create a curves adjustment layer and use the highlight eye dropper on a highlight that should be neutral. (It's best if it isn't blown out.) And then the shadow dropper one something that should be black. In this case, I used the highlight eyedropper on the light vertical narrow strips on the building and the black eyedropper on the window of the red door. Change the blending mode of the adjustment layer to color. Click on and off to see if it helps. It did.

Next, I used an eye dropper reading in LAB mode. Positive numbers in a channel are magenta, while positive numbers in the b channel are yellow. Negative numbers are cold. With that in mind, it's easy to see if neutrals are too cold or warm. I added another curves adjustment layer in color mode, and I adjusted the curves, mostly to get rid of unwanted coldness in the image. That's it. It took about 2 minutes.

AlexeyD
17-Jan-2012, 07:01
Peter, that actually looks quite good - would you be so kind to mention the steps you used?

Just to add to Peter great explanation, the Dan Margulis "Professional Photoshop: The Classic Guide to Color Correction" (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Professional-Photoshop-Classic-Guide-Correction/dp/032144017X/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1326809011&sr=1-1) is the best book I know devoted to color correction (curves, channel substitution etc). It certainly helped me to do the color correction of my negatives.

Matus Kalisky
17-Jan-2012, 13:57
Thanks guys - with your help I was able to correct my C41 and even E6 quite reasonably. However - I have just realized that something must be VERY wrong with the Autofocus - after short testing I found out that the effective resolution when scanning at 2400 spi is only about 600 !!!

I am contacting Microtek guys to see what needs/can be done :(

Peter J. De Smidt
17-Jan-2012, 20:35
Oh no! I hope the autofocus issue is an easy fix.

Like Alexey, I like Dan Margulis's work, although he can be a bit of an acquired taste. You might like to register for a month of Kelbytraining.com. In particular Mr. Margulis has a series of three videos there called the "Picture Postcard Workflow", and his steps make a lot of sense. (He does color balance first, then contrast, and finally he pumps up the color.) I prefer these videos to reading his books.

Matus Kalisky
18-Jan-2012, 09:10
Oh no! I hope the autofocus issue is an easy fix.

Unfortunately that does not seem to be the case. See HERE (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=85838) ...


Like Alexey, I like Dan Margulis's work, although he can be a bit of an acquired taste. You might like to register for a month of Kelbytraining.com. In particular Mr. Margulis has a series of three videos there called the "Picture Postcard Workflow", and his steps make a lot of sense. (He does color balance first, then contrast, and finally he pumps up the color.) I prefer these videos to reading his books.
That sounds interesting - I will have a look. Thank you.

cabbiinc
19-Jan-2012, 15:57
http://www.colorneg.com/scanning_slides_and_negatives/scans/Lasersoft_Imaging/SilverFast/SE/Ai/

http://www.colorneg.com/scanning_slides_and_negatives/scans/Lasersoft_Imaging/SilverFast_8/SE/Ai/

I use Vuescan so these links are all I know about Silverfast.
Getting the full 16 bit files (also called 48 bit) is crucial for ColorPerfect to work properly.