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Thread: Scanning old color negative film

  1. #1

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    Scanning old color negative film

    I did a lot of color work in 5X7 back in the late 70s-early 80s, both color negative and transparencies. With a project in mind to print some of this work on photo rag paper with a pigment inkjet printer I started to review the old collection of negatives and transparencies, most of which I had not looked at in about ten years. All of this has been stored in an air conditioned environment.

    Nearly all of the transparencies have held up very well. Course, they have the same limited dynamic range today that they had in the 1970s so scanning and printing will not be easy. Big surprise with the color negatives. When I last looked at the color negatives about ten years ago they had very little color shift and scanned and printed great. Wow, what a difference a decade makes! Now I am seeing major color shifts, from the outside>inward, on nearly all of the color negatives.

    Thankfully, back then a lot of my work was done with color separations on B&W film through Red, Green and Blue filters. Back then this work had to be printed with assembly processes, but today it is possible to scan and combine the color layers in PS, and the quality is pretty remarkable.

    Question though is this. Anyone have any tricks for restoring color with old color negatives where there is a lot of color shift? It seems doable, but lots of work in PS.

    Sandy
    http://www.sandykingphotography.com/
    For discussion and information about carbon transfer please visit the carbon group at Yahoo.
    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...nTransfer/info

  2. #2
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    Re: Scanning old color negative film

    Quote Originally Posted by sanking View Post
    Question though is this. Anyone have any tricks for restoring color with old color negatives where there is a lot of color shift? It seems doable, but lots of work in PS.
    Ctein's latest book -

    http://photo-repair.com/DigiRestBook.htm

    - has about 45 pages specifically on color restoration. At least to my superficial reading of it so far, it seems pretty labor intensive to me, though surely it goes faster once you get the hang of it.

  3. #3

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    Re: Scanning old color negative film

    Quote Originally Posted by Oren Grad View Post
    Ctein's latest book -

    http://photo-repair.com/DigiRestBook.htm

    - has about 45 pages specifically on color restoration. At least to my superficial reading of it so far, it seems pretty labor intensive to me, though surely it goes faster once you get the hang of it.
    I will have to get Ctein's book. And yes, it is very labor intensive. I spent hours correcting the attached color negative. And I still have some work to do!!

    Sandy King
    http://www.sandykingphotography.com/
    For discussion and information about carbon transfer please visit the carbon group at Yahoo.
    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...nTransfer/info

  4. #4

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    Re: Scanning old color negative film

    A suggestion I heard recently (on this forum) but haven't yet tried is to convert to LAB and make the color adjustments. In lab, there are only the two color dimensions, "a" and "b". So, shifting color isn't as bad as in RGB. After making the adjustments, then convert back to the original workspace.

    The thing is, the color shift may not be the same for all colors.

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