I bought an Epson Perfection V750 Pro scanner some months ago, mainly to scan my old black-and-white negatives. That went fine so far and I've been happy with it.
Now, after shooting black-and-white exclusively with my M4-P for more than 15 years, I finally started doing a bit of color photography after buying an M8.2 end of last year. Last month, I became even more adventurous and shot two rolls of Fuji Superia Reala 100. This might have been the first rolls of color film the M4-P ever saw, although I'm not totally sure as I bought it used in the beginning of the 90s...
However, when I then scanned these two rolls, I was more than disappointed by the results. On both rolls, I had a couple of frames left at the end and used those for a few "comparison shots" with my M8. Now, I used different lenses because of the M8's crop factor and I certainly didn't apply enough care to make this a real test or comparison that could be published in a magazine. But that wasn't what I was after anyway. I just wanted to see how the colors of the analog photos looked compared to the M8.
What I can say is that the M8 more or less got the colors "right". (I shot stuff I have at home and can compare.) The scans I can't seem to get right, though. If I use Epson's own scan software, the scans all have a somewhat blue-ish cast. If I use the highly-praised SilverFast software which came with the scanner using the correct "Negafix" profile for the Fuji film, the colors are even worse and wander off towards red or purple. I also downloaded a trial version of VueScan and used its Reala profile, but the results also weren't great.
For one film I also had scans done by a scan service. While their scans weren't totally perfect either (a bit too punchy and contrasty for my taste), the colors were much better in the sense of not having an obvious color cast. This seems to demonstrate that it is possible to get the colors more or less right and even in an automated way. However, I don't seem to be able to achieve the same results here at home.
I've created a temporary webpage with some examples which I think is more convenient than having to look at lots of photos uploaded to this forum. It's here:
Fuji Reala Test Scans
Any idea what could be wrong? Am I missing something? Any hints?
Thanks in advance for your help, Edi.
- The two films were developed in two different labs, so I think the problems are likely not due to a lab ruining the film during development.
- All three scan applications provide various means of fiddling with the scan to adjust the colors and if I play with this long enough I can eventually come to a point that is acceptable. However, I couldn't figure out a setting that works well for all photos on a roll and I don't want to believe that you have to adjust each individual photo for several minutes before you can scan it.
- In case that wasn't clear, I'm only talking about the color here. For my purposes, I'm generally happy with the resolution of the scanner although the samples on the website are obviously all very low-res.
- I'm using a calibrated Eizo monitor, so that shouldn't be the reason for wrong colors. Besides, even on my laptop the differences a quite obvious.
- SilverFast provides an option to calibrate the scanner using an "IT8" target, but this is only used for slides and the profile is turned off when scanning negatives. With VueScan one can seemingly calibrate the scanner for a specific type of negative film, but I haven't done that yet.
- I understand that it is probably easier to get accurate results with slides, but I specifically want to shoot color negatives.