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reducing grain after scanning color negatives

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#1 ryee3


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Posted 23 January 2010 - 03:07

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I am beginning to scan 35mm color negatives with a Nikon 9000 scanner. Any suggestions and approaches to reduce the grain? My scanning software is Vue Scan.

Are there approaches to reduce grain on the scanning side or software approaches to improve the grain? Thanks

#2 Walt Calahan

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 03:45

If you scan the file as a TIFF, you can open the TIFF in Adobe Camera RAW and soften the grain with the luminosity slider.
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#3 stunsworth


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Posted 23 January 2010 - 12:36

Vuescan has a grain reduction option on the "Filter" tab. It might be worthwhile having a play with that.


#4 wparsonsgisnet


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Posted 23 January 2010 - 15:46

I also use VueScan with a Minolta scanner.

I complete all the postprocessing and then apply grain reduction with Neat Image as the last step. If you do a scan on grain reduction, you'll find a zillion comments about Neat Image, Noise Ninja, and others.

The GR programs are not expensive.
Bill Parsons (wparsons@gis.net), Boston, Leica user since 1970

#5 tobey bilek

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 16:38

Grain reduction and sharpening are opposing end of the same function. You really want to do the "capture sharpening" and grain reduction early in the process. Sharpening sharpens grain and grain reduction softens the image. The trick is to stop this from happening. One way is to make a layer mask with the filter- find edges function. This gives you a line drawing of the edges which you modify and soften. This is then made into a layer mask protectiog the sharp edges. Do your grain reduction on this layer.

Make a similar mask but invert it to show white lines on a black field, turn this into a mask and you can sharpen without touching the grain in large flat areas such as sky.

The Light's Right Studio Website Template

He is a tutorial that is better than what I explained.

Ron Bigelow Articles

Anothe site with a four part series on NR, top right hand side. His whole site is excellent.

If you want a book, Real World Sharpening by Bruce Fraser and Michael Schewe, $35 at Amazon.com. You will have it in two days and I recommend it.

Two other techniques are to make a selection of areas such as skies and do grain reduction just on that. Use the reduce grain function or be really agressive and use the median filter and turn the sky into blue plastic blob, then reduce layer opacity to bring it back.

You scanned images need the sharpening in two stages, capture and at final size and resolution, just like an image from a digital camera.

Modern film emulsion like the NEW Portra, Ektar 100, Fuji 160S Pro, have much less grain as a scanned image compared to older films. They are impressive. Take advantage and stay away from cheap films.

T Max 100 in D76 stock is grain free. The NEW T Max 400 is close behind. Both new emulsions are new within the last 2 or 3 years.

Grain Surgery is the best noise reduction plug in program for film. Looks like there was a buy out and you have to look a bit to get it.

I would still recommend the amsk even with a commercial NR progran. It can only help.

One more suggestion, do the NR on on indibidual channels such as blue for skies.

Use Vuescan to just make a tiff for Photoshop. All I do is get exposure and color balance correct and scan. All else is photoshop.

#6 rob_x2004


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Posted 25 January 2010 - 08:52

With colour film, usually the problem is noise and not actually grain. When you scan over large files you often arent getting any more detail and are producing file sizes your box might struggle with. Your editing programs also handle 'grain' differently. For example, Photoshop will reduce the effect as you zoom, Corel tends to hold the grain there sometimes making editing a challenge if you are working what you see is what you get. Your printer program will effect it too, smoothing bits out as it sizes to paper.
Often the best fix is simply to resample the image down to the final size you intend to use prior to post processing, which smooths things depending on the extent of the canvass size change. The other quick trick is to convert to LAB, split channels, gaussian blur A and B channels till smooth, then recombine and the horrid colours get replaced by monochrome...'grain' or texture, then revert back to your rgb8 or 16. Scanning is a black art, often it is best to work to sweet spots in your programmes/techinques. Amusingly I have sent properly edited 350kB to print that in the final and after all the alrms and warnings, showed better colour, clarity, resolution, and were all round nicer to look at than accompanying 8MB odd (digital) files that didnt recieve the same level of care and attention. Spend time and throw money at inks and papers trying different stuff is probably the best advice.
Currently - 300 GV MM, 70 GTX ML, GTX MM X 2, 200 GV MM, GV NBK MM, Brenta MM, Lorpen H2W x 8, Lorpen Lain x 16 or more? 100mm, 150mm, 200m, 2x230mm cake tins, two silicon muffin trays and a salad bowl. I'm getting a spoon, +GV400 and Prism Greens. Still got my Gara, and LD3000. Down to 1 monofin:(.

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