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Stealth3kpl

Slide Scanning. Where am I going wrong?

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Take a look at this image. Does it look ok to you (apart from being over sharpened perhaps)? I've looked at it so much this week I can't tell anymore.

V700, recommended Vuescan settings. Should I be expecting better? What Vuescan settings do you use?

Pete (pulling his hair out).

Edited by Stealth3kpl

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Looks OK apart from the blocked out shadows in the, erm, shadow area. There is some detail there, that you should be able to recover in PS.

 

Great Gable, isn't it?

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Without the original for comparison, it's hard to tell what "wrong" or "better" are. Can you describe what you think is missing?

 

I'd say it is possible to get a lot more detail out of that swath of shadow in the middle (if that's what you want) - and that there is a magenta cast (visible in the cloud highlights and the edges of the cloud shadows). And a lack of saturation, perhaps due to the magenta contamination of the greens.

 

As to the shadows - you probably need to work with the curves when scanning - raising the left-hand side. PS can help, but the more separation you can achieve in the original scan, the better.

Edited by adan

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If that were one of my scans I would say it was too contrasty and with a blue colour cast showing on the far hills. As for being what you could expect this may be governed more by the scanner you are using than your skill in adjusting the settings in VueScan.

 

There is a whole thread devoted to this problem with the V700 and Vue Scan have you seen it?

 

http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-forum/film-forum/136222-v700-vuescan-colour-management.html

 

Sorry I can't be of more help but I don't use Vue Scan.

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If you are using Vuescan to scan slides, make sure you have set the input to "Image", NOT "Slide"

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Without the original for comparison, it's hard to tell what "wrong" or "better" are. Can you describe what you think is missing?

 

I'd say it is possible to get a lot more detail out of that swath of shadow in the middle (if that's what you want) - and that there is a magenta cast (visible in the cloud highlights and the edges of the cloud shadows). And a lack of saturation, perhaps due to the magenta contamination of the greens.

 

As to the shadows - you probably need to work with the curves when scanning - raising the left-hand side. PS can help, but the more separation you can achieve in the original scan, the better.

 

I suppose I feel that it is too contrasty but I'm having difficulty reducing contrast without it appearing dull and bland. I wasn't really wanting to bring out what's in the shaddow particularly - I suppose some will come out when contrast is reduced. It was a bright sunny day but somehow the image doesn't sparkle like I imagined it would. It almost looks like a drawing somehow. I've tried clicking on various greys but this is about the best I could get it.

Pete

Edited by Stealth3kpl

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If you are using Vuescan to scan slides, make sure you have set the input to "Image", NOT "Slide"

What is the difference between the two settings? I was scanning on Slide.

Pete

Edited by Stealth3kpl

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"Image" just takes a scan of what's in the scanner. "Slide" tries to correct for a brand and type of film - Vuescan's biggest failing, IMHO, is a lack of up-to-date film types in its database. What type of film was this?

 

Since I was given this tip, I have found scanning slides to be much easier.

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It is inherent in translating slides to "opaque media" (computer screens, paper) that they lose some of their contrast and become somewhat bland.

 

On a projection screen or lightbox, the eye compensates for the extreme brightness range in that it can see into the shadows without losing a sense of the overall "brilliance."

 

Practically speaking, here's a rough rework of your image. Key techniques were:

 

- increasing contrast (making the tone curve steeper) in only the 3/4s tones (the light areas of the mountains) using PS curves. Pinning the bottom half of the tones to avoid darkening the shadows, and pinning the last 5% of highlights to avoid bleaching the clouds.

 

This is probably the key technique, since it restored that color slide "snap" to the pale tones without causing any further darkening of the deep shadows.

 

Get to know and love your "curves" in both scanning and post-processing - they are the most powerful tool for pulling the most out of any image.

 

- selecting the deep shadow and using "Shadows/highlights" and a raised curve sequentially to bring out the detail.

 

- using curves to increase the green and decrease the blue.

 

- Desaturating blues, cyans and magentas (magentas all the way to zero in this landscape shot). With a slight overall increase in saturation.

 

Again, that is what can be done after the fact. And from a precompressed web jpeg. Working from the original, the results would be cleaner and more controllable.

 

Edit- to add an image of the PS curve adjustment used to add brilliance:

Edited by adan

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"Image" just takes a scan of what's in the scanner. "Slide" tries to correct for a brand and type of film - Vuescan's biggest failing, IMHO, is a lack of up-to-date film types in its database. What type of film was this?

 

Since I was given this tip, I have found scanning slides to be much easier.

 

It's velvia but it's a few years old (a friend gave me about 50 films of velvia, sensia and provia) and I think I've under exposed the film in general. I haven't projected them to see how they appear. I suspect I'm on to a loser from the start.

Strangely, my Vuescan set on Slide only has presets for Kodak. Do you have any Fuji profiles on yours?

Pete

Edited by Stealth3kpl

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Thanks ADAN. My scans are coming out so dark from the scanner that I've started to suspect my exposures are all wrong. I think this is one of the better exposed images. I've played a few times with the curves and white/black points and brightness in Vuescan but really don't seem to get anywhere. I think I'll dig some of my old slides out and see if that makes any difference. I didn't seem to have this problem in the past.

Pete

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Hi, I've upgraded my Vuescan software to version 2- since then, and having really studied the beast, I find that there is a great improvement. I too am using an epson scanner, but I found the standard epson software virtually useless. I did have Silverfast, which is vastly different, but it is much much more expensive, although somewhat easier to use.

Now, I use vuescan almost all the time; it does pay to study it though, as it is quite comprehensive, but patience does help ! I use fuji Velvia 50 and 100 almost exclusively, which I find does help a little, as you become used to the parameters of both speeds of the film. Hope this helps a little.

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and that there is a magenta cast (visible in the cloud highlights and the edges of the cloud shadows).

ADAN, is this something you've judged by eye or do you use some sort of eyedropper in photoshop to check the colour balance at various points. What's the trick to colour balance?

Pete

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Both.

 

I sometimes crank the saturation WAY up temporarily since that will visually reveal subtle color casts (in the case of your image, the pink in the clouds). I also use the eyedropper, backed up with 35 years experience analysizing and color-balancing probably 50,000 images (digitally and in wet color darkrooms).

 

Sometimes I use PhotoShop's "Variations" adjustment to judge casts (usually not for making the actual corrections) - it is analogous to the color viewing filters we used in wet darkrooms for judging color balance:

 

Amazon.com: 3 Density Color Print Viewing Kit: Camera & Photo

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If it's Velvia you're using, then you are starting at the "hard" end of the scale. It's pretty unforgiving of exposure and has very little latitude, as you have found from your shadows here.

 

It might be an idea to practice with a slide that doesn't show such extremes.

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It looks perfect. The blue color in the far hills belongs there.

 

Now there is the issue of the big shadow. IF there is detail there in the negative, I would make a second scan with correct exposure for the shadow only, layer them in photoshop, use the arrow keys and temporary difference mode to get perfect allignment, then mask the dark shadow on the top layer so the lower correctly exposed shadow shows thru.

 

I do this all the time and it works well. Without photoshop, I have no idea how to accomplish it.

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Thanks, I will. I've been scanning tonight and have got much better files out than before (TIFFS rather than TIFF RAW) so I'll have a play with software later.

I think I'm getting closer to what I'm trying to achieve. It may not be to everyone's taste but it's close to what we saw.

Pete

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