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tri-x and coolscan


phovsho
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Hi folks

 

My Coolscan 5000 just arrived with film roll feeder (Sa-30). I will be using NikonScan in the first instance.

 

My question, as a complete novice, what setting would you recommend for scanning tri-x?

 

Also, I understand black and white film scans often require significant clean up because ICE doesn't work. What workflow do most of you use for cleaning up your black and white scans?

 

Best and thanks

 

M

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Hello M.

I too have a 5000 (recently acquired too) and use Tri-X (@200asa/HC110).

I'm no expert, but can certainly help in the first instance by suggesting you scan the neg as a colour neg, then greyscale it in one way or another at a later date. Don't ask me why but the definition is better this way and the gradations more subtle - particularly important with Tri-X which can be a bit on/off.

Hope this helps, but I too would be interested in reading any further replies, or, indeed, comments on my suggestion!

Good luck,

Jim.

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I scan B&W films such as Tri-X as a 16 bit greyscale. My advice would be to scan at the highest resolution that the scanner offers and set the black and white points to a low value such as .5% or lower. This should capture all the tonal ranges without clipping in either the shadows or the highlights. The resulting images will look flat and lacking in contrast, but that can be put back in Photoshop or similar.

 

I use Vuescan to do the scan - VueScan Scanning Software - and haven't used the Nikon software for years.

 

Tidying up is done in Photoshop. The spot healing tool and the healing brush are the tools I tend to use.

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I agree with Jim's suggestion on scanning as RGB colour then converting to Grey later. Opinions differ on Nikonscan. I quite like it for some films but find it does not give good results with Tri-X (and B & W film generally) It seems to produce more of "pepper & salt" look than other scanning software. I tend to use Silverfast most of the time because of this (and also because Nikonscan can be a bit flaky on my Macs) There are also many fans of Vuescan on the forum but I just can't get to grips with the interface.

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I have played around with settings and scan modes on my Minolta 5400 II scanner, and I have also noted a tendency for Tri-X scans to come out "salt-and-peppery".

 

My solution to this has been to use Silverfast with full (5400 dpi) resolution, 16-bit greyscale and use the grain equalisation function to manage the salt and pepper effect. The grain will depend on the developer (I used Rodinal when I still processed my own film), so the settings used in the grain equalisation would have to be tweaked according to taste.

 

I believe this would work with a Nikon scanner, too

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I do it as Keith does, greyscale scanning and then adjusting curves afterwards. No point in scanning colour. But then again, I scan with a Polaroid Sprint Scan Plus 35, I don't know how it compares to Coolscan. For screen use it certainly satisfies my needs, for prints I prefer the darkroom anyways.

No ICE or other automatic correction whatsoever, so it's absolutely vital that you have as little dust as possible on the negatives. I achieve that by developing with Kinderman developing tanks and letting the film dry before I take it out of the reel. Thanks to a radid dryer, that doesn't take too long.

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I always scan my Tri-X as a b&w negative on my Coolscan V, carefully choosing the options in Vuescan to get the best out of the preview.

 

B&W film needs no clean up at all, if you have kept your negatives clean ;)

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I have a 9000 but I'm sure the principle is the same.

 

No matter how clean your negatives, dust will always get on them while you're loading into the scanner. Especially so if you're wearing any type of fibrous clothing like wool. So step #1 for me is to load the film, lock the holder and then blow dust off with a bellows blower. (Definitely don't use aerosol).

 

Step #2 is scan 16 bit grayscale, monochrome film using NikonScan. Turn off all automatic settings. Set the curves individually for the exposure - each frame may be turn out to be slightly different. I scan at x16 multiple passes.

 

The above produces scans with full tonal range, zero dust and highest quality. For greater speed use the batch scanning feature.

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