1970s Agfa slides scan settings in VueScan?

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by doug_green|1, May 14, 2020.

  1. Patience please - relative beginner!

    The Kodachrome slides have held up quite well, but the Agfa, kept in the same sealed plastic tubs with silica gel, seem to have faded and taken on a slightly red cast and/or a preponderance of green if thats not too much of a contradiction. The Agfa slides have a buildup of deposits on the emulsion which resists removal. IR clean suppresses it but not totally. None of the Kodak slides have this.

    In the hope that someone else has met the same issue, I wonder whether anyone could offer setting for me to start experimenting with? I am on the scanning learning curve, honing my skills on the family holiday pics before tackling thousands of aviation slides and negs, with a Coolscan 5000ED on a Mac in case that's relevant.

    Images are with default settings in Vuescan with no post editing.

    Many Thanks Scan-200514-0014.jpg Scan-200514-0015.jpg Scan-200514-0013.jpg Scan-200514-0016.jpg
     
  2. I'm not familiar with the scanner, or what software you are using, but the Epson software has a 'colour correct' tick box that always seems to do a pretty decent job to me. Might you have a similar option?
     
  3. SCL

    SCL

    Your scans look ok - they just need some light post processing. I merely applied color levels and sharpening in GIMP and they came out just fine.
     
  4. Thanks for the suggestions. The auto correct in Lightroom doesn't make much difference, and I've been all over the various sliders including the individual colour. It seems there's no longer any blue or aqua to work with and red + green have survived the ravages of time.
     
  5. For old slides they're not too bad. This one had a yellow stain in the cloud just right of the minaret. I cloned it out, and got rid of the lint mark on the concrete slab with the Healing Brush in PhotoShop. Some other adjustments, auto tone, auto contrast, color, saturation, seemed to lift it a good bit. Sharpening was done in Mac's Preview "Adjust Color" panel, the only sharpener I use. Would you want any better than this from an old slide ?



    adjustments.jpg
     
  6. I appreciate your taking the trouble (or accepting the challenge!) to show me what is achievable, and I'll deploy those suggestions. Most have the yellow smudge you removed, that is the "ground zero" of a web of fungal growth which covers most of each slide.

    I agree I am probably expecting too much from these 37 year old Agfacolours. I seem to recall they went to Bangkok for processing (we lived in Singapore - high humidity/temperature), and later Agfa slides which I had done in the US have lasted far better. Also I'm not sure at what stage we started keeping them in plastic boxes with silica gel! Having said all that, I have some Kodachrome from the previous year which lost colour as bad as these but with little fungus, but also some KC from the same years these (1973) which are nearly as good as new. I think the KC were processed in Singapore.

    Thanks again - I'll persevere up the learning curve!
     
  7. I have scanned a few hundred Agfa slides from the 70s as part of a family archive. Interestingly, most of mine have a blue cast. The worst ones have blue 'spots' which can't be easily fixed with simple color correction - they look like mold spots but I don't want to attempt to clean them lest I will make the problem worse.

    Given the volume of slides and the lack of time I had to apply to the project, I simply made the spots less obvious by desaturating a very narrow color range which covered all of the spots. I have saved the RAW files in the hope I will find some time in the next few years to circle back and properly restore those slides which have the most personal value.

    In general, Agfa slides have held up poorly in comparison to the Kodachrome slides from another family archive. Some Kodachromes from the 50s still look amazing!
     
  8. Hardly any other color films outdo Kodachrome in longevity.
    I wouldn't worry so much about the 'settings' for the scan. I personally have got better results just using the default film brand settings and then correcting the slide image in Photoshop. Very often just using the dropper for the lightest (white) and the darkest (black) in the image will bring it close to something more like unfaded colors.
     
  9. That's not bad - if you have Photoshop, and the "fading" is fairly consistent across colors, try duplicating the background layer, and change the layer from "Normal" to "Multiply". You can then adjust the opacity for the new layer to get the level you want.

    There are other (more sophisticated) ways to do it, but this has the virtue of taking about two seconds to see if it gets you close to where you want to be.
     
  10. It's pretty far gone and unlikely Vuescan will do much. The typist can be helped out with something like the Nik Color Efex plug-in to remedy the nasty color shift and lost contrast. I'd go for something more painterly since you'll probably go mad trying to get close to "accurate" color restoration. Old Ektachromes are as bad or worse.
     

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