How to get that last 5% of perfection in my scans

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by jimsimmons, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. Well, I've gotten pretty close to getting the colour accuracy I want from my scans, but they still need as touch of adjustment in photoshop, which is no big deal, but I'm curious as to which of the many possible areas could be what's holding me back from perfection? I'm just writing this up to get some feedback on what issues might be most likely. It could well be that each of these issues add a bit to the problem. What do you think?
    1. Scanner is inexpensive Minolta Dual Scan IV. Never had any trouble with it. Sharp for its 3200 ppi resolution, but like I said, inexpensive.
    2. Profiling the scanner with VueScan, which is good, but not top end "pro" software.
    3. Using a Kodak Ektachrome IT8 target from around 2002, so perhaps its colour have drifted a bit from when it was new?
    4. Scanned film is Kodak E100G, using a test image that contains a full range of colour, but a concrete wall that makes it easy to right-click i Levels to establish a neutral gray tone in photoshop.
    5. The scans come out with a bit too much magenta and cyan.
    6. I have also used the same IT8 target to profile my Epson V700 with VueScan, and those results are a little different, although also pretty good. This tells me that at a minimum, the scanners aren't looking at all the colours the same way, as the IT8 target and the profiling software are the same.
    Anybody got any observations on all of this?
  2. I haven't used them myself (though I am considering it), but I've read good things about Hutch Color targets.
  3. How's the bulb in your Minolta? Is it fairly new, or pretty old?
    Also, how are your scans if you don't use the profile you made? Maybe you don't even need to profile it?
    Recently I blundered my way into a situation where I now have three good scanners, all different makes. I love the scans from all three, but they're all different. It's a crap shoot. I'm trying to get a handle on this. But so far I haven't really had the urge to profile any of them; I can usually get in the ball park, then tweak it in Photoshop. Also, I've become a real fan of scanning to RAW so that then I have a good archive copy to work with when the day comes that I know more about scanning than I do now (this day shows up on a fairly regular basis lately, I'm afraid...); that way I won't have to re-scan anything.
    Anyway, I'd ponder the bulb in the Minolta. Maybe you could do five or ten scans, ending the series with the same one you started with, and see if #1 and #10 are the same. If there's no variation, then at least you'll know that the bulb is giving you consistent results.
  4. That's a good idea, Michael, to do a series and see if they're consistent. The scanner has not been used a lot. Steadily over the years, but not a lot. But I'll give it the test.
    My scans are way better with the scanner profile inserted into VueScan. Like I said, I'm getting very good scans now, it's just that they still need a little tweaking in PS to get them to match the slide on the light table. So little tweaking that I really shouldn't complain. But now that I'm getting identical prints that match what's on my screen by having professional paper profiles made, I'd like to get this part of the workflow working that well also. When digital is working properly, it's a beautiful thing!

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