Latest Vuescan and color neg problems

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by ron_hacker, May 14, 2021.

  1. I have been using Vuescan to scan slide film and color negs with a Coolscan V for many years with great effect. recently, however, with the latest updates I am experiencing problems with the color negs, The preview starts out very good, bright and clear, and then when it ends the image is darker and looks as if the image has been shot through a nylon stocking, or similar filter. The scan is also dark and hazy. I cranked up another computer with a Vuescan program from 2018 and the previews and scans were as they should be. Is this a problem for anyone else? The Vuescan updates are and and as well.
  2. I should have figured this out earlier but did not. After posting the above I went back to Vuescan on the screen and started experimenting with different settings . I had done this earlier but had not changed my whitepoint setting which had been at 1 for a long time. Increasing this to 3-3.5 made a world of difference. The previews were now bright and clear as were the scans. Problem solved, I hope. I have tens of thousands of negatives and slides dating back to the late 1940's and I plod along trying to scan as many as I can in the brief time I have left. Thanks. Ike donning life Jacket.jpg
  3. The Photo is of General Ike donning a life jacket on the deck of the USS Des Moines CA134 as he departs the ship in 1951. Photo taken with an Argus C3
  4. Great you got it sorted out.

    Why not play around with more settings and get really used to them, it's the only way to get what you want out of a scan,

    A trick I use if I can't get things right, is to do the scan in "Basic" mode. All the adjustments are automatically done for you in that mode and all you have to do then is to view the finished scan, after which you can assess if it's the neg or slide that's at fault. If the neg or slide is ok, and you want a tiff instead of a jpeg and a larger size, scan in "Professional" mode and make the necessary adjustments manually.
  5. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    Are you saying the preview (or prescan) looks good and the final scan differs in color appearance?
  6. Not just Vuescan, which I still use sometimes, but scanning software in general is very sensitive to changing the parameters- and these often have to be reset when upgrades come along.

    I mostly use the old Nikon software (re-animated on my older machine that serves the CoolScan), but it took quite a while to find the 'right' settings again.

    Was that Kodachrome for Ike?

    Looking forward to seeing more of the old ones:)
  7. Not particularly

    I'm only pointing out that if you have difficulty in getting a scan right, a way you can prove if the neg or slide is problematic, and maybe not your attempts, by scanning in Basic mode which will sort out all the adjustments automatically without you doing a thing. Now, if Basic can't come up with a good scan, practically nothing will. Which mode are you using to do your scans ? Professional mode can leave you a bit bewildered at times, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't use it.

    Anyway, it seems you've solved the problem of getting the preview to match the scans and not looking like they went through a stocking, more power to you and keep practicing with those settings, that's the answer.

    Yep, looking forward to seeing more pics
  8. Yes, the film was Kodachrome and it still looks as good today as when I took the photo almost 70 years ago. The Des Moines was on her rotation as the Sixth Fleet flagship in the Med on her 1951-52 Cruise. We had one or more Midway class carriers and Ike, who at that time was Commander of SHAPE came aboard one night in the Bay of Naples in order to observe Sixth Fleet air maneuvers. I was a fire controlman in the FOX division, working in the 3In50 repair gang and was assigned to a Ford Instrument computer in the plotting room for the 5 inch guns for general quarters.

    We pulled out about 5 am the next morning and soon ran into very heavy seas. The FOX division was quartered just below the mess deck and soon the sound of mess tables and garbage cans sliding around above was heard. The seas got so heavy that few if any sailors were allowed topside. This went on all day and also the following day. Only the members of the crew needed on the bridge were moving about. It was impossible to hold air maneuvers when large ships were pitching and yawing so much.

    Finally on the third day out the weather had cleared and we found ourselves just off the coast of Southern France. This was the first time that most of us had seen Ike. He was preparing to leave the ship on our helicopter. I climbed up into the superstructure and took a few photos of his departure. He was donning a life jacket, the Marines were at attention near him and by custom, 8 sailors as sideboys were preparing to send him off.

    I took a number of rolls of film on that cruise and when we departed Gibraltar at the end of the cruise I sold the Argus C3 to my hometown buddy that I had talked to elisting with me in Sept. of 1950. He and all other snipe strikers were assigned to the USS Preston , a 2100 class destroyer just being recommissioned in Long Beach, The Preston was in the fleet that relieved us. He died a dew weeks ago, still owning that Argus C3. I miss him

    On our return voyage Our division officer told us that the USS Missouri was going to return to Korea in the fall and that it needed Fire Controlmen. Three of us volunteered to transfer and so after seeing Europe I had a chance to see Asia. The next two years were quite eventful.
    Last edited: May 15, 2021
    bgelfand likes this.
  9. Great idea . I will do this!
  10. Thanks for the background. I too find my old, almost all still unfaded, Kodachromes a kind of time machine.
    These kinds of stories make things come alive somehow.:)
  11. If it wasn't bust, why try to fix it?

    Could you not simply revert to a version of Vuescan that worked as expected?
  12. My only thought is whether this is really the way the slide looks with magenta decks and deep, impenetrable shadows? I would reduce magenta or boost the green, reduce the overall color saturation, and boost the shadows. Of course, if the slide was underexposed to start with (which is quite likely) you can't probably do much about the shadows, but trying to balance the magenta cast and reducing the saturation should help. It is an interesting shot.
  13. It's actually a blue cast, made to look magenta by the expanse of reddish deck.
    Blue curve manipulated, RGB curve shadows boosted, saturation reduced 10%.

    There's no more shadow detail to be got from this 8 bit JPEG, and I suspect the original film also has blocked shadows. But certainly the colour balance can be improved upon.
    Last edited: May 18, 2021
  14. P.S. Maybe the sailor with the 5"x4" press camera - upper middle left - should have got himself onto the higher decks as well! I can't imagine that he got a very inspiring shot from down there.
  15. Great picture of Ike on the ship. It seems that the scanner clipped the whites and blacks. Try setting the histogram (black and white points) outside of the range of the film. If you're not sure, just set it at 0 and 255 input and 0 and 255 output and adjust afterwards in post. I use Epsonscan on my Epson scanners so I'm not familiar with how you would do that in Vuescan. Which scanner do you use?

    Here are some 50-year-old Kodachromes I scanned. Family - 35mm Kodachrome
  16. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    Can you explain and show how one sets a Histogram outside 'the range of the film"?
  17. Using Epsonscan on an Epson scanner, you Prescan the shot. Crop out any rebate. Then set the black and white points beyond the range of the histogram. For example, let's say the histogram range shows 15-210. Set the black In to around 10 and the white In to around 215. Set output range to 0 and 255. Then do a full scan. Once in the editing app, adjust the levels (black and white points ) to taste as well as the other setting like contrast, curves, etc.
    kmac likes this.
  18. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    Using Epsonscan on an Epson scanner, you Prescan the shot. Crop out any rebate. Then set the black and white points beyond the range of the histogram.[/QUOTE]
    Again, the words used don't make much sense (set beyond the range of the Histogram). Kind of like writing "crank up the volume to 11" (the dial only goes to 10). Perhaps you can supply a screen capture of what this means: set a Histogram "outside the range of the film" and "beyond the range of the histogram".

    Here's an example of a Histogram: How does one set it outside the range of said Histogram?

    The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ‘tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” - Mark Twain

    Do you understand that by altering both sets of values (Input and Output levels like shown above), this is utterly counter productive? Are you aware of the Histogram settings which affect Tonal Compression and Tonal Expansion?
    Last edited: May 19, 2021
  19. This is how I do it. If there is a better way, I'd sure like to know.

    First I prescan. Then I adjust the histogram settings only. I move the black point just to the left as shown by the orange pointer. I move the white point just to the right of the histogram as shown by the green arrow. The gray arrow is not changed. I let it float wherever it goes. I then revise the output to 0 and 255. Then I do a full scan.
    Last edited: May 19, 2021
  20. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    The better way would be to adjust all that at the scan stage and be done. At least it's done in high bit which may or may not be the case after the scan. And why do this twice????

    In both cases you show, and I show, you are adjusting the 'Histogram'.

    The much better way would be not to expand and then contract (or vise versa) the tonal data; again it's counterproductive. You are first moving black's one way, then moving them back the other way.

    Input and Output levels are like a yin and yang. If you need yang, you use Input levels; or vise versa. What you describe is like taking two steps forward then (at least) 1 step back. When you move the Input black point from the default, you are telling the product to to turn all the pixels at that level and lower to be black. The opposite is happening with the Output black level: As you increase the value, it limits/reduces the darkest pixels in the image to which you've set it. Again, makes zero sense to me. Perhaps you can explain?

    This is no different than in Photoshop and this illustration from a 1999 edition of RWP by Fraser clearly shows the differences and the only reason he's doing both is for illustration:

    A better way would be to actually explain, as Bruce has done below, what Input and Output do, and why.
    One is not setting a Histogram outside 'the range of the film" or "beyond the range of the Histogram."

    You may need a Histogram primer Alan:
    Everything you thought you wanted to know about Histograms
    Another exhaustive 40 minute video examining:
    What are histograms. In Photoshop, ACR, Lightroom.
    Histograms: clipping color and tones, color spaces and color gamut.
    Histogram and Photoshop’s Level’s command.
    Histograms don’t tell us our images are good (examples).
    Misconceptions about histograms. How they lie.
    Histograms and Expose To The Right (ETTR).
    Are histograms useful and if so, how?

    Low rez (YouTube):
    High rez:

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