Low contrast and blue tones

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by dave_bullivant, Oct 30, 2014.

  1. Hello all,
    I have been developing c41 at home this year, and until now have just been happy that I am getting a consistent image and correcting any colour balance issues during post production. But now I am looking at the quality of the actual neg and wanted to see if I am doing something wrong.
    I have attached an image which is a straight scan without any corrections.
    Is this look normal? Does it always need some correction, or am I doing something totally wrong. Here's an outline of my process using the tetenal chemicals:
    Preheat film tank (with film in) with hot tap water for 5 min.
    Dev for 3.15min with 1 min full agitation, then 5 secs every 30.
    Blix for 4min, agitation as above.
    Rinse in cold tap water for 3.5 mins, changing the water every 1 min.
    Stab for 1 min, full agitation.
    Mineral water with wetting agent for 3 mins (no agitation)
    Then hung out to dry.
    Scanned with an epson v700 with epsonscan, using digital ICE but nothing else.
    Any thoughts would be very much appreciated.
  2. That's pretty much what I would expect from a V700. I have the same scanner, but I have never been really happy with its neg scans. Even with post production the colours never seem to be right. Contrast that with my Nikon Coolscan which nails it every time.
  3. Are you about to learn color balance and color temperature of films and times of the day? I have a V700 and I see nothing like that since I set guidelines for it.
  4. I don't understand your response Larry. I understand about colour balance, colour temperature of films, and I'm pretty sure I know what the time is ;) I have followed the guidelines for the scanner, so my question is what I might be doing wrong with the processing. Each time I scan I click reset on all of the colour adjustments that the scanner puts on. Is that what might be causing it?
  5. Software. It is the baim of every person since the first Minilab. A Raw can is just that. It needs ideas and contrast. nothing is perfect other than a Kodachrome slide.
  6. At least 6.5 mins in the Blix, longer won't hurt. You can put processed film back through the bleach/fix, wash, stabilizer steps and it could help a little.

    No agitation in the stabilizer and nothing should touch the film after stabilizer.

    The blue cast is from the orange mask built into the film. Software must correct that out. The auto color in Epson Scan is
    not all that good but some people are happy with it. Try taking the scan to photoshop and using auto color balance or
    auto tone. That will get you 90% or more to balance. Some scans will need more manual adjustments.
  7. ColorPerfect. Amazing software. Takes a raw linear scan and waves a magic wand at it.
  8. "Mineral water with wetting agent for 3 mins (no agitation"

    Can't speak to the blue tone but mineral water? It's full of -- minerals. Lots of little microscopic stuff you don't want drying on your negatives whether you can see it or not. If the water you are using is good enough to mix the chemicals with and wash the film with, it's good enough for this. If not, then distilled water. But not mineral water.
  9. If you really want to troubleshoot your processing, take a picture of a neutral grey step tablet in daylight. Do a scan of just the tablet, and see if it stays neutral gray from white to black. (Don't use white-point and black-point corrections in scanning.) Problems in C-41 processing will result in the H-D curves for the three colors (RGB) getting non-parallel, known as "crossover".
  10. I think the moral of the story is that you need to postprocess everything.
  11. Two clicks later (set white and black points).
  12. I also dont have color issues with my Epson neg scanning. If the neg actually looks bluish and
    washed out, then I concur the problem is with processing, not the scanner.
  13. I never get color casts like that with my V600 using the Epson software. I would check your settings for whatever software you're using. Maybe set to the wrong type of film.
  14. The thing is that this is not actually a problem. Using a scanner with negatives on defaults and no post at all is the digital
    equivalent of printing with your color light source dials set to random numbers and not using a timer. Of course it looks
    wrong. You are meant to use corrections in software.
  15. Maybe set to the wrong type of film.​
    Likely that or somehow the settings are off. If it were the processing, you could probably tell by looking at the negative if you have experience with C/N films.
  16. Hi Les,
    Very nice correction. I downloaded the original image and tried it myself, but I could not get any where near your saturation level using levels. First I tried adjusting the points in the RGB composite channel. I did not like the results. Then I tried adjusting the points in the individual R, G, and B channels as well as the overall contrast in the RGB composit; that came closer, but nowhere near your saturation. Here is my best try. (I am using Photoshop CS5)
    What were your black point and white point settings? Did you convert to another color space? I would like to learn how to do this.
  17. Brooks: Sometimes luck plays a part <g>. I chose the top of the bright tent structure(?) under the white curve at left center for my white point. For the black point, I picked the dark blob to the left of the "tent". Those were my "two clicks". I also clicked on part of the subject's blouse for the midpoint, but it only lowered the contrast slightly. Now I'm going to go see if I can repeat the experiment.
    EDIT: Yup. Two clicks are all it takes. Any version of PS should work, as should Elements, etc.
  18. Thank you, Les. Now I see. You were using the eye droppers on the Levels layer. It works very nicely.
    Thank you for the lesson.

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