Need Scanning Help...

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by willscarlett, Dec 20, 2015.

  1. I used to use a Nikon SuperCool Scan 9000, until it broke. From 2013 until recently, I didn't have a film scanner, but finally replaced it with the Plustek OpticFilm 120, which comes with the SilverFast software. During the time when I didn't have a scanner, I was able to get a friend of mine to do some scanning for me. He has an Epson flatbed, tho I don't remember what kind nor which software he uses.
    I'm currently having trouble learning the SilverFast 8 software. I'll post pictures below of the same image scanned between the Epson flatbed and OpticFilm, with the OpticFilm image adjusted in lightroom. Basically, it seems like the SilverFast software is really overexposing my negatives. When I look at my negs, they don't look anywhere near as dense as SilverFast is scanning them to be.
    How can I fix this?
  2. Here's the same shot scanned using the OpticFilm and SilverFast 8
  3. Here's the OpticFilm scan again, but adjusted in Lightroom
  4. Here's another one... my negative is nowhere near as dense as this scan makes it look
  5. Silverfat AI or SE?
    When I had Silverfast AI 6 I selected a good negative and Slide, scanned both at optical limit of the scanner in Auto exposure and saved them as the reference. Next I set the software to Manual and started moving one adjustment slider 10% at a time and did a scan at 1200 to 2400 dpi, evaluated the results, moved the same slider another 10% and made another scan. Once I hit the scan that had obvious distortion I backed up in 5% then 1% increments until I found the limit for that control. Next I reset the first control to default and tried the next one repeating the procedure until I had gone through all settings individually then started adjusting them in pairs then in higher multiples until I had all combinations of controls worked out. It took 3 to 4 hours per night for 4 or 5 nights to work through everything. Vuescan is the only software I still need to work through as it has settings I'm not familiar with and has some auto settings I need to turn off.
    While I'm not familiar with Silverfast 8 I can most likely figure it out quickly. Take the time to learn to learn scanning with it. In the mean time post a screen shot of the settings window as you are currently using it.
  6. Charles, thanks for your help. When I get home from work tonight, I'll post a screenshot
  7. Silverfast AI. Below is a screen grab of the workspace
  8. Tells me nothing about your settings. What setting are visible are so small that they cannot be read. There are several free screen shot programs that allow one to to select an area to be saved.;brandnav
    show the settings plane only.
    Including the film edge or the holder frame will throw the autoexposure off when scanning.
  9. Sorry, the following screen shots should help more. Let me know if there are additional settings you need to see. Interestingly enough, I ran a few samples through VueScan. The initial previews in that software were very overexposed, but then were automatically brought back down to very reasonable levels. I'd compare VueScan's auto adjustments to what I get after adjusting SilverFast's scans in Lightroom.
    Anyways, the screenshots
  10. Densitometer
  11. Navigator
  12. Picture Settings
  13. Histogram
  14. Gradation
  15. Selective Color to Gray
  16. General Settings
  17. If you look back at the Navigator grab, you can get an idea of what the finished preview scan looked. I took a full screen grab just before the preview scan finished and whatever auto adjustments occurred. Here's what it looked like:
  18. In CMS you have both input to working space and working space to monitor set to the same.
    Input should be the scanner calibration profile if created, Adobe RGB, sRGB, but not the monitor profile.
    What options are available in the input to workspace drop down box?
    What options are available for the workspace to monitor and working space to output drop boxes?
    In the Negafix plane you should use the drop down menues to select the film manufacturer, film type, and film speed. They should only be at the generic position they are now in if the film type is not listed.
    Picture setting, histogram, gradation all show the layout of the scanned image. Current state shows the majority of the image information is compressed into the mid highlight to highlight section. This can be due to exposure/processing of the film, the lack of the correct film type selected, incorrect profiles selected in Color Management (CMS) or a combination of these 3 elements.
    Selective color to gray is for removing color cast or inducing one for a toned image look.
    Thanks for the detailed screen shot breakdowns.
  19. John-Paul, I have the same setup--Opticscan 120 run from Silverfast--and I tend to be very intuitive about the settings. Keep playing with them until the image looks good. Ansel Adams's advice still holds: "get the information onto the negative," or in this case, into the scan. I actually prefer a somewhat overexposed, low-contrast scan because it's easier to darken it later than to brighten it, as brightening can introduce noise in the shadows. I agree with Charles that you should make sure you've selected the correct film type. But if you have, and the scans are still overexposed, you can use the sliders to lower the exposure or adjust the histogram until it looks better. Remember, too, that once you start working with the image, you can always lower the exposure in Camera Raw before you put it into Lightroom or Photoshop--where you can also darken it.
    The detail that concerns me more than the brightness is that you have the resolution at just 300 ppi. Unless you have a severe problem with storage space on your hard drive, the resolution should be up around 2650 or even 5,300. (There's also an option for 10,800 but that's only for fanatics.) Otherwise, if you need to crop or make a large print, the image will look soft.
  20. Charles and William, thanks for your replies. I'll adjust the settings when I get home from work tonight. I normally do scan at 5300, but sometimes that gets reset when I remove all the items from the Job Manager window.
    As for the CMS window, there are no other options for Input to Working Space and Working Space to Monitor. How would I go about creating a scanner profile?
    In NegaFix, there are no options for Fuji Acros, which is why I had it set to generic.
    By the way, there's no way to Batch Scan the previews? I only seem to be able to get them done one by one.
    I also forgot to post a shot of the 'General' area within the preferences. Here is that now.
  21. Incidentally, all the rolls of color that I've scanned with the OpticFilm and SilverFast 8 have come out really well, so I know it is capable of doing a really good job. I'll post an example below
  22. ... and one more
  23. 1. I'm surprised that there is no Negafix setting for Fuji Across as its a current film and current films are usually included.
    2. Being there is an issue I suspect the scanner does not like/know how to handle the exposure/processing of the film therefore the workaround is
    A. On the Negafix panel slide the exposure slider to indicate +1, make a scan, set it to -1 and make another scan.
    Set to what ever side and amount it takes to make a good scan. I vaguely remember some of my B&W requiring an exposure adjustment when they would have printed well at paper black.
    B. If workaround A does not produce a satisfactory scan then move the midtone slider to the right, about mid way between its current position and the right edge should be a good starting point until you get a satisfactory scan.
    3. Go to Silverfast web site and see if there is an update available for your software. Negafix updates are sometimes offered separate from the main program updates.
    Looking at B&H the OptiScan 120 comes with Silverfast Ai Studio which has IT8 calibration built in. If the scanner shipped with an IT8 target put it in the scanner and push the IT8 calibration button and use the resulting profile as the input, If it did not ship with an IT8 target then you will have to purchase one separately.
  24. The film type should be chosen in the 'negafix' window.
    In the Densitometer window, try increasing the 'bits' setting as much as possible. More data per pixel will give you more ability to adjust in lightroom.
    In the Histogram page, try shifting the middle '0' setting towards the 'mountain'
    and in the 'scan dimensions' page, try setting the Resolution ('Res') higher .. near the end of the green section of the slider.
    Hope those suggestions will help.
  25. I tired using the calibration target, but it all looks the same. It did come up with a Delta E of 0.6 tho. The best I can get is adjusting the gamma gradation number. It's set by default at 2.2. The b&w images have more tonality, but more contrast, if I lower the number
  26. Lets back up to the Negafix box. In the vendor box select the brand of film you are using, I believe you said Fuji.
    Now what are the options in the film type and ISO boxes?
  27. I'm assuming the first Epson scan sample was made by your friend who had an Epson scanner and software. Is that right?
    If so, it's going to be difficult to match that kind of tonality especially the modeling in the skin texture detail of the subject's forehead because that kind of look can usually be done in LR's PV2012 Highlight vs Whites sliders which applies that type of shoulder tonal roll off from absolute white that brings out that kind of detail only if the scanner captured that level of detail from the film. You just need to tone map the high contrast back out either in post or within the scanner software. And from the myriad of settings you've posted you're going to have a LOT of tweaking to find that tonality.
    Have you tried just backing off of contrast in combination with gamma setting adjustments?
    But scanner software and even Adobe imaging app sliders don't act on the preview the same. A scanner profile usually provides most of this tonality. I used to get high contrast color negative scans similar to your B&W samples from one hour minilabs that converted to sRGB. I then applied one of my old Agfa Arcus flatbed scanner profiles and got a lot of modeling detail in highlights with a slight sacrifice to contrast and a bit of foggy shadows. Kinda like Log C in cinematography.
  28. Charles, the NegaFix box for Fuji has NHG II, NPC, NPH, NPS, NPZ, Press, Pro, ProPlus, Super HG, Super HQ, Superia, and Superia Reala. I did some Google searching - there is no Acros plug in.
    You know what else is strange tho? How "bright" the negative scan is seems to be influenced by how I adjust its position in the preview window. You know how when you select the Overview section in Silverfast and each preview window has two arrows under it? As I adjust the position of the image, its exposure changes. Interesting. Anyways, now I'm scanning a roll of Rollei Pan 25, which is definitely not in the NegaFix profiles.
    Below is a shot I took using Agfa 25 and scanned with the OpticFilm and Silverfast... this one came out really well. No idea why.
  29. Tim, yes, it was done with an Epson scanner and most likely Epson software. I'll try backing off the contrast in combination with the gamma adjustments, which I lowered from 2.2 to 1.8. As for the first series of images that I posted, I like the detail of my friend's scan, but find the contrast a bit flat. I like my version with the Lightroom adjustments, but would like to get a bit more highlight detail back.
  30. I would try scanning the Across with Fuji as the vendor, other as the film type and ISO at 100.
    In the Auto setting box deselect Auto Frame Insert or select Visual if both cannot be deselected.
    Deselecting the Auto IT8 may help also.
    The Exposure slider in the Negafix box should go from zero to 3 stops in 1/3 or 1/2 stop increments, + for over exposed, - for under exposed, as you move it left or right. The output should closely match the preview window but the closer to the adjustment limit the greater the difference between the two. The problem may be with the Auto setting box.
    The object of a good scan is to get as much detail from the film as possible, post processing software is for making that detail look its best.
    The Agfa 25 scan looks much better but may be a bit too bright.

Share This Page