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Have you ever used a camera make raw files by shooting B&W negatives? Can I have one for testing?

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I have some 35mm B&W  negatives that I scanned with a Nikon slide scanner, but scanning seems to increase grain. I want to try Camera Raw's new Denoise tool to see if it will reduce the grain, but it only works on raw files from a camera. My scanned files won’t work.

Before I invest in a macro lens rental to copy my negatives with a digital camera, I’d like to try Denoise. Do you have a raw file made by photographing a B&W negative on a light box? (preferably 35mm) If you could send me a file, I could see how Denoise handles real film grain, which is just one type of "noise."


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It is possible for scans to increase grain.

It is called grain aliasing.

That is, if you scan at a high enough resolution to resolve the fine structure of the grain, and there is no optical low-pass filter.

Many scanners rely on the lens not being able to resolve such detail.

I have a box of negatives from my grandfather, which might include some over 60 year old Tri-X, in which I might have seen this.

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-- glen

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  • 3 months later...

I ran the LR denoise program on some scanned (by camera - digicopied) ) 6 x 6 E6 images and found it did nothing. The program was unable to "understand" that it was not the pixels that were noisy, it was the original.  In my experience, digicopying, even with excellent diffused lighting, does tend to emphasize grain similar to the way that critical illumination (i.e condensers rather than a diffusion light source) does when enlarging in the darkroom. Ultimately as scanning or digcopying relies on a lens and the passage of light rays to make the copy, and not a "pure" digital process, the result is never going to match the original precisely, unfortunately.

Robin Smith
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  • 2 weeks later...

Disclaimer: I have no experience whatsoever in scanning negatives. Or grain aliasing. I just want to add 3 points that may or may not be relevant.

1. As I understand it, Adobe Denoise AI is not a stand-alone program but is a component of Bridge (free), and LR and Photoshop (paid). As you say, it (currently) only works with camera RAW files (not JPEG, PSD or TIFF files). So Adobe Denoise doesn't work with scanned (or saved) photo files in any of these photos. Adobe says it's currently working on Denoise AI solutions for other file formats.

2. LR still has its normal (manual) noise reduction options. But this involves a bit of trial and error to get the right level of luminance noise (and color noise for color photos).

3. There are many 3rd party noise reduction 'plugins' for LR & Photoshop. See for example capturetheatlas. I was delighted to read that Topax Denoise AI came out top of the list. I've used Topaz plugins for LR & PS for many years and I have no regrets. I use their recent 'Denoise AI' and 'Sharpen AI' plugins often (more often for 'enhancing' other peoples' photos than my own 😉). One of the great things I love about Topaz is that - when you buy a suite of products - you basically get a free lifetime subscripton to any future updates. All 'AI' updates/options were - for me - completely free of charge. Most 'De-noise' software suppliers offer (free) trial periods. You might want to experiment with a couple of software plugins/stand-alone programs to get an idea of what works best for you.


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Adobe Denoise AI is a part of Adobe Camera Raw (and thus Lightroom Classic which share the processing engine):
Bridge like Photoshop, can host Adobe Camera Raw. No Photoshop and thus ACR, no Denoise there. 


Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management" (pluralsight.com)

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