Scanning Negative Colour Film and also Prints

Discussion in 'Scanners' started by John, Oct 29, 2011.

  1. John

    John Guest


    I have just set up all my scanning software and my 8800F on my new
    Win7 system.

    Can you advise what settings you recommend to use for scanning both
    negative colour film as well as 6x4 prints?

    Is it best to disable all image corrections etc like sharpening, dust
    removal, or can hardware dust removal etc help in any way?

    Which software would you advise to use with my 8800F? The Canon
    software, Silverfast or Photofun Studio (scangear driver)?

    How do you select whether to use the full platen or to scan for
    individual film negatives in the Silverfast settings?

    I was thinking of scanning at 48 bit colour to Tiff files at either
    2400 or 4800 dpi. Just not sure whether to use the Silverfast for this
    or the Canon software.

    In the Canon software I try to disable everything like sharpening and
    tone but it seems to always re-enable itself e.g. the option for tone
    always turns itself back to "ON" so I think I must need to find a way
    to save my own settings as default.

    Finally, the last thing is what do you select for the gamma setting or
    would you just leave that on the default? I think mine is set to 2.2
    as default.

    Thanks for any advice, I am pretty much a newbie to scanning
    especially film.

    John, Oct 29, 2011
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  2. John

    Thiophilus Guest

    I use VueScan as my scanning software and I think I'm satisfied with
    it, sort of.

    I've been scanning negs and slides and prints for years and still
    consider myself a newbie. Many mysteries remain for me.

    When you print negs, the prints all have the same gamma. But when you
    scan a neg, the software goes about setting black and white points,
    and so every scan has a different gamma. Well, this is how it seems
    anyway the way I do it. Several quite similar pics on the same roll
    will come out with different contrast because the white and black
    points are always a bit different.

    Color balancing seems to depend on which tones are clipped by the
    white point setting. Depending on the range of tones of your neg, you
    may clip more or less. Usually there are specular highlights or other
    highlights which might as well be clipped. But this affects the
    resulting color. So similar pics on the same roll come out with
    different color.

    It is annoying and time consuming to tune the pics to have similar
    color and contrast.

    You can decide not to clip and to capture all the tones in the
    original. But then the scan will (depending on tonal range) have low
    contrast and will require more post-processing.

    I have not had success in doing good "contact print" scans, because
    the non-image areas affect the black point, and that screws up the
    contrast and color.

    If the Canon software will allow setting the gamma, that is something
    I should look into. But just about everybody says VueScan is way
    better than Canon software or the software that came with the scanner.
    Film in the olden days did not have such good resolution. Quite
    amazing really, how grainy it was, compared to what we expect today.
    In my experience 2000 dpi is fine for most 35mm shots. If the shot is
    important, then maybe go for higher res. For 120 format, a bit lower
    dpi is good, again depending on how important the shot is.

    I always use IR dust removal when this is possible.

    Sharpening needs to be done with end-use in mind. You need different
    sharpening depending on whether you will print the image or view on a
    monitor. Therefore save a TIF or RAW without any sharpening and then
    sharpen prior to using the image. I don't have specific advice about
    settings. I just let Lightroom decide. (I use LR for post-processing.)

    I wonder if you and I are the only ones on this NG.

    Thiophilus, Oct 29, 2011
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  3. John

    John Guest

    I have been reading a few more posts on the web and people seem to be
    suggesting that scanning at 48-bit and with 2400dpi gets pretty good
    results with the 8800F for scanning colour negatives and leaving all
    other settings switched off.

    I will have to check into the VueScan software and see how much it is
    costing. I also have the Arcsoft Photostudio software and Lasersoft
    Silverfast which has the iSRD hardware dust removal.
    Most of the scanning I am doing is just to digitise old photos so will
    be viewed on a monitor.
    It seems to be pretty quiet at the moment. A few years ago it was
    quite a busy group full or posts. I guess a lot of people may have
    moved onto web based forums now?

    Using the Canon software (scangear) when I switch everything off it
    still always turns the Auto Tone adjustment back on when I restart. I
    need to try and figure out how to save my own settings or overwrite
    the default.

    I'm just wondering what setting you would use for Gamma if its
    something you would change? The default seems to be 2.2 on the Canon
    software. What setting is the best to use in your experience for
    negative film colour and b&w and also for prints?

    Have you used or tried Silverfast and the iSRD hardware dust removal
    or equivolent in VueScan? If so what’s your experience of this and
    what setting do you use in this? I hear that hardware dust removal is
    pretty good so was thinking of using Silverfast with everything switch
    off except that. I seem to recal reading posts in the past that
    suggest to have hardware dust removal on low settings for best

    John, Oct 30, 2011
  4. John

    John Guest

    I have just tested using the iSRD dust removal in SilverFast and I
    wasn't too impressed with it.

    I'm not sure whether it is software or hardware based but when I use
    it to remove scratches and dust the settings that I have to use in
    order to do this also wipe out peoples eyes, teeth and other areas
    that it also thinks are defects when they are not. Lowering different
    settings doesn't help much because then it also still leaves in the
    true defects the dust and scratches and doesn't reduce them by much.

    For example on one negative setting detection at 65, defect size at 7
    and intensity at 100 will get rid of the dust and scratches but it
    will also remove other detail that are not defects like eyes, and
    finer detail in the image. Reducing the settings to detection 55,
    defect size 3, intensity 100, will prevent this but leave large
    portions of dust and scratches still visible. These figures also
    differ greatly from one negative to the next so as to make it pretty
    much worthless as a feature as it would take up so much of your time
    doing these settings for each individual frame to make it not
    worthwhile cost/benefit/time wise.

    Just wondering if you have has had good results using any similar dust
    removal feature in Viescan and found settings that you can apply to
    all your scans to get a decent level of dust and scratch removal
    without sacrificing finer detail and noising and softening out your
    results into a watercolour?

    I feel I may as well just use the CanoScan software than SilverFast
    because it is faster and I can also scan at 48 bit colour to get a
    positive and not have to revert the colours in software to obtain
    this. (Scaning at 48 Bit in SilverFast will only give you a negative
    of a negative). I can then just use dedicated software to remove any
    noticeable defects by hand without affecting things that are not
    defects. The final option I guess is to download the Vuescan trial to
    see if I like it any better than the Canon Software and if it does any
    better at dust removal using the hardware (i.r.) of the scanner.

    John, Oct 30, 2011
  5. John

    Gridley Guest

    I have been using Vuescan for a few years now but I have never used
    Silverfast so I can't make any comparisons. I have a Canon FS4000 and
    Vuescan works very well with it. The program utilizes the IR
    capabilities of your scanner - no IR, no dust removal as far as I know.
    With my FS4000 I have been using the "Medium" setting for IR dust
    removal and it works very well. I should add that I have thouroughly
    cleaned all my slides with Pec-12 and when they are inserted in the
    slide holder I go over them with a blower brush. Negatives should get
    the same treatment. The cleaner the neg the less work your software
    has to do.

    I found that the original Canon software was laughable compared to
    Vuescan, plus Vuescan has given new life to my scanner by making it
    compatible with all current operating systems. I don't need the Canon
    driver to keep it working.

    I believe you can download Vuescan for a trial. If you decide to buy,
    then getting the Pro version is the only way to go as it offers updates
    for life.

    I even use Vuescan to save documents from my Epson flatbed scanner.
    Vuescan knows which scanner is turned on and loads the last init file
    used for that scanner. I have init files for different types of film
    as well as for different kinds of PDF files that I might want to
    create. It can also scan images to DNG type TIFF files which
    unfortunately are huge. It would be nice if the program developer can
    get it to scan to RAW.
    Gridley, Oct 31, 2011
  6. John

    Thiophilus Guest

    Hi, John.

    In VueScan there are only 3 settings for dust removal: Light, Medium
    and Heavy. (Plus also "none".) I usually use Medium and it works
    great. I don't notice any degradation of detail.

    Note that this is dust removal using IR technology. As far as I
    understand it, the infrared picks up where the scratches and dust are,
    and then the algorithm in the software fills the defects in with
    whatever color is immediately surrounding those defects. There should
    be no effect elsewhere in the image.

    I'm not familiar with your scanner, so don't know if it would work
    along the same lines.

    Thiophilus, Oct 31, 2011
  7. John

    Thiophilus Guest

    I have no experience setting gamma in scanning... if I was using
    software where I could do that, then it would be fun to experiment
    with different gammas. Negs are low contrast originals, so you would
    want to crank up the gamma. But the gamma that you would select would
    also depend on your output -- lower for prints and higher for screen

    Not sure what you mean by hardware dust removal.

    Thiophilus, Oct 31, 2011
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