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Re: filmscanners: Negative cleaning

Marvin wrote:
>I have only scanned about four films thus far in my scanning career... a
35mm color negative, a 2 1/4 x 2 1/4 color negative, a 2 1/4 x 2 3/4 color
negative and a 4 x 5 (50 year old) B&W negative.

I think you're gonna like it here, Marvin, but yes, filmscanning is a bit
scarey, and yes, dust does cause problems that I don't remember seeing when
I had a darkroom.

For one thing, in the 35mm format, a scanner seems to magnify dust *way* out
of proportion. I've also shot a lot of half-frame (it's my favorite
camera!), but the half-size is worse only proportionally, dust-wise. This
could be "golden memory" going on, of course, but I suspect that a ccd
bounces more light around a dust speck from a close perspective than a
condenser lens would at several times the distance--a halation factor, I'd
guess; in fact, I'm pretty sure of it, given the properties of light vs.
distance. But If I'm wrong, I'm sure I'll be corrected in tomorrow's mail.
At least I'd hope so! :-)

>It also concerns me that the corrective process possibly introduces some
additional softening of the image.
>Does the process introduce any more softness than the standard color
enlargers in use today?

Not necessarily. It's very hard to tell sometimes, if the image is "soft" on
the scan, or "soft" at the target. Often it's a combination of both--my
scanner, at least, has a few minor problems with an out-of-focus image.
Using the "sharpen" filter in software will often correct it; over-using the
filter will usually throw it into a cocked hat. Photoshop is very good about
softening an image at a minimum while reducing dust & scratches. There are
other "tricks" of course, including merging two images, one of which has
been "spotted," but hand-retouching seems to produce the sharper--if
slightly flawed--image (again, I expect some "correction" here from people
who are much better at it than I am). :-)

>I live with the softness of the color processes, but I would prefer more
sharpness.  You understand how soft the image is when you try to focus on
the grain in a quality color negative image, with a quality grain focusing
device, in the enlarging process.

That's an awfully good point, and I'm not sure I've even seen it approached
on this forum, at least not lately. I hope someone will jump in here,
because I'm *way* outa my depth. :-)

Best regards--LRA

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