A friend gave me a set of prints and negatives this week to use in an article
for a newsletter publication. The prints were pale, low contrast and very
little color saturation. My friend asked me what he had done wrong. Upon
examining the negatives (Kodak Gold), they look to be slightly fogged. I'm not
sure if that was the case because I've never worked with this film. I scanned
the negatives (35mm), however, on my Epson 1640 using Vuescan and, after working
with the levels and curves in Photoshop, obtained very acceptable results. The
contrast and color saturation were great. The images will print out to a sharp
5" X 7" image. I can't imagine what a good medium format scanner will do, with
48-bit and extended optical density range, but I should know in a month or so
after I obtain one of the new medium format scanners.
There is no doubt in my mind that scanning the negative is far better than
scanning the print.
Lynn Allen wrote:
> For the last several days I've been "going back to my roots" vis a vis
> archiving; scanning old prints again, instead of old negs or slides.
> Although I've read Tony's and others' comments on the differences in dynamic
> range etc., I'd never really noticed it so much before. Like, with flat
> scanning, grain-aliasing isn't much of an issue, dust is removeable with a
> Kleenex :-), and it's pretty easy to see if the scanner is seeing what
> *you're* seeing and reporting it fairly.
> But after a few flatscans, I found myself comparing them in my mind to what
> I've been getting on filmscans, thinking things like, "Good Lord, these
> photos are faded!", "Why on earth did they print it *that* way?" and "Where
> the h*ll did all the *colors* go?"
> That's about when it struck me that there's a very good reason why some of
> us used to or now have darkrooms--our better chance to control the outcome.
> Years ago it was OK with me to the let the local shop dictate how "good" my
> pictures were. Now, when I see the difference between prints they made 30-40
> years ago and the ones I made last week, I'm starting to think, "Hey, this
> filmscanning stuff might just catch on!" :-)
> Best regards--LRA
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