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[filmscanners] Re: B&W/Grayscale/desaturation and all that !

I suggest that the bottleneck in your workflow is the flatbed scanner.

Although they are improving in terms of resolution, most are still
suffering from low dynamic range, meaning they can't "see" into the
shadows and highlights very well, especially with something as dense as
true black and white film which gets nearly opaque in the darkest areas
of the neg.  Of course, being negatives, it is the highlights of the
image that will suffer in terms of details due to the dense areas.

One of the reasons film scanners are much more costly than flatbeds is
that the CCD sensor, optics and electronics require better sensitivity
and wider dynamic range without adding noise.

I would suggest that using a chromogenic film might afford you better
results, because it has a lower density even in the most dense areas,
since it doesn't hold silver in the film as true B&W films do.

I would agree that most of the issues being discussed about methods of
capturing a B&W image, especially if you are not starting with a color
image to begin with, are secondary to trying to overcome the limitations
of the lower dynamic range of your scanner, and anything you can do to
work around that will be more advantageous than the subtle differences
being discussed.


myles wrote:

> I am new to this list and relatively new to digital photography  --
> scanners etc .
> I am interested in Black and white work and have been following
> the recent postings concerning
> BW/Grayscale/RGB/desaturation/etc issues with great interest .
> Some contributors have suggested that some of the different
> approaches produce rather small differences.
> Given my fairly basic equipment:
>                Epson 1640SU (flatbed) scanner
>                Epson Stylus Photo 870 Printer
> I normally am scanning( with VUESCAN) 35mm print film and
> trannies (but sometimes 6 x 9  film).I also use PS6 . What I am
> trying to do is improve the quality of my prints(especially B&W)
> ,BUT I am wondering whether it makes any sense (given my low
> spec kit)for me to worry about the issues being raised  by
> contributors on this topic ?
> Comments and suggestions will be much appreciated.
> Thanks
> Myles Dryden

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