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[filmscanners] Re: Polaroid SS4000 shadow detail

Stan Schwartz wrote:

> What type of film are you using?

Mainly Fuji Sensia but also some Kodachrome 64.

> I previously used mostly Fujichrome Velvia. With the  SS4000, it was
> difficult to pull any detail from deep shadows with this high contrast film.

Useful to know!

> I don't know whether that was due to the range of the scanner or whether it
> was just a characteristic of Velvia. I don't have access to another scanner
> for comparison.

I don't use Velvia so I can't comment but my old Minolta Elite certainly seemed
better at getting into the shadows than the SS4000.

> I have used the technique described in earlier posts in which I make two
> scans, one for shadow detail and one for highlight detail and combine them
> into a single image.

I was hoping to avoid doing this.  But then again, it's not every shot that 
needs this
technique.  It's a pity that Ed Hamrick never enhanced the Long Exposure pass
option in Vuescan to accurately match up the 2 scans.  I know he felt that the
SS4000 didn't need it because of the very low noise in the shadows but it isn't 
that is the issue but the poor shadow definition and separation.  So far, like 
you, a
second longer pass it is the only way I have found of getting the shadow detail 
out in
good shape.

> I am using Insight 5.5. It isn't better for this problem in my experience.

Again, that's good to know.  In fact, I have just found the ICC profiles that 
5.0.3 installs and I'm starting to try generating raw scans with Insight and 
use the
profiles to convert them in Photoshop and do any other tweaking in there.  That 
(assuming the profiles are half decent) I should be able to discount the 
possibility of
it being a problem with Insight or the way I'm using it.  So far using the 
SS4000 slide profile and the curves in Photoshop is getting better results than
processing the file in Vuescan and using its Brightness setting.

Incidentally, has anyone else had success with any other canned profiles for the
SS4000?  Especially with dense slides?

Al Bond

> -----Original Message-----
> From: filmscanners_owner@halftone.co.uk
> [mailto:filmscanners_owner@halftone.co.uk]On Behalf Of
> Al@greenspace.freeserve.co.uk
> Sent: Thursday, April 11, 2002 5:07 AM
> To: snsok@swbell.net
> Subject: [filmscanners] Polaroid SS4000 shadow detail
> Hi folks,
> I recently managed to get one of the last SS4000 units at a reasonable price
> (reasonable by UK standards that is!).
> As I expected, scans are sharp and noise is very well controlled.  However,
> trying to bring up the shadow detail in dense slides, the  shadows get very
> blocked up and start looking weak and posterised.  I got much better shadow
> definition from my old Elite but that was only after months of finding the
> best workflow to do this (raw scan from Elite software processed with
> Vuescan).  Since my initial attemps with the Elite we no better, I suspect
> I'm simply not getting the best from the SS4000 yet.  After all, they are
> both 12 bit scanners with probably a similar OD.
> I've tried the "underexposed slide" option in Insight (it shipped with 5.0.3
> by the way is 5.5 any better?) and, although the colours and general balance
> is good, the shadow definition is poor.  Scanning as a normal slide and
> using the other tools improves it but not amazingly so.  I've tried
> Silverfast (briefly!), tried exporting a raw file from Insight and
> processing it in Vuescan and also tried doing everything in Vuescan.  I get
> different results but still not as good as the Elite yet.
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