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[filmscanners] Re: Scanning negs vs. slides

By coincidence I compared Provia 100 to NPS 160 today using a medium format
camera on tripod with two backs, which allowed reasonably exact comparisons
to feed the new LS-8000.  I exposed both at ISO 100 using the "sunny 16"
rule in bright sunlight of an "urban landscape" scene with sunlit white to
deep shadow, and a full range of colors and tones in between.  This exposure
just held highlight detail with Provia (except specular), so the captured
range was about as good as it gets with chrome film.  There were also
neutrals in the scene which helped get similar color balances quickly.

The tonality of the neg scan was open and natural off the bat and the chrome
had that sort of dark contrasty look, but the chrome could be made to look
similar by opening the mid tones with a gamma lift.  Both scans needed
different hue/sat adjustments to restore "memory colors", both being a bit
wonky but in different directions.  The long and short of it is tonality and
color looked very similar after corrections.  The big difference was grain
(guess which one was 3x bigger:), and as a result Provia was capable of more
subtle tonal gradation seen at 100% view, but I would guess too subtle to
see in most prints.  The NPS scan had better shadow detail (no surprise),
but Provia did better than I thought it would, and after tone correcting the
neg to look "right" shadow detail differences were reduced considerably.
The Provia scan held extreme highlight detail the neg scan blew out, but the
neg scan seemed to have slightly better highlight detail slightly down

To me it appears to be a case of neither was decisively better, except for
grain size, where there was a pretty dramatic difference.


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