I have had a Nikon LS-30 scanner for over a year now and until
recently it was being used occasionally to scan images that I needed
to post to a web page or send via email. A couple of months ago,
though, I started looking into how to capture the "most" from my films
for archival purposes and was surprised by the initial results from
using VueScan (which I had hoped would give me more than the 8bit
pixel depth I am getting from NikonScan.)
I am using VueScan 7.5 (beta ?) and NikonScan 3.1.0, and the "default"
settings for VueScan generally produces images that are washed out and
lack in contrast. This is particularly pronounced for B&W negatives
(TMY-400 & Tri-X) where the histograms for the raw scans show ~10
points less std deviation than the scans produced by the (default
settings for) NikonScan. The lack of contrast is also present, though
not as pronounced, when comparing the scans for T400-CN (C-41 B&W
film) as well as color negatives or slides. Are there any obvious
controls for VueScan that I need to be changing (other than the film type
& scan resolution -- I don't seem to be able to find a manual exposure
or Analog Gain control.)
I have placed the JPG form of the scan files from NikonScan, VueScan
and raw fladbed scans from 4x6 prints (from the local lab) of a couple
of Tri-X and one T400-CN negative under the attached URLs (sorry about
the large files) and would appreciate any insight into what I may be
doing wrong as well as the answer to any of the the listed
questions I have run into, in the course of this exercise.
And the questions ...
- What is the appropriate film (media) setting for T400-CN ("color
negative" or "B&W negative") under either software ?
- Likewise, how does one disable "autoexposure" entirely (NikonScan
allows changing the Analog Gain but this seems to be changing the bias
to the autoexposure readout. )
- Can VueScan reliably/repeatably get 10bit raw readouts of a given
pixel or are the extra two bits simply random values being read
independent of the value of the pixel ? I.e. Does a full resolution
scan of Q60 produce a tiff file that matches that of LS-40 ?
- Related to the above tow back-to-back scans of the same image
(without any change to the registration of the film) seem to always
produce scan files that differ measurably, if not significantly. I
realize that compared to digital logic, CCD's can be more temperamental
but I am wondering, if this is more noticeable in LS-30 compared
to LS-40 or LS-4000 or they all use a similar CCD array ?
- If I need to switch to a more capable scanner for consistent
"archival" scans, beyond the auto slide-feeder, does LS-4000
offer real advantages over LS-40 ? More specifically:
- Does LS-4000 cope with Kodachrome any better than LS-40/30 ?
- Is the digital ICE capability of the LS-30 and LS-40 comparable ?
- Is the Firewire interface in LS-4000 noticeably faster than
LS-40's USB ?
- On a different type of question, how does one view the (density/
luminescence) histograms for two images side-by-side under PS 6.0 ?
This seems to be a very basic and useful operation but it is not
obvious how to display the histogram for the second image without
closing the first one !
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