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[filmscanners] Re: Scanner profile builder

On 8/14/02 6:10 AM, "Alex Zabrovsky" <alexz@zoran.co.il> wrote:

> Julian, the NikonScan indeed offers numerous profiles to suit the scanners
> the software is intended to work with (LS4000, LS40, LS2000 and perhaps few
> others) and I assume the Nikon's CMS
> uses them for color reproduction.

I would assume so, too.  I thought I saved an article summarizing the
purpose for each of these profiles, but I can't seem to find it.  Perhaps
there is one profile to characterize the color performance of the scanner
(lightsource and CCDs) and the others are for factoring in the effects of
the three supported film types (generic pos, generic neg, and kodachrome).

> In the past I tried several free scanner calibration software available from
> the internet scanning the IT8 target and producing the custom profiles.
> Then applying them instead of Nikon's CMS (which was either OFF or tuned for
> Scanner's RGB)
> I got mixed results, some of them were marginally better then produced by
> the CMS, others where worse then the CMS. I suspect the great deal of
> profile's quality might be influenced by the calibration software itself
> since the only responsibility for the profile quality is carried out by the
> software algorithms.
> I'll try the EZColor, perhaps this time I'll see some difference...

I recall seeing a comment from someone who claimed that scanner
characteristics are consistent enough so that custom profiles are less
important than, say, with printers or monitors.  If the manufacturer's
profile was made correctly, it should adequately describe all samples of
that particular scanner.  My guess is that this sort of profile can only
account for the characteristics of the scanner.  If you want the profile to
include film characteristics, you might need to make your own profile.  If
you are getting that obsessive, you might also start worrying about
variations between emulsion batches, processing lines, etc.  And do you also
want to control for the effects of lighting conditions when the film was

Perhaps this is why most people don't mess with custom scanner profiles, and
resign themselves to making color adjustments in Photoshop or other

A couple of years ago, Ian Lyons wrote a tutorial on a workflow that uses
Nikon Scan with its color management disabled, and then assigning the
scanner profile to the image data.  The article is a bit dated, since it was
written for Nikon Scan 2.5 and Photoshop 5 or 6.  But the general ideas are
probably still valid and usable with NS 3.x and PS 7.


I experimented with something similar to this, but not enough to convince
myself that it had any real advantages to my usual method (VueScan followed
by PS tweaks).

Julian Vrieslander <julianv@mindspring.com>

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