Suitability of flatbed scanner for film

Started May 24, 2012 | Discussions thread
Bob Collette
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Re: Suitability of flatbed scanner for film
In reply to BellaBull8, May 24, 2012

Depending upon the quality you're expecting from a flatbed scan of negatives, you may be disappointed. Apart from the resolution issue, negatives have another issue to deal with. Negatives have an "orange mask" that varies as a function of the film exposure. The orange mask is really a form of chemical matrixing to improve the color accuracy when printing the negatives onto photographic paper. To ideally scan a negative, you need to apply some logarithmic and exponential curves as well as do some matrixing to remove the effects of the orange mask. A good dedicated film scanner has all this built into the image processing chain for negatives, whereas a flatbed scanner doesn't.

What I'm trying to say is that you can't merely just invert the negative scan and get the optimum tonescale/color reproduction. It's more complicated than that.

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