Yet another thread about scanning slides

Started 9 months ago | Questions thread
PK24X36NOW Senior Member • Posts: 2,000
Re: Yet another thread about scanning slides

sybersitizen wrote:

PK24X36NOW wrote:

D Cox wrote:

Rmark wrote:

I have an Epson V550 scanner and have been scanning 35mm negative strips, very slow process!.

I have heard you can use a macro lens to photograph 35 mm slides, which is better for maximum quality?. It appears it would be quicker than using the scanner.

Using a camera is about ten times as fast as using a scanner. I recommend it for slides and for B&W negatives.

A scanner is better for colour negatives, because the scanner software can convert the colours of the negative to something usable. Doing this manually in software is tiresome.

Actually it can be pretty quick in software. The trick is to take a piece of the negative film that was developed but had no image on it (the labs generally gave you the "extra" or "end" pieces, perhaps to avoid someone claiming they didn't return all of their photos).

You then use your camera's ability to set up a "custom" white balance, and, using whatever setup for digitizing with your camera, fill your frame with the developed but blank negative and "shoot" it as your custom white balance. You then use that stored "custom" white balance when digitizing your negatives. You'll then find the "correct" colors much easier to achieve when you invert the negatives in your software.

It sounds great in theory, but I've found that it's not as great in practice. The resulting color is still wrong when inverted, and even with meticulous tweaking in post it can't match the accuracy of the color correction applied automatically by a good scanner. YMMV, I suppose.

"Wrong?" How exactly do you determine that? What is the "standard" you compare your digitized image to in order to determine if the color is "right," when the original is a negative? Is it the (automated) machine print that came back from the lab when you processed the original film? If so, how do you know if that was "right?"

In any event, if your original pictures were taken under any conditions that varied from "bright sunny day, at least two hours after sunrise and at least two hours before sunset," and you were using typical "daylight balanced" film, your original colors were, by definition, "wrong."

I understand you prefer scanners for negative "digitizing," but just remember this - if you don't like the color the scanner gives you, you're going to be severely limited in terms of your ability to make it look the way you think it should, since you don't get a RAW file from a scanner, you get a pre-cooked TIFF or JPEG with the "white balance" already predetermined. If the original color was off for any reason, the scanner actually gets in the way of getting the color the way you think it should be (what you call "right").

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