Thoughts on the perfect scan - is it that important?

Started 6 months ago | Discussions thread
Smaug01 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,355
Re: Thoughts on the perfect scan - is it that important?

Autonerd wrote:

I've read a lot of comments here about the best way to scan, reproducing true colors from the film, whether post-process color balancing is a good thing or not, etc., etc.

In reading all this, it occurred to me that something has been forgotten: The fact that, in the pre-digital days, color correction was, I believe, a part of the C41 color-printing process. IIRC, the machines did it (by operator or automatically? not sure)

I worked in a Ritz Camera & One Hour Photo in the early 90s. I had two girlfriends who were lab girls. They could do magic with a negative that wasn't totally wrong, as you said below. They did exposure compensation when printing just by a glance. They could tell when color was off by a glance at the negatives. ("It looks too cyan, give it a couple stops of magenta")

A good negative yielded a perfect print. An OK negative yielded a perfect print. A bad negative could still yield a usable print

I think this is the major source of perceived film latitude. It's not so much that the FILM can take it, but that it can be corrected in printing, which could not easily be done with slides. (and definitely not when projecting through them)


These days, I find myself manipulating my B&W scans just as I would a digital image from my digicam. I just want the contrast, exposure and crop to be right. Occasional dust or spec removal, occasional cloning out of a zit or something.

But somehow, the results look better with film. Maybe it's just because I take so much care in the whole process...

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