Strong color cast in old negative photos

Started Jan 16, 2017 | Discussions thread
jonby Regular Member • Posts: 297
Re: Strong color cast in old negative photos

hubcap91 wrote:

Hi, thank you for the reply.

The negative is an AGFA XR100, I understand this was a common film stock in the 1980s from information on the internet and indeed the set of photos are from 1987.
I have used an Epson V600 for this set but have also used it for several other rolls with no such issue which leads me to think it is the negative which is the cause of the problem.
I am using SilverFast 9 and have not applied any color correction. I could not find the printed photo for demonstration but I recall quite clearly that it does not have the green tint. The setting for SilverFast are related to ME (multiple exposure), iSRD (for scratch and dust removal).

Thanks for posting the image.

There's a chance that your colours are being thrown out by the presence of the date digits within the image. Do the other sets of images which have come out ok also have a date imprint? If not, then this could be a factor.

You say you have not applied any colour correction, but chances are that the software is set to do corrections automatically, and it will likely use the colour of brightest parts of the image to set clipping points for each colour channel, and the date could be throwing this out of balance.

I haven't used Silverfast recently, but I presume you can choose to crop the image. Try cropping the date out and see if that causes an improvement in the auto colour corrections. In Epson Scan, you can do this by scanning in non-thumbnails mode, selecting a portion of the image which excludes the date (you should also exclude the borders), turning auto corrections off and then resetting the crop to include the full image. There may be an equivalent in Silverfast - I'm not sure.

Whatever the problem is, you should be able to get better results by working with settings in the scanning software, even if it means doing manual corrections. Essentially, you need more blue and red, less green. If you have one of the more limited versions of Silverfast, then you might have somewhat limited options, but you should be able to get some improvement. An alternative approach is to scan as 16 bit with all corrections off, and then do corrections in other software such as Photoshop.

Changing the film profile is one thing to try. It's also worth trying Epson Scan if you can't improve things in Silverfast.

Looking at the histograms should help - these help to show problems with the scanning. here are the histograms for your scan. The white clipping point for the blue channel has been set way too high, resulting in no blue in the midtones and highlights. Also there's too much green in the upper midtones.

I took the liberty of downloading your image and trying to correct in Photoshop - hope you don't mind. Although an improvement, there's too much colour info lost at the scanning stage, so it's difficult to get a really good result. That's why you are better off getting the best result you can at the scanning stage.

Hopefully a Silverfast user will come in and help in more detail with the details of using that program.

Good luck

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