Getting the most accurate color in scans of old documents, photographs, etc.

Started Aug 10, 2022 | Questions thread
Overrank Senior Member • Posts: 6,252
Re: Getting the most accurate color in scans of old documents, photographs, etc.

GTaillefer wrote:

Overrank wrote:

GTaillefer wrote:

Again, the point isn't for making it presentable to people, the point is to get as an exact possible digitization of the original object. I'd prefer spending my time on trying to get as many exact digitizations of the objects in question as possible than spending time editing them.

What you want to do isn’t particularly unusual. There are guidelines e.g. FADGI, that will help you to do this and you can search and purchase FADGI compliant scanners e.g.

At a sub-$1,000 level (rather than >$100,000) then for photographs (rather than negatives or slides) you need a flatbed scanner, a reflective colour target and software than can apply the calibration from scanning the target to each scan that you do. I do this all the time when I scan transparencies using an IT-8 target suitable for the slide I am scanning,

Thank you for the response, I'll have to really look into the FADGI guidelines (someone also gave me a link to Canada's gov guidelines on the same thing so I'll have to check those out as well) to see everything for myself. As I've said earlier in this thread, I'm wary of actually modifying the images, so would buying a calibration card, putting it in the scans, but not editing it and let others edit copies if they want to work? Or should I just leave it to using color correction cards (you know the ones used for photography that I mentioned that I've seen used people scanning with)

When I scan transparencies using a scanner that’s been calibrated then the image I get already has the changes made as the purpose of the calibration is to correct for the error in the scanner.  This means that if I scan a slide on a callibrated Plustek or Reflecta or an Epson V550 I get pretty much the same image colouring,, whereas without the  calibration they would be different.  Don’t think of the calibration as modifying the image, it’s just correcting for errors in the scanner (the changes it makes are pretty subtle).

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