Blue Cast with Ektar 100 scanned with Frontier

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by usher99, Mar 1, 2011.

  1. usher99

    usher99 Member

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    New to APUG. Like to use Ektar 100 for macro and noticed this blue cast in the scans. Perhaps I should scan it myself but it is fast and easy to get a disk with the development. The shots were in shadow but not underexposed. I wonder if there
    is a profile or some such for the lab to use to avoid this? Just warming them up a bit in PS did not fully fix it. Thanks for any comments.
    Mike
     
  2. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    1. Scanning and post processing is usually not discussed at APUG.
    2. Example pictures would help.
    3. Most minilab scans I've seen could use some extra post processing in Photoshop. I'm guessing the blue cast could indeed be fixed in Photoshop.
     
  3. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    There are quite a few reports of inaccurate colors with this film, when it is scanned. I have certainly noted that myself; in some of my scanned shots, the open sky looks cyan and other colors also look inaccurate. Curiously, other reports here on APUG suggest that traditional optical (RA4) printing yields good color balance. It completely mystifies me that Kodak, in this day and age, would be producing a film that scans poorly but prints well via RA4!! Anyway, I don't suppose Kodak will ask me what I think of that strategy:wink:

    My suggestion is simply to do an auto white balance adjustment. Or, using photoshop, go to Image/Adjustments/Levels, select the white bottle dropper (on the right of the levels pane in CS4), and use that to select whatever object in your photo should be white. That usually gives a good white balance.

    I am sure someone is about to say this is apug, we don't talk about scanning. In that case you may be referred to dpug, where I will offer the exact same advice.
     
  4. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    I've read about color shift if this film is underexposed.

    I'm so late to the game, I have a Propak on ice but haven't tried it yet.

    I'll be watching this.
     
  5. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    In my experience, the blue cast, in the shadows or elsewhere, can be corrected out. You might need to spend a bit of time in curves. Of course, without seeing an example like I said earlier, we can't know for sure. I don't find this film hard to scan or correct.
     
  6. EdSawyer

    EdSawyer Member

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    sounds accurate

    Light in the shadows is definitely bluer in reality so it would make sense it would scan that way. I print it optically and it prints beautifully. I wish they still made portra paper in sheets though, sometimes the Supra is a bit too contrasty for Ektar shot in full sun. I know, I could make contrast-reducing masks, but I just haven't gone down that road yet.

    -Ed
     
  7. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    While I do agree that this film looks much better in optical prints, it is also worth mentioning that any high saturation and high contrast film is going to be very sensitive to off-color light (e.g. shade or overcast day) and less-than-perfect exposure. In the color negative world, Ektar is probably the most extreme product in this way. Having perfect exposure and filtration helps any film, but this film in particular. You really don't get the best out of this film until you treat it like a transparency film IME. This means near-perfect exposure and proper color correction in camera. After trying it when it first came out, I don't really shoot this stuff except sometimes for product-based still lifes with studio flash.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 1, 2011
  8. Markster

    Markster Member

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    I took a test roll of it recently. Took shots in shadows and so forth. Unless you severely underexposed it by several stops I don't see how it would be blue tinted.

    I had my prints made with no color correction and it looks great there. I haven't got the scanner to scan the negatives, but others have had no problems with it.

    I would suspect the scanning process was faulty or used the wrong profile. I read an old review where somebody said a similar tint was on the scans but not the negatives or prints. One suggestion offered this was because the shop doing it didn't have the proper scanning color profiles for Ektar 100 yet (or something along those lines).

    I suggest trying to scan them yourself. Maybe print one of them and see if the print looks fine.
     
  9. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    I've over exposed it by several stops and gotten perfectly useable images. While it might not have the exposure latitude of something like Portra, it's still got at least -1/+2.
     
  10. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Sure. It is a color neg film, after all. Just by virtue of it being a negative film, it can provide usable results when overexposed. However, this does create changes, and there is a difference between "usable" and "ideal." And Ektar exaggerates these differences more than most color neg films. I am sure the OP's negs are "usable."

    Additionally, my comments were mainly about color, not exposure (though exposure does affect color). Ektar exaggerates color casts, and is harder to correct than some films.
     
  11. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    +1
     
  12. jglass

    jglass Subscriber

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    I get similar results with new Portra 400; blue-cast in the shadows. Is this similar to what the OP is getting? Skin tone (also in shadow) seems accurate (though a bit underexposed) but snow in shadow is blueish. This is a basic Walgreens scan.
     

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  13. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    I see what you are saying, I just don't think it's as bad as a lot of people state. Note, I didn't color correct these scans - this is what the lab gave me. You could easily correct out certain features if you chose. I apologize for the pictures and the slight off-topicness.

    Proper exposure:
    [​IMG]
    Ektar 100 0 by ezwal, on Flickr

    3 stops over:
    [​IMG]
    Ektar 100 +3 by ezwal, on Flickr

    1 stop under:
    [​IMG]
    Ektar 100 -1 by ezwal, on Flickr

    Yes, the black roof of the car looks a bit blue - it is reflecting the sky after all. Barring that, I'd call the 3 stop over shot pretty dang good, more than just passable. The 1 stop under is definitely starting to lose it in the shadows, but by and large, the colors still look pretty good to me.
     
  14. usher99

    usher99 Member

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    Thanks for the comments. I tried posting at DPUG but they said "film, what's that?" :wink:

    The prints from the Frontier which I think are not done optically had the same color cast, but I htink partially corrected by the operator. I had fixed this one to some degree but not enough. The film seems much more sensitive to this effect than Kod UC 100. Seems odd to use a warming filter on neg film, but perhaps that isn't a bad idea. I need to learn how to use this film better and correct the scans. The scans were certainly usable. Other ones in different light were very nice as is.
    http://tinyurl.com/4p94nsn
    Thanks,
    Mike
     
  15. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    That looks like poor correction by the operator to me. As in - maybe there is a blue cast on the actual negative, but without a gray reference in the shot, who knows. Maybe the operator adjusted each shot, if so, there's no reference to be had from frame to frame. Only if he corrected the first frame right and then let the rest go through with the same correction is there something approaching a reference.

    I took this shot into PS and you can knock out most of the blue quite easily if you so desire.
     
  16. jglass

    jglass Subscriber

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    Tim, were commenting on my shot of the little girl in the snow? If so, thanks.
     
  17. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    Sorry, I was commenting on the link to the caterpillar on the plant. Your shot looks good to me. The shadows in your shot look right in my opinion - they really would be blue, and especially noticeable in real life since it's snow.

    In this discussion, I think it's important to separate 'shadows' from 'dark tones'. Shadows during the day should be bluish as mentioned - they are lit by indirect lighting during the day, i.e. the blue sky. Dark tones are not necessarily always shadows. I see no reason why dark tones, say a black object in direct sunlight, or midtones on an underexposed negative, should be blue on Ektar.
     
  18. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    I'm looking at this on a high end screen. If I reduce the screen gamut to sRGB the scan is still way over-saturated and contrast-stretched past anything reasonable. At higher color gamuts, the image is absurdly exaggerated. This is likely the Walgreens machine being set to compensate for poor quality photography by boosting color saturation and contrast so that the print looks colorful and sharp. I see this a lot, and believe me, a well done scan on your own equipment looks completely different. A lot of the online objections to Ektar 100 are based on scans that were poorly done.

    This really should be taken to dpug.org. There are Ektar users there.

    Lee
     
  19. usher99

    usher99 Member

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    Thanks for the comments. I thought the poster who mentioned DPUG had tongue firmly planted in cheek, but I now see it is real. oops.
    It seems the spectral sensitivities/high sat and contrast may play a role in exagerrating the color cast but the scanning methodolgy seems to be the biggest variable. One more thing to take in house, I guess. sigh The Frontier seems to be an issue only with specific conditons though. Perhaps I'll shoot a target in such light too as an alternative.