Originally Posted by Marco B
That's more like it. I use Reala on 35mm regularly and never saw anything like this at normal mags.
Sure, it has grain. But nowhere near that pink noise. That looks to me like a scan grain alias problem.
I use Neat Image regularly to "clean-up" grain in my scans: applied lightly to the chroma channel it does not majorly reduce detail and gets rid of most of the scan alias grain.
Of course: there are other ways of approaching this problem, mine is just one of them.
Your scanner is the culprit here, or rather the resolution settings. You should reduce the scanning resolution to something like 2000-3000 ppi - there will be enough detail in the photo for large prints, but the grain will not be obtrusive. You may want to read this excellent article for more information.
As some folks here have said, a lot of the supposed grain you've got looks more like sensor noise from your scanner than like actual grain. If you want to see what your film's ACTUAL grain characteristics are, I'd say dial down your scanning resolution to something like 3000-4000 ppi, you'll be pushing the electronics less, so you should get less noise but you'll still have enough resolution to see the actual grain.
Guys, these scans were made on a high end Imacon Flextight 848 that had just been serviced. It is a scan of a negative, so not a scan of a wetprint. Scan results of other films look pretty good, and I am therefore also pretty sure that what I am seeing is NOT just noise. Yes, part of it may be, and will be, attributable to noise, but for the most part, I am pretty sure what we see is actually what THIS PARTICULAR negative looks like. What I actually want to know, or try to assess based on all of your useful comments, is if Reala 100 is known to be a slightly more "grainy" film compared to some others around in the 100 ISO range, like for example the new Ektar 100.
A few responses to all the input here:
I have no doubt that even this negative will look great when printed on 8x12 or 12x18. The reason I scanned it at such ridiculous high resolution, is that I did intend to get a closer look at the grain structure. I have successfully scanned other 100 ISO films at the same very high 6300 ppi resolution for my Ektar review, that I am now in the process of updating for new, better, scan results of the serviced 848.
Originally Posted by 2F/2F
Interesting, your suggestion of microscopic bubbles. Anyone else who can comment on this particularily in relation to this film type?
Originally Posted by j_landecker
I am perfectly aware of this, as I am the author of that article! :p. Thanks for the compliment by the way, I am glad that all the work that went into these things is appreciated.
Originally Posted by aparat
Yes, it's probably beyond what Fuji Reala 100 can deliver in terms of true image detail, but as I have clearly shown in my Ektar review, some films (like Fuji Velvia 100 and Kodak Ektar 100) DO hold up even with such ridiculous high scanning resolutions.
And again, I was trying to asses the grain structure. However, since these results, compared to the other 100 ISO films in my Ektar 100 review, were somewhat unexpected, I want to make sure I do not have another issue like a bad film processing issue. Or if Reala 100 is known to be a problematic film for scanning due to it's technical make up in terms of layers or so... I have regularly read here on APUG about older film types being "difficult" to scan, is Reala 100 maybe one of them?, and of updates to emulsions by manufacturers for "better scanning" characteristics.
Is there anyone else here that has ever attempted to scan a Reala 100 negative at resolutions beyond 4000 ppi at a scanner like Imacon, drum, or Nikon Coolscan and that can comment on his observations, like Landecker did with his Microtek?
Make a magnification print and you'll see if it is bad film or grain aliasing from the scanner (which imacons are known for especially when the USM is not disabled). I have scanned reala on a flextight and have not seen what you've displayed.
Meanwhile, if it is the film or processing it is a one off, as this film is anything but grainy. Reala is an older film and newer emulsions have been 'optimized' for scanning, which may mean something, but I doubt it. Imacan's use film profiles and the one you used for Reala may have the USM turned up, whereas the the ones used for the other 100iso films may have been turned down or disabled.
This thread is heading in a direction that is out of scope for APUG. If your concern is whether or not the film is suitable for scanning then you need to take it to Hybridphoto or some other suitable forum.
If it is the film then it's probably not been not quite fully bleach fixed. I have seen this with XP1 - re-bleach fixing cured the problem.
After thinking about this, and looking at the other scans you posted Marco, I felt that it was not the scanner, or you would have seen it in the Ektar 100 as well. Then thinking further back to Ektar 25, I remember how the couplers would "oil out" or crystallize in a coating on keeping. It caused much the same effect, due to the fact that when a coupler or dye crystallizes it becomes rather opaque and changes color giving light colored dots in a photo micrograph.
So, my suggestion right now is that this might be crystalline dye and coupler in the film causing light dots to appear at high magnification. If so, it is the same effect that caused the old Ektar 25 to appear to have coarser grain when kept than when fresh. Of course, in the Ektar, the effect was much worse, but still rather similar.
There are examples of this "old Ektar 25" problem posted here by other APUG members.
Maybe this is what you are seeing. Just a guess. Then again, as Ian says, it might be poor bleaching. This can be tested by re-bleaching, washing, fixing, washing and stabilzing. A rescan would then show the difference.
I had the same effect with a batch of Reala - in fact some of the "slightly outdated, but cold storage and 100% perfect" junk frequently distributed over the internet.
I do my own C41 processing, and even prolonged or repeated bleaching and fixing could not resolve this problem. It almost cranked my processing routine, because I thought I must have been done something wrong.
I had no such problems with another batch of Reala which I had used some months earlier, nor had I experienced this problem with other Fujis.
The explanation of PE sounds very reasonable. Looks like Reala does not keep very well.
Thanks to all for the input! I think we can "close" this "case" by now. I think the issue is related to three things based on all of your input:
- First and foremost, I think Reala is simply a slightly more grainy 100 ISO film than some others, meaning results at such high scanning resolutions simply are looking worse than with other films.
- Bad film due to long and bad (non-cold) storage, causing the "oiling out" issues as described by PE and possibly also "air" bubbles.
- Grain aliasing as caused by scanning at higher resolution than the film "supports" and possibly in combination with forgotten to switch of USM in Flextight software, although I am pretty sure I did, see below.
To give some last feedback on useful comments by others:
Thanks for this input PE, it may well explain the strange light coloured "dots" in the film scan. It is very good to know that such a thing can happen with old film.
Originally Posted by Photo Engineer
Thanks JD, I do by now, after scanning quite a lot on the Flextight the past few years, know how to use it and I am pretty sure I turned the USM off after switching to the Reala profile. However, since it was a bit a hectic day and I needed to scan other films as well, I may have had an unwanted oversight. Still, that wouldn't explain all, and especially not what looks to be the oiled out dye couplers and crystallization as PE describes it, or the "air" bubbles as someone else pointed out.
Originally Posted by jd callow
I know this is on the brink of Hybridphoto, sorry for that, in hindsight it may have been better to post specifically in the "Hybrid Photo" social group here on APUG, BUT I needed the good "film knowledge" as well of persons like PE, to exclude or confirm a major film issue. These are the difficult questions to put in the right place, on Hybrid Photo, I may not have had enough input...
Reala is excellent film,as you've stated, you either had a bad roll, bad processing or a bad scan and to sit and spin in place on this one roll is a waste of time.
Buy another freash roll and start all over again.