I think that presentation of images in the Galleries is important. To do all of your hard darkroom work justice does require some investment of time, to primarily learn about how to scan and sharpen images so that they give an accurate representation of your print.
The digital interface is unavoidable for an internet web forum.
The investment need not apply financially beyond basic tools (hardware and software). Monitors also need calibrating to get to same benchmark as all other imaging users.
By switching to Vuescan at www.hamrick.com (full free working demo downloadable) I reckon that I doubled the performance of an Epson 1200 "perfection" scanner. At $99 for pro-version you get unlimited upgrades and the ability to fully colour manage, it works for just about any scanner worth its salt.
First - Multi-sampling where the scan does the number of passes you choose (I found 3 fine) it then averages readings which significantly reduces noise in the shadows and extracts better shadow detail, yielding an effective increase in DMax.
Secondly - ability to save the RAW files separately which can be reprocessed in Photoshop should the need arise, without the hassle of mounting and physically scanning the negs or prints again.
Finally, I was able to do ICC calibration with an IT8 target to enable far better colour accuracy with tranny films.
It is fully transferable should you change scanners in the future. I like the ability to save set-ups that you use often. These can be easily amended if necessary. It is not everyone's cup of tea, since you add numbers to boxes rather than use a more graphical interface. Suggest a Google search on Vuescan to get other testimonies.
The Help manual could do with improvement, but it is worth persisting with.
Personally although I tried hard with Silverfast, even reading all 380 pages in the manual(and still not winning the anorak!) I felt it lacked the control I was able to get with Vuescan. That said, there are many serious affictionados of Silverfast who get great results.
When neg scanning, Vuescan has a batch option where you can calibrate for filmbase+fog to get everything optimised for that film. I only ever scan one shot at a time.
Try misaligning the shot on purpose for the preview if the rebate not visible in the holder. This enables you to sample from the rebate to set a true black point. Ensure white point is not burning out.
Use 16 bit mono or 48 bit colour and resample to 8 or 24 RGB bit once you have made levels and curves adjustments. This prevents posterisation.
You will need to "capture sharpen" which is only a tiny amount. Use Photoshop or plug-ins available for this since you have more control. Other sharpening takes place prior to output. When resizing for the web, apply Unsharp mask in Photoshop. For a 480 pixel image I use amount 150, radius 0.8 and threshold 5. You may find that you need to amend this.
I downloaded vuescan a week or two ago, but it keeps telling me I don't have a scanner hooked up. But I do.
I finally surrended and gave up on using the the Mrs's scanner&software. She won't let me hit it with the tripod. I went and picked up a HP scanner, hooked it to my pc and am currently trouble free. The HP software (and scanner) work fine and have more options available than I need or currently use. Even saves as a .jpg ! :o (or tif or gif or...) with no added sugar errr I mean no added extensions. Am now happier. Guess I'll have to find something else to %*&# about. oh wait, I have a list...
I scan, adjust the contrast slightly so the image on (my) screen looks like the print, adjust the size for posting here (650x650 pixels or there about) and voila! more posts to hurt the eyes of my fellow Apugs!
Is it me, or does the first scan seem to be lower in contrast than the actual print?
Almost forgot. THANKS!! to all who replied and for the tips/suggestions.
Last edited by rogueish; 01-26-2005 at 06:24 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: forgot to say Thamks!