How can I get my negative scans to look like my prints?

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by Vautrin, Apr 1, 2010.

  1. Vautrin

    Vautrin No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    So I got a holga and I've been shooting off some film.

    It's nice but it tends to really overexpose the negatives -- they look black and sometimes the scanner has trouble recognizing them -- but if I hold them up to a light I can see details.

    And the weird thing is the prints my lab made look great, but the scans of the negatives are terrible.

    So how can I recover my pictures with a negative scanner (I have the Canoscan 8800F)?

    When I scan it I get:

    [​IMG]
    But when I look at the prints I had made it looks completely different:
    [​IMG]

    How can I get my negative scans to look like my prints?
     
  2. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I know nothing about that scanner but you just might be pushing the scanner's limitations. Flatbeds are especially limited.

    There is more flexibility in traditional chemical printing process. You might want to consider finding a way to borrow a true negative scanner or other scanners to see different results.
     
  3. Paul Ron

    Paul Ron TPF Noob!

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    Scan your prints.
     
  4. compur

    compur No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    What film are you using?
     
  5. Vautrin

    Vautrin No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Those pictures were Kodak E100 cross processed as C-41

    I've also had this problem with other films both black and white and color (kodak ektar 100, porta 800, and rollei retro 400)
     
  6. Vautrin

    Vautrin No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well the thing is I only got prints because I thought it would be fun and they were pics of my vacation.

    But prints are expensive so I'd like to stick to just getting the negatives (the lab I'm using charges me €3-€5 to develop the film, and the prints are an additional €8 so it doubles the cost of each picture)
     
  7. Vautrin

    Vautrin No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well I'm shooting 120 film so there wasn't really a cheap dedicated film scanner out there.

    The Canoscan 8800F has a backlight so it does a good job, and I've gotten some nice scans off of negatives that aren't overexposed.

    Holga lacks any kind of shutter speed controls / aperature controls so on a bright sunny day even iso 100 film gets overexposed
     
  8. Paul Ron

    Paul Ron TPF Noob!

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    Then your other alternative will be to learn how to use PhotoSHop. It's fun and can achieve really nice results, not as nice as a real print but pretty darn near.

    Scanning is generally used as a proof sheet. Pic the ones you like most n have em printed?

    Another good solution is to start shooting B&Ws n do it yourself, including printing. Lots of fun playing in the dark.
     
  9. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    '

    Regardless... I think you are pushing the limits. The scanner needs to pull out details in the very dark areas of the negative... simply it isn't doing enough. The key words in your response is "aren't overexposed".

    Try to find a shop with a dedicated film scanner to give it a shot. There is a reason why dedicated scanners cost thousands and not hundreds of $$$.
     
  10. vonnagy

    vonnagy have kiwi, will travel...

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  11. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    How are you scanning them???

    By this I mean how are you using the scanning software. A you simply letting it make automatic density, contrast, and color balance decisions or are you adjusting these manually before making the scan. Also, are you letting the scanning software save a JPEG to disk for later editing or are you launching the scanning app via an "Import" or "Acquire" function in your image editor.

    The best way to handle problem images such as your massively overexposed negs is:

    1. Scan from an image editing app or have the scanning software save a 16bit TIFF file for transport to the image editor. NEVER EVER use JPEG for this transfer file; JPEG is limited to 8bit data.

    2. Always scan in 48bit color or, if scanning B&W, 16bit Grayscale.

    3. Always make as much of the adjustment as possible in the scanning software. DO NOT rely of making any significant adjustment in your image editor later. If the scanning software isn't adjusted to capture the desired data it won't be there for the image editor to "recover".

    4. Don't make any large scale adjustments in you image editor. If the scanned image needs more than modest tweaks you need to rescan making better adjustments in the scanning software.

    Your problem is probably that you haven't made the necessary manual adjustments in your scanning software. It might be that you Canon software is too limited. Youi might look into better software. SilverFast from LaserSoft Imaging and VueScan are the most common recommendations.

    The EPSON Scan software that came with my EPSON v700, along with SilverFast, has proven to be rather good. It does, though, frequently require manual adjustments when scanning very significantly over or under exposed images.
     
  12. Vautrin

    Vautrin No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The canoscan comes with silverfast and it still can't seem to recover my image.

    Auto toning doesn't work -- I just see white.

    So one of the things I tried doing was scanning the negative as a positive. I read on the internet this preserves details, and -- indeed -- there's a lot of details in my picture:

    [​IMG]

    But when I invert it, it's completely washed out:

    [​IMG]

    Most of this appears to be from a wacky histogram:

    [​IMG]

    But here's where I get stuck -- I move the levels up to the right since I think part of the problem is the histogram needs to be more evenly across the image. But my entire image is blue -- that roof should be red! The thing I don't get is how do I fix this? If I start playing with the blue only slider then I tend to create green or yellow images.

    Basically I can't seem to get an image near the same quality as the one that they printed!

    [​IMG]
     

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