Saturday, June 5, 2010

Learning to Scan Negatives

Learning to Scan Negatives

Finally got a chance to try out my new film scanner and found that scanning negatives is not as straightforward as I thought it would be. Please comment if you have any tips or suggested reading. I'd really appreciate it!

Below is my workflow so far.

I scanned the black and white negative as a positive in Grayscale mode using automatic focusing and exposure. Then I inverted the colors in Photoshop, adjusted the brightness and contrast sliders to increase the contrast while retaining (most of) highlight and shadow details, scaled the photo down to 1200x1200 and saved it for web.

Nikon Scan 4 settings:
Scale: 100%
Resolution: 4,000 pixels/inch
Curves: Off
Color Balance: Off
Unsharp Mask: Off
LCH Editor: Off
Analog Gain: Neutral
Digital ROC: Neutral
Digital GEM: Neutral
Digital ICE: Off
Digital DEE: Neutral
SIEnhancer: Neutral
Multi Sample Scanning: Fine (4x)
Bit Depth: 16

I initially tried scanning negatives as negatives, but found the result too contrasty with loss of texture in lightest and darkest areas.

The photo was taken with a Hasselblad 500C/M and Zeiss Sonnar 150mm f/4 on Ilford HP5+ (EI 400). Developed in Ilfosol 3, 1+9 for 6 min and 30 sec at 20°C/68°F.

UPDATE: I learned how to use Levels.

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