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Negative Scanning VS Slide Scanning


Im having a problem, and maybe its just because I have no real education when it comes to digitizing photographs. When i scan a slide, I can put the slide in a viewer and match what is on my screen to what i see in the viewer through levels and hue/saturation, but when i scan a negative, i have no comparison. How do you manage this? I see so many of you with such great results from negatives, and I am able to acommplish decent results sometimes, but rarely. Im still never sure if the colors are "correct" or accurate or matched to what they are in the negative, unlike a slide. Any advice would be appreciated.
There are various factors that are key for both slides and negatives. One is to get your monitor calibrated with some system like Colorvision. The other is to use good scanning software. I use both the factory Minolta software which is very good in it's last incarnation, as well as Vuescan.

I do negatives pretty much exclusively, and I judge the colors and brightness initially during the preview scan. I use 48-bit scanning to get the best color rendition possible. I make sure that I'm getting all the image brightness in by looking at the pre-scan histogram and ensuring tonalities are'nt getting lost to the left or right end of the scale.

The resolution depends on what you're going to do with your scans. I myself see no purpose in scanning to a 400 MB TIFF file if all I will ever do is put XVGA images up on my web site

I avoid messing with the image in the scan - just make sure I get the max information to the final scan. I then adjust the final contrast and color balance after the final scan in Photoshop.

Hope that helps - happy scanning!

>I normally try to shoot two pictures: One with the camera and one with the eyes. Doesn't work always, but often I can stil put the colors together out of my memory.
thank you for your help.

I use vuescan as well. I use it to make a raw scan and then i go in with photoshop and use adjustment layers to adjust hue/sat and levels.

I just started using the eyedropper in the levels adjustment and have found better results than previously when just using sliders. I guess it would be benificial to me to take a picture for each scene im shooting that includes a grey card to make it easier to find grey in photoshop???

Thanks again for all your help and any other points of view are always welcome.