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TIFF from a scanned negative

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I would really like to see a video about dealing with images from high res (3200 dpi) scanning.

I have been scanning old negs. on an epson V550 photo bedtop scanner, for archival purposes, but obviously I would like to bring out the full potential if them and display/print some of them. They are in TIFF format- do I just deal with them as if they were regular JPGs? What about the high chromatic noise found in some of them?

Or maybe I should be basically scanning them differently? I am using the built in Epson software that does a very good job of reverting the neg. colours to positive, but should I switch off the built in Unsharp mask?

Glad to hear of anyone with experience with this type of project.

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I think you have to try out which way or workflow works best for you here and gives you the most pleasing results. - In the past I digitized some photo slides and film strips with a Nikon Coolscan scanner, it's scanner software allowed to setup and alter pretty much everything here (WB, gamma, noise, scratch remove, sharpening, cropping ... and so on), it even produced NEF (RAW) files out of the scanned material. Though I reworked certain images later additionally in PS and removed unwanted fine particle left overs from cutted slides etc. which the scanning software didn't removed during processing.


The TIFF format is Ok for highres images and preferable here over JPG, further you can if desired anytime convert your TIFF files into JPGs. Related to chromatic noise and unsharp masking etc. it depends on if your scanner software handles those things right out of the box in a pleasing way or not. If not you might have to fine tune these things afterwards in AP, so they look the way you want or expect them to look.

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I'm not sure but I think you can do something similar to this in AP

It's a really nice method for getting the color from negative scans.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zy7c2ikUhcM


I use this method and this particular tool to scan mine using a DSLR 



This is part of a discontinued kit that works great for holding 35mm film flat. I tried plenty of diy holders from youtube but I settled on this tool for the low cost and ease of use.


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Yes you can also digitize with a DSLR instead of a scanner, so to say: "many roads lead to Rome"! - Here is a video of someone who also uses an Epson flatbed scanner and is probably using the same Epson scanning software. You can use Affinity Photo for the image fine tuning instead of PS, to apply any white balance correction, denoise filtering, removing scratches etc.

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I have just started using VueScan. This will save images as tiffs and, if Affinity is your default tiff editor, the image loads directly into Affinity.


I do find that the quality of what are supposedly even areas, such as skies, are rather noisy. The denoising filters do not seem to have much effect. Neither does Nik Define. I suspect that this is a consequence of fine mottling on the (very old) film surface.


I would be interested to hear if anyone has a solution to this.



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Well if the film material is very aged or it was maybe a highly pushed film, then it's much harder to get less noisy results out of those. So under real worst case scenarios there might be no pleasing solution!


I don't know how VueScan handles noise or if it has some good working noise reduction algorithms implemented. As mentioned before, I personally used mostly a Nikon Coolscan with the NikonScan software, which did a good job in this regard. - Another quite good scan-software I remember was SilverFast, which is more universal usable for different scanner hardware.


However there also might be slightly differences in the quality of noise reduction software and filters here, or what their algorithms can handle well and what not. So one have probably to try out and test some of them, in order to see if there is a noise reduction software which makes a difference.


Don't know if it might help, but here are some resources (scanning tips) from somebody who addressed these themes:


  1. Grainy negative scans - see here
  2. How to fix negative scan grain, film noise, dust & scratches - see here

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Great feedback, guys! Thanks for all the tips.

I wonder if Affinity/James will come out with a new Vimeo dedicated to ''removal of grain from scanned negatives and photos', and thus not needing to deal with the  Epson/nikonscan etc. tweaking at all. Wishful thinking...?

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I regularly scan negatives color & black & white using my Epson V700. I scan negatives for both archival and current production.  Yes I still shoot medium and large format film and mostly print digitally.  I have worked over many years developing my workflow which starts in the camera. 


For color & black white negatives I scan using the Epson software that came with the scanner. It is pretty good if set correctly.  For negatives or transparencies it is important than the shadows and highlights are not clipped.  On every scan after preview and selecting the image I bring up the Histogram and make sure the output is set to around 10 for the shadow and 240 for the highlights. This can result in a flatter scan but easily corrected in post.  I scan the image as 16 bit RGB tiff (even if it is a black & white image). This ensures I have plenty of leeway in making adjustments in post.  This can result in really big files, especially scanning 4x5, 5x7 and 8x10 negatives.  But you can always reduce the file size later.  I then open the image in Adobe Camera RAW, heresy in the forum but near with me.  For color scans I first set the white balance, then set my black point by holding the Shift Key and double clicking the black slider. I use the same technique to set the white point.  Now I will adjust all the controls to fine tune as pessary, exposure, highlights, shadows, white and black adjustments until my image is where I want it. I have found the noise controls in ACR to be pretty good in reducing, noise and grain - but only small changes are needed - grain is a natural part of the image.  I have tried keeping my workflow totally within AP but not there yet.  Wish there was an Affinity Camera RAW.


For new work, especially black & white I start my process in the camera.  Making sure that I get an good exposure, normally I set my important shadow detail at Zone IV (which is one stop over) and use a highly compensating developer, usually Divided D-23 which ensures good detail in both the important shadow and highlight areas. The development times for most of the films I use is 4 mins in Bath A and 4 mins in Bath B. The short development times ensures minimal grain even with fast films and due to the dilution the acutance is pretty good as well. The resulting negative contrast is reduced, but can easily be adjusted in post.  With this technique most of my scans do not require anything more than a Curves Tweak.


Couple of examples - First a color scan of a 35mm Kodachrome Slide taken around 1984...


The second a black & white scan from a 4x5 negative






Cheers - MK

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  • 2 years later...

Nice topic. I take it that Affinity doesn't have a process to go from an ALREADY scanned (in TIFF) negative image? I would have to use Adobe PhotoShop (PSD) then, I suppose to convert negative to positive. I have reduced size images in JPG as a reference. 02052001.tif Here's an example of each. 



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1 hour ago, Techworks Pro said:

I would have to use Adobe PhotoShop (PSD) then, I suppose to convert negative to positive.

How about Layer > Invert? Then a Levels adjustment.

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