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color negatives

Posted on 1998-09-21
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Last Modified: 2010-04-03
I am using Adobe 5 and having trouble to scan a color negative. They turn out milky and extremely bright. These are 35mm negs.
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Question by:fshn
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by:fshn
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I indicated 175 points already.
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by:ryans
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Is the "emultion" side of the negative towards the scanner's optical lenses?  What scanner are you using?
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by:fshn
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Emulsion side is down. I am using an HP-6100C scanner. Have increased pixel count to 450 X 600.

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by:ryans
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The 6100C is a flatbed scanner and with the negative being transparent, the scanners light WILL cause what you are describing.  I would be like "overexposing".  I have not seen a scanner that can scan a negative properly.


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by:jbrugman
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You can try to adjust the gamma value to for example 1.8 to 1, to make it darker.
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by:ryans
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Judt curious, when you scan the negative does the color appear to be correct??
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by:wsanchez
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Maybe you could try placing a paper behind the negative when scanning to make it "opaque".  You could also try performing an Edit - Adjust - Auto Levels on the scanned pic.  I've tried it on some of the pictures I've scanned which were quite bright and it turned out well.
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by:Osiris010898
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Just a comment... I have yet to see any flatbed scanner w/transparency adapter successfully scan transparencies, especially 35mm slides. Polaroid's stand-alone slide scanners do a decent job also Agfa's Duoscan is mediocre at best. When you scan 35mm you really need a high density rating (at lest 3.6) as well as high optical scanning resolution. I would suggest you get it professionally scanned at a Service Bureau, using a drum scanner (cost: $40-$50 per image).

      If it isn't for "professional" usage, and spending that much is not feasible, you can always make a print of the neg and then scan it as a reflective piece. this would be a cheaper option.

      Otherwise, keep tweaking the settings in your scanning software, and hope you come up with something useable, but I really don't think it's going to produce good results.

Do you even have a Transparency Adapter for that scanner? Or are you just placing it on the platen with the cover down?
Does your scanning software even allow you to scan color negs? does it allow you to register the negative? Are you scanning in reflective mode or transparency mode?
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by:WolfgangRitter
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Try this--
  Tape the negative to a black piece of paper, and scan it in with the black background.  If this doesn't work, try white paper.  It will be different depending on the scanner.
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by:singy
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At the very least a transparency hood will be required for your flatbed scanner and a scanning software that allows a transmisive option
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by:fshn
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I use the reflective device on the HP 6100C for slides but not negs. Paper with varying degrees of translucency have been tried but to little avail.
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by:maximi
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I tried to scan negatives before and I had no success
I think the best way would be to buy a negative scanner or an adaptor for your scanner to do negatives.
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by:fshn
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It was not really help, just a comment and of no use whatsoever.
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Osiris010898 earned 170 total points
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Seriously, fshn,...you are asking way too much from this HP!

The HP 6100C only has a true optical resolution of 600 dpi, and 30-bit scanning. Not adequate to scan negs/slides.Considering most drum-scanners have 3000-6000+ dpi scanning resolutions, 36+bit, with a density rating usually from 4.0-5. I'd keep this HP for reflective scanning only

By this time you could've processed the neg and scanned the print.

I still suggest you do that, or if quality is of the upmost, send it off to a Service Bureau (Pre-press facility) to be drum-scanned/color corrected.

Your HP might do OK with Color Slides, by using your transparency adapter, but color negatives are a bit more tricky, and I know your scanning software probably doesn't support color negs or if it does, the quality is really poor.

When scanning Color Negatives, your software needs to be able to "register" the type of film being used to guarantee stable and controllable color and tone conversion from negative film to positive print, then applying the appropriate "colormask density", this is usually an orange mask. High end scanning software usually has pre-set register settings, or at least allows you to register the film yourself, by taking a densitometric reading on an unexposed area of the film, usually between two negatives, this figures out the appropriate colormask density to use for that particular film.
Also to succesfully scan color negatives, You need some control over your "white point" and "black point" ranges to determine your densities in your image and to remove an eventual color cast.

As stated before, if you have the money, get it professionally scanned at a Service Bureau on a high-end drum scanner ($40-$50 bucks). Or, the "Poor-Mans" work-around is to process the color neg and then scan the Print with your HP as a reflective piece.
Your other options would be to buy a stand-alone slide/neg scanner, like Poloroid or Agfa's, not the best, but they're decent for the price.

Or fork over $50,000 - $300,000 on a high end drum scanner.

Sorry, but your HP6100's just not going to cut it.


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by:maximi
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oooh! sorry MR. fshn! if you know what is of use and what is of-no-use, then I dont think you need help in the first place.
the end
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by:fshn
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Thanks to Osiris. His answer gave me the sought after information. Your answer reflects on your expertise on the subject. I seriously thought the HP would do the job. Thank you.
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