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06-01-2017, 10:57 PM   #1
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Help Judge Some Provia Scans

Hello,

These are some Provia 100F scans returned. They were scanned by the lab using a Flextight X5 and returned as TIFFs. I need some help to judge if they did a good job or not.

Wuhan Station by Sijie Bu, 於 Flickr

Wuhan Station by Sijie Bu, 於 Flickr

Wuhan Station by Sijie Bu, 於 Flickr

It seems that the DR is not very good, is it normal for Provia 100F?

Sincerely

06-01-2017, 11:22 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Well, for 1024px images on the web they look fine on this monitor.

There's no obvious banding in there, at least that I can see. No obvious scanning noise, at least at this resolution. The darks are dark and the highlights are light and only maybe blown to saturation at the front end of the train. I obviously don't have the original slide, so I can't compare to see if some of the shadow detail on the second one under the canopy is down into the mud.

You also didn't say if you did any level/color correction, but to me the colors look good. I can't tell things like if the greens in the third one are properly rendered.

Slide film in general, including all of the Fuji lines, will not have the dynamic range of color negative films, and ditto for the current-technology digital sensors so the "look and feel" of the film may not be what you're used to.

I might suggest two critical comparisons. 1. Do the slides properly render the scenes in real life? 2. Do the scans properly render the slides? You can test for 2 by viewing the slide on a light table or via a projector and comparing those views to the scans.

Hope this helps.
06-02-2017, 03:46 AM   #3
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If I got these back I'd be very happy with the lab's work and wondering what I could do to improve my own photography.

Slide film is fussier than print; it's why I don't use it. I know I'm not that good.
06-02-2017, 06:15 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
If I got these back I'd be very happy with the lab's work and wondering what I could do to improve my own photography.

Slide film is fussier than print; it's why I don't use it. I know I'm not that good.
The only thing that I am a bit confused is that I am losing quite some shadow detail. I would say the color rendition is pretty good and fits my objectives. I am wondering now if I am not metering correctly…

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---------- Post added 06-02-17 at 06:18 AM ----------

I was told that the sky seems too dark by my peers, but I do like the way that Provia 100F renders it - saturated deep blue.

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---------- Post added 06-02-17 at 06:20 AM ----------

P.S. That's my first roll of Provia, so I actually don't know a lot about this film. That's why I need some input.

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06-02-2017, 06:47 AM   #5
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Your shadows do seem a little blocked up -- this was probably exacerbated slightly by the scanning process, but is probably more a function of your original exposure. Between the bright white of the train and the deep shadows in the trees or under the buildings you are most likely beyond the dynamic range of what Provia can handle. If you are seeing significant details in these areas on your slide when reviewing on a light box under a 4x loupe then you might have to ask for a second scan specifically geared for shadow detail and combine the two scans as if they were an hdr exposure. As for scans being flat -- this is from my perspective actually a positive -- it allows you more leeway to postprocess digitally. For very important exposures another option is the far more expensive drum scans which can pull more detail from your transparency.
06-02-2017, 07:31 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by travelswsage Quote
Your shadows do seem a little blocked up -- this was probably exacerbated slightly by the scanning process, but is probably more a function of your original exposure. Between the bright white of the train and the deep shadows in the trees or under the buildings you are most likely beyond the dynamic range of what Provia can handle. If you are seeing significant details in these areas on your slide when reviewing on a light box under a 4x loupe then you might have to ask for a second scan specifically geared for shadow detail and combine the two scans as if they were an hdr exposure. As for scans being flat -- this is from my perspective actually a positive -- it allows you more leeway to postprocess digitally. For very important exposures another option is the far more expensive drum scans which can pull more detail from your transparency.
This is already scanned using a Hassie Flextight X5, which AFAIK is a drum scan, and the lab does charge a premium for this service.

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06-02-2017, 08:07 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by butangmucat Quote
These are some Provia 100F scans returned. They were scanned by the lab using a Flextight X5 and returned as TIFFs. I need some help to judge if they did a good job or not.
No matter what scanner the lab uses you will still need to make your own final adjustments to the scan. The lab will use a set scanning profile for each type of film and will not go over each slide to make individual adjustments.

Your scans are good for a start, you can remove the blue tint in PP.

I usually only have to use the PSE "auto smart fix" option on my lab TIFF scans to get the slide looking pretty close to the original.

Phil.
06-02-2017, 10:52 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by butangmucat Quote
This is already scanned using a Hassie Flextight X5, which AFAIK is a drum scan, and the lab does charge a premium for this service.
Hassie calls it a virtual drum scanner. Not only does it not use a drum as a real drum scanner does, it also uses CCD instead of a PMT (photo multiplier tube). Nonetheless it is a very capable scanner.

Fuji Provia is a relatively contrasty slide and the only way to compare your results is to view the original slides themselves on a lightbox. Looking at the higer res version you posted on your flickr site, there is more detail there that can be brought out in post - if that is what you are personally after.


Last edited by LesDMess; 06-02-2017 at 10:58 PM.
06-03-2017, 09:48 AM - 1 Like   #9
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If you have options during the scan, here are a couple of processes for addressing contrasty film which in this case is Fuji RVP 100.
  1. Using Analog Gain during the scan - essentially varying lightness of the scan, to check out the best range.
  2. Using HDR with the different Analog Gain levels of the scan.
  3. Using Shadows tool on the lowest Analog Gain to bring up the dark areas.

Click for larger version Fuji RVP100_04-06HDR
06-03-2017, 01:13 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteQuote:
Slide film is fussier than print; it's why I don't use it. I know I'm not that good.
That's why you bracket. Slide film can't take a joke!

QuoteOriginally posted by butangmucat Quote
The only thing that I am a bit confused is that I am losing quite some shadow detail. I would say the color rendition is pretty good and fits my objectives. I am wondering now if I am not metering correctly…
Looking at your second and third shots, your highlights look like they're right at the knee of the saturation point. If you would have exposed one stop greater, you would indeed have better shadow detail but highlights that were most likely totally blown out, as in stark white with no tone or texture.

QuoteQuote:
I was told that the sky seems too dark by my peers, but I do like the way that Provia 100F renders it - saturated deep blue.
"Fuji Blue" is what I call it. Many Fuji films, both reversal and negative, have deep blues and I like it that way.
06-04-2017, 08:30 AM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by butangmucat Quote
The only thing that I am a bit confused is that I am losing quite some shadow detail. I would say the color rendition is pretty good and fits my objectives. I am wondering now if I am not metering correctly…
I've never used that film. But slide film has low dynamic range. Deep, compressed shadows are typical. The X5 is a simulated drum scanner. It bends the film to scan it for sharp, edge-to-edge results.
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