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05-24-2011, 10:48 PM   #1
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Scan results washed out

I'm fairly new to shooting film, and just got back several rolls of film (develop & scan), a mix of Portra 160VC and Velvia 100F.

The Velvia scans turned out really really dark. I think this is a mixture of me screwing up the exposure and also the scans being too dark. When I hold the slides up to a light they don't seem so horribly dark. But anyway, for now I chalk that up to poor technique with demanding film.

The Portra scans were quite a bit better, but seemed to all have a washed out foggy look. I had to bring down the darks and shadows to get the black point right. Is this typical of scans of negative film, or did the place that did the scanning get lazy?

Original scan

After some processing

05-27-2011, 07:47 AM   #2
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I too mostly shoot film and have scans made. Your top histogram indicates a good exposure with detail in shadows and highlights. This is why the scan looks flat. These are my favorite scans as I prefer images that I can tweak as I see fit. Color neg film in general I find to scan better than chrome.

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05-27-2011, 11:55 AM   #3

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The scans are probably automagic. I doubt there is much human judgement going on at all in those scans. But if you scan it yourself, you'll find out that for best results you need to do a lot of PP. The analog to digital conversion just seems to need a lot of the human touch.

Last edited by tuco; 05-27-2011 at 12:01 PM.
05-27-2011, 06:55 PM   #4
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As noted by Chuck above, a negative with a full range of values will often scan (and print, if a machine print) rather flat. As you noticed, the magic happens in the PP. If you were doing the scan yourself, you would have even more control over the process.



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