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Scanning negatives...need help!

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Old 12-30-2004, 08:30 AM
hmcbride hmcbride is offline
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Scanning negatives...need help!

I was doing a search for scanning negatives and found this site--so excited, as I am a begginning portrait photographer and love PS. I still shoot film and have been getting my images scanned onto Cd's at time of development. They scan about a 20 MB file, 8x10 at 300dpi. I just bought an Epson Perfection 4180. It has capabilities to scan negatives up to 4800x9600. When scanning some old negatives that have already been printed and comparing on screen, printed out, and the print from the lab my colors are very inconsistent! I was hoping this would be easy, but as I am finiding out there is a lot that goes into scanning negs. The other problem I am having is that when scanning C-41 B&W negs it is leaving the orange mask. I have the settings correcto n the software, but to get a b&W scan I have to go in and desaturate the image--I shouldn't have to do that, should I? If somebody could please help it would be greatly appreciated. My main concern is that I am learning and I usually don't get prints made at developing, but if my scans aren't a true representation of my negs I won't be able to learn about what I am doing right and wrong on exposure. I hope this is making since. Please help!
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Old 12-30-2004, 10:37 AM
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Duv Duv is offline
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Hi Heather

C41 B/W uses color negative chemistry so shouldn't you be scanning as a color negative?
Also, it's hard to address the difference you are seeing between an existing print and the scan. Your monitor may need calibrating or maybe it's just the difference in looking at 2 different light sources.

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Old 12-30-2004, 01:13 PM
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vinniesworld vinniesworld is offline
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Location: Kentucky, USA
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I'm pretty new to working with negatives myself, but the other day I scanned several negatives with an Epson 3170 Scanner. In the help file it said that if the negative wasn't placed top side face down you could get the orange glow that you mentioned. I scanned both as color and B/W negative with mixed results. I just picked the ones that looked that best. I definitely have a lot to learn and any input would be great.
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Old 12-30-2004, 02:36 PM
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Ed_L Ed_L is offline
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Is it possible that the scanner has an option allowing you to select B/W C-41 film, or maybe Ilford??

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Old 12-30-2004, 04:25 PM
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Leah Leah is offline
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A lot of labs (especially the good ones) will do colour correction and some exposure correction (automatically or individually, depending on how good and level of service) when printing your shots, while if you're scanning your own then you have to do your own colour and exposure correction too. Once you get used to the characteristics of the different film stocks you use it needn't be particularly onerous. Scanning your own negatives (as with producing your own prints in a traditional wet darkroom) is a good way to spot all the issues your shots have that are often covered up by a helpful lab (equally, you don't get a lab "correcting" an artistic effect that you were deliberately trying to create).

I've never scanned C41 negatives but I actually scan all of my b&w negatives as colour anyway -- partly it gives a little extra information in the different channels which can be handy if there are tricky exposure details to be drawn out, but also it often produces interesting effects that I rather like. I can imagine that doing this for C41 would give you the colour cast you describe rather than the interesting effects I get from true b&w, but still I'd scan as a colour negative and then look at the various channels and use Channel Mixer, rather than Desaturate, to get to a grayscale image. It gives you more control and once you find settings that suit you you can record an action to do it automatically.
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