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Adjust color in scanner software before lightroom?

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  • Adjust color in scanner software before lightroom?

    I have an Epson v500 which I am using to scan old photographs (not slides). The scanner uses a program called Epson Scan and I also would like to use Lightroom 4.

    Is it best to tweak the .tiff first in Epson Scan and then export to Lightroom or should I do nothing in Epson Scan and export the flat unaltered .tiff directly to Lightroom? I can get the image somewhat close to how I want it to look using the histogram adjustments in Epson Scan but am I losing data by sending a tweaked image to Lightroom?

    I get a little confused because I usually take photographs with my camera formatted as .raw files which appear flat when first viewed but look beautiful when adjusted in an image editor. Whereas if I only work with .jpeg files straight out of the camera I don't get nearly as much leeway when I go to process them in Lightroom.

    I wonder if I am making a mistake by equating a flat unadjusted .tiff with a .raw file. It does seem easier for me to process the image Epson Scan first and then make further adjustments in Lightroom but I am a novice and not really familiar with image editing. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

  • #2
    Re: Adjust color in scanner software before lightr

    IMO it is usually good practice to tweak the scan histogram in the Epson software prior to a final scan after you have previewed.

    Just make sure that you do not clip any information in the scanner histogram which will leave you room for editing and refining in your choosen application.


    • #3
      Re: Adjust color in scanner software before lightr

      You are using a good analogy. The data from a camera sensor is RAW. When you set the camera to jpg you are allowing the processor in the camera to guess on how to convert the image into something you can visualize. Sometimes the camera does a nice job but often it guesses wrong when it adjusts contrast, brightness, clipping of shadows and highlights.
      The scanner situation is not exactly the same because the scanner does not have an intermediate RAW stage. However, when left on Auto mode the scanner s/w will do much the same as a camera, so you should turn off Auto Contrast, Auto Brightness, Auto Color, Auto Descreen,...Auto Everything! Just save the output as a TIFF (not jpg) or output directly into LR or PS and save as 16 bit TIFF for subsequent editing in LR or ACR.
      Cheers, Murray


      • #4
        Re: Adjust color in scanner software before lightr

        IF you can output a wide gamut, high bit file from the scanner, doesn't matter if you do the work in Lightroom or prior. Ideally 16-bit ProPhoto RGB.


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