View Full Version : Nikon Coolscan V grain
I've just purchased a Nikon Coolscan V ED and have been just getting to grips with what it can do. I've been scanning colour and b/w neg. The b/w having been coming out really grainy, disappointingly so. I use a Leica and was expecting better quality. is the reality of scanning your own negs, or am I doing something wrong?
Yes, scanning b/w film with a dedicated film scanner does sometimes seem to increase/accentuate the grain, especially so compared with traditional printing. However, this "graininess" depends also very much on the film being used, as well as on your development and scanner settings. You could try the chromogenig b/w films like Ilfrod XP-2 or Kodak BW400, to start with. If you prefer traditional b/W films instead, Ive had nice results e.g. with Agfa APX100 or Neopan Acros in Rodinal. Thin negs normally scan better.
Try also scanning the b/w film as color neg, with GEM on 1 and ICE off, of course.
Try to get a very low contrast scan and adjust that later with Levels & Curves in PS.
Finally, use Google. There's plenty of threads on this topic already out there.
Can you show us an example? I use a LS-4000 and LS-9000 and have used a LS-IV in the past and grain was never as bad as you are describing (you can see my Flickr link below to a loads of B&W examples using Nikon scanners).
If you are using Nikon Scan 4 software, you can eliminate grain with B&W silver film by setting the Digital ROC to zero (set the slider to the far left) and set Digital GEM to the max (set slider to far right). Only downside is that this will greatly add to the picture processing time.
I figured a while ago (on color films) GEM settings over 2 somewhat soften edges, albeit smoothing the grain indeed considerably. So I'd use GEM on 1 or 2, but probably avoid higher settings...
I know there varying opinions on the subject, but I get much less grain and less highlight blocking, by scanning as a color positive and then inverting in photoshop. See my gallery for scans of pan f and tri x.
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