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Getting the most out of New Coolscan 5000 (and comp w/Fuji Frontier)
Old 03-16-2009   #1
noimmunity
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Getting the most out of New Coolscan 5000 (and comp w/Fuji Frontier)

I just received a Coolscan 5000 in the mail today (thanks, Kevin!) and still unable to get over time zone difference after ten days in Europe, I started scanning. I'm sure I have a long ways to go in mastering the thing (haven't even begun to think about dust removal as you'll see), but even the initial results from the Coolscan look soooo much better to my eyes than the lab scans I got from a Fuji Frontier.

First, a comparison of the two, coolscan top, fuji frontier bottom (shot on TMAX3200):





The contrast of course can be changed, but what is really noticeable is that the coolscan scan is much sharper than the fuji frontier. I suppose that when printed out the difference would be even more remarkable, wouldn't that be the case?

Now, I would like some advice on settings using Vuescan. If anybody has anything to share it would be really helpful.

And then comes figuring out how to get clean dust-free negs.

But overall I'm really really pleased so far with the results.
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Old 03-17-2009   #2
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Congrats on the new scanner. I'm no scanning expert but I turn all adjustments off when scanning (I use Nikon Scan 4 but also Vuescan on occasion). I like to get a scan that is exactly like the negative. I then use Photoshop for all my adjustments. Before scanning I use blown air from a can to get off as much dust as possible and then remove the remaining dust/scratches in PS. Digital ICE won't work for B/W.
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Old 03-17-2009   #3
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Did you scan with vuescan or nikonscan? Regardless which you used, you are getting blown out areas (see noses and foreheads). I find with vuescan this can be almost entirely avoided if you lock the film base prior to scanning. Someone wrote a good tutorial on how to do this on flickr. If you can't find it let me know!
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Old 03-17-2009   #4
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I wrote a little tutorial on hacking the carrier to take whole rolls, and it includes a link to my setup files for black and white film, color film, and kodachrome. They're in a zip folder, just scroll down to the link:

http://www.jrobertlennon.com/articles/vuescancoolscan/
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Old 03-17-2009   #5
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Too much sharpening? My Frontier scans look better than your Frontier scan.

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Old 03-17-2009   #6
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mabelsound: I had looked at your site earlier and downloaded the zip file, but the settings seems to be for an Epson V700. Oh yeah, I also finished "Generation Loss" and was thinking about writing something about it...when I get the time!

dfoo: I used vuescan. what does "lock the film base" mean? The link to the tutorial would be very convenient.

venchka: the lab does the scanning on the fuji frontier for me. Yours does look better. Often it seems that the real problem with the Fuji scans isn't the machine so much as the operator.

Thanks, guys, for responding!
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Old 03-17-2009   #7
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This is a link to the tutorial I was talking about. If you follow this, the exposure out of the scanner will be quite good and the highlights will likely as not be blown. I always scan to dng, 16 bit grayscale for black and white.

http://www.flickr.com/groups/ishootf...7608204093047/
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Old 03-18-2009   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noimmunity View Post
mabelsound: I had looked at your site earlier and downloaded the zip file, but the settings seems to be for an Epson V700. Oh yeah, I also finished "Generation Loss" and was thinking about writing something about it...when I get the time!
By all means do! As for the presets, they are not for the V700...indeed, I've never had one! The 5000ed is the only scanner my copy of Vuescan has ever seen. Not sure why it would come up that way...if anyone else has a 5000ed here, it'd be great if you downloaded those files and double check to make sure they work...
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Old 03-18-2009   #9
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Why not just crop the frame so there are no film frames or clear areas showing so that the scanner can apply an Auto adjustment to give you a black and white based on the image itself? Otherwise it seems like you're just making things more complicated than they need to be.

The Frontier Scan looks better to me, the Coolscan scan looks oversharpened. Turn off the scanner's sharpening.

In general you want to get closer to the tonality you want at the scanning phase, scan in 16- or 48-bit (not 8- or 24-bit), and do all the detail stuff in Photoshop.
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Old 03-18-2009   #10
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Quote:
Why not just crop the frame so there are no film frames or clear areas showing so that the scanner can apply an Auto adjustment to give you a black and white based on the image itself? Otherwise it seems like you're just making things more complicated than they need to be.
The simple answer is, if you lock the film base then it simply works better! By locking the film base what are you doing is telling vuescan the base + fog (ie: the black point). This allows vuescan to better tailor the histogram, and you get a better result out of the box.
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Old 03-18-2009   #11
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I've used that technique, locking the film base, based on exactly that link. Sometimes it's great. Other times, it isn't. In the end, I found it didn't work well with Neopan, so I've gone back to doing what I was doing before.
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Old 03-18-2009   #12
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It worked well for me with neopan 1600. What did you find it was doing when it didn't turn out so well for you?
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Old 03-18-2009   #13
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Thanks for the uber links in this thread - I've been using VueScan with my Nikon 5000 and I've found I prefer to scan in "Color" mode; even though it's B&W film, and then "play" with things like the brightness, white point/black point and film type/contrast indexes to get results that I like.


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Old 03-18-2009   #14
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What I do for black and white is:

- Fire up vuescan
- Stick the roll of film in the scanner.
- Set crop to maximum, do a preview of the first frame.
- Select a crop of the film base, and lock the film base.
- Preview again.
- Select 35mm film in the crop.
- select batch scan all.
- Press scan.
<drink beer for 45 minutes>

Each scan is 16 bit monochrome, saved as DNG.

- Remove roll, cut & sleeve.
- Open up lightroom, and import the images.
- Press <auto tone>
- Rotate each image appropriately, and reject the garbage.
- For the remaining images, I develop, crop and keyword, and later print any that are good on 8x10. Some will go to the darkroom for the silver treatment.
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Old 03-18-2009   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfoo View Post
What I do for black and white is:

- Fire up vuescan
- Stick the roll of film in the scanner.
- Set crop to maximum, do a preview of the first frame.
- Select a crop of the film base, and lock the film base.
- Preview again.
- Select 35mm film in the crop.
- select batch scan all.
- Press scan.
<drink beer for 45 minutes>

Each scan is 16 bit monochrome, saved as DNG.

- Remove roll, cut & sleeve.
- Open up lightroom, and import the images.
- Press <auto tone>
- Rotate each image appropriately, and reject the garbage.
- For the remaining images, I develop, crop and keyword, and later print any that are good on 8x10. Some will go to the darkroom for the silver treatment.
That's an interesting workflow - good too because I have lightroom as well - I may consider this but I have to "adjust" my Nikon 5000 with the hack to allow it to do full rolls without having to buy the uber pricey Nikon roll adapter.

Cheers,
Dave
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Old 03-18-2009   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfoo View Post
It worked well for me with neopan 1600. What did you find it was doing when it didn't turn out so well for you?
This was Neopan 400. Results varied. Sometimes it was OK (although no better than the automatic settings). Other times, the midtones got screwed up.

If I scanned batches like you, I'd probably spend more time trying to work out what was wrong.
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Old 03-18-2009   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcsang View Post
That's an interesting workflow - good too because I have lightroom as well - I may consider this but I have to "adjust" my Nikon 5000 with the hack to allow it to do full rolls without having to buy the uber pricey Nikon roll adapter.

Cheers,
Dave
That's what I've done (although I do want to get the real roll adapter at some point). It took about 2 minutes to stick a piece of wire over the two contacts.
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Old 03-18-2009   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfoo View Post
That's what I've done (although I do want to get the real roll adapter at some point). It took about 2 minutes to stick a piece of wire over the two contacts.
I know we may be veering severely off topic but how much "room" behind the scanner do you need if scanning a whole roll - I know when I scan a strip it seems to just find itself "in" the scanner till I eject it. Does the same happen when scanning a whole roll?

Can you ever preview the roll and then scan or are you "forced" to scan the whole roll without preview?

Cheers,
Dave
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Old 03-18-2009   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcsang View Post
I know we may be veering severely off topic but how much "room" behind the scanner do you need if scanning a whole roll - I know when I scan a strip it seems to just find itself "in" the scanner till I eject it. Does the same happen when scanning a whole roll?

Can you ever preview the roll and then scan or are you "forced" to scan the whole roll without preview?

Cheers,
Dave
You need quite a bit of room as most of the roll will eventually hang out the back of the scanner. I put the scanner on a high shelf and allow the film to hang down on the front _and_ back of the scanner. This avoids the film touching dusty surfaces, but does allow airborn particles to stick (I have two fluffy dogs, so dog hairs are a menace!!)

I've never previewed more than the first frame, but I would guess it works. However, I suspect it would be very slow since advancing the roll takes about as much time as the scan itself.
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Old 03-18-2009   #20
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Congrats, Jon - a great scanner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dfoo View Post
What I do for black and white is:

- Fire up vuescan
- Stick the roll of film in the scanner.
- Set crop to maximum, do a preview of the first frame.
- Select a crop of the film base, and lock the film base.
- Preview again.
- Select 35mm film in the crop.
- select batch scan all.
- Press scan.
<drink beer for 45 minutes>

Each scan is 16 bit monochrome, saved as DNG.
:::

.
That's pretty much what I do as well, but in 48bit RGB and then continue in Photoshop. I switch all filters and sharpening in Vuescan off, except ICE for C-41 film. I generate both large tif files and small jpeg files in one shot (the jpegs for browsing, later).

Scanning in 16bit/color and doing the sharpening later will allow you to get rid of some of the noise in your scan, Jon.

Cheers,

Roland.
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Old 03-18-2009   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ferider View Post
That's pretty much what I do as well, but in 48bit RGB and then continue in Photoshop. I switch all filters and sharpening in Vuescan off, except ICE for C-41 film. I generate both large tif files and small jpeg files in one shot (the jpegs for browsing, later).

Cheers,

Roland.
Having the JPG files is a good idea Roland - sure would make browsing quicker - they retain the same file name as the TIF (or DNG for that matter) files right?

Cheers,
Dave
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Old 03-18-2009   #22
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Do you find the 48 bit RGB to give better black and whites? I'm not sure which channels vuescan uses for monochrome... The thing about 48 RGB is the monster file size at 4000 DPI.
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Old 03-18-2009   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcsang View Post
Having the JPG files is a good idea Roland - sure would make browsing quicker - they retain the same file name as the TIF (or DNG for that matter) files right?

Cheers,
Dave
That's correct, Dave. Reg. the entire roll, I do have the Nikon cannister that comes with the strip feeder (got it for Christmas). You attach it to the back of the scanner, it's a drum, probably 15-20cm in diameter. Convenient, because I can leave the film in over night, dust-protected.

Sometimes, to reduce noise mostly, I do 3-4 samples / scan, than the scanner gets slower, and the 45min beer translates to a movie and falling asleep

Quote:
Originally Posted by dfoo View Post
Do you find the 48 bit RGB to give better black and whites? I'm not sure which channels vuescan uses for monochrome... The thing about 48 RGB is the monster file size at 4000 DPI.
I do mostly color, dfoo. And disks are cheap .....

Cheers,

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Old 03-18-2009   #24
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Thanks, Roland. It is a great scanner and I'm really happy I decided to reallocate resources from lenses to the scanner. Gradually, I'm heading in the direction of taking more and more control of the process that produces a final image, both for colour (M8) and B&W (ZI and Eastman 5222). S'pose that means developing B&W myself, but I really hate chemicals, so we'll see.

This is very interesting and helpful and I want to thank eveybody for contributing, once again especially dfoo. I played a little last night with the workflow in the link provided by dfoo. It seems to make sense, but I think some tweaking may still be necessary even after the film base is locked. I also found that setting the high/low curves to 0.25 and 0.75 (as suggested by another post in the linked thread) works better (I have Vuescan 8.5.02).

Frank, I am turning everything off (just had to learn where "everything" is first!!!).

I want to get back with more results for feedback...later.
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The old adage says: Seeing is believing. To me, that doesn't mean that the world seen is the truth, it means rather that seeing is a field in which the purity of heart is expressed--or not, depending upon whatever happens to cloud that purity at any given moment.

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Old 03-18-2009   #25
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Quote:
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....
I do mostly color, dfoo. And disks are cheap .....
Yes, I mostly do black and white, although I do have around 50 rolls of color to scan that I shot last summer. The biggest problem with big files is not the cost of the disks, its the "cost" of doing backup.
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