Scanning start to finish Plustek 8200i/Vuescan/Lightroom
Old 07-19-2019   #1
bert26
Registered User
 
bert26 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 114
Scanning start to finish Plustek 8200i/Vuescan/Lightroom

Hi all,

I just wanna see what you think of my scanning technique.

First off, I am super irritated that no matter how meticulous I am, each negative always shows up crooked with my Plustek 8200i. I thought it might have been a defective holder but I just got a replacement and that isn't the case. Using a light box and loupe, I make my selects and preview/scan those frames only. But having to reposition the strip over and over and over again ends up taking hours. This one took a few tries, but slightly adjusting ten more times never got it straight. I try to slide the strip all the way down or all the way up (doesn't work) as I'd rather have the frame slightly cropped than askew. It is always just wonky on the top and bottom of the negative. Is this acceptable? Do you have better luck with this scanner than I do? Oh, and I use cotton gloves that fit nice and tight when adjusting the strips.

crop

And here is what my Vuescan settings are at:

01

02

03

04

05

06

I like to scan flat as I end up bringing the images into Lightroom. Here is a video of my process.


https://youtu.be/7-NZrS1WKA0




I first bump the contrast to 50, adjust the blacks and whites, then adjust highlights and shadows, then I go back to readjust the blacks and whites.

For whites, I hold option and drag to the right until the white on the screen disappears. But I'm confused what to do when there is some crazy bright light in a corner or something. Should I just drag until the white disappears in the part of the image I care about?

I do the same thing with blacks. Then I finish up removing whatever dust is present with the clone stamp tool.

So yeah it's just adjusting until it looks right. But my contrast is usually almost always at ~50. It is hard to make the image not look flat but also not so contrasty it looks fake. I often go insane and will export 10 different copies and shuffle back and forth between the 10 until I'm blind but am trying to learn to just trust my gut the first time.

Back to adjusting the whites, if I slide it until there is no white whatsoever, my edit ends up looking like this:

[url=https://flic.kr/p/2gCw6Aa]

If I slide it until the white disappears in the parts of the image I about, my edit ends up looking this way:

[url=https://flic.kr/p/2gCw6JX]

Obviously with the second export, I was able to do some other adjustments but with the first export, any sort of adjustment just hurt it. So the proper way to adjust whites is until the white disappears only in the parts of the picture that matter?

I dunno, what do you think? The askew scanning sucks but the screenshot at the very top took me two tries. Is this slanted enough to mess hinder the picture, you think?

If so, I'll sell this scanner and get something else but I can't drop a ton of money. I love this scanner except the flimsy film holder. I don't need anything nicer in terms of quality.

I have so many negs I'm dying to scan but I don't wanna waste my time scanning em slightly crooked if it'll make em look worse. I can't really tell.

Thanks!!
  Reply With Quote

Old 07-19-2019   #2
gavinlg
Registered User
 
gavinlg's Avatar
 
gavinlg is offline
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Wellington NZ
Posts: 5,086
Your process looks pretty good however it think you should use vuescan in professional mode and make use of the tone curves to get the scan looking as close to perfect as you can straight out of camera. I think it’s the option+ button on the input tab. Once you get the adjustments right and how they effect each other you won’t gain anything by scanning flat and adjusting in LR.

As for the film holder, all the feed style scanners have the minor alignment issue. It usually only happens on the first and last frame in the beginning holder in my experience. Even if you eliminate the holder being an issue the film will rarely sit perfectly straight in the holder anyway. Straightening in Lightroom shouldn’t take more than 10 seconds per frame.
__________________
NO PRAISE
@gavinlagrange
  Reply With Quote

Old 07-19-2019   #3
bert26
Registered User
 
bert26 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 114
Thanks Gavin.

What's funny is I used to use this in professional mode but I took such a long break from scanning that I seriously forgot to switch it over. I had saved my presets but I think everything is good. So I leave the black and white points at zero and just adjust the low and high curves? The problem is that since I'm just eyeballing the curves, it kind of feels like destructive editing? I'd have to go back and rescan if I end up not liking my adjustments. Or am I missing something? All I've really used is the sliders in LR so I have no idea.
  Reply With Quote

Old 07-19-2019   #4
gavinlg
Registered User
 
gavinlg's Avatar
 
gavinlg is offline
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Wellington NZ
Posts: 5,086
Quote:
Originally Posted by bert26 View Post
Thanks Gavin.

What's funny is I used to use this in professional mode but I took such a long break from scanning that I seriously forgot to switch it over. I had saved my presets but I think everything is good. So I leave the black and white points at zero and just adjust the low and high curves? The problem is that since I'm just eyeballing the curves, it kind of feels like destructive editing? I'd have to go back and rescan if I end up not liking my adjustments. Or am I missing something? All I've really used is the sliders in LR so I have no idea.
I've actually done that before - taken time off scanning and forgotten some of the subtle things about vuescan.

So first of all make sure you're locking the exposure off the film base (blank frame at start of roll) so you get even and correct scan exposures. Preview the blank frame -> select area in the frame (no borders for the exposure lock) -> preview frame again, and then check 'lock exposure' in the input tab. Most films get around 1.8-2.2. HP5 usually gives me 1.848 or something like that. I'm not sure if it's necessary, but I zero all the curve adjustments in the color tab to get a truly neutral base exposure for this.

Next go into the color input tab and from the top of screen toolbar 'image' select 'graph curve'. That shows you the basic curve you're applying to the scans. There's a few other options there you can play around with but I tend to leave it on that.

In color tab, my base settings are:

Black Point: 0.2
White Point: 0.2
Curve low: 0.25
Curve high: 0.67
Brightness: 1
Profile: Kodak TMAX-400/CL .55

I adjust from there - generally if the negative was overexposed I start by decreasing brightness and then playing around with white point to compensate. It really is just getting a groove of how the curves work with each other. I apply the minimum black and white point possible (one click up from 0) unless the scan really needs more, and adjust contrast with the curves instead. This means you get full info in the scan for post processing. Don't stress about white point exactness, just do the minimum setting that looks right.

Scanning color with vuescan is a whole different ball game - the white point has a pivotal role in the colours of the scan. I've found it to be easier to scan RAW DNG and convert them using negative lab pro which generally is very effective. You can use NLP for BW scans too, but I've found general the finer controls of vuescan to allow a little more control.

Hope this helps!
__________________
NO PRAISE
@gavinlagrange
  Reply With Quote

Old 07-20-2019   #5
bert26
Registered User
 
bert26 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 114
Thanks Gavin. This method is pretty sick. Just gonna export 2 of each scan: one with curve adjustments one flat.
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:31.


vBulletin skin developed by: eXtremepixels
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

All content on this site is Copyright Protected and owned by its respective owner. You may link to content on this site but you may not reproduce any of it in whole or part without written consent from its owner.