Old 10-18-2008, 03:30 AM   #1
Chris Z
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Default Help fixing slide scans

I've been using my flat bed slide scanner recently and now am getting pretty frustrated with it. I've been looking at new Nikon scanners, but their price range is all over the place. Do the more expensive scanners do a better job of scanning? The one I have now can't scan anything into focus and have to use the heck out Photo Shop to get them back into focus, and there are other issues.

Would I be happier with the more expensive models? Or is the quality difference not there?

Here are some examples of slide rejects, but am not quite sure on how to fix them.

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...key=1129786054

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...d=591347&key=0

Thanks for any help.

Chris Z.
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Old 10-18-2008, 03:41 AM   #2
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On the second one, why not just bump up the saturation and contrast?

On the first one, you need some highlight/shadows work too... may not be enough.

In short, yes, you will get better results with a dedicated slide scanner, but based on your post I expected to seem some terrible scans. When I looked, I was pleasantly surprised... they're not that bad.

Even with a dedicated slide scanner, you're going to get soft-ish scans (and you want to be careful with the scanner's sharpening software). You have to sharpen in Photoshop.

(I use a dedicated Minolta Dimage Scan Dual III... which I am quite happy with.)

Last edited by Freericks; 10-18-2008 at 03:18 PM.
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Old 10-18-2008, 04:17 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Z
I've been using my flat bed slide scanner recently and now am getting pretty frustrated with it. I've been looking at new Nikon scanners, but their price range is all over the place. Do the more expensive scanners do a better job of scanning? The one I have now can't scan anything into focus and have to use the heck out Photo Shop to get them back into focus, and there are other issues.

Would I be happier with the more expensive models? Or is the quality difference not there?

Here are some examples of slide rejects, but am not quite sure on how to fix them.

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...key=1129786054

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...d=591347&key=0

Thanks for any help.

Chris Z.
As far as the Nikon line of scanners go, they are all of equal quality with the only difference being that the more expensive units offer a few more bells and whistles than the lower price unit. All 3 scan at the same maximum 4000dpi. The Nikon Coolscan V is the lowest priced unit of the 3 offered by Nikon and scans 35mm slides and 35mm negatives. I have had this particular scanner for about 3 years or so and love it, a friend picked one up last year and has been very pleased with ther results, as have many others. Runs around $500-600, well worth the price. Next up is the Nikon Super Coolscan 5000 which runs about $1150. The biggest difference between this unit and the lower priced Coolscan V is that the Super Coolscan 5000 is faster at scanning (about twice as fast) and it can accept a special batch feeder which can hold as many as 50 slides. The batch feeder can't be used with the lower priced scanner. Finally there is the Super Coolscan 9000 which can scan not only 35mm slides and negatives but medium format film as well. Thats also why this scanner runs about $2100.
The quality of the scan is going to be the same with all 3 of these scanners. If all you are wanting to scan is 35mm slides and negatives, find yourself a Coolscan V and go to town scanning. It will blow away any flatbed scanner thats out there.

Bryan Jones
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Old 10-18-2008, 04:40 AM   #4
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I think a good question to ask is what you plan on doing with these photos? If it is for archival or print purposes investing in a higher quality scanner would be worth it in my opinion. If it is for the personal collection or rpn I think we can work with what you have.

The shots do need some post processing color work. There is also somewhat poor lighting it seems and a little loss of quality but given the age and subjects I think they have a good chance if processed correctly.

As an example I quickly color corrected the Amtrak locomotive, something like this has a chance at acceptance here.

Good Luck!

Brian
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Old 10-18-2008, 03:11 PM   #5
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The shots do need some post processing color work. There is also somewhat poor lighting it seems and a little loss of quality but given the age and subjects I think they have a good chance if processed correctly.

This seems to be my biggest problem. I have total lack of experience with this. When I took a picture especially on film, pretty much what I got is what I accepted. I get dinged a lot for bad color. I just can't seem to get it right. You did a nice job on that SW1, but I can't get it there like you did and is causing me a bit of a frustration.

Anyhow, I did get some slides in but the quality nowhere compares to the original slide.

http://www.railpictures.net/showphotos.php?userid=29517

I'd like to learn to do this stuff, but like anything else it will probably require time.

Chris
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Old 10-18-2008, 03:32 PM   #6
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The shots that were accepted are not bad at all. Some as we have said can use a little color work but it isn't hard to learn.

I used photoshop CS3 and the "color balance" bar to process that example. I adjusted the Cyan/Red slider more toward the red end to counter the blue tint the photo has. I also increased the saturation and contrast by a little after that was done.

If you have photoshop you can try the "auto color" adjustment but that is hit and miss and won't always give you what you need. Sometimes it can be way off too, but it might help give you an idea of what you are looking for. You will easily be able to tell if it does give you something way off.

If you don't have photoshop let us know what programs if any you do have for post processing and I am sure someone here has used it and can talk you through a simple color correction process.

You have a nice 80's and 90's collection here, I wish I was old enough to shoot then as those are my favorite railroad eras.

Brian
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