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Bright red splashes on my scanned images

Anyone have any idea where bright red splashes on the highlighted areas of my scanned and saved images – Tiff and JPegs – come from, and how to get rid of them? Admittedly the computer concerned is outdated, but that’s what I’ve got to work with at the moment. I have no other backup but at least I still have the original negs. Just as well I’ve not yet gone digital.

by Nigel Amies at 2014-03-18 20:01:51 UTC | Bookmark | | Report spam→

Sorry Nigel I am unable to “fix” that for you.

by Mendax Mondial | 19 Mar 2014 12:03 | Sipping a espresso, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Hardware? Software? Can you post an example somewhere with a link?

by John Louis Lassen Perry | 19 Mar 2014 14:03 | Liberty Corner, New Jersey, United States | | Report spam→
I’ll try posting an example if I get round to it, but don’t hold your breath. But does this mean this is some unusual abberation? I’ve had it happen before. Sometimes when I look at an affected image in a different – what to call it? An application? – it’s OK. However, this time it’s across the board. Can’tbe just me who has this problem.

by Nigel Amies | 20 Mar 2014 07:03 | | Report spam→
Hi Nigel,

I think, what you see is a kind of highlight-warning in your image software. I don’t know, what software you use or how you scanned your images, but I had the same or a similar problem:

I had a Nikon LS-4000 scanner and I worked with Vuescan. When I imported these scans in Lightroom, I often got blown highlights (that are indicated with red areas). I couldn’t correct this any more.
The problem appears to be, you had overexposed your images, when you scanned them, or your slides (if you use slide film) had already blown highlights. But that is not always visible on the monitor.

Scan the images again with lower contrast and exposure and have a look on the histogram, before scanning and adjust the curves and the exposure, if necessary. That should solve your problem.

A second cause could be, that your image software (Lightroom?) interpretes the scan data in a different way as the scan software.

When you use Vuescan, you have the option, to scan as a dng, so you can correct exposure, contrast and whitebalance afterwards in a wide range.

However, the better way, to digitalize your film images is in my experience, to photograph them with a DSLR. I sold my scanner, bought a Nikon D800 E and a reproduction lens for scale 1:1. „Scanning“ is much quicker with excellent results, when done this way.

Greetings from Germany

Franz

by Franz Hollweck | 21 Mar 2014 00:03 | | Report spam→
Hi Nigel,

I think, what you see is a kind of highlight-warning in your image software. I don’t know, what software you use or how you scanned your images, but I had the same or a similar problem:

I had a Nikon LS-4000 scanner and I worked with Vuescan. When I imported these scans in Lightroom, I often got blown highlights (that are indicated with red areas). I couldn’t correct this any more.
The problem appears to be, you had overexposed your images, when you scanned them, or your slides (if you use slide film) had already blown highlights. But that is not always visible on the monitor.

Scan the images again with lower contrast and exposure and have a look on the histogram, before scanning and adjust the curves and the exposure, if necessary. That should solve your problem.

A second cause could be, that your image software (Lightroom?) interpretes the scan data in a different way as the scan software.

When you use Vuescan, you have the option, to scan as a dng, so you can correct exposure, contrast and whitebalance afterwards in a wide range.

However, the better way, to digitalize your film images is in my experience, to photograph them with a DSLR. I sold my scanner, bought a Nikon D800 E and a reproduction lens for scale 1:1. „Scanning“ is much quicker with excellent results, when done this way.

Greetings from Germany

Franz

by Franz Hollweck | 21 Mar 2014 00:03 | | Report spam→
Thanks Franz. What you suggest sounds logical if somewhat over my head technically. But lacking the suggested hard/soft ware or much of an understanding of how it all is supposed to work will pose a headache to say the least. I’m technically somewhat retarded and other than getting a new scanner – our previous Epsom Perfection which seemed to work well was abandoned when we left SE Asia – and starting all over again I’m not sure what to do. ScanDig in Munich, which is not so far from us, have some good scanner choices and prices it seems..

by Nigel Amies | 22 Mar 2014 16:03 | | Report spam→
Hi Nigel,

I just saw, you are based in Germany, too.Where are you located now? I live about 70 km away from Munich – 1 hour with my car.

I know the website of ScanDig and „filmscanner.info“. It’s very good, with a lot of technical and background informations about scanning and tests of the scanners on the market.
Scandig offers also a scan service with Nikon- and Hasselblad-scanners.

The best flatbed-scanner seems to be the Epson V750, but for scanning films it has its limits, especially when you want to scan 35 m film. The better choice should be a film scanner.

Now, let’s work again:
What scanner and what software for scanning, archiving and postprocessing do you use? What filmmaterial and format do you scan?
Please post a file or you can send me one by email, if you like. So I can have a look on it.

Scans of good or very good quality are a lot of work and time consuming. You have to work very carefully to achieve best results. Automatic settings are normally not the best way to go.
The problem with your scans can be caused by your scanner (hardware), your negatives/slides, the software or all of these possibilities.

By your negatives/slides:
Bright highlights loose details when they are in areas that are out of focus, even when the film exposure is correct. Only the grain structure will – rather less than more – be visable.
On negative film the bright areas get very dark with a high density and almost no details. Often even the film grain is then invisible for us – and the scanner. The film grain is the finest structure for the scanner.

By your scanner:
Flatbed scanners have not the large range of density as filmscanners. that means, that they cannot recognize fine details as good as a filmscanner in bright highlights or the deep shadows. So they interpret it as a homogeneous white ore black area. That leads to highlight- ore shadow-warning, when this option is turned on in the scanner or imaging software
The lack of detail can also be caused by a defocused scanner, a curled film. or, as mentioned above, in areas on the picture, that are out of focus.

By software:
Scanning with 16 bit is always better than an 8 bit scan. But scanning with 16 bit and saving the files as an 8 bit tif or a jpg (always 8 bit) will lead to a loss of detail informations.
Saving as an 8 bit tif has the same effect, when the scanner works with 16 bit: Parts of the informations that are recognized by the scanner in 16 bit, get lost, when the file is saved as an 8 bit tif. This can lead to clipped highlights or shadows.
Colour corrections, removing color cast or changing the whitebalance in RAW-files can also lead to clipped highlights.

Greetings

Franz

by Franz Hollweck | 24 Mar 2014 01:03 | | Report spam→
Thanks for the detailed info Franz most of which I’m afraid is a bit over my aging head. However, strangely last time I checked on the computer all images looked normal and completely free of red splashes. The computer is an old one by what I imagin are current standards – a heavy mid 2000’s Toshiba laptop. The software I use is bootlegged Adobe Photoshop from Thailand, which is where I got the computer too. But hey, it works most of the time and I’m in no position to invest in anything else right now. Sometimes in my dreams I think of getting a nice little digital camera – an X100s for example – but fact is, apart from the cost of the camera I would then have to think most likely of having to get a new laptop too – such as a mini MacAir – plus an external hard drive, etc. if I wanted to travel. All of which is pie in the sky. However, fact is since coming to Germany – we live just outside Ludwigsburg – I’ve more or less lost any photographic inspiration, so what’s the point? Let me know if you’re ever in the neighbourhood.

by Nigel Amies | 01 Apr 2014 17:04 | | Report spam→

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Participants

Nigel Amies, Photographer/writer Nigel Amies
Photographer/writer
[undisclosed location].
Mendax Mondial, Mendax Mondial
[location unknown]
John Louis Lassen Perry, Photoanthropologist John Louis Lassen Perry
Photoanthropologist
Jersey City , United States
Franz Hollweck, photographer Franz Hollweck
photographer
[undisclosed location].


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