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Railfan Technology > Slide Scanning Question, What am I doing wrong?


Date: 02/19/19 11:58
Slide Scanning Question, What am I doing wrong?
Author: moonliter

For the life of me I can't seem to get the knack of scanning slide correct.  I have a Nikon Coolscan V with VueScan Professional software.  I scan the slide Kodachrome K14 at 4000dpi. My scans to be slightly "soft" or as if the was a mist in the air when I took the shot.  I posted an example of what I mean, the unit's numbers are in focus, early morning July sun baths the unit with its light, the day is crystal clear yet the image appears "soft". I look at photos from others who have posted their slides from the same era here on Trainorders and they come out more than acceptable.  Also, I have had many slides published in magazines like PTJ and Canadian Rail as well as some railway books, the photos turn out well.

After scanning, I then use Photoshop Elements to do minimal adjustments and re-size the image for Trainorders.  The included photo has been only re-sized for TO.

Thank-you in advance for any suggestions.

Gerry Gaugl
Ottawa ON 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/19/19 12:03 by moonliter.




Date: 02/19/19 12:30
Re: Slide Scanning Question, What am I doing wrong?
Author: robj

Random thoughts:
You used a tough one for a test, head on, fast moving? low light and dark. 
As a test I woud scan a better exposed slide, either stationary or slow moving and with a less head on to judge just the scan and eliminate
depth of field, focus and motion blur.

I assume you sharpen as your last step as that is necessary?  I use smart sharpen in PS.
I always scan at the normal multiples ie 2400, 3200, 4800. 
I brightened it up a bit and  didn't look bad but I am not a tack sharp freak.

One thing if you are shooting modern digital and then looking at slides with slow ASA and older cameras it is hard comparison.

Anyway, on this one I might guess on a depth of field or focus if you think thereis a problem.

Bob,  brightened and smart sharpen

Edit:  to our chagrin I find and hear from others sometimes in the way back we just missed a little and the original is just not what we would like.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/19/19 12:40 by robj.




Date: 02/19/19 13:49
Re: Slide Scanning Question, What am I doing wrong?
Author: TCnR

Agree with trying a less challenging image for your scanner checkouts. I've never seen a reflection on a coupler before, kudus to CN for painting it. The shadows of the telephones lines are pretty rough as well. there's something about the image that doesn't settle easily, I did hit it with sharpen twice but there's still something going on with it.

Great subject and composition though.



Date: 02/19/19 14:54
Re: Slide Scanning Question, What am I doing wrong?
Author: JayK

I think it could be dust on the scanner mirror.  Use your seach engine and look for "cleaning nikon coolscan".



Date: 02/21/19 08:17
Re: Slide Scanning Question, What am I doing wrong?
Author: mp345

In Vuescan, on the "input" tab set "media" to "image" and "autofocus" to "always". On the "filter" tab set "Infrared clean" to "light". On the "color" tab set "color balance" to "neutral" (for viewing only). On the "output" tab set "printed size" to "scan size" and save it as a 48-bit RAW file with the dng extension. The purple cast of the sky in the photo you posted can be fixed in PS by a hue/saturation adjustment layer and moving the blue slider to the left.



Date: 02/21/19 09:19
Re: Slide Scanning Question, What am I doing wrong?
Author: robj

"clean to light"  something I didn't think of but the slide sky is very clean so either claenup was done later, the original was a lot cleaner than any of mine or dust removal was set high which can degrade image greatly.

Bob



Date: 02/21/19 10:23
Re: Slide Scanning Question, What am I doing wrong?
Author: jimB

I found that in Vuescan any IR Clean or grain reduction reduced the sharpness of my image. I also found that, at least with my scanner, outputting a tif file (64 bit rgbi, no size reduction, no compression) gave me better results than outputting to dng, which was not what I had expected. Most of my slides are scanned using Auto Levels, but sometimes White Balance, or Nuetral produce better results for me.

I took a slide and scanned it about 30 times varying the settings until I liked what I was getting.

I use LightRoom 5 for post scan editing.

Jim B



Date: 02/21/19 16:00
Re: Slide Scanning Question, What am I doing wrong?
Author: trainjunkie

I'm with Jay on this one. I think it's either dust inside the unit, or some sort of light leak/other hardware issue. I don't think this is software or setting related. We had a Nikon Coolscan 5000 in an advertising agency I used to work in and it produced similar (hazy) images. Back when Nikon had a repair facility in So Cal, I took it an for a cleaning and that did the trick. The owner of the agency was a heavy smoker and he had this unit in home office for awhile. The mirror was fouled with grime according to the technician notes in the repair order I received when I picked it up.



Date: 02/22/19 08:05
Re: Slide Scanning Question, What am I doing wrong?
Author: Frisco1522

The "cataract" effect really shows on this one.   One of the guys who posts a lot of the Steam RRng discussion group seems to have that on a lot of his postings.  I'm not sure what causes it.   Years and years ago a guy I knew had this on a lot of his B&W negs and it turned out to be in the camera.  This was an old 616 camera and had a film on the insides of the lens.   Opened it up and cleaned the lens surfaces and it was perfect.
Sometimes you can correct for this in Photoshop, but I'd rather know what causes it in the first place.  I did a light haze removal on this in Photoshop Elements.




Date: 02/24/19 13:20
Re: Slide Scanning Question, What am I doing wrong? FIXED
Author: moonliter

Same train slide image that I posted last week, except I scanned it after cleaning my CoolScan V's mirror. Boy what a difference. 

Just like the image of last week, I only sized it for Trainorders, no other corrections were done.  I found a great blog on the website after "googleing"  how to clean CoolScan mirror.  The blog by Gleb Shtengel is fabulous with step by step instructions accompanied with great photo.  Mr Shtengel is a research scientist with a PHD in physics but more importantly he has a large photo collection that he digitized over the years.  His photos, writing of instructions clearly show the he knows what he is talking about.

I just want to say thank-you to all of those who responded to my request for help.

Yours truly, Gerry Gaugl, Ottawa ON

PHOTO: VIACN No.1 North Bay ON on time at 06:30 July 9, 1977.




Date: 02/24/19 15:40
Re: Slide Scanning Question, What am I doing wrong? FIXED
Author: Frisco1522

Huge improvement!  My Epson is probably old enough that I should consider that, plus cleaning the inside of the glass.



Date: 02/26/19 12:23
Re: Slide Scanning Question, What am I doing wrong? FIXED
Author: ACR_Ted

One other thing...I've read several times it is best to lay the Nikon scanners on their sides (just as if you were using the SF-210 slide feeder) account the dust that falls off the slides will miss the mirror instead of falling directly on it.

That is how I am using my scanner.

Ted



Date: 03/21/19 04:15
Re: Slide Scanning Question, What am I doing wrong?
Author: LV95032

Haze on mirror. Nikons suffere from that a lot.

RWJ



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