Sunday, December 29, 2019

Update on scanning color negatives

Happy New Year and Best Wishes for 2020!

My wife and I were in Seoul, Korea a few weeks ago and, of course, I took some photos. I was only in Korea once before back in 1997 so I decided yesterday and today to go to my archived, big 64-bit scan files of Korea color negatives and use Vuescan to make tiffs, do some preparation and improvement of those files, and then I imported them into Lightroom. It reminded me how much variation there is in the quality of color negative scans that I have done over the years. These were all developed in Tokyo and the developing was excellent because Japanese, as usual, take great care. The negatives did not have any small scratches or other imperfections that I have run into pretty often scanning color negatives that I processed at various places in the U.S. and Europe over the decades, even though they were in plastic film sleeves. The worst are 2 batches of rolls (hundreds of photos) I had developed in Perugia, Italy and later in Paris, France when we spent 4 months traveling in Europe in 2001 (Greece, Italy, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, France, England). Probably bad/old chemicals, maybe improper development time/temperature, scratches, emulsion flaws, chemical spots, etc. Those take tons of work in Photoshop trying to repair them. In contrast the ones I worked on since yesterday which were developed here in Japan required very little work.

Still, I would much prefer even a jpeg from my 2002 5mp Minolta D7i than a color negative scan. Looks better too and easier to work with. :-)

Part 1: Scanning Torture (or Learning to Love Your Digital Camera)

Part 2: Over 10,000 35mm slides and negatives scanned!


Geoff Thompson said...

Hi Henry . I found my way here after your post on DP review.Great photography. Your work in Irian Jaya certainly was as good as any National Geographic work I,ve seen.Thanks. From Adelaide in South Australia.

Henry Richardson said...

Hi Geoff, thank you for the kind words.

By the way, I have traveled all over, but have not yet made it to Australia. My wife and I thought we might go this year (we live in Japan), but with the coronavirus the world has turned upside down so we don't know when we can do it. Maybe next year? By the way, with the current upside down world it must feel interesting for you not being Down Under for a change. :-)