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Author Topic: Scan B&W photos/negs at 600 ppi. Is this best practice.  (Read 7312 times)

TonyW

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Re: Scan B&W photos/negs at 600 ppi. Is this best practice.
« Reply #20 on: November 24, 2017, 10:16:57 AM »

....In Mark Segal's SF8 book he examines the Right Size & Max Size debate. Using an old 35mm Kodachrome slide BTW. I'll quote him, hoping that is OK to do;  "My conclusion, based on this test and other work, is that for most intents these arenít choices over which to lose much sleep".

The only remedial work expected is to address any cleanup that SF8 tools and Neat Image don't handle sufficiently.
I have not read Mark's book but I do know him to be a knowledgeable and experienced photographer/author and therefore I am sure the conclusion he reaches is based on sound practice backed up with a good deal of practical testing.  Even without the benefits of reading the rest of his text, therefore leading me to make some guesses about the thrust of the article suggests that his conclusions would be very sound. 

For old photo restoration sometimes we get presented with very poor data and the expectation may be to make huge improvements (think of CSI Miami, Blade Runner or even better trying to polish a turd) sometimes much more than can reasonably be expected.  Faced with such issues capturing the image at the scanners optimum spi can help, enabling post processing work to produce accurate masks that can help enormously in the clean up (attached is a real example of such a mask from a damaged print - white areas show what needs repairing.  Sorry I cannot post the original and finished versions).
Similarly with B&W prints you may find that there is staining, silvering and general damage resulting in colour cast over the print.  I view and treat this type of image as colour and find that this can offer advantages in post work even if it ends up back to B&W

 
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Scan B&W photos/negs at 600 ppi. Is this best practice.
« Reply #21 on: November 24, 2017, 10:27:28 AM »

Thanks Tony. Let me suggest you'll get more bang from the buck with "turd polishing" by making sure to scan in 16-bit depth (not 8) rather than packing-in un-needed resolution; that said, it will remain useful to ensure having enough output pixels to meet the "native" resolution of the printer driver.
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TonyW

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Re: Scan B&W photos/negs at 600 ppi. Is this best practice.
« Reply #22 on: November 24, 2017, 11:46:47 AM »

Thanks Tony. Let me suggest you'll get more bang from the buck with "turd polishing" by making sure to scan in 16-bit depth (not 8) rather than packing-in un-needed resolution; that said, it will remain useful to ensure having enough output pixels to meet the "native" resolution of the printer driver.
Hi Mark, yes I agree scanning at 16 bit is a given for me. But I would also suggest that in the scenario I highlighted there is no un-needed resolution.

To recap in the case of the OP's print scans there is an unknown here that IMO needs testing. That is the actual limit of resolution before nothing useful is gained. 

So for a print that may merit a hero treatment it is worth investigating the point of diminishing returns i.e. small area scan at 300, 600, 1200 ppi etc. stopping at the point where there is no noticeable/usable improvement. 

I do not know the Epson 11000 XL but the review rate it quite highly even with its fairly modest optical resolution of 2400 ppi it seems that it can actually achieve 2170, pretty good when you look at other Epson models v600 to v800 achieving around 1500 - 2600 ppi approx. respectively and their claimed optical resolution much higher at around 6400 ppi.

So I would not expect to gain anything from a print at 2400 ppi but the fact that it can reach this level suggests a good acquisition system that may offer good things scanning reflective media.

Why would you want (and I advocate) to use a high resolution scan of a low resolution print? 
To quote Ctein from his book on Digital Restoration:
"High resolution scans of low resolution prints can be useful when theres physical damage with clear edges.   Scanning at a higher resolution spreads out real image detail over many more pixels while the edges of damaged areas remain pixel sharp.  This makes it easier to use edge finding filters and similar tools in your image processing program to extract the boundaries of the damaged areas..."

Once these boundaries extracted into your mask (as in the last example) it can be fairly simple and quick to use tools to fill in the damaged information with good info from surrounding areas without affecting undamaged areas.  My conclusion after handling quite a few of these nasties is that this is a useful tool to have in your bag of tricks

The same methods can be used with 35 mm negatives and transparancy and again the same scanning at optimum resolution which in the case of the Nikon LS 9000, the claimed scan resolution being 4000 ppi.  Actual measured resolution indicates a very respectable 3900 ppi.  So bearing in mind condition of slides may dictate going for optimum.

I do agree that the scanning of 9k slides a mammoth undertaking.  Quick calc. suggesting IF you could scan continuously and that each scan took 2.5 minutes to complete AND change to the next slide that you would be busy for around 2 months working continuously 7 hours a day just to scan.  Then add time spent editing, well..... :o

« Last Edit: November 24, 2017, 12:01:07 PM by TonyW »
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Alan Klein

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Re: Scan B&W photos/negs at 600 ppi. Is this best practice.
« Reply #23 on: November 24, 2017, 12:03:47 PM »

Spotting dust off of 9000 slides!!!  :o :-\ :-[

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Re: Scan B&W photos/negs at 600 ppi. Is this best practice.
« Reply #24 on: November 24, 2017, 01:05:25 PM »

Spotting dust off of 9000 slides!!!  :o :-\ :-[

SilverFast iSRD or SRDx can make very fast work of that without individually spotting the slides.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Re: Scan B&W photos/negs at 600 ppi. Is this best practice.
« Reply #25 on: November 24, 2017, 01:09:52 PM »

Hi Mark, yes I agree scanning at 16 bit is a given for me. But I would also suggest that in the scenario I highlighted there is no un-needed resolution.

To recap in the case of the OP's print scans there is an unknown here that IMO needs testing. That is the actual limit of resolution before nothing useful is gained. 

So for a print that may merit a hero treatment it is worth investigating the point of diminishing returns i.e. small area scan at 300, 600, 1200 ppi etc. stopping at the point where there is no noticeable/usable improvement. 

I do not know the Epson 11000 XL but the review rate it quite highly even with its fairly modest optical resolution of 2400 ppi it seems that it can actually achieve 2170, pretty good when you look at other Epson models v600 to v800 achieving around 1500 - 2600 ppi approx. respectively and their claimed optical resolution much higher at around 6400 ppi.

So I would not expect to gain anything from a print at 2400 ppi but the fact that it can reach this level suggests a good acquisition system that may offer good things scanning reflective media.

Why would you want (and I advocate) to use a high resolution scan of a low resolution print? 
To quote Ctein from his book on Digital Restoration:
"High resolution scans of low resolution prints can be useful when theres physical damage with clear edges.   Scanning at a higher resolution spreads out real image detail over many more pixels while the edges of damaged areas remain pixel sharp.  This makes it easier to use edge finding filters and similar tools in your image processing program to extract the boundaries of the damaged areas..."

Once these boundaries extracted into your mask (as in the last example) it can be fairly simple and quick to use tools to fill in the damaged information with good info from surrounding areas without affecting undamaged areas.  My conclusion after handling quite a few of these nasties is that this is a useful tool to have in your bag of tricks

The same methods can be used with 35 mm negatives and transparancy and again the same scanning at optimum resolution which in the case of the Nikon LS 9000, the claimed scan resolution being 4000 ppi.  Actual measured resolution indicates a very respectable 3900 ppi.  So bearing in mind condition of slides may dictate going for optimum.

I do agree that the scanning of 9k slides a mammoth undertaking.  Quick calc. suggesting IF you could scan continuously and that each scan took 2.5 minutes to complete AND change to the next slide that you would be busy for around 2 months working continuously 7 hours a day just to scan.  Then add time spent editing, well..... :o

Ctein's advice is perhaps relevant to a situation the O/P may not have to deal with. Slides don't usually have sharp-edge damage. If higher resolution may be beneficial in certain special cases, so be it, but reserve the otherwise excess resolution for those situations.

For the generality of the O/P's task at hand I'll abide by the advice I provided in Post 15 on how to select an appropriate scanning resolution.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Alan Klein

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Re: Scan B&W photos/negs at 600 ppi. Is this best practice.
« Reply #26 on: November 24, 2017, 02:02:55 PM »

SilverFast iSRD or SRDx can make very fast work of that without individually spotting the slides.
ICE onEpsonscan slows scans down scout threefold
  And it still leaves some shots that have to be spotted in post.   I found it's faster withoutICE and just spot in post.   But it all takes time regardless.  Frankly,  I can't imagine other scan programs spot better than Epsonscan.  The infrared detection in the scanner physically works only so much regardless off the software.

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Re: Scan B&W photos/negs at 600 ppi. Is this best practice.
« Reply #27 on: November 24, 2017, 02:20:48 PM »

ICE onEpsonscan slows scans down scout threefold
  And it still leaves some shots that have to be spotted in post.   I found it's faster withoutICE and just spot in post.   But it all takes time regardless.  Frankly,  I can't imagine other scan programs spot better than Epsonscan.  The infrared detection in the scanner physically works only so much regardless off the software.

SilverFast doesn't use ICE. The scanner provides an infra-red channel. The software does the rest to make use of it.

Instead of imagining what an application you may not know well enough does, try it so you'll have the facts from first-hand experience.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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saiguy

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Re: Scan B&W photos/negs at 600 ppi. Is this best practice.
« Reply #28 on: November 24, 2017, 02:36:50 PM »

Mark.  You are soo generous with your time and knowledge. I have read your book at least 2 times cover to cover, and reread sections many times. I follow your advise as best I can. Everything I know about SilverFast has come from you and Taz Tally. Have read your web site articles many times also.

File size bloat. This is why I'm keen on a small general utility out put. Back to thinking 5x7 again. They will probably put this on an average PC lap top. They know nothing about digital imaging. Could teach them how to print from LR.

Automation.  Will batch scan 64bit HDRi. Long ago I used SF with ACC in batch mode. It sets a very good white point and usually no black point. So will open them one at a time in HDR. Will save to a new folder.

SF8-HDR work flow. The ACC sets a white point that I can rarely improve on. Have set Auto Prefs to give about a 242 level and check wether it is neutral. LR has intelligent exposure and I set this there. I manually set a neutral black point anywhere from mid 20's to low 30's. Increasing black in LR to taste. If I see color cast will try to mitigate with Neutral PIP, or Selective Color. Will take full advantage of iSDR if possible, or SRDx with due carefulness. Save to a new folder.

PS.  Open the images via Bridge. Check for additional clean up, Neat Image with masking if warranted. Export to new folders that will be imported in LR as the master files. 

LR. Do all tone/color work, capture sharpening, DAM, etc. Export the project files, 16bit tif, ARGB, sharpen for scree or print ??? to their new high quality HD and bake-in all editing.

They will put  LR6 perpetual on probably a new dedicated PC lap top, and import the project files with a logical file structure which I can do from the excellent notes he gave me. Was lucky to get LR6 DVD from B&H photo for them.

5x7 at 300 ppi should be about 20 MB. Letter size about 60 MB. I think 60 MB files should be snappy on a new PC.

Seems to me a reasonable approach. And would rescan selects for printing using appropriate settings.
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Alan Klein

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Re: Scan B&W photos/negs at 600 ppi. Is this best practice.
« Reply #29 on: November 24, 2017, 02:53:28 PM »

SilverFast doesn't use ICE. The scanner provides an infra-red channel. The software does the rest to make use of it.

Instead of imagining what an application you may not know well enough does, try it so you'll have the facts from first-hand experience.
Epsonscan ICE uses infrared to remove spots etc.  That slows down the scan process a lot.  What does Silverfast use and how does it work?

TonyW

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Re: Scan B&W photos/negs at 600 ppi. Is this best practice.
« Reply #30 on: November 24, 2017, 03:09:00 PM »

.... If higher resolution may be beneficial in certain special cases, so be it, but reserve the otherwise excess resolution for those situations.

For the generality of the O/P's task at hand I'll abide by the advice I provided in Post 15 on how to select an appropriate scanning resolution.
I do not think we are in any general disagreement and broadly appear to be singing from the same hymn sheet albeit you in C major me in b flat major i.e maybe you thinking in best case scenario and me imagining worst case scenario where all images are poor  ;) ;D

As I have not revisited Silverfast for a good number of years (settling on Epsons own and Vuescan as being perfectly adequate for my needs and less costly) I am curious about the licencing and costs.  Forgetting just for the moment the capabilities of the software and what it may bring to the table (I know it is a damn fine application!) in a particular case like the OP with two different means of scanning Epson and Nikon it is not clear to me if two seperate applications at Euro 336 required - it looks like it does making this pretty expensive compared to other options. 
« Last Edit: November 24, 2017, 03:33:47 PM by TonyW »
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Scan B&W photos/negs at 600 ppi. Is this best practice.
« Reply #31 on: November 24, 2017, 06:03:41 PM »

Mark.  You are soo generous with your time and knowledge. I have read your book at least 2 times cover to cover, and reread sections many times. I follow your advise as best I can. Everything I know about SilverFast has come from you and Taz Tally. Have read your web site articles many times also.

File size bloat. This is why I'm keen on a small general utility out put. Back to thinking 5x7 again. They will probably put this on an average PC lap top. They know nothing about digital imaging. Could teach them how to print from LR.

Automation.  Will batch scan 64bit HDRi. Long ago I used SF with ACC in batch mode. It sets a very good white point and usually no black point. So will open them one at a time in HDR. Will save to a new folder.

SF8-HDR work flow. The ACC sets a white point that I can rarely improve on. Have set Auto Prefs to give about a 242 level and check wether it is neutral. LR has intelligent exposure and I set this there. I manually set a neutral black point anywhere from mid 20's to low 30's. Increasing black in LR to taste. If I see color cast will try to mitigate with Neutral PIP, or Selective Color. Will take full advantage of iSDR if possible, or SRDx with due carefulness. Save to a new folder.

PS.  Open the images via Bridge. Check for additional clean up, Neat Image with masking if warranted. Export to new folders that will be imported in LR as the master files. 

LR. Do all tone/color work, capture sharpening, DAM, etc. Export the project files, 16bit tif, ARGB, sharpen for scree or print ??? to their new high quality HD and bake-in all editing.

They will put  LR6 perpetual on probably a new dedicated PC lap top, and import the project files with a logical file structure which I can do from the excellent notes he gave me. Was lucky to get LR6 DVD from B&H photo for them.

5x7 at 300 ppi should be about 20 MB. Letter size about 60 MB. I think 60 MB files should be snappy on a new PC.

Seems to me a reasonable approach. And would rescan selects for printing using appropriate settings.

I think you are using too many applications. A combination of SF8 nd LR should be more than adequate to do everything you want to do and will save on time and workflow complexity.

If you are doing most of the scanning for viewing the output on a laptop display (not printing), you can indeed use 5*7 linear dimensions, but your output resolution need not exceed 100 PPI, which will reduce file size dramatically. Also after making all the image adjustments in 16 bit, you could convert them to 8 bit JPEGs to make them even smaller in size and more responsive for this kind of viewing. The downside is that you would need to rescan for anything they want printed.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Re: Scan B&W photos/negs at 600 ppi. Is this best practice.
« Reply #32 on: November 24, 2017, 06:05:00 PM »

Epsonscan ICE uses infrared to remove spots etc.  That slows down the scan process a lot.  What does Silverfast use and how does it work?

SilverFast uses their own iSRD and SRDx. Ample material about this on their website and my previous articles.
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Re: Scan B&W photos/negs at 600 ppi. Is this best practice.
« Reply #33 on: November 24, 2017, 06:07:38 PM »

I do not think we are in any general disagreement and broadly appear to be singing from the same hymn sheet albeit you in C major me in b flat major i.e maybe you thinking in best case scenario and me imagining worst case scenario where all images are poor  ;) ;D

As I have not revisited Silverfast for a good number of years (settling on Epsons own and Vuescan as being perfectly adequate for my needs and less costly) I am curious about the licencing and costs.  Forgetting just for the moment the capabilities of the software and what it may bring to the table (I know it is a damn fine application!) in a particular case like the OP with two different means of scanning Epson and Nikon it is not clear to me if two seperate applications at Euro 336 required - it looks like it does making this pretty expensive compared to other options.

SilverFast and Vuescan have completely different marketing approaches and for the most part Vuescan is cheaper. I believe the OP has SilverFast already, why I did not hesitate to recommend using it.
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saiguy

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Re: Scan B&W photos/negs at 600 ppi. Is this best practice.
« Reply #34 on: November 24, 2017, 07:13:50 PM »

Mark.

Lively discussions here. Yes, I have a fully implemented color managed WF. Have Kodachrome IT8 target from LSI. Use EIZO CS240 for judging color/tone adjustments. Although I only use the MBP Retina for SF. Doesn't play well on the EIZO, and work more by the numbers in SF anyway. My project slides are all the .9 x 1.4 variety.

Looked at some recent 35mm slides I prepared for print. HDR showed I used 838 zoom, 360 ppi. Gives out put size of 4046 x 2700, or 7.5 x 11.24 inch, 35.5 MB. Pretty sure this MB is after shedding the IR channel. Some I out put for 8x10 with with similar numbers.

Appreciate your advise about too many apps. My experience says iSRD doesn't catch everything, possibly even more so with Kodachrome. I am new to Neat Image, but so far I think it preserves details better than LR for noise reduction. May not even be an issue at all, or only on some. You have said Kodachrome has the least film grain of any film you have scanned.

I want to deliver good files, albeit smallish ones. Their lap top viewing will be the same more or less, not calibrated likely, and most web browsers will give a worst look with ARGB. Can not control that. But at least they can get decent small prints, unlike from 100 ppi 8bit jpeg files.

Any selects for printing would be rescanned. I might do the printing myself on an EP 3880. One problem is that I am near Chicago, they are in St. Louis, 5.5 hour drive.
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Re: Scan B&W photos/negs at 600 ppi. Is this best practice.
« Reply #35 on: November 24, 2017, 07:34:03 PM »

Mark.

Lively discussions here. Yes, I have a fully implemented color managed WF. Have Kodachrome IT8 target from LSI. Use EIZO CS240 for judging color/tone adjustments. Although I only use the MBP Retina for SF. Doesn't play well on the EIZO, and work more by the numbers in SF anyway. My project slides are all the .9 x 1.4 variety.

Looked at some recent 35mm slides I prepared for print. HDR showed I used 838 zoom, 360 ppi. Gives out put size of 4046 x 2700, or 7.5 x 11.24 inch, 35.5 MB. Pretty sure this MB is after shedding the IR channel. Some I out put for 8x10 with with similar numbers.

Appreciate your advise about too many apps. My experience says iSRD doesn't catch everything, possibly even more so with Kodachrome. I am new to Neat Image, but so far I think it preserves details better than LR for noise reduction. May not even be an issue at all, or only on some. You have said Kodachrome has the least film grain of any film you have scanned.

I want to deliver good files, albeit smallish ones. Their lap top viewing will be the same more or less, not calibrated likely, and most web browsers will give a worst look with ARGB. Can not control that. But at least they can get decent small prints, unlike from 100 ppi 8bit jpeg files.

Any selects for printing would be rescanned. I might do the printing myself on an EP 3880. One problem is that I am near Chicago, they are in St. Louis, 5.5 hour drive.

iSRD works well with some versions of Kodachrome and not so well with others. For those they provide SRDx, the new tool that handles all Kodachromes as well as B&W, which neither iSRD nor ICE can deal with. How well iSRD works in general does depend on your settings for it, relative to the debris on the media you are cleaning up. It's a refined piece pf software allowing you to strike the balance between image detail and automatic debris clean-up. There are some very aggressive settings that can destroy detail unless you are a bit careful with it. But unlike ICE, it has a lot of flexibility/controls to get the targeting right.

Neat Image is a very good application for reducing the appearance of film grain, but LR's noise reduction is a very close second, and Topaz deNoise is also good. All of them can do a reasonably good job, bearing in mind that none of them are for film grain - they are all meant to deal with digital noise. Unlike those, SilverFast's grain reduction tool is designed for mitigating film grain and does a good job, but here again you want to be careful not to bake very aggressive settings into the scan, because it can impair detail.
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Re: Scan B&W photos/negs at 600 ppi. Is this best practice.
« Reply #36 on: November 24, 2017, 08:45:42 PM »

Mark, 

I wish I knew how to extract quotes from a previous post like you power users. Kevin should have a place for that on "how to use this forum".  If it exists can you point to it.

You mention SF's grain reduction tool. Is that other than iSRD/SRDx? If so which tool is it? You say Kodachrome is the most grain free, so hopefully I don't need it anyway. My approach has been to use iSRD conservatively, and nearly avoid SRD/SRDx. That's why I am quite willing to go to PS to have a closer look and fine tune clean up there. I have also noticed it is less effective on scratches. And if there are mold issues, which won't be the case in my current project as they have been well stored, mold seems to be "in" the film and not "on" it. My understanding is that all debris is denser than film, and that is how IR can identify it. SRDx with pen masking sky areas is definitely what I will use, for iSDR also, if it is clearly called for.

Thanks for your continued attention to this thread.
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Alan Klein

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Re: Scan B&W photos/negs at 600 ppi. Is this best practice.
« Reply #37 on: November 25, 2017, 01:09:36 AM »

With flat bed scanner like the Epson, ICE infrared  spot removal doesn't work well on Kodachrome and BW film because of the way the film is manufactured.  It works OK on Ektachrome slides and color negatives.  But it requires two scans which slows down the whole scanning process. It may effect the sharpness as well.  ICE works better with dedicate scanners like the Nikon. 

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Re: Scan B&W photos/negs at 600 ppi. Is this best practice.
« Reply #38 on: November 25, 2017, 08:11:15 AM »

With flat bed scanner like the Epson, ICE infrared  spot removal doesn't work well on Kodachrome and BW film because of the way the film is manufactured.  It works OK on Ektachrome slides and color negatives.  But it requires two scans which slows down the whole scanning process. It may effect the sharpness as well.  ICE works better with dedicate scanners like the Nikon.

iSRD doesn't require two scans so it doesn't slow anything down. It also works well on some Kodachrome versions, less well on others, for which the alternative SRDx is a good solution. iSRD does not affect sharpness because its removal algorithm isn't a sweep of the whole image - it's like a sophisticated clone or healing operation focused only on the debris that is revealed by the IR channel and earmarked for removal automatically in the software according to user settings. Tools such as iSRD and ICE can only work with scanners that actually have an IR channel.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Re: Scan B&W photos/negs at 600 ppi. Is this best practice.
« Reply #39 on: November 25, 2017, 08:37:24 AM »

Mark, 

I wish I knew how to extract quotes from a previous post like you power users. Kevin should have a place for that on "how to use this forum".  If it exists can you point to it.

You mention SF's grain reduction tool. Is that other than iSRD/SRDx? If so which tool is it? You say Kodachrome is the most grain free, so hopefully I don't need it anyway. My approach has been to use iSRD conservatively, and nearly avoid SRD/SRDx. That's why I am quite willing to go to PS to have a closer look and fine tune clean up there. I have also noticed it is less effective on scratches. And if there are mold issues, which won't be the case in my current project as they have been well stored, mold seems to be "in" the film and not "on" it. My understanding is that all debris is denser than film, and that is how IR can identify it. SRDx with pen masking sky areas is definitely what I will use, for iSDR also, if it is clearly called for.

Thanks for your continued attention to this thread.

Use the "Quote" button on top of the post for extracting the whole post to be quoted. Not sure how to do it extracting parts of a post. Those who do should chime in.

Grain reduction is a separate tool from iSRD/SRDx. When you put the software into Transparency mode you will see a GANE tool in the vertical toolbar between AACO and ME. It's the GANE tool for grain mitigation.

You don't need to go to PS for manually eliminating debris. Lightroom's spot healing/cloning does a fine job of this if you are using Lightroom for other purposes, (such as creating the web galleries, making prints, general photo organization and editing).

iSRD can be very effective with scratches, depending on the tool settings you select.
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