Do we really need NegaFix? Ektar 100?

Problems with HiRePP®, NegaFix or profiles

Do we really need NegaFix? Ektar 100?

Postby Big_Lynx » Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:18 pm

I was trying very hard to receive good scanning results using SilverFast with NegaFix. I was always almost sure that NegaFix is one of the most important features of SilverFast. I was sure till moment what I was using it with Ektar 100 mask. Here are the results:

1. http://www.flickr.com/photos/big_lynx/5 ... 006079798/ - shows scan done with SilveFast (Mac) on Plustec 7500i with iSRD enabled. Of course NegFix was set to use Ektar 100 mask

all other scans I did on Epson V750 Pro, 4800, 48bit, ICE enabled

2. http://www.flickr.com/photos/big_lynx/5 ... 006079798/ - this is original scan with NegFix. Small histogram adjustment

3. http://www.flickr.com/photos/big_lynx/5 ... 006079798/ - this is the previous picture after best possible corrections in LightRoom

4. http://www.flickr.com/photos/big_lynx/5 ... 006079798/ - this is HDR linear scan of the same frame as possitive

5. http://www.flickr.com/photos/big_lynx/5 ... 06079798/- this is the previous picture developed by ImageMagic

6. http://www.flickr.com/photos/big_lynx/5 ... 006079798/ - this is the previous frame after auto exposure correction in LightRoom

7. http://www.flickr.com/photos/big_lynx/5 ... 006079798/ - scan by EpsonScan - no correction

8. http://www.flickr.com/photos/big_lynx/5 ... 006079798/ - EpsonScan with auto-correction

What is the best picture in the above sequence? Hard to say. For me probably #6 ... but for sure I may say that pictures produced by SilverFast with NegFix are worst.

Any comments on that?

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Re: Do we really need NegaFix? Ektar 100?

Postby LSI_Morales » Fri Mar 25, 2011 9:16 am

Dear Big_Lynx,

Big_Lynx wrote:What is the best picture in the above sequence? Hard to say. For me probably #6 ... but for sure I may say that pictures produced by SilverFast with NegFix are worst.


I must say, I completely disagree with you.

Based on which criteria are you making your judgements?

When it comes down to a matter of taste there is no best or worst, right or wrong.

In my opinion, Nr. 1 and 2 are better than the rest, they display a good level of details in highlights and shadows. Number 1 is bit overexposed, you could have dialed the exposure a bit down being careful not to loose too many details in the dark areas.

The one you like the most shows a blue color cast (at this point I must say, I checked the pictures in two different monitors) as well as almost no details on dark areas.

Link to number 5 is not working.

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Re: Do we really need NegaFix? Ektar 100?

Postby Big_Lynx » Sat Mar 26, 2011 12:18 am

LSI_Morales wrote:Dear Big_Lynx,

I must say, I completely disagree with you.

Based on which criteria are you making your judgements?

When it comes down to a matter of taste there is no best or worst, right or wrong.



Thank you for the answer. Of course you are right. You may prefer whatever you want basing on yours personal criteria. May opinion comes from the following:

1. NegaFix produced scans with huge contrast eliminating plenty of details. Please compare the following scans:

- http://www.flickr.com/photos/big_lynx/5 ... 006079798/ - scan as positive

- http://www.flickr.com/photos/big_lynx/5 ... 006079798/ - NegaFix

On snow I see more details on image not touch by NegaFix ... and I have a lot of examples like that. E.g.

- http://www.flickr.com/photos/big_lynx/5 ... 006079798/ - "positive"

- http://www.flickr.com/photos/big_lynx/5 ... 006079798/ - NegaFix

2. Colors generated by "positive scan" are closer to the nature (at least as far as I remember). E.g.:

- http://www.flickr.com/photos/big_lynx/5 ... 006079798/ - "positive"

- http://www.flickr.com/photos/big_lynx/5 ... 006079798/ - NegaFix

At the same day I was also making photos on Agfa CT 100 (slide film). E.g:

- http://www.flickr.com/photos/big_lynx/5 ... 006079798/

In my opinion "positive scans" from Ektar are closer in colors to slides on Agfa

LSI_Morales wrote:In my opinion, Nr. 1 and 2 are better than the rest, they display a good level of details in highlights and shadows. Number 1 is bit overexposed, you could have dialed the exposure a bit down being careful not to loose too many details in the dark areas.

The one you like the most shows a blue color cast (at this point I must say, I checked the pictures in two different monitors) as well as almost no details on dark areas.

Link to number 5 is not working.



Blue color cast is something what I see almost on each picture made in mountains full of snow (on level close to 3000m above sea) during very sunny winter day using lenses not equipped in UV filter. I see it on analog as well as on digital shots. Therefore I am not surprised. The main problems for me on the film in question are: huge contrast, reduced overall details, extremely vivided not real colors. Of course you may have different preferences but I will be more than grateful if you will explain me how to be closer to my preferences using NegaFix. Selection of "Ektar 100" mask without any other adjustments produces results which I have problems to accept.

Sorry for broken link. The proper one for #5 should be: http://www.flickr.com/photos/big_lynx/5 ... 006079798/

regards,
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Re: Do we really need NegaFix? Ektar 100?

Postby Brandon D. » Sun Mar 27, 2011 5:05 am

I honestly like #1 and #2 the most, and I don't even work for Silverfast. The sixth example looks too dull for my tastes, and it seems to lack contrast in comparison to the first two examples. Believe it or not, seeing your results actually gives me a lot more faith and confidence in NegaFix. I'd really like to know the criteria you're using to come to your conclusions about NegaFix.

Thanks!
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Re: Do we really need NegaFix? Ektar 100?

Postby LSI_Morales » Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:23 am

Dear Big_Lynx

I quote the points which make your criteria as:

Big_Lynx wrote:1. NegaFix produced scans with huge contrast eliminating plenty of details.
2. Colors generated by "positive scan" are closer to the nature (at least as far as I remember).
The main problems for me on the film in question are: huge contrast, reduced overall details, extremely vivided not real colors. Of course you may have different preferences but I will be more than grateful if you will explain me how to be closer to my preferences using NegaFix. Selection of "Ektar 100" mask without any other adjustments produces results which I have problems to accept.


In number 2 you say colors look closer to nature based on your personal experience. This is right but our personal experiences and memories do not match the characteristics of every photographic material (or perhaps the other way around, photo materials do not match our personal experience nor perception).
To create the NegaFix profiles we use special calibrated targets of every specific emulsion. These to ensure the film profile has the oposite curve to restore the emulsion specific characteristics.

Since you have a very specific idea of what you want, I recommend you check the films on how to use NegaFix in advance mode where you can modify the curves to match your conception.

The films are here:

#http://www.silverfast.com/showmovie/en.html?movien=172&mode=inline&hide=desc

here:

http://www.silverfast.com/showmovie/en.html?movien=301&mode=inline&hide=desc

and the documentation here:

http://www.silverfast.com/download/docs/SF-NegaFix-en.pdf


Cheers
Alejandro Morales

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Re: Do we really need NegaFix? Ektar 100?

Postby tgphoto » Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:22 am

Yes, we DO need NegaFix, and especially for films like Ektar 100 (and the newly released Portra 400 and Portra 160).

I don't know what you are seeing in #6, but my guess is your monitor isn't calibrated. On my calibrated monitors, #1 wins for color hands down.

Now, as far as exposure/overall brightness, that's a different story. I've scanned several hundred rolls of Ektar 100 since its introduction, all using Silverfast with NegaFix profiles (developed my own using the NegaFix advanced mode before Lasersoft added official support), and the one thing which is consistently an issue is the default brightness. Using the Negafix profile for Ektar 100, I routinely have to set the Brightness slider to between -1.0 and -3.0. This makes me wonder if there wasn't some issue/variance/problem with the conditions under which this particular profile was made by Lasersoft.

One of the BEST things, IMHO, about NegaFix is its flexibility. I can easily create/modify existing profiles to suit my needs.
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Re: Do we really need NegaFix? Ektar 100?

Postby Big_Lynx » Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:47 am

@tgphoto - thank you for the input. Frankly speaking I am still not sure. NegaFix has it own vision to a film mask. Someone did it and assumes that it is good for all films of particular type. If you think that flexibility of NegaFix is best feature of SilverFast I may agree .... but in that case we do not need predefined profiles ... or ... we have to work on predefined profiles to adjust them to our particular film. When you compare NegaFix output with standard EpsonScan output there is not too much difference.

In my opinion SilveFast should also offer something what may we call - standard RAW output. E.g. linear scan written in DNG format. This will allow us to work on scan with our preferred software - like Lightroom or Photoshop
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Re: Do we really need NegaFix? Ektar 100?

Postby tgphoto » Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:06 pm

Actually, you can turn off Negafix's Auto adjust feature, which essentially gives you a linear scan (although it is written to the industry-standard TIFF format, not a "TIFF wrapped in a DNG blanket", which is what a certain competing product which begins with a "V" does - it's not a "true DNG"). Further, you may remove the conversion process altogether by scanning your negatives as positives and doing the invert in Photoshop.
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