Archiving slides & negs

General topics about imaging

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Archiving slides & negs

Postby heinz » Sat Apr 21, 2007 1:25 am

Much water under the bridge since I scanned my last image and getting really frustrated by my lack of time to enjoy some image time.

What I would like is to do is get my images to digital so that when I have a little time now and then I can "play", plus the fact that once digital I feel that they will be a little "safer".

What I'm wondering if it's feasible to scan the image with no correction other than crop and then process later without loosing any data/quality that may be available during the scan.

I have a Nikon 4000 ED scanner and have upgraded to 6.5 Ai IT8 Studio/ME and am wondering if I scan to HDR (which?) and add HDR software that I can scan without loosing detail for later processing?

Hopefully I'm making sense :)
Thanks in advance


Re which HDR software I would need, I have also started to do RAW D40X, in case there is some software where I could use the Nikon NEF as input.

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Postby RAG » Thu Apr 26, 2007 8:31 pm


If I understand your questions correctly the answer is yes, you can do HDR scans and then use SilverFast HDR to process them at a later date.

With regards to your Nikon NEF files, you should have received free software from Nikon that allows you to process your Nikon NEF (RAW) files and save them to other formats. The latest version of Adobe's Camera RAW Plug-In should also allow you to process NEF files.

Hope this helps!
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Postby Gregory C » Fri Apr 27, 2007 4:34 am

hello Heinz.

I am pretty much doing what you are planning to do.

I scan with the Nikon 4000ED, saving to 48-bit Colour JPEG2000 files. I can then use HDR to make further adjustments.

  • I scan to 48-bit Colour because I want to use the Multi-Exposure functionality. I am scanning negatives and I have found that if I scan them in Positive scan mode and then try to process them in HDR using Negafix, the final product's colour is terrible; it's very green.
  • I have ICE (Fine) turned on to avoid the artifacts caused by the fungi/mold/dust etc on the negatives. I also have GANE turned on because the film is old and grainy although this will not be necessary with all of my film.
  • The JPEG2000 format produces images smaller that the TIFF format; ~60MB vs ~120MB. The downside is that SF is the only software capable of reading these 48-bit JPEG2000 files. I would have liked to archive the images in Aperture and do further processing/output from there but Aperture does not understand SF's version of the JPEG2000 format.
  • Scanning is slow. There's a bug in the NikonMaid library which affects SF's use of the SF-210 50-Slide Adapter when used with an Intel Mac. I am therefore forced to use the scanner on my G4 iMac. With 2x Multi-Exposure and ICE turned on, scanning at full hardware 4000dpi resolution, scanning takes a while. I can scan roughly two rolls of film per full day.
  • Many of our negatives are old and have changed colour. While previewing, I have to try every Negafix profile to find the most appropriate one for the film I am scanning. It might not be the one listed. For example, for the 18-year-old Fuji 100 film that I am currently scanning, the best profile is the <Other>,<Lucky GBR Plus 100> with customised Negafix curves and exposure set to +0.5. You may have to experiment to find the best profile/custom curves/etc.
  • After scanning with SF Ai, small changes may still be needed in HDR to 'fine tune' the final photo. For example, I still need to remove some Colour Cast after scanning, and I need to add USM (sharpening) and a little Contrast.

I hope that gives you some ideas.

P.S. I experimented with the SA-30 Film Roll adapter for several months but it was useless. Nikon's frame detection is completely unreliable so batch processing is not possible with the SA-30. In the end, we ended up buying the SF-210 50-Slide Adapter and mounting all of our negatives. This has proven to be far more effective and SF produces better scans from our setup than v**s**n (which is actually pretty good) and Nikon Scan.


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Postby heinz » Fri Apr 27, 2007 5:02 am

Thanks Rag.

I found the tutorial and scanned some samples to HDR and then did some playing with HDR Eval.

I didn't get to perfect scans yet but think I'm on the right track so i'll be ordering HDR Studio soon, I think.

I'll have to do some tests using Nikon Scan/HDR combo in case that turns out better than using AI for the initial scan.

For my new D40x raw I'm considering using SilkyPix since Aperture can't handle the D40x raw yet.

My original challenge is still getting my Kodachrome's to disk with minimum effort up front, I.e. postponing the tweaking to a post-scan phase using HDR. I guess worst case scenario would be that I have to scan some a second time if the HDR tweaks don't turn out.

All comments still welcomed :)

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Postby heinz » Fri Apr 27, 2007 5:17 am


Thank you. Lots of good info indeed. At the moment I'm doing single scans and I might stick with that as I only have about a thousand to do.

The filmstrip adapter has worked pretty well for me for Negs. Slow, but it works. I'm hoping to do the Negs after I have the Slides done and then spend the winter tweaking :)

One of the reasons of doing this in 2 phases is that I still have MUCH to learn about SF and tweaking in general so I'm hoping that I can buy myself some time yet relax as all slides and negs will be digital and somewhat safer.

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