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Thread: Scanning Kodachrome

  1. #1
    Senior Member Peter Klein's Avatar
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    Scanning Kodachrome

    I've been scanning my 1970s-era Kodachromes. I'm using a Canon FS-4000 with VueScan Pro. The FS-4000 can do a two-scan pass with different exposures, which really helps with shadows. I scan to 16-bit TIFF, do my major adjustments in Picture Window Pro, then convert to 8-bit for resizing and sharpening. Yes, my monitor is calibrated. I save to sRGB once the file is adjusted in VueScan and goes from RAW space to TIFF.

    I hadn't scanned film much recently, so I am relearning Kodachrome's scanning issues. I don't mind the orangy-ruddy flesh tones, that's just part of what the film does. But one thing that drives me crazy is that even with VueScan's Kodachrome profile, my old 1970s slides scan a bit green/cyan in the shadows, and a bit magenta in the mid to upper midtones. Fixing either color makes the other worse. Full sunshine pictures are usually OK, ,but for contrasty pictures with both sunlight and shade, simple color balancing using a white sample doesn't cut it.

    Here's an example, "Purple Mountain Majesties." You can find other examples in the same gallery:
    http://gallery.leica-users.org/v/pkl...+Mountain.html

    This is an extreme case (early morning angled backlight, deep shadows and bright clouds in the same picture), but it illustrates the problem. I have a lot of outdoor mountain photographs with a high contrast range like this. My old habit of underexposing 1/3 stop for better saturation probably didn't help, though in the above picture, I was cramming an awful lot of dynamic range onto a contrasty film.

    Anybody have any secret VueScan workflows or profiles that would help with this? Suggestions? Making color masks for every picture is not going to happen--I'd do that for a wall-hanger, but not for every good shot.

    --Peter

  2. #2
    Super Duper
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    Re: Scanning Kodachrome

    I always scan using Vuescan RAW, and color correct in Photoshop...most of my scans are Kodachromes from the 1950s and later...

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    Re: Scanning Kodachrome

    Open in photoshop and use selective color to adjust the yellow, magenta and cyan in the neutral channel, the use hue/sat to boost the master saturation by +15. Once you get a feel for how much adjustment your images need, you can build it into an action, then batch apply to a folder of scanned images.
    Last edited by Bill_Green; 14th March 2011 at 14:56.

  4. #4
    tetsrfun
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    Re: Scanning Kodachrome

    I haven't done my old Kodachromes, yet but Silverfast has added Kodachrome ICC profiles and calibration targets for it scanning software. Useful? Cost effective vs time savings? I don't know.

    Steve

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    Re: Scanning Kodachrome

    I always scan using Vuescan RAW, and color correct in Photoshop...most of my scans are Kodachromes from the 1950s and later...
    What Robert say's, all film scanning, not just Kodachrome.
    Randy

  6. #6
    Senior Member Peter Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Scanning Kodachrome

    FWIW, I asked Ed Hamrick, the author of VueScan. He said to try using the "Image" mode instead of "Transparency." He also suggested using the Kodachrome IT-8 target to calibrate the scanner--VueScan has a calibrate feature which uses these targets. I'll try those steps in that order, I guess. I'd rather avoid having to learn yet another software package if I don't have to.

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