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Thread: Weird problem with scanned images and Aperture

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    Senior Member mathomas's Avatar
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    Weird problem with scanned images and Aperture

    I just got a new film scanner: a PlusTek 7300. It's basic, but I've been pleasantly surprised by the output, even my first attempt. Currently I'm scanning B&W negs, using B&W settings and grayscale output, both in SilverFast and VueScan (demo version). The tonality of my results is better than the lab results I've been getting.

    However, when I import the resulting image (TIFF or JPEG) into Aperture (which I've used for years), I get some odd behavior. I can do "whole image" adjustments like contrast, levels, or sharpening. But I can't do any retouching (say, to heal/clone out some dust). My actions just seem to have no effect. Worse, if I try to take the image into Nik Silver Efex pro, Aperture crashes every single time. It doesn't seem to matter whether the scan is a JPG or TIFF.

    I did do some experimentation and the following two independent techniques each prevented Aperture from crashing when subsequently launching SEP:

    - Treat the scan as a color scan, import to Aperture
    or
    - Import a scan into Aperture, open in Photoshop (this doesn't crash), do my retouching, save and come back to Aperture.

    Neither of the above is an attractive workflow for me. Can someone shed some light on what might be going on here?

    Thanks...

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    Re: Weird problem with scanned images and Aperture

    Is the image in a standard color space like Adobe 1998, sRGB or ProPhoto when you import it into Aperture?

    That's what I'd check first.

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    Senior Member mathomas's Avatar
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    Re: Weird problem with scanned images and Aperture

    Hi Doug,

    Under "Color Model" it says "Gray". Other (normal) photos and scans from the lab show "RGB". I suppose the "Gray" can cause a problem, but I'm not sure what to change in my scanning software to stop that (I could swear I looked for that sort of thing in the output options).

    I've attached an image of what I see in Aperture.

    Thanks...

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    Re: Weird problem with scanned images and Aperture

    I was going to ask if it was a file size thing, as sometimes scans can be hundreds of megs, but if it is just 4mb, I am not sure what's up. Have you tried them in photoshop or other software?
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    Senior Member mathomas's Avatar
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    Re: Weird problem with scanned images and Aperture

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson View Post
    I was going to ask if it was a file size thing, as sometimes scans can be hundreds of megs, but if it is just 4mb, I am not sure what's up. Have you tried them in photoshop or other software?
    Yeah, I mentioned that I could import into Aperture, open in Photoshop from Aperture (which actually works fine), then come back to Aperture from Photoshop. The resulting version that's been through Photoshop can then be sent to Nik Silver Efex. It's really bizarre.

    Yeah, I tried different resolutions (and thus file sizes), also tried compressed/uncompressed TIFFs, etc.

    Thanks again...

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    Re: Weird problem with scanned images and Aperture

    Hi there
    Is this aperture3?
    Is it the latest update (3.03?)

    Just this guy you know

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    Senior Member mathomas's Avatar
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    Re: Weird problem with scanned images and Aperture

    Hi Jono,

    Good question. No, this is Aperture 2, last version. I haven't made the leap to 3.0 yet. Too many horror stories about large libraries, and had just spent $$ on the Nik suite.

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    Re: Weird problem with scanned images and Aperture

    Quote Originally Posted by mathomas View Post
    Hi Doug,

    Under "Color Model" it says "Gray". Other (normal) photos and scans from the lab show "RGB". I suppose the "Gray" can cause a problem, but I'm not sure what to change in my scanning software to stop that (I could swear I looked for that sort of thing in the output options).

    I've attached an image of what I see in Aperture.

    Thanks...
    I'd reiterate that something other than sRGB, Adobe 1998, or Profoto (all RGB profiles, not gray profiles) can cause problems. Find the switch in the software to scan to RGB rather than Grayscale, or if you can't do that then use another piece of software to convert the Grayscale images to RGB.

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    Senior Member mathomas's Avatar
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    Re: Weird problem with scanned images and Aperture

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpetersonci View Post
    I'd reiterate that something other than sRGB, Adobe 1998, or Profoto (all RGB profiles, not gray profiles) can cause problems. Find the switch in the software to scan to RGB rather than Grayscale, or if you can't do that then use another piece of software to convert the Grayscale images to RGB.
    Yeah, that's about where I'm at. It's surprising that both pieces of software seem to want to create a file, by default, that is "bad" in Aperture's eyes. I thought I'd run through all the output options in both applications. I can run it through another piece of software, but that's a less than desirable workflow. Nonetheless, I think that's where I'm going to end up.

    Thanks for your thoughts!

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    Senior Member mathomas's Avatar
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    Re: Weird problem with scanned images and Aperture

    OK, I spent a few more hours on this. Looks like my only option is to scan, import the scanned file into Aperture, immediately launch Photoshop from Aperture, close the file in Photoshop (which saves it back to Aperture), then work with the file in Aperture. Photoshop seems to convert the file to RGB along the way. It's a pain, but I can work with it.

    Now if only my lab hadn't scratched the hell out of my negatives! I'll be developing my own soon -- hopefully I can do so without doing damage myself...

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    Re: Weird problem with scanned images and Aperture

    Mike,
    This is clearly an Aperture limitation, but Apple is not alone in ignoring gray format. It's not unusual for softwares today to have problems with grayscale image formats, as it's an unusual format. Likely many of the filtering functions in Aperture are only implemented for RGB pixel layout.

    You could scan into RGB format, or open scans in Photoshop after scanning but before importing to Aperture, and resave as RGB images.
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    Senior Member mathomas's Avatar
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    Re: Weird problem with scanned images and Aperture

    Lars,

    Thanks for your response. Yes, it seems to be a problem with Aperture. Luckily Photoshop has no such problem. So, as you say, I'm going to have to add an open/save in Photoshop for my scans, before bringing into Aperture.

    I did try to find some way to control the output from my scanning software, but both VueScan and SilverFast seem to assume that grayscale in has to produce "Gray" output. If I scan as if my B&W negative is color, then I don't have the problem (but then I have other problems ).

    Thanks...

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