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Thread: Scanning for shadow details with Imacon

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Tiburon, CA
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    Scanning for shadow details with Imacon

    I have scanned a 6X17 transparency with my Imacon scanner that has great detail in the midtones and highlights, but not much detail in the shadows. I know the detail is there as I can see it on the lightbox. I am using Flexcolor software.

    How do I set up my scan to pull out the maximum detail from the shadows?

    My thought is that I can then combine the two scans in Photoshop.

    Is there another scanner software that is better than Flexcolor on the Imacon for shadow detail?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Re: Scanning for shadow details with Imacon

    I'm real keen to see the responses to this one. I was never happy with the shadow detail from the Imacon scans so switched to scanning with a Creo IQSmart 3. Much better Dmax by a long shot. Almost as good as a Tango

  3. #3
    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
    Sunnyvale, California
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    Re: Scanning for shadow details with Imacon

    In general, there are two basic approaches to extending the DR of a scan.

    1. Multi-sampling: Let the scanner take multiple samples and average out any noise. This will not extend the DR beyound the theoretical limit of the scanner (i.e. bit depth) but will result in much cleaner shadows.

    Obviously a requirement is that all scans are perfectly aligned. In reality, this requires a scanner that can sample a scanline multiple times before moving to the next scanline so physical alignment is not an issue. Not sure if the Imacons support this - my Nikon 8000 and Microtek 1800f do but my Howtek drumscanner doesn't.

    2. Combine different exposures: Scan the image two or more times, at different exposures, then use a software to combine the scans so that the shadows are taken from the overexposed scan. This can in fact extend the DR of the final image beyond what the scanner is capable of.

    Silverfast is the only scanning software that I am aware of that supports combining to extend DR. I think there is a free download you can try. Once again, perfect alignment between scans is a must, which might be a problem with the Imacon as it moves the film and not the scanning head. Otherwise, combining multiple exposures to create a HDR image is a well-known photoshop technique (which also allows you to adjust alignment if it is off).

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