Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Vuescan, Lightroom and DNG Plus The Lomography DigitaLIZA

Fall Path
My blog on Plustek scanner mentioned my purchasing of the scanner software Vuescan to replace the software that came with the scanner. Up to now I have avoided using it for my epson v500 as I find the epson scanner software very easy to use. For a change I decided to try the Vuescan DNG output. DNG is equivalent to a RAW file only in a Adobe format. This turns out to have several advantages if you happen to own Lightroom or Photoshop.
  • You don't have to fuss with scanner settings for each individual image (Just set gain and base colour on an unexposed part of the negative once per roll)
  • You can extract and save all the information that the scanner can provide in a standardized archival form
  • Fits into Lightroom's non destructive workflow so reprocessing does not degrade the scan.
  • Merges your film and digital workflow
  • You can make and apply your own colour profiles, curves, fx and other post processes as many times as you want
  • You start out with a RAW file that has more information and less noise then a conventional tiff scan with some curves applied during the scanning phase
Warning the Vuescan DNG has a linear gamma of 1 the same as a scanner so opening up a file out side of a gamma aware program will result in an image seeming to have a very strange contrast curve.
New note on Vuescan/Epson V500 here.

For Pixel Peekers

Have a look at this example of 35mm Nikon FMn2 105mm hand held street portrait on HP5 film developed in Xtol + Rodinal and scanned on my Plustek 7400

Original scan from the Plustek B&W scanned as a 48 bit tiff

1:1 with some slight sharpening in post

Lomography DigitaLIZA

I have to give the Lomography DigitaLIZA  120 Format film holder a 4 out of five rating compared to the epson holder 2.4/5 rating. It's so much better for keeping curly film flat. It's also easy to load the film.

  • For the digitiliza make up a template that you can place on your scanner bed to make it easy to align the Digitaliza with the scanner bed (I made mine out of a stiff cardboard looks like a thick L) be careful not to cover the calibration area of the scanner
  • I use a rocket blower rather then canned air to blow any dust off the negative. 
  • A pair of silk inner liner gloves (from a sports or outdoor shop) are much better then cotton gloves for handling negatives