Scanning, Color Mangement and Photoshop…The Diafine and TX Sage…Part 2

As promised here is the next installment in the ongoing exploration of Diafine Developer and TX. In these videos hybrid artist and master printer Stephen Schaub (The Leader) discusses scanning techniques, color management considerations and Photoshop techniques to maximize your Diafine processed TX negatives!! (Please note that due to a time limitation on Youtube the video has been broken into two parts so be sure to watch BOTH videos!!)

Video ONE

Video TWO

Stay tuned for part 3 of the Diafine and TX saga early next week on the Figital Revolution!

Resource Links

Noise Ninja

Pixel Genius (Photo Kit Sharpening Software)

Kami Scanning Supplies

Ergosoft High Fidelity Inkjet RIP Software

Eizo Monitors

Viva la Revolution!!

13 thoughts on “Scanning, Color Mangement and Photoshop…The Diafine and TX Sage…Part 2

  1. Hey genius, if you work in a wider bitspace, why wouldn’t you work in a wider color space also? You always reduce for output regardless…

  2. Yes, you always reduce or compress for your output space but it is very different going from 16 bit to 8 bit than it is to go from a space like 1998 that has a gamut Vol over 1,000,000 to a printer space like one for a Matt paper on a 9880 which would be around 450,000 gamut Vol. There is such risk of a hue angle shift (esp in the blues) or because almost all monitors will not show beyond sRGB that there are colors that are beyond what you can see. The smaller color space is an easier conversion for most software and provides a more accurate color mapping in my experience. Also as I have said it makes soft proofing easier as the color projected can fit or at least are closer in size to the poss of your monitor. I only care about the quality of the final print… color that is not possible to print or bit depth that is unusable is of no interest…

    Run the tests yourself…. one image worked on from RAW after in sRGB… then do another from RAW after in say 1998… make both equals with regards to tonality and color range and then print… you will find the smaller one is more neutral and accurate to your monitor and provided you chose a difficult image (try the test target here on FR, you will also notice that it is smoother with fewer or no breaks in long areas of tonal transition… it is all about controlled compression.

    If your tests results are different or you really just love a larger space then fine do what works for you and your system.

    Cheers-
    Stephen

    And please…it is mr. genius. (joke)

  3. Do you typical convert to grayscale prior to printing or do you save the final final as RGB? I’m fairly new to scanning black and white negs (primarily Tri-x) and to date I have not printed any yet; I just post them to Flickr. But I am interested in printing so want to learn the best workflow for black and white.
    Great site – thanks.

  4. Mike- on our printer at Indian Hill Imageworks (d’Vinci Fine Art Printer) we print all black and white images as quadtones using inks from Inkjet Mall. It is possible to get very neutral prints from CMYK inks but not nearly as nice as a good quadtone print. I convert all files to gray gama 2.1 before printing.

    Cheers-
    Stephen

  5. There’s some great information on the “blue turns purple” problem at Bruce Lindebloom’s website:
    http://www.brucelindbloom.com/index.html?MunsellCalcHelp.html

    If you want to maximize dynamic range and the white balance in your image isn’t perfect, you can do highlight recovery to get free highlight detail.
    http://www.free-photoshop-plugins.com/download-filters/white-balance-plug-in.htm
    (Shooting RAW and doing highlight recovery is the way to go, but I don’t think those tools are available for non-RAW files.)

    Hope that helps.

    1. The info on Lindeblooms site is great and I have developed a method to alter the gamut shape/ rendering of my icc to help correct for tricky issues with deep blues turning purple (using Ergosoft Poster Print RIP)… I highly recommend Bruce Lindblooms site!

      Cheers-
      Stephen

  6. Er, this may sound really basic but I’m very confused about the monitor/scanner/printer profile software and colorimeter/spectrophotometers out there. I’m not a professional but am very unhappy with the output from my R2400 using a Mac Pro [10.5.6] and a BenQmonitor/Wacom Cintiq and CS4/PainterX. Can you point me in the right direction without breaking what remains of my piggy bank? I’m trying to get good color 8X10 and 13X19 prints from scanned Ectachromes, digital photos and computer-generated artwork. Lastly, I’m commited to making a go of all this but feel out of my depth in the digital color management area. Thanks in advance for any advice or help.

    Lewis W

  7. Lewis W… Please, it is Mr. Hot Shot!

    To answer your question is difficult as what you are looking for is not easy to put into a simple few sentence response or something which may be affordable, to quote you, “without breaking what remains of my piggy bank?” Also, there are different levels of quality and each of course has different costs associated with it.

    Here are a few suggestions…

    1. Work in sRGB from Scan to Print.
    2. Make sure your monitor is calibrated using a monitor calibration device ($200 or less).
    3. Unless you are willing to spend some major bucks on a good RIP/ profile software (starting at around $3000+ without the spectro, have someone make the required printer icc profiles for you. This service when done right uses targets generated on your printer. This normally costs between $50 – $100 dollars per icc depending on who makes the profile… ps, I do not make profiles for sale.
    4. For your scanner calibration just scan everything as a RGB positive, 16 Bit into either sRGB or Beta RGB but in the second example just convert to sRGB when you open photoshop, run sRGB as your default space in PS. I recommend sRGB as most monitors can show this space with calibration and it is a smaller compression from RGB to CMYK which means more accurate color / tone in the final print.
    5. If you do not have a good scanner (at least a high end Nikon film scanner or better an Imacon or Premier) and you want the best from your film then send your film out to be scanned. As you are not printing that large a good Epson scanner may work for you but a scanner is only as good as the operator. I’d do a side by side and see if the cost of a pro scan makes a difference in your work.
    6. Start saving money! Seriously… digital printing and scanning is fairly inexpensive on the low end but once you demand more the cost rises very, very quickly. For example the RIP and profiler I use at my studio runs over $12,000 without the spectro or printer.

    Again, you must decided what quality level you really need but if you follow steps 1-5 and keep your monitor in cal and have decent icc profiles for your printer and work in sRGB most issues will be resolved.

    Stephen

  8. Thank you for the information.

    I run a ‘wet-paint’ operation for which material costs alone are sinus-clearing.

    The digital area is a new and mandatory business direction and this is the origin of my ‘out-of-depth’ comment.

    Yes, I’ve priced Rip software [Onyx] and that was the cause of the “piggybank” comment.

    My V-750 Pro [Epson] came with a 2.6 version of MonacoEZColor which includes IT8 reflective and transmissive targets: Will these along with the inexpensive colorimeter you mentioned put me in the ballpark {for the scanner, at least}? And how do you feel about consumer hard/software pkgs like the ColorMunki?

    Again, thanks a million for the help.

    LW

    1. I would get a version of Silverfast scanning software as I feel it is better for your scanner with regards to icc control and scanner settings and this married to the monitor colorimeter will get your in the “ballpark”. I have not used the Color Munki so I do not have an opinion. Here is a link to a monitor cal device I have used and my students use and that will not break the bank…

      http://www.amazon.com/GretagMacbeth-Eye-One-Display-color-calibration/dp/B0007ZGCSW

      Scanning Software Link:
      http://www.silverfast.com/

      Cheers-
      Stephen

  9. I will pursue the Silverfast idea. Someone came by with a ColorMunki Create colorimiter and software pkg for calibrating the monitors [the Wacom as well]. Pretty pictures but still not helpful with the output. Anyway, I think I have enough to get going. Looks like a tougher deal than I thought.

    Thanks for the help.

    LW

  10. Stephen, any chance you might refresh the videos? The links show as broken in December 2015.
    I realize 2008 is a long time ago in the age of the internet but there are still a few of us out here, the faithful, like yourself who are seekers of truth, shooters of film and are grateful for any crumbs the more experience among us might pass down.
    Thank-you for the consideration.

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