Howtek Drum Scanner + Aztek DPL 8.1: Bit Depth and CMS

Discussion in 'Scanning and Scanners' started by Scott J., Nov 10, 2018.

  1. Scott J.

    Scott J. Member
    Ads Enabled

    Apr 18, 2017
    Large Format

    Before I go and nag Evan at Aztek, I was wondering if any DPL users had insight on how DPL makes use of the scanner's maximum bit depth (or perhaps fails to) when a user makes adjustments to an existing custom media setting (CMS; basically a film profile).

    I've been experimenting with the CMS feature in DPL 8.1 (scanning with a Howtek SM4500) and have noticed that I'm getting much better scans that way (i.e., as opposed to just scanning under "Generic Color Negative," etc.). One question I had was about achieving the best possible bit depth in cases where a user-created CMS for a film type (e.g., Portra 400) doesn't work for every shot made on that film. In other words: If I do a detail scan of a piece of film using my user-created CMS for that film type, but find that the image in question needs additional curves and/or histogram adjustments in the detailed preview, what's the best way to ensure that I get maximum bit depth out of the scanner while also taking the new adjustments into account? There seem to be two possible approaches:

    1) Do a detailed preview scan under the existing CMS, make the necessary curves/histogram adjustments, and then add the adjusted image directly to the batch (where it is then scanned -- at least in name -- under the existing CMS, but by presumably taking the additional adjustments into account); or

    2) Do a detailed preview scan under the existing CMS, make the additional adjustments, create an all-new CMS for just that image in question, and then add the image to the batch (where it is then scanned under the new CMS).

    Do these two approaches just produce essentially the same results, or is it actually beneficial (in terms of final scan quality) to create a new CMS for the occasional, problematic image? I don't see a lot of difference in the final histograms (in Lightroom) between these two approaches, but there is some difference. I guess I'm not sure how on-the-fly adjustments to a detailed preview impact the scanner's ability to utilize its full bit depth with or without a CMS. If a user chooses to make on-the-fly adjustments to every image he or she scans, is a CMS even necessary? In other words: could you get maximum bit depth by always doing wide gamut previews, making on-the-fly adjustments, and then sending the images directly to the batch?

    Thanks in advance for sharing your wisdom.
  2. nbagno

    nbagno Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Oct 19, 2012
    SF Bay Area
    4x5 Format
    Figure it out?
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