Scanning with Canon flatbed - little help/recommendations?

Discussion in 'Scanning and Scanners' started by M-88, Jun 21, 2018.

  1. M-88

    M-88 Member

    Messages:
    160
    Joined:
    May 2, 2018
    Location:
    Georgia
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Good day

    I have recently acquired Canon 8800F. I know it's less than ideal and I'm also aware that it's not as good as its peers from Epson. However, it came to me for 20$, which is much lower than bargain prices out here. So I intend to put it to good use instead of going to film labs in order to get 1800x1200 resolution scans.

    Since I have no experience with one of these, I need a little bit of help. The questions are listed below:

    1. Should I scan with supplied film holder device, or is it better to put film directly on the scanner surface and hold it down with a piece of high quality glass to keep the film flat?

    2. The scanner didn't come with any CD, so I don't have a software. There are three options: Canon's own ScanGear utility, VuPoint program and SilverFast program. While I can get ScanGear for free, I've read that its performance is poorer than other two. Any recommendations on which to use?

    3. What is a rational resolution to use? I've read on some website that 8800's approximate true resolution is around 1600 dpi. So is it fruitless to go higher, let's say up to 3600 dpi? Will the scanner only upscale the image from whatever its true resolution is?

    4. Any other things that I should know, based on your experience?

    Thank you!
     
  2. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    22,690
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    What format (s) are you scanning?
    I have a Canon 9000F (the 1st version) that gives me usable results for a lot of things, but it took a fair bit of work to become reasonably proficient using it.
    Mine is definitely better with medium format (6x4.5 through 6x9) than it is with 35mm.
    I use the Canon holders. If you want to try using glass, you will have to deal with the need for the specific calibration window that is built into the Canon holders. You need to pay attention to the orientation of the negatives - the system is set up to expect the negatives with emulsion side up.
    I expect you mean Vuescan rather than VuPoint software. I use both VueScan and, more frequently, Canon's ScanGear. Both offer options that really make a difference to the quality of the scans I obtain. ScanGear is a little bit better at automatically getting the framing right for any negatives that have any slightly uneven spacing.
    Most often I scan at to Tiffs at 2400 dpi. It seems to result in a decent compromise between resolution and scanning time and file size. Higher dpi scans don't seem to result in a meaningfully large increase in resolution, but they certainly increase the scanning time and file sizes. Lower dpi scans (1200 dpi and lower) do sacrifice resolution.
    Whatever settings I use, I need to carefully use the sharpening utilities in my post processing software. Scanning plays havoc with acutance, so whatever scanner you use will require that the acutance be (artificially) restored through the use of one or more scanning utilities. I prefer not to use the sharpening tools in the scanning software.
    This image was scanned from a 6x7 negative using the 9000F and, in this case, Vuescan. It has been resized down a lot, in order to display properly here:

    upload_2018-6-21_8-12-53.png
     
  3. Doug Fisher

    Doug Fisher Member

    Messages:
    112
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2006
    I would begin by using the standard film holder. It will get the film off the glass so there will be less chance of Newton Rings.

    Start with the Canon software. It takes a little while to learn the settings and decide which settings are best for you but it can produce decent scans. Read the many online tutorials about scanning and how/why to tweak the basic software settings common to all scanning software. Scanning is as much an art as a science. Many people scan to extract the most possible "information" from the film (which will often result in a rather flat scan), then use a full strength editing programs such as Photoshop to tweak/make the most of that information to produce the best image.

    Scan at 3200 ppi. 1600 ppi on that scanner is leaving some resolution un-acquired.

    Doug
     
  4. OP
    OP
    M-88

    M-88 Member

    Messages:
    160
    Joined:
    May 2, 2018
    Location:
    Georgia
    Shooter:
    35mm
    It's strictly 35 mm. I don't have a lot of 120 format films and they have been scanned in photo labs already.

    I figured that one out a bit late. Until then I kept wondering why the image was mirrored.

    Yes, my bad. Had a busy day at work, so that one slipped.

    I found 2400 to be optimal too, final resolution is fairly good, around 2400x3800 and times are indeed reasonable.

    So post-processing is inevitable. Now that's going to take some time...

    It is pointed out on various resources that CanoScan isn't as capable as other software when it comes to scanning details in the shadows. It seems that no matter which software I use, I will still have to post-process... That's where Fuji Frontier 330 was good - click click click and scanned, whole roll just under three minutes.
     
  5. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    22,690
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The Fuji Frontier machines just build in a whole bunch of that post-processing. Sometimes the algorithms chosen are really good, whereas other times they give results that are inferior to the much less processed output from something like a Canon or Epson flatbed plus the native software.
    The Frontier machines were also thousands of dollars when new, and optimized for speed over flexibility.
    As far as details in the shadows are concerned, most likely it is the scanner rather than the firmware and software that is the limiting factor.
    This was scanned from a 35mm slide on the 9000F - not sure whether with ScanGear or Vuescan:

    upload_2018-6-21_11-12-50.png
     
  6. OP
    OP
    M-88

    M-88 Member

    Messages:
    160
    Joined:
    May 2, 2018
    Location:
    Georgia
    Shooter:
    35mm
    It seems that ones in Georgia are well calibrated, especially for Fuji film and better than anything else in terms of sharpness.

    Explains why there are only three or four remaining here.

    Sir, if my 8800F can deliver 80% of sharpness and color of that image above, I'll be more than happy.
     
  7. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    22,690
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Most of that "sharpness" is a function of the sharpening tools.
     
  8. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,730
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2013
    Location:
    San Francisco Peninsul
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Go with the film holders that canon supplied with the scanner and the canon software.
    Select a known good negative and scan it in full auto mode at no more than the scanners rated optical resolution which is 4800dpi, above that is software interpolation.
    Now switch to professional mode or manual mode whichever the software calls it. Start at default settings and 2400dpi or less, make a scan, save it and compare to the full auto reference one. (preview panel does not always match the final saved scan)
    Start making adjustments one variable at a time in 10% increments making a comparison after each one then advance to two variables at a time then to three or more.
    This exercise will take you 12 to 36 hours to complete but you will know how to scan and that knowledge can be applied to other scanners and software.
    Extract the most image detail in the scan, make it look good in post processing.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    M-88

    M-88 Member

    Messages:
    160
    Joined:
    May 2, 2018
    Location:
    Georgia
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Basically what I'm doing right now. But somethig tells me that different negatives will need different adjustments.
     
  10. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    22,690
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Those adjustments should be done in post processing.
    A scan that is optimum for the negative is rarely useful for presentation without further work.
     
  11. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,730
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2013
    Location:
    San Francisco Peninsul
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Same film, same camera, same photographer usually scan with the same settings. Only if you grossly over expose or under expose do you need different settings.
    +1 post 10.
     
  12. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,730
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2013
    Location:
    San Francisco Peninsul
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    histogram.jpeg
    This is a histogram of a B&W image (color will be similar for RGB channel). A- 0 is pure black, B- 255 is pure white, C- gamma or mid tone adjustment. Move C toward A and the image lightens, move C toward B and the image darkens.
    A' is the point where the usable information in the negative/photo begins; B' is the point highlight information ends. These are called the Black and White points. Before or after the rise in the histogram is no usable image detail, beyond the start of the rise or before the end of the rise clips usable information from the negative. Setting the B&W points to A', B' with the output levels as shown expands the usable information and makes tone adjustment easier.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    M-88

    M-88 Member

    Messages:
    160
    Joined:
    May 2, 2018
    Location:
    Georgia
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I usually do that trick to reduce white fogging on telephoto shots with my not so perfect lens on digital camera.
     
,