How do you calibrate a scanner?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by nobody nowhere, Jul 28, 2003.

  1. Nikon 8000, I scanned a 35mm negative for the first time. It was
    instantly converted to colour, which made it look like a positive, yet I
    wonder what further steps I should have taken, eg. manual exposure,
    perhaps, etc? When I printed, there was a yellow, and perhaps also a
    magenta cast, although I understand that the magenta cast might
    disappear in a few hours, when the print is dry. For the second print,
    I reduced the yellow in colour balance by a factor or 9 or so, and the
    colours of the print came visibly closer to what I saw on the monitor.
    Would I be right in saying that since the printer and monitor are
    reasonably calibrated (I hope, touch wood :)), it might be the scanner
    that needs adjusting, perhaps better exposure, etc? And if I were to try
    to calibrate the scanner, how would I go about it? Thanks in advance.

    Nobody
    nobody nowhere, Jul 28, 2003
    #1
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  2. nobody nowhere

    Mxsmanic Guest

    nobody nowhere writes:

    > Nikon 8000, I scanned a 35mm negative for the first time. It
    > was instantly converted to colour, which made it look like
    > a positive, yet I wonder what further steps I should have
    > taken, eg. manual exposure, perhaps, etc?


    Autoexposure and autofocus are fine for most scans.

    Look at the histogram for the raw scan. If there's an empty area at one
    end and bunched up data at the other, you may wish to adjust the
    exposure, but I've almost never seen this myself.

    > When I printed, there was a yellow, and perhaps also a
    > magenta cast, although I understand that the magenta
    > cast might disappear in a few hours, when the print is dry.


    You should always check scans before printing them, and adjust color
    balance if necessary.

    > Would I be right in saying that since the printer
    > and monitor are reasonably calibrated (I hope, touch wood :)),
    > it might be the scanner that needs adjusting, perhaps
    > better exposure, etc?


    No, it's more likely to be the opposite: The scanner is fine, but you
    need to adjust your scans more carefully for printing, and you may need
    to adjust the relationship between printing and display. It's a long
    and tedious process, so beware.

    > And if I were to try to calibrate the scanner, how would
    > I go about it?


    The 8000ED calibrates itself every time you load a film carrier, as I
    recall, so you don't have to do anything. You can force a calibration
    in NikonScan, if you want, but I've never bothered.

    --
    Transpose hotmail and mxsmanic in my e-mail address to reach me directly.
    Mxsmanic, Jul 28, 2003
    #2
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  3. Thank you.

    In article <>, Mxsmanic
    <> writes
    >nobody nowhere writes:
    >
    >> Nikon 8000, I scanned a 35mm negative for the first time. It
    >> was instantly converted to colour, which made it look like
    >> a positive, yet I wonder what further steps I should have
    >> taken, eg. manual exposure, perhaps, etc?

    >
    >Autoexposure and autofocus are fine for most scans.
    >
    >Look at the histogram for the raw scan. If there's an empty area at one
    >end and bunched up data at the other, you may wish to adjust the
    >exposure, but I've almost never seen this myself.
    >
    >> When I printed, there was a yellow, and perhaps also a
    >> magenta cast, although I understand that the magenta
    >> cast might disappear in a few hours, when the print is dry.

    >
    >You should always check scans before printing them, and adjust color
    >balance if necessary.
    >
    >> Would I be right in saying that since the printer
    >> and monitor are reasonably calibrated (I hope, touch wood :)),
    >> it might be the scanner that needs adjusting, perhaps
    >> better exposure, etc?

    >
    >No, it's more likely to be the opposite: The scanner is fine, but you
    >need to adjust your scans more carefully for printing, and you may need
    >to adjust the relationship between printing and display. It's a long
    >and tedious process, so beware.
    >
    >> And if I were to try to calibrate the scanner, how would
    >> I go about it?

    >
    >The 8000ED calibrates itself every time you load a film carrier, as I
    >recall, so you don't have to do anything. You can force a calibration
    >in NikonScan, if you want, but I've never bothered.
    >



    Nobody
    nobody nowhere, Jul 28, 2003
    #3
  4. nobody nowhere

    Bill Hilton Guest

    >From: nobody nowhere

    > Nikon 8000, I scanned a 35mm negative for the first time ...
    > ... if I were to try to calibrate the scanner, how would I go
    > about it?


    For transparency film it's pretty straightforward ... purchase an IT8 pattern
    shot on a film you typically use. This pattern has about 500 color patches and
    should ship with a TDF file with specific color measurements of each patch (a
    batch processed IT8 slide is cheaper but not as accurate as a hand-measured
    one).

    Now scan this using your scanner RAW mode and the calibration software will
    compare the RAW numbers with the data in the TDF file and create an ICM profile
    which maps all colors so that what you scan is accurately represented. Then
    when you scan you'd scan the same way and apply this scanner profile to the raw
    file, and then in Photoshop convert from this profile to your working space.

    Companies in the US will generate the profile for you for around $100, but
    you'll need to buy the IT8 target separately.

    This is for transparency film ... negative film is much harder to characterize,
    unfortunately. To quote from the excellent book "Real World Color Management"
    by Fraser, Bunting and Murphy, there are several obstacles, namely (to quote)

    * Nobody <hey, that's you, isn't it?> makes a color-negative scanning target.

    * Unless you like orange, inverted images, you don't want to reproduce what's
    on the film.

    * The orange mask on negatives varies so much with exposure that, even if
    someone did make negative targets, they'd only work if your negatives were
    exposed the same way the target was.
    </end quote>

    I've seen flows that make a valiant effort by printing from the negative scan
    and trying to profile THAT, if you want to try it. Bon chance.

    Bill
    Bill Hilton, Jul 28, 2003
    #4
  5. Thank you Bill, much obliged. You have already given me a few
    addresses, but something went wrong with my PC, and I lost them. Would
    you be kind enough to suggest a US or European firm where I could
    purchase the IT8 target, and who would create a profile for my scanner.
    I also don't understand what you mean by using the scanner in RAW mode.
    I have recently acquired a Nikon 8000, and am still learning. Would I
    be right in saying that all the Nikon 8000 scans are in raw mode by
    default? Thanks again.

    Nobody

    PS. The Nobody your refer to below is not me; I am Nobody from Nowhere,
    he is Nobody from Somewhere :)

    In article <>, Bill Hilton
    <> writes
    >>From: nobody nowhere

    >
    >> Nikon 8000, I scanned a 35mm negative for the first time ...
    >> ... if I were to try to calibrate the scanner, how would I go
    >> about it?

    >
    >For transparency film it's pretty straightforward ... purchase an IT8 pattern
    >shot on a film you typically use. This pattern has about 500 color patches and
    >should ship with a TDF file with specific color measurements of each patch (a
    >batch processed IT8 slide is cheaper but not as accurate as a hand-measured
    >one).
    >
    >Now scan this using your scanner RAW mode and the calibration software will
    >compare the RAW numbers with the data in the TDF file and create an ICM profile
    >which maps all colors so that what you scan is accurately represented. Then
    >when you scan you'd scan the same way and apply this scanner profile to the raw
    >file, and then in Photoshop convert from this profile to your working space.
    >
    >Companies in the US will generate the profile for you for around $100, but
    >you'll need to buy the IT8 target separately.
    >
    >This is for transparency film ... negative film is much harder to characterize,
    >unfortunately. To quote from the excellent book "Real World Color Management"
    >by Fraser, Bunting and Murphy, there are several obstacles, namely (to quote)
    >
    >* Nobody <hey, that's you, isn't it?> makes a color-negative scanning target.
    >
    >* Unless you like orange, inverted images, you don't want to reproduce what's
    >on the film.
    >
    >* The orange mask on negatives varies so much with exposure that, even if
    >someone did make negative targets, they'd only work if your negatives were
    >exposed the same way the target was.
    ></end quote>
    >
    >I've seen flows that make a valiant effort by printing from the negative scan
    >and trying to profile THAT, if you want to try it. Bon chance.
    >
    >Bill
    >
    >



    Nobody
    nobody nowhere, Jul 28, 2003
    #5
  6. Thanks, I am learning, slowly...

    In article <>, Mxsmanic
    <> writes
    >nobody nowhere writes:
    >
    >> Nikon 8000, I scanned a 35mm negative for the first time. It
    >> was instantly converted to colour, which made it look like
    >> a positive, yet I wonder what further steps I should have
    >> taken, eg. manual exposure, perhaps, etc?

    >
    >Autoexposure and autofocus are fine for most scans.
    >
    >Look at the histogram for the raw scan. If there's an empty area at one
    >end and bunched up data at the other, you may wish to adjust the
    >exposure, but I've almost never seen this myself.
    >
    >> When I printed, there was a yellow, and perhaps also a
    >> magenta cast, although I understand that the magenta
    >> cast might disappear in a few hours, when the print is dry.

    >
    >You should always check scans before printing them, and adjust color
    >balance if necessary.
    >
    >> Would I be right in saying that since the printer
    >> and monitor are reasonably calibrated (I hope, touch wood :)),
    >> it might be the scanner that needs adjusting, perhaps
    >> better exposure, etc?

    >
    >No, it's more likely to be the opposite: The scanner is fine, but you
    >need to adjust your scans more carefully for printing, and you may need
    >to adjust the relationship between printing and display. It's a long
    >and tedious process, so beware.
    >
    >> And if I were to try to calibrate the scanner, how would
    >> I go about it?

    >
    >The 8000ED calibrates itself every time you load a film carrier, as I
    >recall, so you don't have to do anything. You can force a calibration
    >in NikonScan, if you want, but I've never bothered.
    >



    Nobody
    nobody nowhere, Jul 28, 2003
    #6
  7. "nobody nowhere" <> wrote in message
    news:9d$D0KANXWJ$...
    > Nikon 8000, I scanned a 35mm negative for the first time. It was
    > instantly converted to colour, which made it look like a positive, yet I
    > wonder what further steps I should have taken, eg. manual exposure,
    > perhaps, etc? When I printed, there was a yellow, and perhaps also a
    > magenta cast, although I understand that the magenta cast might
    > disappear in a few hours, when the print is dry. For the second print,
    > I reduced the yellow in colour balance by a factor or 9 or so, and the
    > colours of the print came visibly closer to what I saw on the monitor.
    > Would I be right in saying that since the printer and monitor are
    > reasonably calibrated (I hope, touch wood :)), it might be the scanner
    > that needs adjusting, perhaps better exposure, etc? And if I were to try
    > to calibrate the scanner, how would I go about it? Thanks in advance.
    >
    > Nobody


    It is a good idea to use the same color-control (.icm) file for the monitor,
    printer, and scanner. You can do that in Control Panel.
    Marvin Margoshes, Jul 29, 2003
    #7
  8. nobody nowhere

    Bill Hilton Guest

    >From: "Marvin Margoshes"

    >It is a good idea to use the same color-control (.icm) file for the monitor,
    >printer, and scanner. You can do that in Control Panel.


    No, this is a bad idea. You should at minimum have an icm file for the monitor
    (which describes how the monitor 'sees' colors) and icm files for each
    paper/printer/ink you use.

    You cannot just switch these willy-nilly, the monitor profile is just a 3x3
    matrix about 500 bytes in size, specific to the monitor, while the printer
    profile is a big look-up table up to 1,000,000 bytes in size and it would be
    meaningless used as a monitor profile. Same basic idea for the scanner
    profile, it describes how the scanner 'sees' certain colors in the film. In
    other words, there are different classes of profiles for different devices and
    device types. Each device has a different color gamut.

    Then you need a working space in which to make edits, an abstract space (ie,
    not tied to one specific device) that's perceptually linear and grey-balanced,
    like sRGB or AdobeRGB(1998). And a program that supports color management,
    like Photoshop.

    Here's a good basic overview from Microsoft ..
    http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/hwdev/tech/color/icmwp.mspx
    Bill Hilton, Jul 29, 2003
    #8
  9. "Bill Hilton" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > >From: "Marvin Margoshes"

    >
    > >It is a good idea to use the same color-control (.icm) file for the

    monitor,
    > >printer, and scanner. You can do that in Control Panel.

    >
    > No, this is a bad idea. You should at minimum have an icm file for the

    monitor
    > (which describes how the monitor 'sees' colors) and icm files for each
    > paper/printer/ink you use.
    >
    > You cannot just switch these willy-nilly, the monitor profile is just a

    3x3
    > matrix about 500 bytes in size, specific to the monitor, while the printer
    > profile is a big look-up table up to 1,000,000 bytes in size and it would

    be
    > meaningless used as a monitor profile. Same basic idea for the scanner
    > profile, it describes how the scanner 'sees' certain colors in the film.

    In
    > other words, there are different classes of profiles for different devices

    and
    > device types. Each device has a different color gamut.
    >
    > Then you need a working space in which to make edits, an abstract space

    (ie,
    > not tied to one specific device) that's perceptually linear and

    grey-balanced,
    > like sRGB or AdobeRGB(1998). And a program that supports color

    management,
    > like Photoshop.
    >
    > Here's a good basic overview from Microsoft ..
    > http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/hwdev/tech/color/icmwp.mspx
    >


    And here's some more good advice:
    http://campratty.com/1faq/faqpages/b9a.html

    If I like how pictures look on my monitor after I've adjusted it, I use the
    monitor's .icm for both my printer and scanner. It may not be perfect, but
    it does bring things together.
    Marvin Margoshes, Jul 29, 2003
    #9
  10. nobody nowhere

    Bill Hilton Guest

    >From: "Marvin Margoshes"

    >>It is a good idea to use the same color-control (.icm) file for the
    >>monitor, printer, and scanner. You can do that in Control Panel.
    >>
    >>And here's some more good advice:
    >>http://campratty.com/1faq/faqpages/b9a.html


    This site just explains how to load canned profiles for use in Paintshop Pro so
    you can use their flow for Color Management. Look at the second page, third
    image down and you'll see he's installing DIFFERENT profiles for the monitor
    and for the printer, in direct contradiction to what you just said ("use the
    same .icm file for the monitor, printer, and scanner").

    >If I like how pictures look on my monitor after I've adjusted it, I use the
    >monitor's .icm for both my printer and scanner. It may not be perfect, but
    >it does bring things together.


    You cannot use a monitor profile to map in scanner files, and you cannot get
    decent results using a monitor .icm profile as your printer .icm profile,
    there's no way.

    Sounds like you're using your monitor profile as your working space, something
    Photoshop did in version 5 and 5.5 before dropping the idea for versions 6 and
    7. I'm betting when you print you're using the printer driver software to get
    a match and NOT printing to an icm profile, since it takes a bit of set-up to
    even get Photoshop to print to the printer icm file. But the printer profile
    is a big look-up table which maps the values in the image file to get a good
    color match using the printer inks, and you can't do this with a monitor
    profile, which is very small in comparison, doesn't have a lookup table, and
    maps colors based not on inks but on the phosphors of your monitor. These
    profiles are totally different in every way.

    Bill
    Bill Hilton, Jul 29, 2003
    #10
  11. On Mon, 28 Jul 2003 15:25:01 -0700, nobody nowhere wrote:

    > Thank you Bill, much obliged. You have already given me a few
    > addresses, but something went wrong with my PC, and I lost them. Would
    > you be kind enough to suggest a US or European firm where I could
    > purchase the IT8 target, and who would create a profile for my scanner.
    > I also don't understand what you mean by using the scanner in RAW mode.
    > I have recently acquired a Nikon 8000, and am still learning. Would I
    > be right in saying that all the Nikon 8000 scans are in raw mode by
    > default? Thanks again.


    Kodak makes IT8 targets for both film and paper. Their product
    code is Q-60 with variations for E-6, paper, etc. Cost is about $30 US
    for each target. TDF files are on Kodak's ftp site, although you have
    to hunt for them a bit.

    I recently purchased vuescan and one of the unexpected extras is
    that it comes with scanner calibration built in. Scan the IT8 standard
    slide, bring up the overlay, adjust so that it overlaps, save the
    ..icc profile.

    > Nobody


    --
    Michael Eager Eager Consulting
    Michael Eager, Jul 30, 2003
    #11
  12. Thank you very much.

    In article <>, Michael Eager
    <> writes
    >On Mon, 28 Jul 2003 15:25:01 -0700, nobody nowhere wrote:
    >
    >> Thank you Bill, much obliged. You have already given me a few
    >> addresses, but something went wrong with my PC, and I lost them. Would
    >> you be kind enough to suggest a US or European firm where I could
    >> purchase the IT8 target, and who would create a profile for my scanner.
    >> I also don't understand what you mean by using the scanner in RAW mode.
    >> I have recently acquired a Nikon 8000, and am still learning. Would I
    >> be right in saying that all the Nikon 8000 scans are in raw mode by
    >> default? Thanks again.

    >
    >Kodak makes IT8 targets for both film and paper. Their product
    >code is Q-60 with variations for E-6, paper, etc. Cost is about $30 US
    >for each target. TDF files are on Kodak's ftp site, although you have
    >to hunt for them a bit.
    >
    >I recently purchased vuescan and one of the unexpected extras is
    >that it comes with scanner calibration built in. Scan the IT8 standard
    >slide, bring up the overlay, adjust so that it overlaps, save the
    >.icc profile.
    >
    >> Nobody

    >



    Nobody
    nobody nowhere, Jul 30, 2003
    #12
  13. nobody nowhere

    Bill Hilton Guest

    >From: nobody nowhere

    >Would you be kind enough to suggest a US or European firm
    >where I could purchase the IT8 target ...


    This guy is in Germany and sells cheap IT8's ...

    http://www.targets.coloraid.de/

    Here's a review of various IT8 target's by your fellow Brit Ian Lyons ... he
    felt the Wolf Faust target (above link) was much better than the more expensive
    Kodak one, FWIW.

    http://www.computer-darkroom.com/it8cal/it8_page_1.htm

    Bill
    Bill Hilton, Jul 30, 2003
    #13
  14. Thank you very much indeed, I am in your debt for your most helpful
    advice and patience!

    In article <>, Bill Hilton
    <> writes
    >>From: nobody nowhere

    >
    >>Would you be kind enough to suggest a US or European firm
    >>where I could purchase the IT8 target ...

    >
    >This guy is in Germany and sells cheap IT8's ...
    >
    >http://www.targets.coloraid.de/
    >
    >Here's a review of various IT8 target's by your fellow Brit Ian Lyons ... he
    >felt the Wolf Faust target (above link) was much better than the more expensive
    >Kodak one, FWIW.
    >
    >http://www.computer-darkroom.com/it8cal/it8_page_1.htm
    >
    >Bill
    >
    >
    >
    >



    Nobody
    nobody nowhere, Jul 30, 2003
    #14
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