Scanning B&W negatives

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Scanning B&W negatives

Post by LeilaS » Sun Mar 05, 2006 7:29 pm

Hi all,

Recently, I have started scanning my B&W negatives to back them up digitally. However, I might use some advise on scanning techniques in order to achieve best results and avoid scanning them all over again, in case I am on the wrong track.

My scanner is a Minolta Scan Dual III and I am using the software which came along with it. When scanning my B&W negatives, I prefer to set the film type to "color negative" rather than "B&W negative" to get more dynamic range. The B&W films to be scanned are of brand/type; T-MAX 100/400, Tri-X, Neopan Acros 100/400, Agfa APX 100, Ilford Delta 400.

My questions would be:
- Would it make a real difference to use a type other than B&W ?
- If it does, shall I then use the film type dia positive instead of color negative, what are the differences?
- Are there any tricks/settings (scan dual III related or in general) which would improve scan quality and eliminate/reduce noise/grain? I experience substantial noise/grain when scanning Ilford Delta 400 films.

Can someone knowledged on this procedure help me with it?

Thanks a lot.


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Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2006 11:46 am

Post by njb » Mon Mar 13, 2006 11:49 am

Leila--You may have better luck getting an answer if you post your question here: ... =forum;f=1

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Post by circleofconfusion » Tue Mar 14, 2006 4:32 am


I've not used a Minolta scanner, I have a CanoScan 8400 so this might not apply to you.

I find the biggest improvement I get when scanning B&W negs is to turn off sharpening in the scanner. With the sharpen left on I find the noise in shadow areas is increased a lot. If sharpening is required it is much better to do it in Photoshop/Gimp where you have fine control over the settings.

I also turn off the 'auto tone' setting in the scanner. It does a similar job to 'auto levels' in PS and pushes the grey levels about too much for my liking. Again if you want to tweak the levels do it in PS

I've found no imporvement scanning the negs as colour or as positives but I admit I've never done a critical test.

I hope this helps.
"I love the smell of fixer in the morning...."

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