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Author Topic: Scanning Kodachrome  (Read 37325 times)
Slough
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« Reply #40 on: July 14, 2007, 01:31:43 PM »
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Ray: I found your comments somewhat dismissive. As I stated I found calibration very useful when scanning slide with a slight colour cast due to reciprocity failure or cold/warm light. With significant reciprocity failure it was often impossible to get a good scan, which is not surprising if you think about what is going on in the emulsions.

As I clearly stated I have not tried scanning faded slides. But with slight fading I would choose to use a profile, based on my experience with colour casts etc.

"Do you think I'm mad? "

No. Is that a requirement for posting here?  Well, not on the evidence it isn't.


"With the slides I'm scanning, it makes not a whit of difference which profile I choose"

I am very surprised by that statement as I have always found profiling to be essential as I see large differences between calibrated and uncalibrated scans, the main difference being a marked colour cast. I have found this to be true with many scanners and emulsions including Fuji Reala 100, Fuji Provia 100F, Fuji Sensia 100, several Kodak slide emulsions (I forget the names) and Kodachrome. In the case of Kodachrome I find the uncalibrated scan to be awful.

Incidentally the slide scanners I owned are the Nikon LS30, Microtek 4000T, and the Minolta 5400 and I still own the last one.

My experience is that emulsions from the same manufacturer using the same process e.g. E41 tend to scan similarly, and hence can use the same profile, which is perhaps not surprising.

I also use a calibration device for my monitor to ensure that the whole work flow is calibrated.

I gave up using Vuescan many years ago as I found it relatively useless with the Minolta 5400. The supplied software was much better and less clunky. I had no problem using Nikon Scan, the Minolta software, the Microtek software, or the German third party application supplied with the 4000T, so I suspect that Vuescan simply did not function correctly with that scanner at that time. Or perhaps the supplied drivers for the OS I was using were dodgy. Who knows.

From what you suggest it sounds as if Ed, the creator, has improved it greatly. I remember sending him some emails, and to his credit, he replied to each. Not many applications get support direct from the creator.


Anyway, it seems to me that the thread has gone way of course. The OP made no mention of faded slides. He did ask some specific questions though, and I am not sure if we have answered them all?
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Ray
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« Reply #41 on: July 14, 2007, 07:20:15 PM »
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Anyway, it seems to me that the thread has gone way of course. The OP made no mention of faded slides. He did ask some specific questions though, and I am not sure if we have answered them all?
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Slough,
The OP mentioned digging out 15+ year old Kodachromes and Ecatchromes. They'd be faded to some degree. As I recall, Kodak Q60 targets should not be used if they are more than 6 months old. I actually have a Q60E3 target. Whilst searching for some slide material which is not significantly faded so I could test David Good's suggestion of scanning into Device RGB instead of the usual color spaces like sRGB or ProPhoto, to get a clearer idea of just what the differences are, I came across it, neatly folded in an envelope. The date, 1999:12.

I didn't see much point in using a 6 1/2 year old target as a reference point for calibration, so just used it as a normal slide to scan at differnent settings. The results seem quite normal to me. No color cast that I can notice. Natural skin tones on the lady on the right. All the colors and hues are clearly delineated, including the brightest and the darkest, the most saturated and least saturated. And, of course, there's plenty of opportunity for grey balancing on the Q60 target, which was another indication of the lack of a color cast because grey balancing wasn't required.

Scanning into Device RGB results in an image without embedded profile so the appearance is dependent on what profile is assigned when opening in Photoshop. Assigning ARGB seems to produce the most natural result. Assigning sRGB is too desaturated and ProPhoto RGB too saturated.

I get no sense that my scanner needs calibrating. I haven't got time to post the images right now because I'm due somewhere else shortly.

Of course, now I've found my Q60 target, you can be sure I'd at least make an attempt to use it to create an IT8 profile, just to see the magnitude of the difference it makes with the 5400 II, if for no other reason.

However, I failed to successfully implement the calibration. The Vuescan instructions on this process seem unclear. I'm supposed to rename a data file to scanner.it8 (which I downloaded from Kodak) and copy it to the VueScan.ini folder.

Problem is, my computer can't find any such file. I did a search for files and folders. There's a Vuscan folder of course with a heap of files of various descriptions, but no VueScan.ini. This is something I'd have to contact Ed Hamrick about, but I'm reluctant to waste everyone's time for the sake of being able to profile my scanner with a 6 1/2 year old target, especially considering I've seen no evidence that such calibration would help me get better results with faded Kodachromes and other faded film types.

Nevertheless, the Vuescan software does contain 3 slide profiles, Kodachrome, Ektachrome and Generic. None of these appear to be activated. It makes no difference which I choose, if any or none. If I'm able to use these 3 profiles as a result of an IT8 calibration, then that clearly increases my options and it could be worthwhile buying a recent Q60 target.

A google search on the subject of calibrating with an IT8 target, specifically using Vuescan, gives me the impression there's a lot of confusion here. I'm not the only one who finds Vuescan's instructions here inadequate.

I should add, I have no problem scanning negative film, except sometimes when I can't find the profile for my film type. If the software includes a profile for the specific film type I'm scanning, results are close to perfect. If it doesn't, results can be miles out.
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David Good
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« Reply #42 on: July 15, 2007, 06:31:47 AM »
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The term calibrate seems to be substituted for profile. Calibration just resets the device to a known state, you may want to re-calibrate after a temperature or humidity change.
The profile generated from the target then describes how the scanner behaves, Vuescan has a separate tab for Profile Scanner. I have not tried profiling with Vuescan as I'm using a 6x7 Hutch Velvia target that is not supported. A search should turn up a number of freeware programs that can profile the Q60 targets.

Ray,

In Vuescan's output tab make sure the color balance is set to None, this way the scanner data gets transfered unaltered. Also verify that Tiff Profile is not checked that way you can assign your profile then convert (maybe Ekta space) in Photoshop.
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Ray
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« Reply #43 on: July 15, 2007, 07:21:07 AM »
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Ray,

In Vuescan's output tab make sure the color balance is set to None, this way the scanner data gets transfered unaltered. Also verify that Tiff Profile is not checked that way you can assign your profile then convert (maybe Ekta space) in Photoshop.
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David,
I don't seem to be getting any transfer of scanner data when I attempt a profile. On my Win XP 64 bit system, there is no Vuscan.ini file to be found. I think the problem might be, Vuescan is designed for many scanner models and operating systems and the precise IT8 profiling procedures for each scanner model might be slightly different, and is not detailed in the PDF manual.

I vaguely understand there is a difference between profiling and calibarating with regard to scanning, but I've not gone into it, so can speak with no authority.

In my current situation, all 3 of the slide profiles available in Vuescan are not working. The paramount question in my mind is, do I need to profile my scanner with an IT8 target in order to get these profles working, or is there something simply broken?
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Rob C
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« Reply #44 on: July 15, 2007, 07:36:46 AM »
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Whew, I didnīt know it could get so complicated, said the bishop about corset stringing!

I have a Canon scanner, a CanoScan FS4000US which I bought with one objective in mind: to scan old Kodachromes from my calendar days and to play with Velvia too.

I never use any of the devices like ICE because it is impossible for me to imagine dirt or scratches being softened out of sight without legitimate information going the same way. It is boring, tiresome and very bad for DVT, but PS allows you to clean up your images as everybody knows already - just try to file your transparencies carefully and thus minimise the time it takes doing the spotting job.

Now, I donīt have any idea if the scanner would do a better job of altering my scans than can PS but as I would have to go into PS anyhow, why bother? I have had very good results from scanning Kodachrome and find that in my medium - people shots - the skin tones you get in black and white prints is out of this world, as is the detail. In fact, as far as people shots go, if Kodachrome were available today in 120, Iīd be very tempted to go back into that format and scrub 35mm from the menu.

The trouble with running both film 35mm (F3 - one of the very last to be had!) and digital (D200) is that there is this tendency to compare which often leads to paralysis and NOTHING gets photographed. Yes, a little off-topic, but part of the hybrid world we have fallen into.

So, my route, for better or worse, is to let the scanner do a straight scan and PS do the rest. I admit that as I work mainly in B/W now, that I might have been saved from colour problems from scanning thus.

As for drum scanning - I was always led to believe that high-quality drum scanners were in the many thousands of pounds area, not really amateur or self-employed pro prices at all.  When I was getting scans done back in the mid-eighties I was lucky to find anything under about UKP 75 for a smallish image.

As for the suitability of Kodachrome for large reproductions, just go look at some of the old Pirelli and Mintex calendars or even Lichfieldīs Uniparts. They, and others, were the reason I used Kodachrome 64 and Nikon instead of Hasselblad and Ektachrome. I had both, used both, but not for calendars where the 35mm won hands down. Needless to say, Iīm not talking landscapes.

Ciao - Rob C
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David Good
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« Reply #45 on: July 15, 2007, 07:58:12 AM »
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Ray,

If you use Image in the Media tab there is no need to choose those profiles. Set Scanner color space to ICC profile, not built-in. When you have a profile built you can select it in the next tab, it is used for the display and is assigned when you choose to embed the profile into the tiff (don't).

The procedure of profiling a scanner is essentially the same for all models, scan, align the squares as best you can in the profiling software and it does the rest (simplified pipeline).  I can't speak for the .ini file, have you tried any other software to build the profile from? Nothing's broken, just have to get all the right settings. As this thread has gone off topic you could e-mail me your settings if that would help.
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Ray
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« Reply #46 on: July 15, 2007, 08:14:15 AM »
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I never use any of the devices like ICE because it is impossible for me to imagine dirt or scratches being softened out of sight without legitimate information going the same way. It is boring, tiresome and very bad for DVT, but PS allows you to clean up your images as everybody knows already - just try to file your transparencies carefully and thus minimise the time it takes doing the spotting job.

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Rob,
You've underestimated the ability of infra red rays (and associated software) to distinguish between physical scratches and image detail. There's a difference and this difference cannot be recognised in Photoshop and other noise reduction programs such as Neat Image.

What surprises me is, after all this time of technological development in scanning, there's no equally satisfactory method of removing physical scratches from old silver based B&W negatives. I've got many hundreds (possible thousands) of those and it's really tedious removing the scratches and blemishes, although the spot healing brush helps a lot.
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Ray
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« Reply #47 on: July 15, 2007, 08:28:17 AM »
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Ray,

If you use Image in the Media tab there is no need to choose those profiles. Set Scanner color space to ICC profile, not built-in. When you have a profile built you can select it in the next tab, it is used for the display and is assigned when you choose to embed the profile into the tiff (don't).


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David,
I'm away from my studio at present, on another computer, so my descriptions might not be completely accurate, but from memory, when choosing a profile in Vuescan one has to specify the location of the profile. The profile has to exist somewhere. If I choose to use my moinitor profile, I have to specify in another box where the monitor profile resides.

I cannot find any scanner ICC profile in my computer, after going through the motions of profiling with an IT8 target.
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richs
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« Reply #48 on: July 15, 2007, 03:41:34 PM »
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Rob,
You've underestimated the ability of infra red rays (and associated software) to distinguish between physical scratches and image detail. There's a difference and this difference cannot be recognised in Photoshop and other noise reduction programs such as Neat Image.

What surprises me is, after all this time of technological development in scanning, there's no equally satisfactory method of removing physical scratches from old silver based B&W negatives. I've got many hundreds (possible thousands) of those and it's really tedious removing the scratches and blemishes, although the spot healing brush helps a lot.
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Indeed. To expand on this, I use a Coolscan 4000 with Vuescan and you have the option of being able to view just the infrared layer, which can be quite an eyeopener. Image detail in the RGB layer of E6/C41 film is transparent to infrared and it is only the defects, (scratches, dust etc.) which are recorded there.

Vuescan (and presumably ICE), then uses this information to do a clone operation of pixels immediately adjacent to the defects - no other processing is done on the rest of the image.

The reason this does not work with silver based B/W negs, is that the silver is opaque to infrared, rendering ICE unusable.

Regards,

Richard
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Ray
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« Reply #49 on: July 16, 2007, 11:22:43 PM »
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After some stuffing around and after installing the very latest Vuescan update of 16 July, I succeeded in creating an ICC profile for my Minolta 5400 II scanner using my Q60 target.

[attachment=2834:attachment]

I was then able to scan the Q60 target choosing either the scanner ICC profile I'd just created or the scanner's built-in profile, which is the one I've been using to date.

In the comparisons below, the scan from the calibrated profile is always on the left.

[attachment=2835:attachment]

Now, to my eyes there's no doubt that the image on the left is more accurate. The lady in the right image might have a slightly healthier complexion, a more saturated and colorful complexion which is perhaps more appealing to some, but the primary colors in the squares are slightly out. Specifically, the blues have a touch of green; the greens have a touch of blue; the reds have a touch of yellow and the yellows are not as saturated as the yellows in the image on the left.

Over all, these differences would be significant when scanning relatively new slides. If I was still shooting slides, I would definitely get a fresh Q60 target.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get very far comparing the effects of these relatively subtle changes on other slides because the program became corrupted, but before it did, I was able to make a comparison of the 44 year old Kodachrome of the scene in Bangkok.

Both of these scans have had exactly the same settings applied, the only difference being the scanner profile used. I must admit I was surprised at the magnitide of the differences. I suspect these differences have been amplified as a result of ticking the 'restore color' and 'color fading' options in Vuescan.

The image from the Q60 calibrated profile is on the left.

[attachment=2836:attachment]  [attachment=2837:attachment]  [attachment=2838:attachment]

Even though I might have to swallow some pride here, I think I would rather begin working on the image on the left   . I guess I'll now have to search the net for the best price on a new Q60 target. A price estimate from Kodak in Australia is A$250. My local photographic store had no reference to such a product in their system. I guess these calibration targets are going out of fashion.
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« Reply #50 on: July 17, 2007, 05:59:59 AM »
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Hi Ray - no need to swallow any pride - you've just convinced yourself that profiling works, and thanks for showing us the outcomes - very interesting. I agree the Bangkok image has improved - the profiling tamed the yellows better - complexions are probably more accurate, and the VW is more like the wine colour I remember for those old VWs - but here we really are talking *memory* colours, because it's "ancient history" by now (not to even begin wondering about how much of BKK air pollutants the driver may or may not have wiped off his vehicle every day)! Seriously though, I think your a step ahead now.
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« Reply #51 on: July 17, 2007, 07:08:22 AM »
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Ray,

Glad it's finally working for you! The price quoted to you sounds excessive, there are several companies such as Chromix that can supply an IT8/Q60 for quite a bit less. At that price you might as well order a Hutch target for a little more. The Kodak site also  lists a Kodachrome 35mm target (cat# 157 5141) that may be of interest to you.

Cheers,

Dave
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Ray
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« Reply #52 on: July 17, 2007, 07:22:54 AM »
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Hi Ray - no need to swallow any pride - you've just convinced yourself that profiling works, and thanks for showing us the outcomes - very interesting. I agree the Bangkok image has improved - the profiling tamed the yellows better - complexions are probably more accurate, and the VW is more like the wine colour I remember for those old VWs - but here we really are talking *memory* colours, because it's "ancient history" by now (not to even begin wondering about how much of BKK air pollutants the driver may or may not have wiped off his vehicle every day)! Seriously though, I think your a step ahead now.
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Thanks Mark. What impressed me was the fact that although the yellow cast was largely removed, using the calibrated profile, and the monks' robes look closer to their usual reddish orange, the yellows elsewhere in the image, such as the wall on the far right, are actually stronger.

Reducing the yellow in the robes and complexions in the non-calibrated image is not too difficult but a consequence of this is a reduction in the yellows elsewhere in the image, which are already probably too weak. If using a scanner icc profile saves time and work in processing a faded image, then that's reason enough to use it.

However, we should not forget this was a calibration attempted with a target manufactured in the last century. There's no guarantee that a fresh Q-60E3 target would produce better or even equally good results. In fact there's a certain logic to the idea that for best results with faded slides the target should be equally faded.
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Ray
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« Reply #53 on: July 17, 2007, 07:44:36 AM »
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Ray,

Glad it's finally working for you! The price quoted to you sounds excessive, there are several companies such as Chromix that can supply an IT8/Q60 for quite a bit less. At that price you might as well order a Hutch target for a little more. The Kodak site also  lists a Kodachrome 35mm target (cat# 157 5141) that may be of interest to you.

Cheers,

Dave
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David,
Thnks for your concern. I now realise from the catalogue no. quoted that the Kodak lady on the phone gave me an estimate for a 4x5" IT8 target. Nobody seems to be using such targets over here. I think I'll probably upgrade to SilverFast v 6.5 which does multiple exposures and automatic calibration with IT8 targets. Sometimes I get easier and faster results with Vuescan but Silverfast has far more potential for fine adjustments.
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« Reply #54 on: July 17, 2007, 08:02:30 AM »
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In fact there's a certain logic to the idea that for best results with faded slides the target should be equally faded.
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No. The logic of a profile is that it characterizes the colour rendering behaviour of your scanner so that it returns the color data you chose for your image file. This is a necessarily separate function that is independent of the image data - whether faded or not faded.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #55 on: July 17, 2007, 07:36:17 PM »
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No. The logic of a profile is that it characterizes the colour rendering behaviour of your scanner so that it returns the color data you chose for your image file. This is a necessarily separate function that is independent of the image data - whether faded or not faded.
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Hmm! I thought there was a distinction between calibrating the scanner and creating an ICC profile for the scanner. The differences between the preview and the scanned image, on my current set-up, have always seemed trivial to me, using my monitor profile; nothing as great as the differences in the hue of those saffron robes.
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« Reply #56 on: July 17, 2007, 09:08:17 PM »
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True - calibrating and profiling are separate functions, and you should get a close match between the preview and monitor image if your colour management set-up is OK.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Ray
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« Reply #57 on: July 18, 2007, 07:12:10 PM »
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True - calibrating and profiling are separate functions, and you should get a close match between the preview and monitor image if your colour management set-up is OK.
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Mark,
I'm probably revealing my complete ignorance of the subject here, but it seems to me there's one thing about the IT8 target which never changes and that's the descriptor data accompanying each batch of targets, which defines the colors in a mathematical and device independent way.

A scanner which has not been calibrated is likely to produce colors which are much closer to what they are supposed to be, with an unfaded slide, than a calibrated scanner will produce with a faded slide.

By calibrating with an IT8 target made from the same type of film (Kodachrome or Ektachrome) of approximately the same age as the Kodachromes or Ektachromes one is scanning, it should (might) be possible to get an accurate representation of the original colors of the faded slide.

If it's possible to physically calibrate the scanner by other means, then so much the better.

By the way, Vuescan's infra red scratch removal produces artifacts with Kodachromes using the Minolta 5400 II; specifically a tendency to slight double edges and blocky, deep shadows. The ICE feature in both Dimage Scan Utility and Silverfast seems to work well.
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« Reply #58 on: July 18, 2007, 07:56:07 PM »
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Mark,
I'm probably revealing my complete ignorance of the subject here, but it seems to me there's one thing about the IT8 target which never changes and that's the descriptor data accompanying each batch of targets, which defines the colors in a mathematical and device independent way.

A scanner which has not been calibrated is likely to produce colors which are much closer to what they are supposed to be, with an unfaded slide, than a calibrated scanner will produce with a faded slide.

By calibrating with an IT8 target made from the same type of film (Kodachrome or Ektachrome) of approximately the same age as the Kodachromes or Ektachromes one is scanning, it should (might) be possible to get an accurate representation of the original colors of the faded slide.

If it's possible to physically calibrate the scanner by other means, then so much the better.

By the way, Vuescan's infra red scratch removal produces artifacts with Kodachromes using the Minolta 5400 II; specifically a tendency to slight double edges and blocky, deep shadows. The ICE feature in both Dimage Scan Utility and Silverfast seems to work well.
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Ray,

Whether the slide is faded or not I really believe is irrelevant to the merits of calibrating and profiling your scanner. If you characterize your scanner properly, once you make correct edits to image file data such that the faded colours return to their appropriate values, what you scan will look like the corrections you see. If you haven't done so, I suggest a read of Andrew Rodney's book, or less specialized - Tim Grey's "Color Confidence" would be helpful.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #59 on: December 22, 2008, 03:59:49 AM »
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Quote from: Ray
By the way, Vuescan's infra red scratch removal produces artifacts with Kodachromes using the Minolta 5400 II; specifically a tendency to slight double edges and blocky, deep shadows. The ICE feature in both Dimage Scan Utility and Silverfast seems to work well.
This topic is a little bit older, but perhaps someone looking for info (like me) reads it.
For the sake of completeness:

The SilverFast developers implemented a few new kodachrome features this year, escpecially:
the dust & scratch removal tool iSRD is working on kodachromes now.
And for calibrating the scanner they are offering special Kodachrome IT8 targets just since a few days.
http://www.silverfast.com/show/kodachrome-targets/en.html

So this might be the easiest and best way to scan kodachrome slides, using SilverFast calibration target and software.

regards
Frank
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