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Author Topic: Noise reduction for slides and film  (Read 4808 times)
roa5100xx
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« on: January 12, 2013, 02:10:09 PM »
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Hi,
I am starting to scan some old slides(Kodachrome and ektachrome) and black&white film. Can someone tell me what noise reduction program is best(if I need to reduct noise)?

Thank you
Herbert
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« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2013, 02:28:09 PM »
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How can they define best? I use Noise Ninja typically with -18 on smoothness for luminance and for color noise. -5 on strength for both. You have to adjust the settings for your film. I use fine grained films like velvia. A high contrast ISO800 B/W is going to need something else.

Maybe something out there is better, I wouldn't know. I am quite happy with the results.
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Fine_Art
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« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2013, 02:34:22 PM »
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I'm glad you asked, it made me have a look to see if they had done an update. They did release one Jan 10th.

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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2013, 03:17:33 PM »
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When it comes to scanning, one should distinguish between noise and grain. Scanner noise is electronic generated from the sensor, sometimes visible in the very dark areas of the image, whereas the grain one sees all over the photo is clumps of minute chemical particles and dyes in the film. Noise reduction applications that we use in digital imaging from digital cameras are designed for dealing with sensor noise, not film grain. It so happens, however, that they can mitigate film grain, always at some sacrifice of image detail. The trick is to optimize settings between the reduction of apparent "grain" and the reduction of detail. As well, some applications may perform better than others in making this distinction. I have written several relevant articles on this website. Two you may find useful to consult are http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/ndq.shtml and http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/software/topaz.shtml.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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dmerger
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« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2013, 03:20:35 PM »
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I assume by “noise” you mean film grain?  I can’t say which is best, but I get very good results with Neat Image.  I use it mostly for Velvia and Provia. Neat Image works best if you create accurate noise profiles.  I used IT8.7 targets to build my noise profiles.  As a result, Neat Image will almost completely remove film grain with virtually no loss of detail.  

Edit:

Here is an example.  The photo is a small crop from a 7800 x 5232 pixel scan.  One is the original scan; the other has had Neat Image applied. Both versions were converted to sRGB, 8 bit and saved as jpeg’s with moderate compression.  It would be possible to do more aggressive removal of the film grain in the smooth sky area using layers with masks in PS, but for this example the NI noise reduction was done globally.

« Last Edit: January 12, 2013, 04:57:07 PM by dmerger » Logged

Dean Erger
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« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2013, 04:50:12 PM »
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I have also used Neat Image and found it very good - my first article on the subject features Neat Image. More recently I find Lightroom and Topaz DeNoise produce competitive results.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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roa5100xx
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« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2013, 05:12:10 PM »
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Hi,
Thanks to all for your replies. Think I will download the trails for both programs and see which I like.

dmerger, how do you use an It8.7 target to create a noise profile?

Thank you

Herert
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dmerger
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« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2013, 05:31:41 PM »
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The Neat Image owners guide has instructions.  It's easy, once you learn the basics of NI.
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Dean Erger
roa5100xx
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« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2013, 07:30:15 PM »
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Hi,
thank you

Herbert
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William Morse
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« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2013, 12:55:01 PM »
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Wow. IMHO, this shows the dangers of noise removal. There's alot of loss of detail. Look at the areas of cliff detail in the upper left, for example. depending on the size of the print, this would be very noticeable.

Why would you want to remove the grain? To make it look like a low resolution digital photo? I would look to lessen the grain in the smooth areas, like the sky, but leave it alone in the detailed areas. I've never seen auto noise or grain reduction that didn't also reduce detail. The blurriness is bad for large prints, and the noise or grain is not as noticeable in small prints (generally speaking!).

This is just my preference- YMMV! The key is not to look at the difference at 100% in PS, but to look at the prints at final size, after all contrast adjustments have been made, then decide which is better.

Bill

I assume by “noise” you mean film grain?  I can’t say which is best, but I get very good results with Neat Image.  I use it mostly for Velvia and Provia. Neat Image works best if you create accurate noise profiles.  I used IT8.7 targets to build my noise profiles.  As a result, Neat Image will almost completely remove film grain with virtually no loss of detail.  

Edit:

Here is an example.  The photo is a small crop from a 7800 x 5232 pixel scan.  One is the original scan; the other has had Neat Image applied. Both versions were converted to sRGB, 8 bit and saved as jpeg’s with moderate compression.  It would be possible to do more aggressive removal of the film grain in the smooth sky area using layers with masks in PS, but for this example the NI noise reduction was done globally.


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AFairley
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« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2013, 03:17:51 PM »
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When scanning and printing chromes, my practice is to sharpen and emphasize the grain giving it a little more bite, which I prefer. 
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2013, 04:58:44 PM »
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I would look to lessen the grain in the smooth areas, like the sky, but leave it alone in the detailed areas.

Bill


I often do exactly that - with Layers in PS. Reducing grain from skin tones is also helpful, again on separate layers, where layer opacity can be deployed to manage the strength of the effect.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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kim
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« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2013, 07:42:29 AM »
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For a good many years I used Noise Ninja but grew tired of balancing between too much residual grain (with too low a setting) and the "melted plastic" look with a setting that was too high.

More recently I bought Topaz DeNoise and have been very pleased with the results which can be achieved quickly and easily. It does a good job of removing the grain while leaving sufficient texture to avoid the "melted plastic" look.
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Idololab
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« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2013, 11:15:18 AM »
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Can I ask which scanner  you will use ?
For a good many years I used Noise Ninja but grew tired of balancing between too much residual grain (with too low a setting) and the "melted plastic" look with a setting that was too high.

More recently I bought Topaz DeNoise and have been very pleased with the results which can be achieved quickly and easily. It does a good job of removing the grain while leaving sufficient texture to avoid the "melted plastic" look.
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George Marinos
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kim
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« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2013, 03:06:24 AM »
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Can I ask which scanner  you will use ?
Not sure if you're asking me or the original poster but anyway - when scanning I used a Nikon 8000. But as far as grain goes I've had better results from photographing the slides using a Canon EOS 5D II and a 50mm macro lens. With the photography technique the grain is finer than in results from the scanner and I've either completely avoided the need to run grain reduction software (most cases with K64 or Fuji 100 ISO films) or only needed to give them a light wash.
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bjanes
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« Reply #15 on: June 13, 2013, 09:01:43 AM »
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When it comes to scanning, one should distinguish between noise and grain. Scanner noise is electronic generated from the sensor, sometimes visible in the very dark areas of the image, whereas the grain one sees all over the photo is clumps of minute chemical particles and dyes in the film. Noise reduction applications that we use in digital imaging from digital cameras are designed for dealing with sensor noise, not film grain. It so happens, however, that they can mitigate film grain, always at some sacrifice of image detail.

Mark points out some interesting differences between scanner noise, which is similar to digital camera noise, and film grain. I came across an interesting article by Tim Vitale on the structure of film grain and dye clouds that one encounters with monochrome and color films. While this knowledge may not be of much practical use in noise reduction with the currently available tools for film images, it does allow appreciation on how tools designed for digital images may not be optimal for film noise reduction.

Regards,

Bill 
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Idololab
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« Reply #16 on: June 13, 2013, 10:14:24 AM »
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Not sure if you're asking me or the original poster but anyway - when scanning I used a Nikon 8000. But as far as grain goes I've had better results from photographing the slides using a Canon EOS 5D II and a 50mm macro lens. With the photography technique the grain is finer than in results from the scanner and I've either completely avoided the need to run grain reduction software (most cases with K64 or Fuji 100 ISO films) or only needed to give them a light wash.
I am sorry .I am asking the original poster.
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George Marinos
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