I love using Kodak Portra, as I find that the skin tones especially are very pleasing. I tend to use the 400ISO version, and shoot the film in several cameras. Recently, I finished a roll in my Leica M6, which can only be described as close to the perfect film camera. I shot using an Elmarit 28mm F/2.8, a lovely, sharp (and often underrated) lens.
As I often do, I had the film developed and scanned at a local Bath dealer (Ace Optics). I would prefer higher resolution scans, but at the price the service is excellent. Here’s an example:
I was very pleased with the colour rendering, after the obligatory Lightroom tweaks.
Then a Facebook buddy (Ken Watson) asked me if I had scanned the image with my Plustek (OpticFilm 8200i Ai). I was intrigued enough to make a comparison.
I use SilverFast 8 software, which is not the most user friendly, and the instructions are a little esoteric in parts. But it really is a quality combination of scanner and software.
After a little trial and error around, I opted for these settings, for anyone with a similar scanner:
- Negative setting, scanned at 7200 dpi
- No Histogram correction
- “Negafix”, set to Kodak Portra 400NC with CCR
- Auto Contrast Optimisation at 50
- Light GANE noise elimination
- iSRD (Infra Red) dust and scratch elimination – which worked brilliantly, by the way as I also tried the regular SRD which left some marks.
Here is scan:
As you can see, the result had a strong purple cast versus the commercial scan. (I have tried to mirror all other Lightroom setting for both images, to be as fair as possible, and did not adjust the White Balance).
So, I took down the purple in Lightroom, and here is the result. Deeper shadows and blacks, I think, and all together a rich, pleasing result.
Perhaps a little warmer and darker than the commercial scan, but maybe I just didn’t get Lightroom right. It’s such a subjective exercise, I guess.
Now I need to figure out how to adjust that purple in the original scan.
I have read other people have experienced something similar. Ideas, please? Grey point adjustment? Anyway, Ken, there you go.