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Scanning negatives / unsightly grain

Discussion in 'Everything Film' started by MPB, Apr 3, 2020.

  1. MPB

    MPB Well-Known Member

    Ok, with time on my hands due to corana virus, I have started scanning all my old negatives / slides to the pc and reviewing with Adobe photoshop. Does anybody know how to reduce grain in photoshop or free plugins that will do it for me. I am willing to pay but only uk companies with prices in pounds
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  2. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Isn’t grain intrinsic?
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  3. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    Well the version of Elements I use (14) has a noise reduction function, this does actually also work with grain on scanned items, I find the 'despeckle" works well. I assume a full version of Photoshop will have a similar feature.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2020
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  4. John Farrell

    John Farrell Well-Known Member

    What scanner are you using? Are you scanning colour or monochrome?
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  5. MPB

    MPB Well-Known Member

    I did it I use a flatbed HP Scanjet G4010, with Adobe Photoshop 2020. I have found a solution that seems to work

    Filters/noise/reduce noise
    Filters/noise/dust and scratches

    Tips are taken from https://howtoscan.ca/scanning-tips/grainy-negative-scans.php

    see image below

    air ambulance web use.jpg

    1st pass clean up this morning after deleting earlier attempts
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  6. MPB

    MPB Well-Known Member

    HP Scanjet G4010

    Both my archive is large and I dabbled with my own darkroom for a while till lost it due to house moves
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  7. John King

    John King In the Stop Bath

    The later Nikon Film Scanners were particularly prone to showing the grain of film, B&W and Colour neg are particularly affected but slide film less so. If the grain isn't heavily visible on a print of approx. A4 size you are lucky. Unfortunately the grain actually shows how bitingly sharp the lens is far better than any flatbed. I don't know about older scanners such as those from Minolta or the current offerings from the likes of Plustek.

    Apparently, (but I have not used it) Silverfast scanning software can be set so that it does make the grain less obtrusive. You can adjust the Nikon Scanners so that the grain in reduced but only at the expense of a significant reduction in edge sharpness and I suspect any software used after scanning will do likewise.
  8. Stephen Rundle

    Stephen Rundle In the Stop Bath

    I must have posted this a hundred times :) should help

  9. John King

    John King In the Stop Bath

    Sorry but I do not agree. Softening the grain will at the same time soften the edges of the image. Use Unsharp mask sharpens them up again, but you get the grain back. Been there. Done it and seen the grain.

    Grain usually only becomes obtrusive in areas of plain sky, in areas of broken tone it isn't too bad. One way around this is to select the area where the grain is really bad and introduce a small amount of blur. This usually works but don't overdo it.
  10. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    Grain is a big part of "the film look". I prefer to leave it alone when I scan my old film based images.

    Allan with Spotmatic.jpg
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  11. John King

    John King In the Stop Bath

    Even after owning my Nikon CoolscanV for at least 15 years you still learn something new. In the tool pallet there is a feature called GEM and if you move the slider to '0' the grain size diminishes but there is no softening of the image edges or fine detail. Or none that I can see even enlarged 100% in Photoshop CC
  12. John King

    John King In the Stop Bath

  13. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    In that particular person's case: possibly not.
  14. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    There are things you shouldn’t say ... in case they come true.
  15. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Well-Known Member

    Yes Grain is used to describe undesirable luminescence variation in film similar to Noise which is a digital effect. Treatments that deal with noise might help with grain effects on old shots that have been digitalised, whereas if it's actually noise re-scanning the film with a little more exposure should help.

    Levels of grain similar to Andrews example are perfectly acceptable IMO, but some of my ancient images were much worse than that & effectively ruined.
  16. John King

    John King In the Stop Bath

    Point taken.
  17. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    The only reason that I can see for using film is so that one can get authentic grain.
  18. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    What type of film are you scanning? I've scanned Kodachrome slides on my 20 year old Minolta scanner that produces images of about 11 megapixels, and although the files clearly show the grain size difference between Kodachrome 64 and 200, I have had 30 x 45 cm prints done from a scanned K200 slide and the print looks fine at a sensible viewing distance (the grain does show if you get too close).
  19. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    There are a number of reasons why film may be chosen!
  20. MPB

    MPB Well-Known Member

    A mixture of all sorts of 35mm and negative and positive

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