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Step 5 - Choosing the film type and exposure (Basic mode)

Using NegaFix in Basic mode amounts to carrying out six very simple tasks. They are:

  1. Crop the image so that frame margins are excluded.
  2. Select a film manufacturer.
  3. Select a film type.
  4. Select a film speed.
  5. Adjust the manual exposure slider.
  6. Apply Auto Adjust tool.

The NegaFix control panel offers three pop-up menu options and an exposure slider. The three pop-up menus are where we choose the film-maker, type and speed.

 

Film Maker

Selecting the Film maker for the NegaFix Control Panel

 

The exposure slider (circled red in the screenshot below) enables adjustments of approximately plus or minus 3 f-stops. The preview display is continually updated as the exposure slider is moved.

 

Control Panel

Adjusting Exposure using the NegaFix Control Panel

 

The above steps (1 to 5) are designed to ensure that the optimum dynamic range of the negative has been captured and converted into a positive. Now it's simply a matter of applying (6) the Auto Adjust tool   from the Adjustments Toolbar and SilverFast will complete the optimisation process. At this point we can simply press the scan button or make further adjustments to saturation, etc.

 

Fine Tuning the Image and Film Profile Curves 

Step 6 - Expert mode

NegaFix with SilverFast Ai and HDR will enable the user to scan virtually any negative film so that they obtain the maximum dynamic range along with accurate colour rendering. In my view the new NegaFix feature is a substantial improvement over its predecessor and is comparatively easy to use.

The screenshot below shows the control panel in its Expert configuration. To gain access to the Expert panel we simply mouse click the Tutor Icon, which is just to the right of the exposure slider.

 

Image

NegaFix Control Panel - Expert Configuration

 

From the Expert panel we can adjust the characteristics of the "orange mask" removal filter by dragging the Auto Tolerance slider (green circle in screen capture) back and forth. Likewise the Highlight and Shadow (end) points on the histogram can be adjusted by dragging the slider "bars" located on the greyscale gradients. The check mark adjacent to the Auto button will be deactivated once we make any adjustment to the "end-point" sliders. If we don't like what we've done a simply click of the Reset button followed by the Auto button and everything is reset to back to the characteristics of the original film profile.

 

Step 7 - Creating New Film Profiles

If we want to refine the film curve characteristics or if the film we are scanning is not included within the list of 120 film profiles it's a simple matter of adjusting one of the existing profiles in "real-time" so that we get the desired results. As mentioned above, manually adjusting the end-points of the histogram is used to eliminate the effects of the "orange mask". 

To further refine the film profile, simply choose the Curves tab followed by the two icons circled in red and then start dragging the curve anchor points around until the desired result is obtained. It is even possible to adjust each of the RGB colour channels individually.

 

Image

NegaFix Control Panel - Custom Film Profile

 

If an area of the image shows a colour or cast that we know to be incorrect we can neutralise this cast by simply clicking that point in the Image preview screen and then dragging to the baseline; the small dot on the Curves Gradient (HSL dialog below the curves) that represents the actual colour of the image point - see the red circle and arrow on screenshot below.

 

Colour Cast Removal

NegaFix Control Panel - Colourcast Removal

 

To reduce the saturation of a particular colour it's simply a matter of clicking the over saturated colour within the image with the mouse and again dragging the little dot in the HSL dialog down a little. To increase saturation we drag it up towards the top of the HSL dialog. Ideally when undertaking such an adjustment it is best to zoom into the HSL dialog using the little "+" sign to the right of the gradient. Be warned that this approach will effect all subsequent images that use this film profile and so I recommend using the Hue/Saturation control to be found within the main toolbar.

 

Image

Adjusting the Saturation

 

When we are satisfied with the new profile we simply save it with the appropriate film name thus keeping it for future use.

 

Image

Save Edited Film Profile

 

Image

Give the Edited Film Profile a Name

 

Once the dynamic range of the film has been optimised we can again proceed to use SilverFast's other colour correction tools in the normal way. Usually clicking the SilverFast Auto Adjustment button (circled red below) is all that is required.

 

Image

SilverFast - Adjustment Toolbar

 

The SilverFast user manual contain lots of information and useful tips to using NegaFix I recommend that you read this section of the manual before attempting to manipulate the existing film curves.

The remaining pages of this tutorial discuss some of SilverFast's more advanced colour and tone adjustment tools in more detail.

 

 

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