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Photo

Do You Care If Scans Are Color Adjusted?

color reviews scanning

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26 replies to this topic

#21 macaddicted

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 23:30

Scanners are notoriously difficult to calibrate, at least from everything I've seen. Cameras tend to be a better choice, but have their own problems with reproducing pages with sufficient clarity (or sharpness if you prefer).

Color calibration is like quantum physics: either you get it or you don't. And most of us don't. I think someone mentioned color gamut above, if you look at the graphs here: http://en.m.wikipedi...RGB_color_space you can see how much color is not reproduced by AdobeRBG. Since this is one of the common color spaces available on medium to high priced cameras, and recently on some of the better monitors, you begin to see just how much color we're not seing quite right.

The best solution is probably a spectrophotometer, a device that measures color directly, but since those are REALLY pricey I don't see that happening around here. In the alternative, using and ITI-8 target, or a target from one of the color correction hardware companies- X-Rite or DataColor- is a better solution.

At the very least a color calibrated source would give a relative comparison between ink colors on uncalibrated monitors. Calibrated monitors should be close to actual color. The question is how many here are going to pay over $100 for a device that lets them verify the colors of $15-30 ink? In that case I'd say it's best to remain as accurate as you can in your own work (especially within time and cost restraints) while understanding that the vast majority of viewers won't be seeing what you're seeing (but hopefully it will be fairly close).

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#22 vossad01

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 00:04

An IT8 Target is what I was looking at.  That would make the process roughly scan target, give software scan of target to build profile, scan inky page, tell software to adjust image according to aforementioned profile.  That sounded like an easy enough process for me to not screw up and not take too much time.

 

I am aware of gamuts (particularly from doing so much ink mixing), but there is really nothing I can do about that kind of clipping.



#23 mialslsoala

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 00:46

I would suggest taking pictures with a camera as scanners edit the picture quite a bit, as compared to a digital camera.

#24 mhosea

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 01:14

Aside from all the color correction at various points of the chain issues... there's the problem of scans vs photos.  Scans never seem to show the shading, sheen or other factors that are visible to the naked eye (and better shown through photos).


Sheen requires light to come in and leave at an angle, so obviously that isn't going to happen with the scanner. I think the reason the shading is subdued and colors brighter is because the scanner imitates not the naked eye view, but a magnified view under bright light. I often examine inks with a magnifier, and the appearance of the inks is transformed when viewed that way in much the same way as they come out on my scanner. Photos are potentially better, but photos require a lot more skill and some quite good equipment before they can realize that potential. Most photos don't look quite right, either.

I know my id is "mhosea", but you can call me Mike. It's an old Unix thing.


#25 PJohnP

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 20:17

Sandy1's laid out some of the issues for a fountain pen forum.  However, this topic isn't new to other areas such as the photo community.  There are specific measures folks can take if they're attempting to get the best possible colour renditions to post, and then in turn, for people to view.  This is about as contentious topic as specific ink brands or papers, as well as being a very deep topic for discussion, so I'll touch on the issues, and folks can then research it to their hearts' content as they will.

  • Calibrate the monitor that one will use for review of the scans/photographs (e.g., Spyder Colorimeter);
  • Photograph or scan with a reference grey-card or a colour-card in the image (e.g., Opteka cards);
  • Colour-correct the image to the correct WB for the reference card in the image;
  • Pick a specific colour gamut for uploading to the internet (e.g., Adobe RGB (1998));
  • Include data in the uploaded photo and/or in the post for gamut, along with the photo with the reference card.

In some cases, viewers of the image will need to download the image to open in an appropriate photo editor or photo viewing program, as most browsers are very limited in their display.  Of course, the viewer also needs a calibrated display, and may need to make additional adjustments with the downloaded image.  Calibrations need to be checked periodically, as displays can shift a bit, although the new flat displays have different shifts than the older CRT displays.

 

The "steps" noted above aren't necessarily small or trivial, and corrections of photos for "true colour" can be a lengthy process.  In times past, one would shoot with colour corrected lights with specific film to minimise colour shifts.  Digital cameras allow us to process for colour correction (mostly) easily on computers, but it does require some care and training to accomplish this in a consistent manner.  As time has gone on, features for colour management have migrated from the higher end photo programs like Photoshop to less expensive packages, so this is now within financial reach of most computer users.

 

Photographers of some age will remember having specific document and paper platforms equipped with flexible stand lights to provide illumination, but, once again, it's a specialist item and style of photography.

 

Is it worth it ? 

 

Well, one has to ask how large an interest one takes in the photos/scans of inks...  As noted by others, scanners are somewhat limited in their colour renditions, unless one spends a lot more on the scanner than a home user will do.  Getting quality photos means shooting in RAW or similar format, which rules out many consumer digital cameras that save files only as JPEGs, and pretty much all cellphone cameras.  Colorimeters cost anywhere from $100 and ascend sharply higher for some professional models.  Monitors that can be recalibrated, not to forget display adapters that can be shifted sufficiently to influence display qualities aren't at the bottom end of consumer computers.  The photographers here on FPN will be nodding their heads to these comments, but then, many of those photographers will already have all of these measures in place...  <wry smile>

 

Then, on top of all of this, are the posted photos intended for a general audience without any of these bells and whistles, or just for the specialists who have the ability to review the images ?

 

 

 

John P.



#26 vossad01

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 02:41

Thank you to everyone for your input and opinions.  They have been interesting in part because I seem to have different preferences than the vocal majority.  I am not open to switching from scanning to taking photos.  The overall message I am getting is there is no real interest in attempts at color correcting scanned images.  It does sound like people like seeing other colors on the page though.  Unless I decide to be contrary and pursue this anyway, I will probably end up with a bottle of ink instead of a target.

 

In case some future reader comes across this and is curious I will leave a couple more notes.  I was looking at getting an IT8 target from Wolf Faust.  After shipping they are in a price range I am willing to pay (~1 nicer bottle of ink; which cannot be said about a lot of the other targets) and seem to be well enough reviewed.

 

I had not gotten as far as researching software, but it is old enough tech I that I was not too concerned about finding something.  I just did a quick search now and did find at least one open source offering.



#27 PJohnP

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 11:25

The overall message I am getting is there is no real interest in attempts at color correcting scanned images...    I just did a quick search now and did find at least one open source offering.

 

Actually, I have colour corrected most images that I posted (noting that my previous photo hosting site closed, so little is now visible here at FPN from that period).  As a photographer, correct colour management is an important issue for me.  However, it's significantly harder to get a well corrected colour balance for most non-high end scanners.  My "better" images for ink review posts were photographed and not scanned as a result.

 

 

 

John P.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: color, reviews, scanning



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