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Vuescan: Setting Black & White Points  
User currently offlineFUAirliner From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 538 posts, RR: 3
Posted (14 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 6300 times:

Hi everybody,

I decided to give VueScan a try as the results I get with the software that came with my Scan Dual II do not satisfy me any more.

I understood most of VueScan's settings, but how do I adjust the gamma and how do I set the black & white points correctly?

Additionally, if anybody has special hints about VueScan, can you please reveal them?

Thank you!


Frank Unterspann - Hamburg, Germany
5 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineCkw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 813 posts, RR: 12
Reply 1, posted (14 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 6239 times:

Frank - The thing to understand is that white and black points determine the part of the image which will be set to black or white (not too surprising really!) BUT if you are scanning a neg, there may be scratches which will allow "pure" light to pass through which will then be set as a "false" white point. To avoid this, you can increase the white point setting to ignore, say the brightest .5% of the image.

Other settings amy be required in images (particularly low contrast) which do not contain any true whites or blacks. The value may vary for each image - experiment.

Gamma has, in recent version of Vuescan, been labelled "brightness" - this does appear to still be a gamma correction rather than a global brightness control.



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlineSkymonster From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (14 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 6232 times:


The only things I can add to what Colin has already said is that you should make sure that you set VueScan to the film type you are using, especially if you are using slides. These settings appear on both the "Device" and "Color" tabs - at least they do if you're using Kodachrome 64! I've found that getting the film type right saves a lot of the chores of mucking about with gamma, brightness and color balance manually.

Aside from that, I'd recommend "white balance" as a starting point for Color balance on the "Color" tab, and I also tend to set VueScan's grain reduction to Medium and check the Sharpen box, both on the "Filter" tab - but of course, that's just my liking!


User currently offlineFUAirliner From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 538 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (14 years 1 month 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 6210 times:

Thank you, Andy and Colin!

I also checked your previous posts about VueScan which gave me additional hints and ideas.


Frank Unterspann - Hamburg, Germany
User currently offlineSunilgupta From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 791 posts, RR: 13
Reply 4, posted (14 years 1 month 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 6207 times:


I just started using VueScan as well and it produces excellent results from most slides without messing with curves or changing any of the default seettings. However, I have found that for some slides I still need to fall back to the Minolta software where I have complete control of the curves. VueScan seems to take a more “canned” approach to image correction and therefore offers you less control… maybe I just don’t know how to use it yet.

Regarding the film type settings… I left them as the defaults and got great results with Kodachrome. When I scanned Kodachrome with the Kodachrome settings of VueScan the results were terrible! What did I do wrong?


User currently offlineCkw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 813 posts, RR: 12
Reply 5, posted (14 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 6196 times:

It's important to remeber that Vuescan is designed to capture the best possible data from the slide - it does not have photoediting features like Nikonscan/Minolta scanning software etc. It is assumed you will be using Vuescan as a first step followed by work in Corel, Photoshop etc.

Personally I agree with this since, with Nikonscan at least, the photoediting features are largely nullified by the inability to work at 100% view during the prescan stage! And PS, Corel etc. are FAR better at curve adjustment etc.

Regarding film settings - with slide film I generally use film type generic and color adjustment = none. This works just fine for me with Sensia, but with Kodak and Velvia, the shadows are just too dense. I find setting film type Kodachrome solves this problem. It could well be that if you are using "autolevels" or "white balance" this will already be giving you the correct results - the additional compensation provided by film type Kodachrome is then perhaps resulting in over-correction.



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
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