Good to hear that there is someone on A.Net with your scanning expertise Malcolm, 1900+ uploads from 35mm negatives is very impressive
I have nearly 1000 scanned uploads now, including some flatbed scans from prints very recently, and my acceptance ratio is 82%. This would be higher but my DSLR photos tend not to do quite so well.
My 'workflow' for a 35mm negative is as follows:
Using an airbrush and compressor remove as much dust as possible from the negative strip (in the scanning holder) before scanning.
Use Acer ScanWit 2720S to scan negative at 2700 dpi which produces a 26MB sized file, save as a TIFF image.
Using a 2.8Ghz processor laptop degrain this with Neat Image 5.1 Home. This latest version produces a markedly better result than previous versions.
Using Photoshop LE (I think this is now called Elements) reduce the size of the TIFF to 1024x768 pixels which is about 2.2MB.
Then adjust colour levels using the manual 'pipette' tool. All I do is test the level at different points in the scanned image and I decide visually which is the most accurate and apply this to the rest of the image.
Then adjust brightness levels using the Curves tool.
The next part is to adjust the sharpness of the image. If you have used Neat Image you will definitely need to sharpen the image using the Photoshop Sharpen filter. Sometimes two applications of this tool can be made and if so it can benefit to reduce the levels of contrast slightly to compensate.
The main problem with negatives is dust spots, especially if they have not been stored with loving care over the years! I use an ancient graphics programme, probably the equivalent to IrfanView32, and this allows me to manually clone out the dust spots.
I then save the TIFF image and also save a JPG version as well, normally aiming for as near to 300KB in size as I can get.
Then upload to A.Net as well as sharing with some Yahoo aviation posting groups that I belong to.
As mentioned above I have just also started using a Canon LiDE 60 which is fairly inexpensive flatbed scanner. You certainly get much better quality for your money than even a few years ago and I have so far had seven images accepted into the database and one rejected. The workflow is identical except that I scan 7x5 inch photos at 600 dpi which which produces a 35MB sized file, again save as a TIFF image and proceed as above.
I am not saying this is the correct or best way to process film negatives, it just works for me using the resources that I have to hand. The main problem is the amount of time this process takes, one strip of four photos literally does take all evening to process, research and post to A.Net. That tends to be why I am a bit sloppy with my DSLR shots because so much of the effort is removed!
Key learning points:
1) Always work on your images as TIFF files, only compress them to JPG at the final point.
2) Always use the curves tool in Photoshop to adjust brightness.
Also, when posting on A.Net, always fill in the 'Comments to Screener' box and tell the screener if you have cloned out dust spots and your rationale for posting the photo
[Edited 2005-09-09 09:37:25]