Black and white film is very flexible and you can greatly manipulate
densities by using different developers, agitation, length of
development etc. However, this also makes black and white film
particularly difficult to scan as what is on it varies so much from film
to film, shot to shot.
Typically when scanning negative film, a profile is used which
shifts the scan toward the best results with the particular colour
response of that type of film. However, experience has taught us that
this does not work very well with black and white film. Too often the
profile makes decisions about D-Max and D-Min that are not appropriate,
and so the final scan does not have all the detail it should have.
The solution to this problem is to scan the images using the full
dynamic range of the scanner - as RGB colour positives. This results in a
scan with all the detail from the original film on it. Then invert the
image in Photoshop and remove the slight remaining colour cast that
results from the film base not being perfectly neutral. The final result
is a neutral scan with all the detail from the original film.
If you've over developed or your film is very thin (under exposed,
under developed) then your scans will reflect this, but the Imacon can
get a good workable result from almost any piece of film. You should
expect a result that is significantly flatter and more flexible than
what many typical labs will produce. You will need to apply a contrast/density curve in Photoshop to restore the scan (or desired) contrast. The file is robust enough to cope with this, and should contain all the detail originally captured.
I received my print today and I just wanted to let you know how incredibly happy I am with the outcome.
The print itself is beautifully done, and the small fixes you made to the scan are perfect. The care taken with the packaging also ensured entirely damage-free delivery. This may be Image Science’s standard operating practice, but having sent a few prints out before with less than great results, I want to assure you the care and attention is greatly appreciated.
So, thank you for being such a great service, and you can expect a number of further printing jobs to head your way shortly.