Thank you for your reply. I think this *finally* explains what I was doing wrong - and why I kept receiving super dark results, even after applying the ICC profile I created in SilverFast. The following is a long post. And I suspect you are based in Germany - I am in the North East, USA. So, please take your time to read and respond accordingly.
So, let me backtrack. Yes, I am scanning only reflective material. No transparencies.
Yes - Photographic prints (mostly color, some B&W)
--> Some as large as 8x10 (essentially maximizing the full scan area of the v850)
- CD-ROM & DVD optical discs (both label and data side; enough resolution to make legible mastering ring codes which are printed very small)
- Inserts, manuals, and other paper ephemera documentation
- Box Art
--> Historical and/or obscure software box art, cases, sleeves, etc.
- Original Newspaper Articles
- Vinyl single '45s' (7-inch) records
According to resolution tests done for the v850, the effective resolution for the unit maxes out around 2600DPI when using SilverFast Ai Studio. In this context, I had planned to safely scan everything at either 800DPI (for paper material) or 2400DPI (for optical discs and box art).
Yes, it is much too high for most average prints, and indeed, most average reflective material. ISO and most other cultural institutions (US Library of Congress, NARA, etc) have indicated 600DPI for most smaller format prints and paper materials. My goal it to exceed this standard as an attempt at 'future proofing' the scans. In short, yes, not everything will be sampled at 2400. Some will be sampled at 800 or 1200 depending on what they are. Newspapers, for example, won't benefit much from beyond certain sampling rates, as I am sure you know.
I am also scanning at 48-bit (or what LSI designates as 48-bit color HDR RAW) in which some people might find to be overkill or pointless. But, again, this is my attempt at future-proofing the scans to present the most detail possible with the hardware and software I have in a non-destructive way.
"Next, if LSI says your settings for the auto-IT8-calibration run are irrelevant that must be correct. You need not worry about these. SF is using its internal settings for the calibration run. This is how I understand their answer."
Thank you. But I am not sure if this answers my question. Let's say I have the following presets in SilverFast set:
My Preset Values:
48 Bit HDR RAW
No input profile
I click IT8 Auto Calibrate button and then SilverFast software automatically reverts my settings to the following:
SilverFast Preset Values:
48 -> 24 bit
No input profile
Once SilverFast reverts to these new settings, it scans the target and waits for my input to confirm the process to begin calibration. However, I have the option to REVERT the settings it designated, and change them back to my settings - the ones I designated in 'My preset values' above.
Put bluntly, is this right / correct that I change it back to my settings? Or, is the right way to profile in SilverFast using their Advanced Targets, to accept what SilverFast changes the values to?
From what I understand, one is supposed to profile a scanner according to the values one will be scanning actual material at afterwards. From what I understand, if I am going to be scanning at 'My preset values', shouldn't I profile the scanner at those same values?
LSI says it does not matter. But then why does SilverFast revert the settings to much smaller values, e.g. '24-bit, 300DPI' for the calibration process?
Which is the right option?
I do not know if LSI support understood my question entirely. Again, they are always vague in their responses and do not explain the 'why', 'how', or elaborate in much detail. If my description of what SilverFast does during this process is not clear, I can upload a video recording and post it here. Let me know, and I'll be happy to do so.
"However, your workflow is flawed, if you open the HDR-scans in PhotoShop and use the ICC-profile created by SF. This profile is meant to be used for gamma-corrected images, as e.g. in SF HDR. This is the reason why the images in PhotoShop are very dark and the histogram is shifted to the left."
Thank you, this makes much more sense now that you pointed it out. To answer your question: Unfortunately, I purchased the Archive Suite without realizing the workflow that it implies, e.g. to use HDR Studio, too.
Workflow: So, I would scan to 48-bit HDR RAW output in SilverFast, and then open that file in SF HDR Studio > Apply 2.2 Gamma value > Save?
What should the workflow look like?
I do not have any experience using Argyll and would need help getting started with it. Perhaps you can assist? I have tried using CoCa, but it will not accept LSI's Advanced Targets for some reason.
As an aside, I spoke with Wolf Faust recently through email (I also have some reflective targets from him, the older ones for ISO 12641-1) and he informed me that the newer standard (LSI's 'Advanced Targets') have colors which, in his words, are "impossible to produce". He claims it is a not a good standard. And while I trust what he is saying, this raises an issue:
If I want to use the Advanced Target from LSI, CoCa doesn't recognize and presents with the following error,
"RGB values cannot be extracted. And to check the target type selection is correct."
I do not know if this is because CoCa can not read CxF data files (LSI only provides CxF formats for their Advanced Targets, which is dumb in my opinion), or for some reason it simply will not recognize the Advanced Target layout, even though it offers the option to select the target type for, 'LaserSoft Advanced 864 Patch'. I spoke with Dave Hamrick (Ed Hamrick's son) of VueScan software recently. And he informed me, that should I want to switch to VueScan instead, VueScan does not accept .CxF data file format.
I have *also* spoke with BabelColor for use of their PatchTool to convert the CxF to a TXT in hopes of importing into CoCa. But it still did not work and presented with the error I mentioned above. Ideally, I want to use the LSI Advanced Target for a wider color gamut. But, I am not sure if I am chasing such minute detail that it doesn't matter in this case... when comparing ISO 12641-1 vs ISO 12641-2.
Please let me know your thoughts and many thanks!
Edit: I am attaching a video recording of SF HDR Studio. When you open an HDR RAW file from SilverFast Ai Studio in SF HDR Studio, from what I understand you are saying that: One is supposed to set the "expected gamma value from the HDR/HDRi files" (which is 1.0 since SF produced it as a linear TIFF) and then set the actual Gamma Gradation to 2.20 and then - depending on if I apply the ICC in HDR Studio or not - 'Process the file' > Save?
But then can I take that saved file from HDR Studio and further edit/adjust Levels, etc., in Photoshop and maintain the adjusted 2.2 gamma value?
In other words, can my workflow be SF Studio Ai > SF HDR Studio > PS for further post-processing?