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I've just started scanning my families negatives. When I get the scan, it's a bit brighter than the print that was made that I can compare it to, but the print has less details in the dark areas.

Alas, if I bring down the exposure in post, I get an image more in line with the print, but instead those before mentioned shadows swallow some detail. Is there a right way do do it. Which is the "true" image?

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  • "True image" is very abstract. You can create two or three scans and then combine them in HDR. Jun 9 at 16:56
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Once you have a scan that contains detail in all parts of the dynamic range, you can tweak it in post processing. Lowering overall exposure is only one option. You can brighten or darken the dark and bright regions separately.

How to do this exactly would depend on your software.

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