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I am scanning cyanotypes.

My monitor is an Asus PB338, set to sRGB. The Apple monitor calibration system looks reasonable with the sRGB settings.

My scanner is an Epson V800.

I have my choice of two scanner drivers: Silverfast 8 and Vuescan.

I have an IT8 target from Silverfast, so I have an ICC file for the scanner written by Silverfast. (Since Silverfast supplies the target data as .cxf rather than .it8, I haven't yet managed to do the corresponding calibration with Vuescan. If I claim that the cxf file is an it8 file, the resulting icc profile turns everything gray).

Nothing I do renders a produces a blue tone range that resembles the original paper image very well (unless I go into PS and start pulling curves). My goal here is to deliver an JPG containing a faithful representation of the cyanotype.

I am hoping that someone can suggest a set of settings or procedures that will do better.

To be clear on what I've tried:

  • Silverfast after calibration. Close, but not quite.
  • Vuescan consuming the ICC file written by Silverfast. This produces overly saturated images. Pretty, but unaccurate.
  • Vuescan profiling the Silverfast target (using the .cxf file renamed to .it8). This produces gray images.
  • Vuescan left alone.
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Silverfast also supplies the target reference files in txt formatwhich I think vuescan can use; or those files might be in the right format for renaming(?).

But there is also the possibility that the scanner's light source is somewhat incomplete and is unable to generate the correct blue, or the scanner's sensor is unable to detect it. Calibration only minimizes errors as much as possible, it cannot correct for (eliminate) shortcomings of the device.

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