Viewmaster Scanner #viewmaster

Jay Kusnetz


Interesting project.
One other link to share is the channel with the results of the scans:


John Clement

Having looked at some of the images, I have a couple of criticisms.  The colors are off in the samples I looked at, and the images are very soft focus.  The images are flattened with not a much range between dark and light.  The original Kodachromes had very high contrast.  The later film stocks were flattened somewhat, but still had reasonable contrast.  He admits that the colors are a bit inaccurate.


Part of the problem was possibly induced by inadequate cropping of the images so the auto exposure keyed on the black surround and reduced the contrast.  Some of the reels look like they were originally faded to magenta and the lighting adjustments couldn’t compensate for the fading.  Kodak digital ROC often does a nearly perfect job in my comparison between color corrected faded reels and earlier Kodachromes of the same subject.  Scanners often have good built in color compensation, and the Epson V500 software works nearly as well as ROC in fixing bad fading.  After using ROC the colors are sometimes a little off which can be partially compensated by adjusting the hue angle slightly.  The problem is mainly with in between shades and being able to distinguish between yellow and green.  Even then the delicate hues are still close.  Sometimes shifting individual ranges of colors can help.  Some of the reissues of the original Kodachromes on other stock may have color shifts due to the different material, so the restored color may not match the Kodachromes.  I think this happened with the Golden Book Favorites restoration as it didn’t well match the later Kodachrome scan.


For comparison I have posted Kodachrome versions on YouTube after the original color compensated versions.  Examples are Pogo and Wolfman so you can see how well colors can be fixed.


The best way to restore Kodachrome is to scan with 16 bit color before adjustments and only reduce to 8 bit for the final version.  A camera that can output a 16 bit color raw image would also be reasonable.  As to scanning the original scanner software often saturates on bright areas which kills delicate detail.  ViewScan works very well and can do two pass exposures which help with very dense slides.


His technology is very impressive, and the YouTube videos are a reasonable attempt to simulate the old VM experience.  My restorations are aimed at the 3D story telling.  That is purely personal preference.  There is also a web site with high resolution, beautifully color corrected, VM images but in 2D.  View-Master World ( He put the videos onto YouTube at full 4k SBS resolution.  Movie Edit Pro will not output full 4k SBS MP4 videos, so I resorted to 4k anamorphic which makes it 2k horizontal resolution after expansion.  My earliest videos are only 2k anamorphic.  His videos work well with Google cardboard or other similar virtual reality viewers, as well as the ROKIT 3D phone, while mine are supported natively by some 3D TVs and the Commander tablet.  The commander support is fuzzy.