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Author Topic: Best Film For Digital Scan: 120 and 135  (Read 10992 times)
abcdefghi_rstuvwxyz
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« on: November 28, 2008, 01:52:04 AM »
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Kodak recommends Ektar-100 as its best 35mm film for digital scan.
About two years ago, I've scanned some slides and negatives. With the color keys supplied from Polaroid and Kodak, the negatives were easier to get a good result.
I particularly like the Kodak PRN. I have less success on slides, particularly Velvia and Provia. I think it is largely to do with my exposure.

For those of you working for professional grade scanning, any preferred film for digital scan? Please recommend both 120 format and 135 format, if it happen to be different.

In the pre-digital ages, slides film is generally more recommended over negatives for many reasons. Is it still the better choice for digital scanning?
   
 

   
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tgphoto
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« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2008, 11:26:31 AM »
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I've found that for my specific setup (calibrated Epson V750-M Pro, Silverfast Ai Studio 6 with Chrome Space 100 profiles by Joe Holmes), for 120 anyways, the Kodak films scan slightly better Fuji.  Two specific films which I've had very good results with are Portra 400VC and E100GX.  Films I consistently have difficulty with are Fuji Pro 160C and Velvia 50.  Color neg seems to scan better than B/W, and it has been my experience Tri-X scans better than TMax.

One thing I have learned is that it is critical your exposures are spot on, especially slide film.  Even slightly underexposing slide film can make it difficult and in some cases impossible to get a decent scan.  Deep shadow areas seem to be the most problematic.

I'm down on the family farm this weekend for the holiday and have borrowed a friend's Nikon FE2 which I've loaded with Ektar 100, so I'll let you know how that scans soon as I get it developed.

Above all else it's important to experiment with your specific hardware and software.  Neither all scanners nor all scanning software is created equal, and having even a single point in your workflow out of sync can cause major headaches.

Hope this is helpful.
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aeroektar
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« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2008, 02:15:19 PM »
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120 Efke is good if you like slow bw film.

I think there are a few other considerations in addition film choice. A flatter neg is usually going to be easier to scan. I happen to use the DR5 development and I shoot txp at 50 iso, which is a 1 stop pull in that process. On that note, DR5 allows you to shoot bw neg film and the dev process reverses it to a chrome. I've been using it now for atleast 5 years and the I like scans I get with it as a result.

Other than that, scanner and software choice makes a big difference. Used Howtek's are all over the place. I've had good luck with mine once I got a refurb drum.
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Geoff Wittig
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« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2008, 12:25:17 PM »
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Quote from: abcdefghi_rstuvwxyz
Kodak recommends Ektar-100 as its best 35mm film for digital scan.
About two years ago, I've scanned some slides and negatives. With the color keys supplied from Polaroid and Kodak, the negatives were easier to get a good result.
I particularly like the Kodak PRN. I have less success on slides, particularly Velvia and Provia. I think it is largely to do with my exposure.

For those of you working for professional grade scanning, any preferred film for digital scan? Please recommend both 120 format and 135 format, if it happen to be different.

In the pre-digital ages, slides film is generally more recommended over negatives for many reasons. Is it still the better choice for digital scanning?

I gave up on Velvia for scanning and moved to Provia 100F when I was still shooting 35 mm slides, as it was much easier to scan and could handle a wider dynamic range in the scene. Exposure was critical, and exposing for later scanning is a bit different from exposure for a nice looking slide. Traditionally with slides you do everything you can to avoid blowing out the highlights, even if it means letting the shadows go black, because it looks better on a light box. For scanning however you don't want bulletproof shadows lacking all detail, so I tended to expose a bit lighter, hoping I could get some highlight detail back with a blend layer if all else failed.
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Steven Draper
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« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2008, 09:12:31 PM »
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I'm speaking from some 'hear say' rather than experience but it was suggested that negative film generally has a better dynamic range, however transparency film will have much better colour graduations. Can anyone confirm this?

I'm taking a side-step from digital into film and so there is a lot too learn.
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image examples are at my website  stevendraperphotography.com   and Polepics is      "Here"
tgphoto
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« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2008, 07:01:31 AM »
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Quote from: Steven Draper
I'm speaking from some 'hear say' rather than experience but it was suggested that negative film generally has a better dynamic range, however transparency film will have much better colour graduations. Can anyone confirm this?

I'm taking a side-step from digital into film and so there is a lot too learn.

It has been my experience that yes, color negative film has a wider latitude (i.e., dynamic range) than color slide/transparency film.  However, I have not found it to be true that transparency offers better gradations.  What transparency film has typically offered is, depending on the film being used, a slight to significant edge in sharpness.

I don't think of it as an either/or, rather, what film will work best for a particular scene or subject given the overall contrast range.
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Photo_Utopia
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« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2008, 09:03:17 AM »
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Negative film has wider latitude when recording a given scene, but can be harder to scan because of the colour masking and sometimes can be hard to judge colour.
I don't know if reversal film has better tonal transitions, but what it does have is higher D-Max which gives a little more vibrant colour in the darker shades in my experience.
I prefer to scan trans as I like the colour 'richness' although it is harder to get right because of critical exposure although those shadows can look very dynamic if you get it right.
So optical density/dynamic range (that is different to scene latitude/dynamic range) means the difference between the darkest part and lightest part of the actual medium.
Slide film has a wider optical dynamic range than negative film, that is the black (unexposed) part of a slide can be 3.0 density while the darkest part of a negative (brightest recordable highlight) will be 2.0-2.5 density the D-min of a slide is normally around 0.10 correspondingly negs are normally 0.20.
So as you can see slides have a wider optical DR-hope I explained that well.

« Last Edit: December 02, 2008, 09:38:05 AM by Photo_Utopia » Logged
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