Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: [1]   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: Switchover to digital darkroom  (Read 2363 times)
Walt
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1


« on: February 06, 2009, 11:25:10 PM »
ReplyReply

Hello, fellow artists.

Because of established success with the 4x5 film format, I desire to continue to use a large format 4X5 view camera and transparency film, sometimes making up to 3 horizontal overlapping exposures for panoramic prints. But I have NO knowledge or experience in scanning, editing, or digitally printing. This is going to be ALL uncharted territory for me. I beg your indulgences to spare a few minutes of your time to help this fledgling digital darkroom novice.  

From what reading I have been doing, it appears that the Epson V750 scanner, with its wet mounting capabilities will be the scanner I will want to use. I don’t want the hassle or expense of sending chromes out across the miles for drum scanning. I see Epson makes a couple of printers which can print from 24 inch roll paper, so that will more than suffice for my needs, enabling me to make an occasional 24 X 30 rectangular print. The real questions I have concern the computer, monitor and software. Scanning and stitching three 4x5 transparencies, I imagine, will take up an enormous amount of memory. My Dell is almost 5 years old now and I guess it’s not a computer I will want to use for this purpose.

So, do you folks have some ideas for me about 1) A PC or Mac. 2) an affordable wide-screen monitor 3) The best software programs and 4) any additional hardware or software components to make this process more complete --- such high speed cables and media to archive and store finished, edited image files. Also, would B&H still be the best place to purchase these tools? On the site Luminous Landscape, I also saw a 6-hour video entitled “From Camera to Print.” Is this good material/ presentation, helpful to what I am about to do?  Oh, and also, I will be mounting and framing pieces. What is a good source for these products? I also don’t want to use glass. Is there an acrylic now that has similar characteristics to “Image Perfect” glass?

Lots of questions, I know. Yet, I know where I want to go and achieve. Thanks in advance for your time and help. I hope my post was clear enough for any and all to share your most anticipated replies. I look forward to hearing back from you!    

Cheers,

Walt Puciata
Logged
ErikKaffehr
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 7251


WWW
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2009, 12:22:55 AM »
ReplyReply

Hi!

My two cents:

1) The Epson is probably a good proposal
2) Silverfast is known to be a good program, I had an early version on PC and I positively hated it. Newer versions on Mac may work better. I used Vuescan and MF film.
3) In my experience Windows sucks and MacOS X rocks, but your mileage may wary.
- Photoshop CS4 is 64 bit on 64 bit Windows but 32-bits on MacOS X
- Mac OS X has been 64 bit enabled long time
- 64 bit OS means that you can utilize more than three GByte memory. There is a 64 bit version of Windows but your mileage on that platform may vary
- If you choose Mac, Mac Pro is the way to go
4) I use Autopano Pro for stitching using Smart Blend option
5) You may consider Photokit Sharpener toolkit, it may be helpful
6) Get a decent monitor but most important a decent calibrator
- Good monitors don't use TN panels, good screens use IPS, MVA etc. Sorry, this is important)
- If panel type is not given it is usually TN
- LED illuminated displays are probably to be preferred
- High quality displays whith hardware calibration are around 2000 USD (and up)
- Myself using an iMac 24" and a ColorMunki Photo spectro. The iMac is to bright, which can cause yo to make your prints to dark.

Regarding the "From Camera To Print" video I think it is excellent, like everything coming from the gentlemen Reichmann and Schewe.

Best regards
Erik Kaffehr


Quote from: Walt
Hello, fellow artists.

Because of established success with the 4x5 film format, I desire to continue to use a large format 4X5 view camera and transparency film, sometimes making up to 3 horizontal overlapping exposures for panoramic prints. But I have NO knowledge or experience in scanning, editing, or digitally printing. This is going to be ALL uncharted territory for me. I beg your indulgences to spare a few minutes of your time to help this fledgling digital darkroom novice.  

From what reading I have been doing, it appears that the Epson V750 scanner, with its wet mounting capabilities will be the scanner I will want to use. I don’t want the hassle or expense of sending chromes out across the miles for drum scanning. I see Epson makes a couple of printers which can print from 24 inch roll paper, so that will more than suffice for my needs, enabling me to make an occasional 24 X 30 rectangular print. The real questions I have concern the computer, monitor and software. Scanning and stitching three 4x5 transparencies, I imagine, will take up an enormous amount of memory. My Dell is almost 5 years old now and I guess it’s not a computer I will want to use for this purpose.

So, do you folks have some ideas for me about 1) A PC or Mac. 2) an affordable wide-screen monitor 3) The best software programs and 4) any additional hardware or software components to make this process more complete --- such high speed cables and media to archive and store finished, edited image files. Also, would B&H still be the best place to purchase these tools? On the site Luminous Landscape, I also saw a 6-hour video entitled “From Camera to Print.” Is this good material/ presentation, helpful to what I am about to do?  Oh, and also, I will be mounting and framing pieces. What is a good source for these products? I also don’t want to use glass. Is there an acrylic now that has similar characteristics to “Image Perfect” glass?

Lots of questions, I know. Yet, I know where I want to go and achieve. Thanks in advance for your time and help. I hope my post was clear enough for any and all to share your most anticipated replies. I look forward to hearing back from you!    

Cheers,

Walt Puciata
Logged

Farmer
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1624


WWW
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2009, 12:40:40 AM »
ReplyReply

Mac or PC will, for the most part, come down to personal preference.  Those who like one or the other are not wrong, not matter how much the other camp may say otherwise :-)

You're using a PC, so you about that - go and try a Mac and see what you think - be open minded in both directions.  I'm a PC guy, but these days I always suggest people try a Mac and then decide what suits them the best, because both are excellent tools.

If you want to print 24x30 then bear in mind mounting a borderless print (since 24" is the widest on your propose 24" printer) is obviously not as easy if you're matting it and such.  You may want to consider a 44" printer for more flexibility, although cost will of course factor into it.

Photoshop or Lightroom would be useful tools and both are available from Adobe for either PC or Mac and on 30 day free trial.  They're not the same and many digital photographers use both, even if one is more than the other.

The Epsons scanner is very good and probably you're not going to get anything to handle that size that's better for anything like the budget.  Whether you need wet mount or not will be up to you of course but the 750 gives you the option.

PTGui is excellent, although Photoshop can also deliver good results as well (avoiding another piece of software).  PTGui is also available for trial.  Autopano mentioned by Erik gets wonderful reviews, but I've not used it to comment directly.

Silverfast isn't substantially different to use on PC or Mac in my experience, but I think you still get a free, light copy with the V750 so you can take a look at it and decide if the full version is going to be worthwhile or not.  Certainly having proper targets to help with colour accuracy is very worthwhile and something you don't get with the basic scanner driver/software.

There's no real issue with cables for speed and the like - it's all either USB or eSATA or Firewire basically - don't worry about that.  For archival storage, I personally recommend RAID for availability and then local and offsite copies for safety (ie on external drives).  There's more detail to discuss, but you need to look at an overall plan before sweating the details.

For computer gear, I wouldn't be looking at B&H (regardless of the fact I live in Australia :-) but rather a local computer supplier (whether Mac or PC) in order to get ongoing local support.
Logged

ErikKaffehr
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 7251


WWW
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2009, 01:16:58 AM »
ReplyReply

Hi,

I'd agree with "Farmer" on most points. One issue I'd consider is that if you stitch hi res scans from 4x5" those files will be big, for that reason I would suggest to get a computer and OS supporting much memory.

Best regards
Erik


Quote from: Farmer
Mac or PC will, for the most part, come down to personal preference.  Those who like one or the other are not wrong, not matter how much the other camp may say otherwise :-)

You're using a PC, so you about that - go and try a Mac and see what you think - be open minded in both directions.  I'm a PC guy, but these days I always suggest people try a Mac and then decide what suits them the best, because both are excellent tools.

If you want to print 24x30 then bear in mind mounting a borderless print (since 24" is the widest on your propose 24" printer) is obviously not as easy if you're matting it and such.  You may want to consider a 44" printer for more flexibility, although cost will of course factor into it.

Photoshop or Lightroom would be useful tools and both are available from Adobe for either PC or Mac and on 30 day free trial.  They're not the same and many digital photographers use both, even if one is more than the other.

The Epsons scanner is very good and probably you're not going to get anything to handle that size that's better for anything like the budget.  Whether you need wet mount or not will be up to you of course but the 750 gives you the option.

PTGui is excellent, although Photoshop can also deliver good results as well (avoiding another piece of software).  PTGui is also available for trial.  Autopano mentioned by Erik gets wonderful reviews, but I've not used it to comment directly.

Silverfast isn't substantially different to use on PC or Mac in my experience, but I think you still get a free, light copy with the V750 so you can take a look at it and decide if the full version is going to be worthwhile or not.  Certainly having proper targets to help with colour accuracy is very worthwhile and something you don't get with the basic scanner driver/software.

There's no real issue with cables for speed and the like - it's all either USB or eSATA or Firewire basically - don't worry about that.  For archival storage, I personally recommend RAID for availability and then local and offsite copies for safety (ie on external drives).  There's more detail to discuss, but you need to look at an overall plan before sweating the details.

For computer gear, I wouldn't be looking at B&H (regardless of the fact I live in Australia :-) but rather a local computer supplier (whether Mac or PC) in order to get ongoing local support.
Logged

Farmer
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1624


WWW
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2009, 02:06:46 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: ErikKaffehr
I'd agree with "Farmer" on most points. One issue I'd consider is that if you stitch hi res scans from 4x5" those files will be big, for that reason I would suggest to get a computer and OS supporting much memory.

Yes, that's a good point.  Vista 64 (or Windows 7 coming) and OS X are all 64 bit and if you have a 64 bit app it's even better, since the app itself can use more RAM, but even the underyling OS having access provides some benefit.  It's worth spending money on at least 8GB for what you're doing, really.
Logged

Farkled
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 97


« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2009, 06:59:08 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: Walt
Hello, fellow artists.

Because of established success with the 4x5 film format, I desire to continue to use a large format 4X5 view camera and transparency film, sometimes making up to 3 horizontal overlapping exposures for panoramic prints. But I have NO knowledge or experience in scanning, editing, or digitally printing. This is going to be ALL uncharted territory for me. I beg your indulgences to spare a few minutes of your time to help this fledgling digital darkroom novice.  

From what reading I have been doing, it appears that the Epson V750 scanner, with its wet mounting capabilities will be the scanner I will want to use. I don’t want the hassle or expense of sending chromes out across the miles for drum scanning. I see Epson makes a couple of printers which can print from 24 inch roll paper, so that will more than suffice for my needs, enabling me to make an occasional 24 X 30 rectangular print. The real questions I have concern the computer, monitor and software. Scanning and stitching three 4x5 transparencies, I imagine, will take up an enormous amount of memory. My Dell is almost 5 years old now and I guess it’s not a computer I will want to use for this purpose.

So, do you folks have some ideas for me about 1) A PC or Mac. 2) an affordable wide-screen monitor 3) The best software programs and 4) any additional hardware or software components to make this process more complete --- such high speed cables and media to archive and store finished, edited image files. Also, would B&H still be the best place to purchase these tools? On the site Luminous Landscape, I also saw a 6-hour video entitled “From Camera to Print.” Is this good material/ presentation, helpful to what I am about to do?  Oh, and also, I will be mounting and framing pieces. What is a good source for these products? I also don’t want to use glass. Is there an acrylic now that has similar characteristics to “Image Perfect” glass?

Lots of questions, I know. Yet, I know where I want to go and achieve. Thanks in advance for your time and help. I hope my post was clear enough for any and all to share your most anticipated replies. I look forward to hearing back from you!    

Cheers,

Walt Puciata

You have already gotten excellent advice.  I'll add the following:

Mac vs PC is about like the Ford vs Chevy argument.  They both get the job done.
I just bought a Dell Quadcore with 6 GB RAM for $700 US with Vista 64 (prices are probably going down)
V750 is an excellent choice.  Silverfast is good for intensive scans of 1 image.  The Epson driver does better on multiples.
Just because it is the gold standard and nothing does any better you will want Photoshop.
I finally broke down and bought Lightroom.  If you do any volume, it is a very effective workflow solution and a decent DAM app.
Get the video tutorials from this site.  They are very helpful.
You will want a calibrator for your screen - and maybe printer.
You may soon want a good noise reduction program, but wait until you have the problem.

Stop there and absorb what you have and learn to use it before buying more.  Then you will know more about the limitations of the specific tools and whether or not you need more.  Just to learn these two apps (PS & LR) effectively will probably take about 6 months, maybe more.

JMO & YMMV
Logged
Pages: [1]   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad