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Author Topic: Shooting/scanning MF Film  (Read 43918 times)
ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #20 on: November 04, 2009, 12:02:48 AM »
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Hi,

My experience is from scanning transparencies using CCD based film scanners, mostly Velvia and Provia. The way I worked was that I shot film, developed at a pro lab. Sorted the trannies on lightable while still in protective sheets. Scanned the keepers and mounted behind GP-slide mounts. To reduce dust I bought an electrostatic air cleaner essentially supplying clean air to the work area. Keeping the slide holder clean I had little issues with dust and IR-based cleaning worked well for me.

The scanner I used was a Minolta Dimage Scan Multi Pro, at about 3000 USD (it's no longer made), Nikon Coolscan 9000 may be a good alternative that may still be around. I made a couple of large (70x100 cm) enlargements and they are good enough to impress professionals. The main issue is DMAX, especially with Velvia. What I have found that scanning 67 Velvia gives about the same resolution as 24.5 MP DSLR, but the DSLR gives much better image quality. It takes sharpening better, it has many time the density range and is easier to work with.

One observation I may have made is that with my DSLRs bookeh may be an issue. Simply, the lenses I have are pretty sharp but have not really good (actually awful) bokeh. From the 67 camera I have made a print which is not really sharp because of small depth of field, but the main subject has excellent sharpness and the sharpness rolls away very smoothly so that the DOF limitation is hardly noticed.

This is one of the images I printed in 70x100 cm: http://83.177.178.241/ekr/images/ASPLux.tif (This is a very big TIFF, download and open in Photoshop, please!). This image is probably the one I have sent to the lab, so it's sharpened for output.

The article below sums up some recent tests I have made:

http://83.177.178.241/ekr/index.php/photoa...-sony-alpha-900

Best regards
Erik


Quote from: Pedro Kok
Film scanning abides to the "affordable, fast, good quality: pick two" rule. These variables have particularities of their own, such as what you and I consider affordable may differ greatly. Flatbed film scanning is indeed affordable, and can lead to pretty good results for web and small printing. The Epson V700 and V750 scanners are a good bang for the buck, as they offer quality scans for around $600. I've seen great images scanned with the V700 by Portuguese landscape photographer Nană Sousa Dias.

The main problem with film scanning is speed. Not primarily that of the scanner, but of the whole workflow. If all cleanliness aspects of the film are followed – no fingerprints, marks, dust – which is something that even the most tidy laboratory worker has problems, it can take anywhere from thirty minutes to two hours to get a decent, well processed scan good for printing. Remember that no scanner can remove dust and scratches from silver-halide black and white negatives, so spotting and retouching is inevitable. Multiply all that work by twelve exposures, and suddenly you find yourself spending more time in front of the computer than outside taking pictures.

Considering that you want to develop in-house, add up all the effort, time and expenses of chemical mixing, storage, and darkroom maintenance. If you shoot sparingly, you might want to gather a couple dozens of rolls to develop all at once, and thus use fresh chemicals rather than keeping them stored for extended periods of time. In the end, it might be actually faster to have them processed externally than doing it at home. Of course, if the personal involvement aspect is of great importance, none of this will matter.

If you have a complete darkroom, with development and enlarging equipment, I suggest sticking with contact prints and small enlargements. If a picture deserves a large print, send it out for drum-scanning. Though you pay the steep price, the quality is worth it and the hassle is minimum. If you don't have an enlarger, the Epson scanners might be a good starting point, though drum-scanning may be needed for large prints.

In the end, when you think it'll take a couple of minutes and some effort to scan film, you actually find out you've spent the last two hours trying to get it right, you've neglected your spouse or family member's cry for attention, the magic hour lights are long gone and all you do is curse Adobe. I like going through that some, but not all, times.

Pedro
« Last Edit: November 04, 2009, 01:04:00 AM by ErikKaffehr » Logged

tikal
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« Reply #21 on: March 02, 2012, 09:44:45 PM »
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Funny I almost did the exact same thing as you said, sold my digital camera, but I went ahead and got a Hy6 MF camera. Few things you should be aware of:
I'm sure Jobo's are great.. There are a few different models, CPA2, CPE2 and CPP2 are the newest, but only the CPP2 has a digital display and can cool the water bath (you can use ice otherwise but that kind of defeats the purpose of having a jobo in my mind). and They are like 2500$ if you're lucky to find one. They are discontinued btw, so no warranty no repairs etc. I'd be careful about that.
As far as scanning goes, it would be great to have a nikon Coolscan 9000, also discontinued, so no repair no warranty etc. And they are like 4000$ on the auction site. So be careful with those.
Depending on the quality you want, I find it kind of pointless to shoot MF and then scan with a V750, even though the quality is great from what I hear, it kind of takes away from the ultimate quality of MF and Film.. I mean thats some/most of us shoot MF.
Lastly, Ektachrome just took a bullet so we are really getting low on film options, I noticed you only want to stick with b&w which makes it easier on you, but after doing some tests with a whole bunch of colour films I finally chose Ektachrome and now it's discontinued.. so my freezer is going to be full for a while.. So far it's been great shooting film, I have no digital camera so I've been using a spot meter and the zone system to get my exposures right and it's been enlightening. The only thing I wasn't use to is shooting 12 photos and having to swap films. At least with the hasselblaad you wont be paying 2000$ per film back so you can probably get a few and have them pre-loaded. But no autofocus will probably be interesting for you. Before you spend all that money I STRONGLY suggest testing it out first, you might hate it. I can't say I regret the switch BUT with ektachrome gone, no scanner (in the middle of trying to get a drum scanner), and with a new fear of more films being killed I might of maybe kept a digital around as I actually shoot for model agencies and the like and am trying to get more business but I might have shot myself in the foot due to turnaround times and nothing to show the client right away. No polaroids for the Hy6! Smiley Anyway thats my two sense.. Definitely test first you might hate it.
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carloalberto
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« Reply #22 on: March 09, 2012, 11:04:49 PM »
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There's a new 120 dedicated film scanner made by Plustek. It was shown a few days ago at CEBIT. Looks good. Waiting for more info
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EricWHiss
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« Reply #23 on: March 22, 2012, 12:34:15 AM »
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I'm probably out in left field but I've been 'scanning' my MF negatives using a CF 528 multishot digital back fit to my rollei 6008AF body.  I was using the bowens illumitran to light the negs, but now have a copy stand with a lighted base.   I think this is getting me fantastic results for black and white images particularly in multishot or microstep mode.   The prints I make with the captured file are better than I can do in the darkroom with paper from the same neg.    I have been wondering what or if I am missing by not scanning on drum at least for black and white -  the multishot seems to get every detail and grain and I can have a 10800x8080 file for a 6x45 neg.     I do understand the color issue - hard to replicate what some scanner software does to get the colors of particular films right.  Definitely these old MS backs are cheaper than the drum scanners and much more versatile.
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Rob C
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« Reply #24 on: March 22, 2012, 02:55:36 PM »
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Closest I've come to that is using my D700 and a 2.8/105 Micro Nikkor to copy 120 Ektachrome and Velvia on a Kodak lightbox.

Though it provided the only 'free' way of turning those larger trannies into files, at the end of the day, it meant another optical path and the probable errors of focussing and aligning two planes parallel enough if you don't have a proper copy stand, which I don't. And, of course, a small digital capture.

I must say, though I have not tried this with negative film, it could be a way to get back to the pleasures of using a 500 Series again, the main pleasure of that being the square format.

Rob C
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SecondFocus
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« Reply #25 on: March 26, 2012, 10:12:18 PM »
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Rob...

Just looked through your website..... WOW!

Ian

Closest I've come to that is using my D700 and a 2.8/105 Micro Nikkor to copy 120 Ektachrome and Velvia on a Kodak lightbox.

Though it provided the only 'free' way of turning those larger trannies into files, at the end of the day, it meant another optical path and the probable errors of focussing and aligning two planes parallel enough if you don't have a proper copy stand, which I don't. And, of course, a small digital capture.

I must say, though I have not tried this with negative film, it could be a way to get back to the pleasures of using a 500 Series again, the main pleasure of that being the square format.

Rob C
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Ian L. Sitren
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« Reply #26 on: April 20, 2012, 09:09:00 PM »
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I do hi end drum scans under oil daily for fine art photographers to include 11 X 14 trannies and you simply cannot imagine the almost magical difference it makes.  I even just finished today a series of 35 mm scans printed at 30 X 20 in in BW, just amazing fine art prints.  I first tried do digital capture by the fine Plustek scanner but not nearly the quality I needed.   Second best is WAY second.
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Simon DeSantis
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« Reply #27 on: April 23, 2012, 01:54:59 PM »
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I develop my own b&w negatives and have a darkroom set up in my bathroom. I scan with an Epson v500 Perfection flatbed.

The improved negative holder from Better Scanning is a must. It makes loading the film much faster and I get less schmutz on the film in the process. The anti-newton ring glass helps hold the negative flat (though you need to reverse it horizontally after scanning) and you can even tape the negative to it for added flatness though I don't bother. The supplied holder from Epson is awful. Epson's software is pretty basic but it works. Make sure to turn Digital ICE off when scanning b&w negatives as it produces awful posterization for some reason.

As others have said be prepared to wait. Each negative needs a few seconds of cleaning, then it needs to be loaded into the holder. After that you do a preview scan (which takes maybe 60 seconds) and adjust the scanned areas. Then you do a full resolution scan which takes longer the higher DPI you ask for. Making 35mp scans of my 67 negatives takes roughly 5 minutes per frame in batches of two. Figure at least an hour to scan a roll plus time to go back and rescan something with a giant cat hair* on it that you missed plus touch up time on the computer.

*my two cats love to keep my company at the computer so there's added time to clean up my working area when I am scanning.
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