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Author Topic: Printing from Slides?  (Read 2932 times)
JohnHeerema
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« Reply #20 on: June 30, 2011, 06:03:52 PM »
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Hmmm ... I've only only been able to get a satisfactory 24" x 36" print from a 35mm slide by escalating to a drum scan. In general though, my little Nikon 5000 scanner and workflow lets me print to at least the size that I used to be able to go with in the darkroom.

The Nikon 5000, like most line CCD scanners, has limited dynamic range - not such a problem for negatives, but there can be shadow detail in Kodachrome that is hard to extract without making two scans - one for shadows, and one for highlights. And the 4000 dpi resolution is less than the  spatial resolution of some film emulsions, leading to the potential for grain aliasing. But as a general tool for converting years of film to a usable digital form, I've been fairly happy with it.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #21 on: June 30, 2011, 06:28:07 PM »
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It all depends on what your standards are, I guess.  Grin

Optimizing color balance, sharpening that's perfect for the specific image, digging the last pixel of detail out of the shadows, smoothing film grain without mushing the fine details.... doing it well takes a bit of time. Software plug-ins are great for quickly turning out lots and lots of "good enough". IMHO it takes lots of tweaking and TLC to eeke out that last couple percent of quality from a really good image and make it worthy of a 20 x 30" or larger print.

In my experience it's pretty simple to make a really good 13 x 19" print from a 35 mm scan. It's much, much harder to make a 24 x 36" that doesn't call more attention to its technical flaws than to the image itself.

Yes of course it takes time to do a good job, and yes, there is frequent need for localized tweaking to insure best results. The scanning software and other plugins I use help all those processes enormously. I wouldn't denigrate them to a status of "good enough". They are professional tools of the trade. I don't make 24*36 inch prints, but a cropped scan blown up to 13*19 poses the same issues. The time needed per image depends very much on what you need to get out of the image and how the original media "starts life" on its way to being digitized. Many images need not much time, some need a lot. As usual, it depends.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
Mark D Segal
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« Reply #22 on: June 30, 2011, 06:38:54 PM »
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Ok, I should have said something like 'native analog-to-digital signal encoding" rather than "untreated data". The bottom line is that an analog to digital conversion takes place at the very beginning just as it does in a digital camera, a colorspace gets assigned which, even if RGB or CMYK encoded, must correlate with assigned colorimetric values (there is no a priori knowledge of true colorimetric scene values), sometimes by default or sometimes by user-preferred choice, but it is nevertheless the starting point for any subsequent digital data manipulation via scanner software or other image editing software. In my case I choose ACR or Lightroom.

I think we may be getting bogged down in technicalities here. At the end of the day, the end-user has to arrive at a color and tone corrected scan which is ideally assigned a conventional working colorspace like sRGB, aRGB, prophotoRGB,etc. I choose do to this in a post-scan mode of operation while many choose to do it at the moment of initial scan. I'm not suggesting one method is categorically better than the other. I am suggesting that my approach has a certain workflow efficiency for me since I'm skilled in PS/ACR and Lightroom, but not in Vuescan editing tools, Silverfast editing tools, etc., etc.  I offered this "RAW scan"  suggestion because I suspect there are other LULA forum readers out there just like me, ie. well versed in PS and/or Lightroom, not so much with Silverfast, Vuescan, EpsonScan, and so forth.. Whatever editing tool you use to fine tune the scanned image and whether you do it at moment of capture or later on, you are going to need to know your image editing tools pretty well to achieve an excellent end result.

kind regards,
Mark



One can perform an unmanaged scan at the scan stage, then when opening it in Photoshop assign the scanner profile and convert to the colour space. Or one may set the scanner profile and the colour space at the scan stage. Both approaches open in Photoshop looking the same, at least from SilverFast with which I've tested this. So you're right - not only does it not make much difference - done consistently it should make no difference.

Re your last sentence - I agree. There are overlapping tools between all these applications. Having fiddled with all of them quite enough by now I have a pretty clear idea of what I prefer to do where. They each have their relative strengths.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
Mark D Segal
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« Reply #23 on: June 30, 2011, 06:51:43 PM »
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Hmmm ... I've only only been able to get a satisfactory 24" x 36" print from a 35mm slide by escalating to a drum scan. In general though, my little Nikon 5000 scanner and workflow lets me print to at least the size that I used to be able to go with in the darkroom.

The Nikon 5000, like most line CCD scanners, has limited dynamic range - not such a problem for negatives, but there can be shadow detail in Kodachrome that is hard to extract without making two scans - one for shadows, and one for highlights. And the 4000 dpi resolution is less than the  spatial resolution of some film emulsions, leading to the potential for grain aliasing. But as a general tool for converting years of film to a usable digital form, I've been fairly happy with it.


For a desktop scanner the Nikon 5000 is as good as it gets in it class in all respects. I'd put the Minolta Scan Elite 5400 - either I or II in the same ballpark, though version I is considerably slower. Problem is, all these models are discontinued and they are attracting incredible scarcity value in the used equipment markets. In the currently available line-up, the Plustek 7600i is a decent solution for dedicated 35mm scanning, especially considering the price, but offers no automation. The Epson V750 shows slightly less resolution on 35mm media, but offers the possibility of batch scanning with SilverFast. It's performance with medium format (6*6 and up) media is respectable, and these too can be batch scanned. I think the choice of a scanner depends very much on the required scanning dimensions and one's expectations or requirements for quality of detail. Regardless of how adept one becomes managing the software, it all starts with what the scanner is capable of delivering.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #24 on: June 30, 2011, 10:14:19 PM »
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Mike, what size do you intend to print to? What proportion of them is 35mm and what medium format? Once I know this, I can provide some advice.

I'd say 90% are 35mm slides.  Once I started shooting with Hasselblad I was into it professionally and shot mostly portraits, commercial and weddings - didn't have much time for personal work back then.  I'd like to go to 16x24" if possible.

Lots of great info here and I'll have to sit down and go through it more carefully. I'll also have to take a look at the slides to see just how many I want scanned.  I may be better off just to send them out to be done.
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Sven W
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« Reply #25 on: July 01, 2011, 10:53:45 AM »
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No one here seems to remember the scanner which beats them all: The Imacon/Hasselblad Flextight.
With a Dmax for 4.6-4.9 it takes out all shadow detail from old Kodachrome's.
I actually scanned some last week, photographed when hitchhiking cross Canada in -77. (Those where the days) Cheesy
Of course these scanners have a totally different price tag.

/Sven
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JohnHeerema
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« Reply #26 on: July 01, 2011, 12:19:28 PM »
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Other than the astronomical price, the big problem with the Imacon is that it has no auto-feed, making it pretty much useless for scanning a large collection of film.

Still though, I'd love to find one, for those slides that are worth the effort.

As DSLRs start to approach the resolution of a dedicated scanner, I wonder if the macro-lens approach will take over from scanners? Nikon used to make film and slide holders for their bellows macro lenses. Before purchasing the Nikon 5000 scanner, I considered going that route. It still involves a bit more personal time than a slide scanner with auto-feed, and you need a solution for reversing the negative mask on negative film, but as Mark Segal has pointed out, film scanners are becoming a scarce commodity. I'm curious whether it would be better for extracting shadow detail from Kodachrome - possibly by taking the HDR approach with multiple exposures of the slide?
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #27 on: July 01, 2011, 12:34:53 PM »
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I'd say 90% are 35mm slides.  Once I started shooting with Hasselblad I was into it professionally and shot mostly portraits, commercial and weddings - didn't have much time for personal work back then.  I'd like to go to 16x24" if possible.

...............

Mike, the first decision is whether to send or scan. This depends on how much quality and control you want. Scancafe does a decent 8-bit per channel scan for little cost, and for a bit more cost you can ask them for TIF rather than JPEG output. But it won't give you the control and last bit of quality you can achieve doing it yourself. They use scanners in the Nikon 5000 quality range.

The next decision is the scanner or scanners. If you don't mind spending some money and picking-up a second hand Nikon 5000 or Minolta 5400 (when you can find either from a reliable source), these will give you the highest desktop quality you can get for 35mm work, short of going the $15,000 Imacon route. Next down the pecking order would be the Plustek 7600i for 35mm, or the Epson V750M for all film formats. Between the Plustek and the Epson, I think the Plustek delivers a slightly better result for 35mm. For medium format, the Epson is the best choice on the market these days. If you could find a used Nikon 9000 that doesn't cost the earth and the sky, that would also handle everything and deliver a finer result than you'll get from the Epson.

Then there is the question of the software. Usually the worst is OEM software. The Plustek and the Epson do however come bundled with a version of SilverFast depending on the model you buy. There are constituencies around both Vuescan and SilverFast. I'm not going to get into that, because anyone can try demos of either and use what they like best. As SilverFast comes bundled with these two scanners, you've got it "free". If you want to try a demo of Vuescan and see whether you like it better, all it costs is some time - until you buy, and it's inexpensive. Please have a look at my review articles of both SilverFast and the Plustek scanner on this website. You'll get a decent feel for what's involved and what they do.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #28 on: July 01, 2011, 01:13:10 PM »
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Thanks Mark.  I used Vuescan many years ago when I had an Agfa Scanner (forget the model but it was a flatbed).  It was refurbished and cost $1000 but came with a full version of PS 4 - which is how I was able to afford to get PS at the time.  My little Epson 4180 for a couple hundred dollars when I bought it has about quadruple the res that old Agfa had.

I'll take a look at those suggestions.  Thanks again!
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stefohl
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« Reply #29 on: July 01, 2011, 02:31:26 PM »
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Other than the astronomical price, the big problem with the Imacon is that it has no auto-feed, making it pretty much useless for scanning a large collection of film.

There is a batch feeder, where you can load up to ten filmholders at a time. And there is the slide feeder, where you could scan up to 50 mounted slides. So this scanner is used by several stock agencies and museums to scan film, and there we are taking about huge collections.
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Stefan Ohlsson
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Sven W
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« Reply #30 on: July 01, 2011, 02:43:24 PM »
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 Huh Huh Huh
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