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Author Topic: Scanning 120 film for Blended Exposures  (Read 2160 times)

Jeremy Novak

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Scanning 120 film for Blended Exposures
« on: February 05, 2009, 04:23:27 PM »


I shoot 120 film and really want to try a technique commonly used in digital photography, blending exposures.

I think this will work, but I can already guess that there might be some problems getting the scans to line up.
I will be using a wet scan process (Lumina) on an Epson flatbed scanner. If there is a good tutorial, or someone
has any experience doing something like this for panoramics or similar applications with film i'd be interested.

Thanks in advance


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Scanning 120 film for Blended Exposures
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2009, 05:03:10 PM »

I've done blended exposures with my Minolta 5400.  There are two types of blends.  1. If you bracketed your film exposures, you can scan two or more film frames and then stack the scans in layers in Photoshop, using masks to do your blending.  2. You can scan the same film frame twice using different scan exposures.

1. The first method results in major problems aligning the frames.  I've only tried this method a couple of times and never got the frames completely aligned.  The best result is where, for example, you want to blend one frame for the sky exposure and another frame for the land exposure.  In that case, you just need to get the transition area between the sky and land to align, which isn't too difficult.  

2. The second method usually doesn't result in much of an alignment problem if you do the scans back to back and don't touch the film between scans. You can do the blending the same way as I described above.

Now, is it worth it?  You'll probably get some improvement in your photo using method 1 if you have the right type of scene with which to work.  If you don't have the right type of scene, alignment problems may be a killer.  Method 2 is marginal.  You may be able to get a slight improvement in some cases, but more often you could achieve the same results with a single scan and editing it in Photoshop.  

I suggest that you give it a try and see for yourself.  Maybe you'll have better luck than I did.  Maybe using 120 film vs 35 mm, or your Epson and it's scan resolution vs my Minolta, will produce different results.  Good luck.

None of the above has any thing to do with making panoramics, however, which is a whole different topic.

Dean Erger
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