Luminous Landscape Forum

Equipment & Techniques => The Wet Darkroom => Topic started by: SCQ on September 20, 2009, 09:13:32 pm

Title: Shooting/scanning MF Film
Post by: SCQ on September 20, 2009, 09:13:32 pm
So, I've had a digital camera for the longest time, upgrading from a Rebel XT to a 5D in the past 3.5 years, and finally, one day, I sold it all for an M8. The reason for what can arguably be considered a "downgrade" was because I stopped enjoying the dSLR, and the Leica rekindled my love for the feel of older cameras and the process it was to take a photo. Sure it was digital, but it was a little more involved than aim-halfpress-click.

While the M8 makes the near-perfect snapshot/spontaneous camera, the parallax in framing made it difficult to use in certain situations, and so I've thought about getting an SLR again. However, I quite like the square format, and I am considering getting an old Hasselblad 500C/M. A part of the reason is because I love the way Hasselblads handle - and handling is quite important for me. The problem is the high cost of medium format backs - even used ones run in the thousands.

If I am not concerned with inconvenience, how viable is it to shoot, develop, and scan your own 120 film? Obviously, I would be less shutter-happy with the Hasselblad and spend more time composing and framing before the shot - so the cost of film isn't an issue. It's more of just how expensive it is to get acceptable quality scans? I am considering shooting exclusively B/W - and occasionally have a local lab process color - and scan it using a cheap flatbed with a tray adapter. The cost of a dedicated film scanner is astronomical, and at that price, I may as well get a back.

I've only shot/developed film once before - but I'd like to think I'm quick to learn so I should be able to pick it up rather quick again.

I suppose another possibility - since the film camera would be my patient time sink, I could look into a Sinar F since they can be had for around the price of a Hasselblad these days.

Any suggestions?
Title: Shooting/scanning MF Film
Post by: BobDavid on September 21, 2009, 11:24:03 am

Any suggestions?
[/quote]
Dale Laboratories in Ft. Lauderdale, FL is reasonable for scans and it does good work (dalelabs.com).
Title: Shooting/scanning MF Film
Post by: SCQ on September 21, 2009, 12:09:07 pm
Quote from: BobDavid
Any suggestions?

Dale Laboratories in Ft. Lauderdale, FL is reasonable for scans and it does good work (dalelabs.com).

The idea is to do it myself. I don't want to have to send stuff away and wait days or weeks. Also, I'd like to keep expenses lower and be more involved in the process.
Title: Shooting/scanning MF Film
Post by: BobDavid on September 21, 2009, 01:45:11 pm
I've heard that the Epson Perfection V750-M Pro Scanner is considered a good flatbed scanner for the money. It has wet scan capabilities. You might want to do some research on it to see how well it does with MF B&W.
Title: Shooting/scanning MF Film
Post by: Pedro Kok on September 21, 2009, 02:36:46 pm
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 (http://photo.net/photos/nanasousadias).

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
Title: Shooting/scanning MF Film
Post by: SCQ on September 21, 2009, 03:13:57 pm
Quote from: Pedro Kok
...

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

Haha. Well said. I never thought that much about the post work. The thing about LF is the cost. It's a lot cheaper than a MF back, and I really would like to control all aspects of my image. If it weren't for the experience and control, I'd just get myself a 5D again and save the hassle. Even with an MF back, they don't quite cover the full 6x6 size, let alone 4x5. I also have a thing for the messy black edges you get with LF shots.

My school has an enlarger, but if this is going to be an investment longer than anything short-term, I'd have to find a way to do everything myself.

Any pointers on film development?
Title: Shooting/scanning MF Film
Post by: sergio on September 21, 2009, 05:30:21 pm
I find interesting that this discussion almost always is centered around IQ and workflow. I think a very important point is missing, and that is the difference that the actual shooting on one's mood or psyche has, using different cameras, media and lenses. When I find myself uncreative or blocked it really helps to put on a lens you almost never use, or put down the 35mm and take out a 4x5. The camera choice reflects in the way we are inspired and the way we connect with the subject.
Looking thru a ground glass can be a very inspiring act that could otherwise not be if shooting thru an APS-C camera viewfinder. I love my RZ viewfinder and it motivates me to shoot, when 35mm doesn't. It puts me in a good mood for shooting. This fact outweighs  in some instances, IQ, workflow, and other conveniences. Maybe I overrate this, but the viewfinder is probably the most important feature of a camera for me. I connect to my images thru the viewfinder, and it has to be a pleasure to use, otherwise I miss part of the photographic xperience.
Title: Shooting/scanning MF Film
Post by: SCQ on September 21, 2009, 06:34:20 pm
Quote from: sergio
I find interesting that this discussion almost always is centered around IQ and workflow. I think a very important point is missing, and that is the difference that the actual shooting on one's mood or psyche has, using different cameras, media and lenses. When I find myself uncreative or blocked it really helps to put on a lens you almost never use, or put down the 35mm and take out a 4x5. The camera choice reflects in the way we are inspired and the way we connect with the subject.
Looking thru a ground glass can be a very inspiring act that could otherwise not be if shooting thru an APS-C camera viewfinder. I love my RZ viewfinder and it motivates me to shoot, when 35mm doesn't. It puts me in a good mood for shooting. This fact outweighs  in some instances, IQ, workflow, and other conveniences. Maybe I overrate this, but the viewfinder is probably the most important feature of a camera for me. I connect to my images thru the viewfinder, and it has to be a pleasure to use, otherwise I miss part of the photographic xperience.

I agree with that wholeheartedly. After shooting DSLRs for four years, I just felt out of touch with them. They truly are a wonder of modern engineering and technology - those little Japanese robots - but I just lost interest in shooting. I saw a Leica M6 in a used bin at a store, and after holding it for 2 minutes, I instantly knew I wanted to shoot one - so I did the extreme: I sold my entire kit and bought a Leica and I haven't looked back since.

I think a view camera, as painful the workflow seems now - especially for me who grew up with the instant gratification of instant playback on digital, would be a good tool. Perhaps not only can I learn more about optics, but perhaps connect with my subject better, and teach me a little patience - something my generation certainly lacks.
Title: Shooting/scanning MF Film
Post by: SecondFocus on September 21, 2009, 11:29:45 pm
I very much agree! There is something about shooting digital and looking at the screen on the back that makes it all too "mechanical" or in this age "digital" for me, although I do it daily, weekly as what I do. When I shoot with my Mamiya 645 AFDII with film backs or my Contax G1 I feel more engaged with the photography and what or who I am shooting.

Quote from: sergio
I find interesting that this discussion almost always is centered around IQ and workflow. I think a very important point is missing, and that is the difference that the actual shooting on one's mood or psyche has, using different cameras, media and lenses. When I find myself uncreative or blocked it really helps to put on a lens you almost never use, or put down the 35mm and take out a 4x5. The camera choice reflects in the way we are inspired and the way we connect with the subject.
Looking thru a ground glass can be a very inspiring act that could otherwise not be if shooting thru an APS-C camera viewfinder. I love my RZ viewfinder and it motivates me to shoot, when 35mm doesn't. It puts me in a good mood for shooting. This fact outweighs  in some instances, IQ, workflow, and other conveniences. Maybe I overrate this, but the viewfinder is probably the most important feature of a camera for me. I connect to my images thru the viewfinder, and it has to be a pleasure to use, otherwise I miss part of the photographic xperience.
Title: Shooting/scanning MF Film
Post by: Imaginara on September 23, 2009, 04:22:54 am
Quote from: SecondFocus
I very much agree! There is something about shooting digital and looking at the screen on the back that makes it all too "mechanical" or in this age "digital" for me, although I do it daily, weekly as what I do. When I shoot with my Mamiya 645 AFDII with film backs or my Contax G1 I feel more engaged with the photography and what or who I am shooting.

Ian,

You should try Large Format photography =) I shoot digital for my bread & butter, Medium format and Large format when i want to have fun shooting. And occasionally i do get a client that wants me to shoot like that even though they know they will have to wait for the results a bit.

I develop myself (both medium and LF) and scan with an Epson (just to keep it on topic  V500 right now, but going to upgrade to a 750 so i dont have to scan the 4x4's in steps.
Title: Shooting/scanning MF Film
Post by: Rob C on September 24, 2009, 04:07:05 am
I, too, would love to be the owner of either a 500C or CM again, but have no interest in a digital back! Eating sems a better option.

Anyway, to the point: colour processing via a lab is based on the theory that the lab understands what the film/chemical makers require that lab to do - standardize. Black/white film processing, differently, becomes part of your technique and few photographers do it in exactly the same way and a lab will certainly not know your way nor give a s**t what it is: one size fits all.

Flat bed scanning may be more available, pricewise, but then why buy a Hasselblad? Any old roll-film camera will be more or less as good as the next one unless you are going to follow strict disciplines and aim for top quality throughout. That, unfortunately, means big bucks in scanners, which is why I no longer think in fond terms of going back to 120 film. I do have a good 35mm film scanner, but after dealing with a lot of old work and converting it to fit a computer, its appeal is low, sinking lower as film costs rise and labs for E6 vanish. My Nikon film body sits there doing nothing.

I dismantled the darkroom years ago and now sometimes think I should make a simple lightight system for a bathroom, load spirals there and then process in the kitchen. Developers are not a problem due to keeping properties; yes, if you make it up in gallon flasks, but if you go for the one-shot stuff like Neofin Blue or Red you don't have the problem and can deal with most b/w films you are likely to need. When I was running my photo business I only used one film developer: D76 1+1. Worked for everything and did it well. But of course, you need through-put to make it make sense to mix in bulk, or it will go off.

My advice would be to forget wet printing. Exciting initially, it becomes a chore, however good you are. The digital route has to be the way to go, but then it comes down once more to money, skill and printers, none of which comes cheaply, any more than in the film or digital capture side of the equation.

Rob C
Title: Shooting/scanning MF Film
Post by: Dick Roadnight on September 24, 2009, 05:05:43 am
Does anyone use a MFB/view camera/macro lens to digitise transparencies?

Using a 60Mpx back, a Sinar/apo-digitar macro and the condenser/film holder from and old enlarger it should not be complicated ...and you could correct perspective optically.
Title: Shooting/scanning MF Film
Post by: Rob C on September 24, 2009, 06:26:09 am
But isn't the point of the exercise to avoid having to buy an MF back?

Rob C
Title: Shooting/scanning MF Film
Post by: Dick Roadnight on September 24, 2009, 11:10:52 am
Quote from: Rob C
But isn't the point of the exercise to avoid having to buy an MF back?

Rob C
That is the methodology for many people, but my theory is to make good use of what one has, and if one has a large collection of transparencies that one has not (had) digitised, and one has upgraded to a (60Mpx) digital view camera system, and one has an Apo-digitar Macro, and an old enlarger... how would the (shift and stitched 100Mpx) files compare with drum scans?

You could digitise from 35mm to 5 * 4 with an Apo-Digitar Macro, and use a pseudo-macro or close up lens for 10 * 8.

The process would be very much faster than any scanner, would it not?
Title: Shooting/scanning MF Film
Post by: nik on September 26, 2009, 02:29:56 pm
I tried this a while back with C41. Yes, it's faster than scanning - by a long stretch. But I found myself going back to the imacon and scanning as the software did a much better job of turning the image positive and getting the color right as opposed to shooting into capture one and then trying to turn my images pos in Lightroom / Camera RAW by flipping curves.

Shooting E6 with your setup sounds a good solution. Are you shooting emulsion up? One guy was also wet mounting for better results.

Quote from: Dick Roadnight
The process would be very much faster than any scanner, would it not?
Title: Shooting/scanning MF Film
Post by: Dick Roadnight on September 26, 2009, 04:28:04 pm
Quote from: nik
Are you shooting emulsion up? One guy was also wet mounting for better results.
I  have not actually done it - but I have the kit to do it.
Title: Shooting/scanning MF Film
Post by: Rob C on October 01, 2009, 04:22:11 am
Quote from: Dick Roadnight
I  have not actually done it - but I have the kit to do it.



Is this thread taking a strange turn - something slightly less suitable for family viewing?

Rob C
Title: Shooting/scanning MF Film
Post by: DanielStone on October 12, 2009, 11:36:43 pm
Quote from: SCQ
Haha. Well said. I never thought that much about the post work. The thing about LF is the cost. It's a lot cheaper than a MF back, and I really would like to control all aspects of my image. If it weren't for the experience and control, I'd just get myself a 5D again and save the hassle. Even with an MF back, they don't quite cover the full 6x6 size, let alone 4x5. I also have a thing for the messy black edges you get with LF shots.

My school has an enlarger, but if this is going to be an investment longer than anything short-term, I'd have to find a way to do everything myself.

Any pointers on film development?


ONE WORD...... JOBO....


once you go there, you're spoiled rotten. E6(slides), C41(negs) and b/w. It can do it all.

check out http://www.apug.org/ (http://www.apug.org/) and do some reading. Or PM me here. There are buttloads of these out there, I use one myself, and it lets you still process yourself, but it controls the temp, and rotates for you. Another advantage is that it uses less chemistry. Not sure how much you shoot, but I average 15-20 rolls of 120 film a month, and I do all my own c-41 120/220. I haven't been able to get 4x5 down totally yet, so for now, I send it all to Samy's Camera in Santa Barbara. check out their website, the prices are current.

http://www.samys805.com/film-processing/ (http://www.samys805.com/film-processing/)

you can mail your film to them, and the return shipping is free (if you're in the US that is).

but definitely look at Jobo. I use it for LF B/W, but I let samys handle my LF color. No problems so far, just beautifully processed sheets of film!

Sinar F's are a thing of beauty btw, get one if you can get the chance. Go with an F2 though, more current, and better made than the F1's.

-Dan
Title: Shooting/scanning MF Film
Post by: DanielStone on October 13, 2009, 07:48:33 pm
Quote from: Dick Roadnight
Does anyone use a MFB/view camera/macro lens to digitise transparencies?

Using a 60Mpx back, a Sinar/apo-digitar macro and the condenser/film holder from and old enlarger it should not be complicated ...and you could correct perspective optically.


use a drum scanner. or a Kodak IqSmart2 or 3. much more universal. and better quality with wet mounting.

anything that has the name Aztek, Creo or Kodak IqSmart is GOOD juju for digitizing film.

remember, these are the rolls-royces of their fields. They aren't cheap, but the quality is terrific, and you don't have the quick turnover like the MF digi backs.

-Dan
Title: Shooting/scanning MF Film
Post by: SecondFocus on November 03, 2009, 10:47:23 pm
Two photos shot on Kodak 400nc and drum scanned. The camera was a Mamiya 645AFDII and if I recall it was the 150 3.5 AF lens. This was on stage at a bodybuilding competition, stage lighting which was pretty dark for 400, would have preferred 800. I like the skin tones, colors; no white balancing required

Title: Shooting/scanning MF Film
Post by: ErikKaffehr on November 04, 2009, 01:02:48 am
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 (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 (http://83.177.178.241/ekr/index.php/photoarticles/16-pentax67velvia-vs-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 (http://photo.net/photos/nanasousadias).

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
Title: Re: Shooting/scanning MF Film
Post by: tikal on March 02, 2012, 10:44:45 pm
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! :) Anyway thats my two sense.. Definitely test first you might hate it.
Title: Re: Shooting/scanning MF Film
Post by: carloalberto on March 10, 2012, 12:04:49 am
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
Title: Re: Shooting/scanning MF Film
Post by: EricWHiss on March 22, 2012, 01:34:15 am
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.
Title: Re: Shooting/scanning MF Film
Post by: Rob C on March 22, 2012, 03:55:36 pm
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
Title: Re: Shooting/scanning MF Film
Post by: SecondFocus on March 26, 2012, 11:12:18 pm
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
Title: Re: Shooting/scanning MF Film
Post by: J Vee on April 20, 2012, 10:09:00 pm
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.
Title: I am all about shooting MF film on the cheap.
Post by: Simon DeSantis on April 23, 2012, 02:54:59 pm
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.