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Author Topic: Sony A7R II for film scanning?  (Read 3431 times)

OmerV

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Sony A7R II for film scanning?
« on: October 29, 2017, 11:09:36 AM »

Has anyone use a Sony A7R II for photographing or "scanning" film negatives? More precisely, 35mm black & white film. I'm currently using a Plustek 8200 film scanner which works well enough but is slow. I need to digitize about 2,000+ frames and need a quicker process. Also, the A7R II would be paired with the Nikkor 60mm G macro and ES-2 film copy device.

PS  I have a Sony E mount to Nikon F mount adaptor.

Jim Kasson

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Re: Sony A7R II for film scanning?
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2017, 12:13:03 PM »

Has anyone use a Sony A7R II for photographing or "scanning" film negatives? More precisely, 35mm black & white film. I'm currently using a Plustek 8200 film scanner which works well enough but is slow. I need to digitize about 2,000+ frames and need a quicker process. Also, the A7R II would be paired with the Nikkor 60mm G macro and ES-2 film copy device.

PS  I have a Sony E mount to Nikon F mount adaptor.

I have done a little of this. The issues are:

Field flatness of lens (enlarging lenses work, but not all work well at 1:1)
Getting the film flat (with 35, you may need to use anti-Newton's-rings glass, which makes the next point worse):
Dust
Focusing accuracy
Alignment.
Stability of the mechanical setup.
Evenness of illumination

Surprisingly, the fastest films are the hardest to capture. The grain tends to get mushy.

I haven't used a dedicated rig, but rather a copy stand and light table.

Jim

Telecaster

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Re: Sony A7R II for film scanning?
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2017, 04:44:06 PM »

I did quite a bit of re-photographing back in 2013 with an Olympus E-M5 and 60/2.8 macro lens. I used a light-table for illumination and a set of stacked Heliopan lenshoods to give me the needed focus distance. Worked great. Iíve attached an example pic, a 135 Kodachrome transparency from 1983 (previously posted elsewhere here in cropped form). If I were doing more of this Iíd probably use my A7rii instead, assuming an AF macro lens with internal focusing.

-Dave-
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Jonathan Cross

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Re: Sony A7R II for film scanning?
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2017, 07:19:49 PM »

Am in the process of digitising colour 35mm slides from 1970s to early 2000s.  I am using a Kaiser slimlite Plano light panel, canon 5d3 with canon 100mm macro, tripod and remote release.  I use live view so that I can check focus at 5x & 10x.  I am happy with results after some LR processing.  I assume a Sony body with a macro will work just as well. The Kaiser is very uniform & is 5000K colour temp.  Using raw in LR means I can tinker with the colour temp if I want.
Jonathan
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OmerV

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Re: Sony A7R II for film scanning?
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2017, 09:38:57 AM »

Am in the process of digitising colour 35mm slides from 1970s to early 2000s.  I am using a Kaiser slimlite Plano light panel, canon 5d3 with canon 100mm macro, tripod and remote release.  I use live view so that I can check focus at 5x & 10x.  I am happy with results after some LR processing.  I assume a Sony body with a macro will work just as well. The Kaiser is very uniform & is 5000K colour temp.  Using raw in LR means I can tinker with the colour temp if I want.
Jonathan
I've tried that method but even though I used a light table as a base for holding the film carrier and a solid tripod for the camera, with each change of film strip the sensor plane and film had to be re-sqaured up. It was time consuming and frustrating. So my thinking is that with a high resolution camera a slight rotational difference in alignment would allow for some cropping if the magnification were a bit lower than 1:1. Also, using the Nikon ES-2 copy device would hopefully keep the sensor and film planes parallel. However, the rig I described in my starting post is expensive and the mismatch between brands of camera and lens might introduce other problems. But high quality scans from a local pro lab can be upwards of $50+ each hence the head scratching.

Paul Roark

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Re: Sony A7R II for film scanning?
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2017, 10:26:27 AM »

My Nikon Coolscan 8000 does a better job than my Sony a7r2 with the best macro lens I have.  (Just one data point for what it's worth.)

Paul
www.PaulRoark.com
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OmerV

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Re: Sony A7R II for film scanning?
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2017, 12:46:50 PM »

My Nikon Coolscan 8000 does a better job than my Sony a7r2 with the best macro lens I have.  (Just one data point for what it's worth.)

Paul
www.PaulRoark.com
Thanks. Just did a search on that scanner. $5000.00 and up. Above my pay grade sorry to say.

smthopr

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Re: Sony A7R II for film scanning?
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2017, 12:11:29 PM »

Thanks. Just did a search on that scanner. $5000.00 and up. Above my pay grade sorry to say.

$5000?  I don't think so.  More like $600 - $1000

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Nikon-Super-CoolScan-LS-8000-ED-Film-Scanner-w-Connectors-Rare-Film-Tray/222673315282?epid=66779621&hash=item33d85d25d2:g:8IcAAOSwna1Z3I~9
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Bruce Alan Greene
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Re: Sony A7R II for film scanning?
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2017, 02:38:24 PM »

It occurs to me that next time I digitize film I should give my Oly E-M5ii a spin in hi-res multi-shot mode.

A good scanner might do a better technical job overall, but IMO the per-pixel bang of a good camera/lens combo is higher. Donít need ultimate res.

-Dave-
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alan_b

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Re: Sony A7R II for film scanning?
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2017, 09:58:17 PM »

Here's my setup for high-res scanning. Not for high volume, but maybe some ideas for you. 

The light source and camera stay aligned with each other so i can use LCC to correct any light falloff.  Stitching a 2x2 mosaic gives ~100MP, 3x3 gives ~200MP.  I use the two geared standards to align film & camera.  This is set up for neg film with the filters on the flash.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 10:14:48 PM by alan_b »
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Jim Kasson

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Re: Sony A7R II for film scanning?
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2017, 06:33:17 PM »

It occurs to me that next time I digitize film I should give my Oly E-M5ii a spin in hi-res multi-shot mode.

A good scanner might do a better technical job overall, but IMO the per-pixel bang of a good camera/lens combo is higher. Donít need ultimate res.


A few experiments with the a7RIII pixel shift mode make me thin that you're on to something.

Jim

BartvanderWolf

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Re: Sony A7R II for film scanning?
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2017, 07:07:28 PM »

Here's my setup for high-res scanning. Not for high volume, but maybe some ideas for you. 

The light source and camera stay aligned with each other so i can use LCC to correct any light falloff.  Stitching a 2x2 mosaic gives ~100MP, 3x3 gives ~200MP.  I use the two geared standards to align film & camera.  This is set up for neg film with the filters on the flash.

Hi Alan,

Nice setup, well done. Only things 'missing' are a filter in front of the light source to compensate for the Colour Negative's mask, and a stray light protection between camera and front of ANR glass surface.  Other than that, the better the lens, the fewer stitches needed.

Cheers,
Bart
« Last Edit: December 18, 2017, 07:47:02 PM by BartvanderWolf »
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luxborealis

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Re: Sony A7R II for film scanning?
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2017, 07:14:58 PM »

In case you missed it, here is an excellent Lu-La article on the process you are interested in:

Scannerless Digital Capture...

There is a PDF version here.

Mark Segal is a regular, thoughtful and knowledgeable contributor to the forum and author of a number of articles on the Lu-La site.

Iíve had some great success photographing 4x5 and 6x7 B&W negs and trannies with my D800E and a 55mm Micro-Nikkor (flat field lens) using enlarger film holders for the film and a diffused iPad for even lighting of the larger surface areas. I processed the raw files in LR inverting the B&W using Curves. I have a few of each of the B&W and colour files printed to 20Ē and they look great!

I must admit to my process being a bit rudimentary, but it works for me. When I have some extra time, Iíd like to pursue investigations into using blended exposures to try to extract a little more detail at either end of the tonal range.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2017, 07:25:11 PM by luxborealis »
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BobDavid

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Re: Sony A7R II for film scanning?
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2017, 02:12:50 AM »

I get great results using an A7r II on a copy stand set up for back light using a strobe setup (Elinchrom Quadra) with several layers of white plexiglass for diffusion. I have an array of 35mm film stages: slip stage from a Forox, a pin registered film stage from a Marron Carrol, and a negative carrier from an Omega enlarger.  I use either a WA 60mm Rodenstock Rodagon and/or an 80mm APO Rodenstock Rodagon N mounted onto a helicoid attached to  extension tubes for the Sony FE mount (the ultimate lens for 1:1 dupes is the Rodenstock 75mm f/4 APO-Rodgaon-D).

The nice thing about this setup is that i can control the light output with the Elinchrom Skyport, focus in live view, and crank 'em out fast. The results are excellent. I think the 42 MP sensor is capable of out resolving most 35mm emulsions. It certainly out resolves photos taken on Tri-X, Plus-X, daylight Ektachrome, and color negatives.  I cannot comment on Kodachrome 25, Panatomic X, T-Max 100, or Ektachrome Tungsten 50.

I shoot just a tad under 1:1.  For larger format transparencies, any Oly with multi shot mode works well. However, it's a nuisance waiting for 8 exposures and it's a bit hard on flash gear. So, I only use that setup on rare occasions.

I like using the Elinchrom flash because it's extremely consistent. I usually set the white balance on the camera to 5000K. I also use a reticle for aligning the setup.

I was fortunate to purchase a Polaroid MP-4 XL copy stand on eBay in '06. It's a solid stand and versatile.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2017, 02:52:14 AM by BobDavid »
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BobDavid

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Re: Sony A7R II for film scanning?
« Reply #14 on: December 23, 2017, 02:55:31 AM »

Here's my setup for high-res scanning. Not for high volume, but maybe some ideas for you. 

The light source and camera stay aligned with each other so i can use LCC to correct any light falloff.  Stitching a 2x2 mosaic gives ~100MP, 3x3 gives ~200MP.  I use the two geared standards to align film & camera.  This is set up for neg film with the filters on the flash.

Nice. I loved using the Cambo Actus (which I sold) for stitching. I think your Sinar setup is sweet.
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