Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: Converting Film to Digital  (Read 3508 times)

Kit-V

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 229
Converting Film to Digital
« on: December 12, 2019, 06:40:00 pm »

I posted this in Beginner's Questions since my experience with  film photography was limited. I recently digitized many trays of 35mm slides (Kodachrome 64 & Ectachrome 100). Although I am generally pleased with the conversion process, I did notice that the digital versions of the images are quite "grainy". I'm curious whether is inherent in the film itself or is it  noise introduced when converted to digital? Interestingly, attempts to reduce the amount of noise (in Lightroom) are not very successful.

I would appreciate if someone could educate me on this. Thank you kindly.

Kit
Logged
Falling Fork Photography

degrub

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1454
Re: Converting Film to Digital
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2019, 06:51:45 pm »

Sure, that is not an unusual result in my limited experience.  Describe the equipment used and the workflow - that might give us a clue.
Also, are you viewing these at 100 % scan pixels ?  That usually gives an impression of "graininess" and "noise".
There are a few digitization tutorials on the site and many threads that you can look at if you haven't already that may give you some ideas.

Logged

Kit-V

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 229
Re: Converting Film to Digital
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2019, 09:53:21 pm »

Degrub: I'll respond in the morning. Thank you for getting back to me.

kit
Logged
Falling Fork Photography

Kit-V

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 229
Re: Converting Film to Digital
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2019, 10:31:03 am »

I converted the slides to digital using my Canon 6D camera. I attached an adapter ring to the camera body to which I attached a Nikon Micro Nikkor 55mm lens with an extension tube. Finally, on the end of the lens I threaded a Nikon ES-1 slide copying adapter. The entire set-up was then mounted on a tripod. As a lighting source I used a 4700K light. In order to match the lighting source, I set the camera's brightness control to 4700K. The camera was set on Manual & the lens at f3.5 (wide open). With some minor adjustments, I was able to focus & to fill the frame with the slide image. With everything set up, I would sequentially place each slide in the slide adapter, adjust to the correct exposure & remotely fire the shutter.
Logged
Falling Fork Photography

degrub

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1454
Re: Converting Film to Digital
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2019, 02:04:04 pm »

That is about the same number of pixels per mm as my Nikon CS5000. i saw similar results. Perhaps they were dye clouds, silver particles, emulsion crud, etc. but they were there with that scanner as it was good at finding slide imperfections. Some, with the Minolta MF scanner did not report as much of the issue, but it used a CCF rather than LEDs like the Nikon.
Logged

EricV

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 245
Re: Converting Film to Digital
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2019, 03:49:03 pm »

Is there a diffuser of some sort in the illumination path, between the light source and the slide?  Something like a ground glass plate?  That can help reduce graininess.  The fact that you can see film grain and slide imperfections means you are doing things right on the imaging side :)
Logged

Kit-V

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 229
Re: Converting Film to Digital
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2019, 05:02:52 pm »

Yes, the Nikon ES-1 slide holder has a diffuser forward of the slide. I am interpreting from your response that slide film inherently has a graininess inevitably captured by the digital image. Am I correct?
Logged
Falling Fork Photography

EricV

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 245
Re: Converting Film to Digital
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2019, 07:16:56 pm »

Yes, film has inherent grain, which you would certainly see under a microscope, and can capture with a good imaging system.  However, the "sharpness" or contrast of the grain (or dust or scratch) depends also on the illumination, and can be minimized with a diffuse light source.  (If you are old enough to remember darkroom days, condenser enlargers were notorious for emphasizing film grain and contrast, while diffusion enlargers smoothed out those effects.)
Logged

Kit-V

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 229
Re: Converting Film to Digital
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2019, 07:21:46 pm »

Thank you for the info, EricV. I appreciate it!

Kit
Logged
Falling Fork Photography

Rob C

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 24074
Re: Converting Film to Digital
« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2019, 09:54:07 am »

Yes, film has inherent grain, which you would certainly see under a microscope, and can capture with a good imaging system.  However, the "sharpness" or contrast of the grain (or dust or scratch) depends also on the illumination, and can be minimized with a diffuse light source.  (If you are old enough to remember darkroom days, condenser enlargers were notorious for emphasizing film grain and contrast, while diffusion enlargers smoothed out those effects.)

Indeed, and where you had both enlarging sytems available, it was very useful.

Regarding the OP's question: much depends on the film type, and the degree of final enlargement he wants to reach.

My own stuff was scanned on a Canon CanoScan FS 4000 US, and though I have scanned pretty much everything I had left worth the time, I wouldn't part with the device just in case I ever use 135 format film again. To tell you the truth, that scanner was last used so long ago that I have probably forgotten how to do it!

Perhaps the worst part of the process was the spotting of the files: dust I simply could not see on the film in the holder using a magnifying glass. I guess the more one thinks about it, if film is being used with an eye to later digital manipulation, the less sense using film today makes.

Slobodan Blagojevic

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 17106
  • When everyone thinks the same, nobody thinks
    • My website
Re: Converting Film to Digital
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2019, 02:48:08 pm »

... the lens at f3.5 (wide open)...

Why wide open? Most likely not the best option for that lens. Stopping one or two stops should improve image quality, not just sharpness, but flatness of field, vignetting, corner sharpness, etc. 

rabanito

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1339
Re: Converting Film to Digital
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2019, 08:42:28 am »


Perhaps the worst part of the process was the spotting of the files: dust I simply could not see on the film in the holder using a magnifying glass. I guess the more one thinks about it, if film is being used with an eye to later digital manipulation, the less sense using film today makes.

I remember the hours of spotoning prints, not overdo it, find the right tone etc.
Now with content aware it's just "Presto!" and it's done forever in milliseconds
Logged

kers

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Online Online
  • Posts: 3530
    • Pieter Kers
Re: Converting Film to Digital
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2019, 08:45:31 am »

Why wide open? Most likely not the best option for that lens. Stopping one or two stops should improve image quality, not just sharpness, but flatness of field, vignetting, corner sharpness, etc.
+1 i think you should try f8 to f11 to get the best results... look at the corners - they should improve...overall sharpness should improve- everywhere you should see grain
Blow the dust of with some canned air...
Grain is natural- that is film...(!) - quality is so much better now.

« Last Edit: December 21, 2019, 08:52:03 am by kers »
Logged

Doug Peterson

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4175
    • http://www.doug-peterson.com
Re: Converting Film to Digital
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2020, 11:47:14 am »

I'll just leave this link here. It's the most comprehensive (and up to date) summary on the topic I'm aware of:
https://dtculturalheritage.com/product/digitization-workflows-transmissive-pdf-download/
Pages: [1]   Go Up