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Medium Format DSLR as film scanner
  
 
gurtch
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Medium Format DSLR as film scanner


I have a collection of priceless family negatives made by my father between 1935 and 1940, all B&W 645 size, all made with a state of the art Zeiss camera with Tessar lens, Compur shutter. I have a Polaroid 120 Sprint Scan film scanner that died, with no Vendor Support anymore. I have an Epson V700 flat bed that I resorted to using to film scan, but I cannot help but think I can get better quality. I want the quality to make routine 11"x14" prints, and occasionally 16"x20" prints.
Here is my plan:
I ordered from B&H a high quality focusing rail, with Arca type quick release. I plan on using my Pentax 645D, with quick release plate, and 120mm f4 manual focus Pentax 645 lens which will go to 1:1. I have a high quality light box with even illumination. I intend to make a horizontal negative copy rig, probably using a piece of 1"x 6" wood, bolting the rail to it, and turning the light box on it's side, and fastening it to the 1"x6". I have an electronic cable release, and the 645D has mirror lock up. As a test before I ordered the rail, I set the camera and lens on my kitchen counter, and turned the slide box on it's side, taped a negative to it and was easily able to focus 1 to 1 on the negative. Fine adjustments were needed by slightly moving the camera, thus my idea to buy a geared rigid rail. Anyone tried this? I could even bracket exposures and combine in HDR software, if required.
Thanks in advance
Dave in NJ



Jan 24, 2014 at 05:51 PM
anthonygh
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Medium Format DSLR as film scanner


Probably overkill...just for fun I tried duplicating some slides using a Canon G10 and the image quality was excellent.

However, I also have the V700. It was a pain to set up (fiddling with height adjusters and working out how to post process the files) but I personally would stick to the V700. It is more convenient, produces good files ( I can easily get a sharp A3 print from a 35mm neg) and will obviously take less time once set up and running (if doing 35 negs as they can be batch processed).

In both cases I suspect the quality of the original negs will be the determining factor on your final print quality....even if they are MF.

Edited on Jan 25, 2014 at 08:30 PM · View previous versions



Jan 25, 2014 at 07:09 PM
killersnowman
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Medium Format DSLR as film scanner


Ive done this with a 5D2 and the results were very good. I found it much better quality than the scans i got back from swan photolab (dont use them anymore).

Im sure using the mf will work just as nicely.

Take pictures when you get the setup. Im sure others would be interested in seeing the setup



Jan 25, 2014 at 07:22 PM
m.sommers00
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Medium Format DSLR as film scanner


Also have a V700 but haven't had to fiddle with heights, I just use the film holders that came with it! Is this not for best results? I just archive and not for print, mainly.

If you want the best quality, send it in for drum scanning



Jan 25, 2014 at 09:41 PM
 

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Imagemaster
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Medium Format DSLR as film scanner


Forget drum scanning unless you want to spend a fortune.


Jan 26, 2014 at 03:25 AM
killersnowman
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Medium Format DSLR as film scanner


Imagemaster wrote:
Forget drum scanning unless you want to spend a fortune.



yuuuup. drum scans are for those special images that you want to print biiiiiig.



Jan 26, 2014 at 04:27 AM
anthonygh
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Medium Format DSLR as film scanner


m.sommers00 wrote:
Also have a V700 but haven't had to fiddle with heights, I just use the film holders that came with it! Is this not for best results? I just archive and not for print, mainly.

If you want the best quality, send it in for drum scanning


The film holders are height adjustable and it does make a difference...getting it right that is! I found this out after researching the issue on the web and then experimenting myself. I guess Epson realize this as well otherwise why make the film holders adjustable in the first place?

I believe there is a company out there ( USA ) that makes film holders for the V700 and these are far superior to the Epson originals and these are also height adjustable.



Jan 26, 2014 at 10:00 AM
Greg Campbell
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Medium Format DSLR as film scanner


While not exactly apples-to-apples, I've had great success using a 1:1 macro on my old Rebel DSLR to digitize my 6x6 E6 efforts. Achieving critical focus and a flat DOF is essential, and takes a bit of trial and error. Once the set-up is dialed in, I just slide the negative and mask back and forth on the light table, take N x N photos, and stitch them together to make one big, full res 'scan.'

Masking off the rest of the light table is crucial to avoid scattered light polluting the shadows.




Jan 27, 2014 at 04:25 AM





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