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Is film coming back?
  
 
edwardkaraa
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p.31 #1 · p.31 #1 · Is film coming back?


I have come to realize that an excellent scanner is an essential part of shooting film. Most current scanners produce poor to barely acceptable results. Using such scanners will inevitably lead to frustration, and the general misconception that film image quality is way below digital. I have two pacific imaging scanners that can attest to that. The best current scanners are the Hasselblad, and the second best are the discontinued Nikons.


Sep 27, 2017 at 06:00 PM
retrofocus
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p.31 #2 · p.31 #2 · Is film coming back?


Mathieu18 wrote:
Can I ask what scanner you're using? Would like to find something for 120 & 35mm. I think I'd shoot more if I had a better and semi-affordable way to digitize it.



I am not using it, but I read good reviews about Nikon V800 and V850 scanners. They obviously scan 35 mm and 120 format (plus large format film).

https://www.scanyourentirelife.com/epson-v800-vs-v850-photo-scanner-differences/



Sep 27, 2017 at 07:15 PM
Mathieu18
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p.31 #3 · p.31 #3 · Is film coming back?


I agree, and would be willing to send exceptional shots out for high end scans. On the other hand unless one shoots only film or has plenty of disposable income many of the offerings are prohibitive. I'll be happy with something that gives me a digital file to evaluate the image with. If it's a keeper it can go in for a better scan.

Thanks retrofocus, it does look like the Epson's are the way to go. After asking that I found comparisons of the V600 and V800 scanners. Price/performance, V600 looks like a good starting spot, maybe upgrade in the future.

edwardkaraa wrote:
I have come to realize that an excellent scanner is an essential part of shooting film. Most current scanners produce poor to barely acceptable results. Using such scanners will inevitably lead to frustration, and the general misconception that film image quality is way below digital. I have two pacific imaging scanners that can attest to that. The best current scanners are the Hasselblad, and the second best are the discontinued Nikons.





Sep 27, 2017 at 09:09 PM
SergeyT
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p.31 #4 · p.31 #4 · Is film coming back?


If a drum scanner is not your thing then look for a used Creo(Kodak) Eversmart (Jazz+, Pro, Pro II, Select or Supreme) or IQ Smart (1,2,3) scanners. They are production grade machines built to run 24x7 with great batch scanning capabilities and do deliver excellent image quality. The Supreme was designed and built to match and surpass drum scanners IQ. Sometimes they can be had next to nothing. The down size is their weight and size.




Sep 27, 2017 at 10:11 PM
George Orwell
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p.31 #5 · p.31 #5 · Is film coming back?


Lee Saxon wrote:
Film still isn't coming back, but this thread sure keeps coming back!


What a brilliant contribution.




Sep 28, 2017 at 08:49 AM
Gunzorro
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p.31 #6 · p.31 #6 · Is film coming back?


edwardkaraa wrote:
I have come to realize that an excellent scanner is an essential part of shooting film. Most current scanners produce poor to barely acceptable results. Using such scanners will inevitably lead to frustration, and the general misconception that film image quality is way below digital. I have two pacific imaging scanners that can attest to that. The best current scanners are the Hasselblad, and the second best are the discontinued Nikons.


So true!

And sadly, nothing affordable to do justice to all my old 4x5 transparencies and negs!

I can't even find a cheap 4x5 copy set-up to mount on my Canon 50/2.5 or 100L or Nikon 60/2.8 macro lenses.

Best results I've seen from my 4x5's are from drum scanners. Relative to that, the flatbed scanners are poor to fair quality, not what I'm interested in.



Sep 28, 2017 at 01:55 PM
carlitos
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p.31 #7 · p.31 #7 · Is film coming back?


Mathieu18 wrote:
Can I ask what scanner you're using? Would like to find something for 120 & 35mm. I think I'd shoot more if I had a better and semi-affordable way to digitize it.



I have a Plustek 8200 SE and a Prime Film XA. I probably wouldn't have bought either except that the Plustek was $300 from B&H at the time and the XA was $420. The Plustek got me started, and the results were pretty nice; I bought the Prime Film XA because of a wider dynamic range, and the 5000dpi native resolution. They're both a little quirky with respect to Silverfast and my iMac. I have to re-boot occasionally. But I like the output and am willing to put up with the quirks. Usually I can get almost exactly the color and exposure balance I want, fine tuning in Photoshop. I think both companies offer a 120mm scanner, but they're a little expensive.





Sep 28, 2017 at 04:44 PM
carlitos
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p.31 #8 · p.31 #8 · Is film coming back?


And now with the D850, I think I'd do 120 and larger with that. I have some enlarging lenses and a Nikon bellows.


Sep 28, 2017 at 04:49 PM
Mathieu18
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p.31 #9 · p.31 #9 · Is film coming back?


Thanks for the feedback. Your last point is my hang up, I shoot a little 35mm, but more 120 and most of the decent affordable scanners don't handle 120. I'm going to get a V600 for now, and when I have keepers if I need a big print I'll send them out for much better scans.

Follow up question, looks like it might be worth while to add Silverfast to the V600?

carlitos wrote:
I have a Plustek 8200 SE and a Prime Film XA. I probably wouldn't have bought either except that the Plustek was $300 from B&H at the time and the XA was $420. The Plustek got me started, and the results were pretty nice; I bought the Prime Film XA because of a wider dynamic range, and the 5000dpi native resolution. They're both a little quirky with respect to Silverfast and my iMac. I have to re-boot occasionally. But I like the output and am willing to put up with the quirks. Usually I can get almost exactly the color
...Show more




Sep 28, 2017 at 05:14 PM
arduluth
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p.31 #10 · p.31 #10 · Is film coming back?


I've generally had the philosophy that the film is really only worth it if I shoot 120 or above. I recently broke my own rule by buying a Canon P. The 1:1 viewfinder is incredible, worth the experience by itself. I'd been wanting to try a Soviet RF for a while, but then realized that the P was in the same price range as a FSU RF from Fedka, and I already have a Canon 50mm f/1.4 LTM to use with it.

As I talked about early in the thread (or other threads), my scanning set up is a giant PIA. I have a Epson V550 scanner which is disappointing at best. It'd be good enough for posting to Facebook for MF, but for 35mm it's barely good enough for that. My best scans of 35mm and MF have all come from a macro lens and my A7. My only problem with that is that it's a huge PIA, at least for my setup. Each shot ends up taking minutes of dinking around - untaping the film, moving the film, retaping, refocusing, making sure it's squared up, getting stray light blocked, etc. It's enough of a hassle that I have a handful of rolls of 35mm that are just waiting to be scanned.

Since I've got a new backlog of 35mm, I broke down and bought a Nikon ES-1 (still in the mail) and an adapter for the ES-1 meant for using film in strip form, rather than the slides that the ES-1 is built for. I'm looking forward to getting some 35mm scanned this way. If I can make it easy enough, I can see myself shooting a lot more 35mm, just because it's so enjoyable. I can't sing the praises of that 1:1 finder enough.

I still find ColorPerfect and Photoshop (I'm using CS2, ha) to be a pain, too. I wish I had an easier way to get a somewhat flat, high DR out of a negative.



Sep 28, 2017 at 05:26 PM
 

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Mathieu18
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p.31 #11 · p.31 #11 · Is film coming back?


I used a similar setup to digitize some 120 film with a 2:1 macro. It was annoying enough I have 7 rolls of 120 from 4th of July I finally gave back to the lab to scan. I did get an old 645 and 6x6 holder tray, so no need to mess with tape etc that helped but still a pain to move each frame. Then, if using color negative, trying to invert that and get good results... well I could get it inverted but forget about good results.

But 20 rolls of 120 scans will pay for the V600, and the lab scans aren't great anyway so I'd want to send it elsewhere for better results for keepers...

arduluth wrote:
I've generally had the philosophy that the film is really only worth it if I shoot 120 or above. I recently broke my own rule by buying a Canon P. The 1:1 viewfinder is incredible, worth the experience by itself. I'd been wanting to try a Soviet RF for a while, but then realized that the P was in the same price range as a FSU RF from Fedka, and I already have a Canon 50mm f/1.4 LTM to use with it.

As I talked about early in the thread (or other threads), my scanning set up is a giant PIA.
...Show more




Sep 28, 2017 at 05:34 PM
arduluth
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p.31 #12 · p.31 #12 · Is film coming back?


IMHO, if you want to invert negatives, your best bet is to cough up the money for ColorPerfect. I never got anywhere near satisfactory results by doing the work myself in Photoshop or similar. The color was always weird.

My local lab scans are OK, but they're low res (6 MP) JPEGs that are usually too contrasty to take much processing. They're not expensive, but not cheap enough that I'll do it without thinking about it.

I've heard that some new film holders will do me a world of good for my V550 (and V600, etc), but I haven't tried them yet. The film certainly looks out of focus, which leads me to believe that new film holders *will* help... but it's a question of how much. The difference in detail between something scanned with my V550 and my A7 is huge.

For some of the street work I did at the Minnesota State Fair with the Canon P, I scanned it in the laziest way possible:

1. Taped the negatives onto the sheet of white plexiglass I use for my DIY light table
2. Focused to MFD (this was on a CV 35/1.7 with a macro helicoid adapter) and at f/8
3. Walked outside on a bright day, held the negs/plexiglass above my head, made sure there were no hotspots
4. Took a photo handheld, focusing by hovering in and out until the whole frame was in focus
5. Processed with my usual digitizing workflow (ColorPerfect MakeTiff, open in CS2, ColorPerfect to invert, crop, save, open in LR and tweak)

Captured all five frames on the strip in a minute or two. Couldn't get any easier.

The results weren't great, but they weren't any worse than what I get with the scanner, and a lot less fuss.

Looks like the inline image won't work, so see it here:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1037004576436888/permalink/1069642959839716/

The light leak here is on the negative, not an artifact of this process. Lots of room for improvement, but it produced a usable 2 MP image. For how easy it was, this will be my new go to method for scanning film in the most quick and dirty way possible.



Sep 28, 2017 at 05:48 PM
takomaru
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p.31 #13 · p.31 #13 · Is film coming back?


edwardkaraa wrote:
I have come to realize that an excellent scanner is an essential part of shooting film. Most current scanners produce poor to barely acceptable results. Using such scanners will inevitably lead to frustration, and the general misconception that film image quality is way below digital. I have two pacific imaging scanners that can attest to that. The best current scanners are the Hasselblad, and the second best are the discontinued Nikons.


I have been following this thread with great interest, as I never stopped using film, parallel to digital, and both in several different formats. There are several more accessible newer scanners made Reflecta, Plustek, Pacifica come to mind; also digitizing with a digital camera is a good option. I started with the MS EM5II and currently using the EM1MkII with terrific results in High Res mode.
I also do not digitize everything, as I print negative film directly with a color enlarger into Fujiflex Archival. Color slide film, does need to be digitized, as we sadly lost Ilfochrome.
Only outstanding work is sent to a bureau, minimizing costs. I currently use a Jobo CPP3 for most of my work, and now I am awaiting a digital enlarger to print directly to B&W and color paper, but only to 16 x 20 inches.

I never saw the reason why to leave film, digital is very good for most applications for most photographers; but IMHO not a reason to throw away 30+ years of art production, I even shoot fashion with film. It is also nice to use new lighting systems at high speed sync that didn't exist before, so we could say that shooting film is also getting modern updates, though nobody will probably ever produce a modern platform, except for Rollei, who keeps producing both the 6008AF and the Hy6, both terrific 6 x 6 film cameras....thanks for this thread and nice to see your options...



Sep 29, 2017 at 12:35 AM
George Orwell
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p.31 #14 · p.31 #14 · Is film coming back?


edwardkaraa wrote:
I have come to realize that an excellent scanner is an essential part of shooting film. Most current scanners produce poor to barely acceptable results. Using such scanners will inevitably lead to frustration, and the general misconception that film image quality is way below digital. I have two pacific imaging scanners that can attest to that. The best current scanners are the Hasselblad, and the second best are the discontinued Nikons.


I've been very pleased with my Plustek OpticFilm 120. I primarily shoot medium format film and this scanner makes gorgeous scans with this size film. I've printed scans up to 13 x 19 and they are beautiful. 35mm scans are several orders of magnitude better than a flat bed.

It wasnt cheap, at $2000, but I dont see the point of buying very high end film cameras and then downgrading their results with a cheap, poor quality scanner.



Sep 29, 2017 at 08:08 AM
edwardkaraa
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p.31 #15 · p.31 #15 · Is film coming back?




George Orwell wrote:
I've been very pleased with my Plustek OpticFilm 120. I primarily shoot medium format film and this scanner makes gorgeous scans with this size film. I've printed scans up to 13 x 19 and they are beautiful. 35mm scans are several orders of magnitude better than a flat bed.

It wasnt cheap, at $2000, but I dont see the point of buying very high end film cameras and then downgrading their results with a cheap, poor quality scanner.

That's good to know. The Plustek was on my list of candidates but the lack of AF and the low Dmax put me off. For scanning transparencies a minimum Dmax of 4 (real not claimed) is a must.



Sep 29, 2017 at 08:30 AM
George Orwell
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p.31 #16 · p.31 #16 · Is film coming back?


edwardkaraa wrote:
That's good to know. The Plustek was on my list of candidates but the lack of AF and the low Dmax put me off. For scanning transparencies a minimum Dmax of 4 (real not claimed) is a must.


The most easily found review of the Plustek 120 found online is pretty negative, and that gave me huge pause before buying. But since there are so few choices, I went ahead and bought it anyway and found that it is in fact an excellent scanner. That one review gets so many things wrong that either they had a defective unit or a real agenda against Plustek. The lack of AF is really not an issue as the machine is properly calibrated for the right hight and the film holders are best-in-class. The output of this scanner is 99% that of a Coolscan 9000 with the added benefit of being a much more modern machine and much much better film holders.

The only downside for me is that it can't do 6 x 17 panoramas. That's a strange limitation.




Sep 29, 2017 at 08:58 AM
retrofocus
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p.31 #17 · p.31 #17 · Is film coming back?


George Orwell wrote:
The most easily found review of the Plustek 120 found online is pretty negative, and that gave me huge pause before buying. But since there are so few choices, I went ahead and bought it anyway and found that it is in fact an excellent scanner. That one review gets so many things wrong that either they had a defective unit or a real agenda against Plustek. The lack of AF is really not an issue as the machine is properly calibrated for the right hight and the film holders are best-in-class. The output of this scanner is 99%
...Show more

Can't really talk about the 120 scanner, but I currently use the Plustek 8200i for 35 mm scans. It works excellent with negatives what I do predominantly. But for slide scans, I experienced issues with this scanner which are related to non-adjustable focus. The slide frames come in different thickness - even small, but accidentally my slides of a film which I took several years ago had to be unmounted from the frame to achieve sharp scan results (which means scanning the slides like I would do with negatives). Here I really wish that the scanner could be focus-adjusted within software.



Sep 29, 2017 at 11:19 AM
edwardkaraa
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p.31 #18 · p.31 #18 · Is film coming back?




George Orwell wrote:
The most easily found review of the Plustek 120 found online is pretty negative, and that gave me huge pause before buying. But since there are so few choices, I went ahead and bought it anyway and found that it is in fact an excellent scanner. That one review gets so many things wrong that either they had a defective unit or a real agenda against Plustek. The lack of AF is really not an issue as the machine is properly calibrated for the right hight and the film holders are best-in-class. The output of this scanner is 99%
...Show more

Thank you George for sharing your thoughts on this scanner. I will certainly consider it seriously if I ever needed to replace the Nikon.



Sep 29, 2017 at 11:32 AM
takomaru
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p.31 #19 · p.31 #19 · Is film coming back?


A close friend of mine decided upon the Reflecta after a few reviews, when bundled with Silverfast it does a pretty good joj, we do use this regularly, and will only resort to a drum scanner when it's important. A close friend has a prepress bureau and a superb 10,00 dpi scanner with a Harlequin RIP which is an overkill for mostly any job.

Now I am concentrating in small finished B&W and color printing, but until June had a bureau where I serviced 50inch rolls with 2 Chromira stations for comercial work. Now the time has come for only personal work and to leave aside comercial entirely.

This is a very nice thread, and I am glad you have it in the right track, very kool to listen to your upinions and thoughts and conflicts from the start.

Here is a link to a review on the Reflecta scanner https://www.ephotozine.com/article/reflecta-mf5000-medium-format-scanner-review-26360



Sep 29, 2017 at 11:34 AM
carlitos
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p.31 #20 · p.31 #20 · Is film coming back?


I think the Reflecta scanner is the same as the Plustek 120.

And IIRC I've seen the Plustek 120 on sale at B&H (or Adorama) for $1599.



Sep 29, 2017 at 04:51 PM
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