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Digitizing Film

  
 
rji2goleez
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Digitizing Film


If you're only talking about scanning 35mm, I highly recommend the Valoi Easy35. Works with almost any macro lens/camera combo and is a complete system. Tubes, film holder, light with diffuser. Works great and I can scan a roll of 36 in about 2 minutes.

https://www.valoi.co/easy35



Nov 10, 2023 at 04:23 PM
RoamingScott
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Digitizing Film


rji2goleez wrote:
If you're only talking about scanning 35mm, I highly recommend the Valoi Easy35. Works with almost any macro lens/camera combo and is a complete system. Tubes, film holder, light with diffuser. Works great and I can scan a roll of 36 in about 2 minutes.

https://www.valoi.co/easy35


Interesting. I wasn't impressed at all with the Valoi 360 system. Are you using Negative Lab Pro in conjunction?

This looks very much like the old Nikon ES-2 system. No one has ever given me a good answer if you can use that with the Z9 due to the lack of a mechanical shutter and typical LED light sources for film scanning, so I've never bit. This would likely have the same issue at twice the cost.



Nov 10, 2023 at 04:45 PM
jose120photo
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Digitizing Film


I use a pacific image primefilm xa for 35mm and a epson v700 for 120 film. I use VueScan to scan "raw" tiff files and invert using perfect color or xnview mp with a custom action. The workflow I use is with high quality capture in mind and not for bulk.


Nov 10, 2023 at 10:23 PM
rji2goleez
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Digitizing Film


I am using Negative Lab Pro and it all works great. I can’t speak to the Z9 but I have used my Sony a1 with electronic shutter without issue.

RoamingScott wrote:
Interesting. I wasn't impressed at all with the Valoi 360 system. Are you using Negative Lab Pro in conjunction?

This looks very much like the old Nikon ES-2 system. No one has ever given me a good answer if you can use that with the Z9 due to the lack of a mechanical shutter and typical LED light sources for film scanning, so I've never bit. This would likely have the same issue at twice the cost.




Nov 11, 2023 at 07:30 AM
AMC6131
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Digitizing Film


mikeengles wrote:
Have you considered a slide scanner. The Plustek are cheap and pretty good.
I use an Epson V800 flatbed. Good for making 3000x2000 pixel scans and can be done in batches.
Automatic negative inversion.
Scan at 48 bit and process in Lightroom
Having looked at the OM bellows setup, that really does make the whole much easier as I use the same stuff with Canon.
I have my original OM macro lenses. I still prefer to use the Flatbed. You can scan 18 images at a time.
Decide on what you need the scans for. I have been scanning my family archive of 35mm slides
...Show more

Apologies for the (very) late reply here.

Thank you for your post!!!

I used an Epson V600 utilizing both Epson's own software as well as Vuescan's software for 35mm negative scans. The scans came out good ... but not great. Also, the amount of time it took for the scanner to scan just one 35mm strip holder was quite long (I think the size setting was around 8000 something).

Obviously, Epson calibrated the focus point of the unit's lens to be where the film plane is when mounted in their negative holders. But I'm curious to know how can you focus manually it that lens loses that focus point?



Dec 30, 2023 at 12:18 AM
AMC6131
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Digitizing Film


madNbad wrote:
This seems to be a good place to ask about shielding the negative from stray light when camera scanning and if members are doing it. In an earlier setup, I was using a Sony A5100 with an adapted 55 Micro Nikkor and a Skier Copybox. I had been turning off the lights in the room but noticed there was still a fair amount of glare. I had a Ambico Universal Compendium Shade that was a Craigslist find and after installing it noticed the scan had better tones overall. Shortly after moving to Negative Supply, they began introducing light shields that
...Show more

Thanks for your post. Great point!!!

At looking at the multitude of DSLR / Mirrorless scanning setups online ... I always wondered why a lot of those setups didn't mask off the stray light from the lens to the film holder ... as well as the light source pad / table.

I have seen a few setups that took this in to consideration ... ranging from black construction paper to attachments mounted directly in front of the lens to homemade devices like this gentleman's setup:



Negative Supply's product line looks amazing!!!



Dec 30, 2023 at 12:35 AM
AMC6131
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Digitizing Film


kaplah wrote:
If you are in the Nikon world, ES-2 with a suitable lens. Full-frame body would take a 60mm f/2.8G Micro, or 60mm f/2.8D Micro. DX body would take the AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G.

ES-2 manual: https://download.nikonimglib.com/archive3/f4xu600SPneZ03H5lxq47P4c4n80/ES-2_JP(DD_DL)02.pdf

Fast and efficient, no messing around, it just works.

If not Nikon, I'm out of my wheelhouse.

In any event you then need a light source. Flash or continuous. If you're on a D850 and using the negative inversion setup, must be continuous.

If you need to invert negatives, the simplest way is a Lightroom plugin called Negative Lab Pro.

Buying stuff designed for this is fast and
...Show more

Apologies for the late reply.

Appreciate this, thank you!!! Definitely a consideration.

Will this ES-2 adapt to other vendor's lenses?




Dec 30, 2023 at 12:48 AM
AMC6131
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Digitizing Film


ericrepo wrote:
Hey there!

I found really good success with the Essential film Holder and a CRI light of atleast 95. I personally have the Negative Supply light, but that was before Cinestill made an affordable light that has generally good reviews.

I bought an old Pentax 1:1 50mm Macro lens since I already had a Pentax Film camera and adapter for my Sony camera. I think the most important part is getting a 1:1 macro and making sure your camera is parallel to the film using the mirror method. Essentially just put a piece of mirror on top of your film holder
...Show more


Thanks again for your post!!!

I've been reading up on the CRI ratings as well as TLCI ratings. Geeesh, so many ratings to take in to consideration!!!

Cool tip about the "mirror" to ensure parallel-ness from film to camera; appreciate that.

Which NS light did you get ... the CRI 97 or CRI 99?

And do you feel it's worth it ... meaning what you paid vs. quality of the product?

Thanks again!!!



Dec 30, 2023 at 12:55 AM
kaplah
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Digitizing Film


rji2goleez wrote:
https://www.valoi.co/easy35

Good grief, twice as expensive as the Nikon ES-2. For once, Nikon is not only the value but the cost leader.
---------------------------------------------

AMC6131 wrote:
Apologies for the late reply.

Appreciate this, thank you!!! Definitely a consideration.

Will this ES-2 adapt to other vendor's lenses?


If they have the same or adaptable thread (macro nikons are 62mm) and comparable working distance, which should be published for the lens you are interested in.



Dec 30, 2023 at 09:40 AM
coralnut
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Digitizing Film


> For once, Nikon is not only the value but the cost leader.

If you think the Valoi is overpriced then you need to look into the Negative Supply film carriers.

I bought the Nikon ES-1 slide copier when it first came out. The only improvements that were added with the ES-2 were a filmstrip holder for negatives and a set screw to fix the position of the slide carrier on the sliding extension tube. With the ES-1 most people just used gaffer's tape.

I don't think that Nikon has any claim on ease of use, price, or quality of results with the ES-1 or ES-2. I also don't think the Negative Supply Pro 35mm holder is all it's cracked up to be. I paid $400 for one and got a defective unit, and I'm weeks into requesting warranty service, with nothing positive coming from the company, just some empty promises.

If interested in the bank for the buck option, the consensus seems to be that the Essential Film Holder is the answer. I'll find out soon, as I have one of them coming my way. More info can be found in the "Digitizing 35/120" series of threads.




Dec 30, 2023 at 09:59 AM
 


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Robin Smith
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Digitizing Film


I stop down when digitizing my negs and slides to f8 on my f4 Apo Rodagon. This gives me a deeper depth of field which is helpful for coping with any film curl with minimal effect on resolution. I use the Skier film holder. Slides are much less of a problem as they are mounted in Gepe slide mounts and this holds the slides quite flat. The problem is with 35mm film strips and frames at the end of the roll, where the film curls, and is not an issue for the rest. If the film is really problematic I will use f11, which sees a drop in resolution, but may improve perceived sharpness. I usually compare the two shots at f8 and and f11 and pick which is best. f16 produces a noticeable reduction in quality. I could mount any of these problematic frames in slide mounts or fiddle more with the neg holder, but since I have so many 1000s on my plate, life is way too short


Jan 04, 2024 at 12:26 PM
Peter Figen
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Digitizing Film


Robin Smith wrote:
I stop down when digitizing my negs and slides to f8 on my f4 Apo Rodagon. This gives me a deeper depth of field which is helpful for coping with any film curl with minimal effect on resolution. I use the Skier film holder. Slides are much less of a problem as they are mounted in Gepe slide mounts and this holds the slides quite flat. The problem is with 35mm film strips and frames at the end of the roll, where the film curls, and is not an issue for the rest. If the film is really problematic
...Show more

So, stopping down to f/8 at a 1:1 reproduction ratio means you're really at f/16 even though it says f/8, and well into diffraction land. It only gets worse at f/11 and it'll all be pretty mush at an indicated f/16 or a real f/32. You'd be far better off doing a quick focus stack at 5.6, spend ten seconds in Helicon and back to Ps.





Jan 04, 2024 at 09:05 PM
coralnut
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Digitizing Film


Do you have an automated method for doing the focus stacking? I know that some of the newer cameras will automate the process of photo stacking while the older cameras aren't programmable to do focus stacking, so you'd have to do it manually. I think it would be hard to do it manually at 1:1 given the DOF is less than 1mm but then I've never tried it.

I've been reading about focus stacking on various new Nikons and the way in which the models do it seems subtly different. One of the main problems is that with the Nikons, they don't return the lens to the originating position after completing the stack program. They just start wherever you have the lens focused and then shoot the number of shots specified at the intervals specified and stop when they are finished.

That would be decidedly inconvenient for sequential slide scanning, where the camera doesn't reset after every stacking session. It would be much easier for workflow if the camera could return to it's starting point to be ready for the next slide. All of this gives me the impression that a "quick focus stack" wouldn't be particularly quick ... unless you're controlling the camera from a PC that allows you to define a return to the origin for scanning. Is there tethering software that does that?



Jan 04, 2024 at 09:49 PM
Peter Figen
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · Digitizing Film


All of my many macro lenses are manual focus so in camera focus slices are not even an option, but it's pretty easy to manually focus any of those lenses but a bit easier on the lenses which have longer focusing throws. I can't imagine you'd need more than four or five images if you're already in a good state of square to the film. However inconvenient it might be to focus stack, it's a lot less inconvenient than having one corner not sharp. You figure out what it takes to do the job right and you do it. Or you don't and you live with substandard output.


Jan 04, 2024 at 10:17 PM
Robin Smith
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · Digitizing Film


This is true, but I see no discernible difference at f8 vs f5.6, so I am going by observation not theory in this case. The grain is tight and well rendered at f8 with only a marginal decline at f11. If the image was going to be subjected to a great enlargement then I might worry about manual focus stacking for any negs with a difficult curl. In this case for me perfection is the enemy of the good, given the scanning job I have.


Jan 05, 2024 at 10:04 AM
Peter Figen
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · Digitizing Film


Robin Smith wrote:
This is true, but I see no discernible difference at f8 vs f5.6, so I am going by observation not theory in this case. The grain is tight and well rendered at f8 with only a marginal decline at f11. If the image was going to be subjected to a great enlargement then I might worry about manual focus stacking for any negs with a difficult curl. In this case for me perfection is the enemy of the good, given the scanning job I have.


Robin - You never mentioned what camera and pixel dimension capture you're using. I'm wondering if the reason you're not seeing as much of a difference as I might be seeing are that you're using a much lower resolution, larger pixel sensor where the physical resolution limit is much lower than the GFX100s and II that I have set up. And then, in addition, that enlarging lens, however good it might be, is not optimized for 1:1 and is definitely several notches below the Rodenstock Digaron 105mm Float lens with the manually set floating element ring, so what I'm seeing is a much sharper image at f/5.6 which then visually degrades much faster as you stop it down and move into diffraction.

The important thing is that the results you're getting are ones that you're happy with and which suit your purposes.

I do remember moving from an Epson flatbed scanner in '95 to a Linotype consumer level flatbed ($4000) a couple of years later which was so much better than the Epson that I thought I was done and scanned as much as I could. And then I bought my first Howtek used in '98 for something like $12,500 and then commenced to re-scanning everything I'd scanned previously, and then added a newer but still used Howtek 8000 in 2001 for about $15.000 which was three times as fast and also had the ability to scan up to 8000 ppi, which was actually useful for the sharpest 35mm and 6x7cm film.

It's not often that I've needed to scan 120 film at 8000 but when you need it, it's great that it's there. The Los Angeles Museum of Natural History came to me with a piece of 6x8cm Velvia which had been scanned for them by one of the service bureaus in town on a Crossfield drum scanner but were not happy with that scan. I told them that I'd be happy to scan it for them and would only charge them if my scan was better than theirs - mostly because at that time I had no idea how this relatively inexpensive Howtek (at that time about $40K for the Howtek vs. about $200K for the Crossfield) would compare. I was actually shocked at how much better the Howtek scan was compared to the Crossfield, and so were they. It was a great example of how you could ask for the same number of pixels from each scanner and got those back, but what a difference in the quality of those pixels - in how much detail was resolved from the film, how accurate the color was, and just as importantly, how smooth the gradations were.

I guess the whole point of that is only to illustrate that we only know what we know and we certainly do not know what we don't know and how it pays, sometimes literally, to be open to expanding our knowledge.




Jan 06, 2024 at 01:20 PM
coralnut
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · Digitizing Film


Well, I guess I'm lucky enough to be one of those guys who knows what he doesn't know. That is to say, I don't know everything that I don't know, but I do know that there are specific gaps in my knowledge and I'm trying to fill them in. I'm trying to avoid being doomed to endure a lengthy digitization project, only to find out that I need to start over with new equipment to get it right. I'm willing to do what it takes to get good results the first time, so I'm still in the mode of asking a lot of questions to try to avoid making misteaks.

My preliminary tests are being done on a full-frame DSLR with a "high end" (for the format) 1:1 macro lens (Nikon 200mm/f4 Micro). I like to think of two points of weakness in any digitizing camera system: pixel resolution and lens performance.

There's no question that results would be better with a dedicated 1:1 reproduction lens that is optimized for transparency duplication and internegative preparation, with the reference standard being the Rodenstock Apo-Rodagon-D. Granted, it's not as flexible as the Rodenstocks that are designed for product photography, but being optimized strictly for reproduction, the Apo-Rodagon-D seems like the better choice. It certainly seems more economical than a Digaron-S that has other capabilities beyond negative reproduction.

Looking at recording cameras, Peter makes the point that pixel dimensions (small pixel sensors) are important in maximizing the resolution of your captures. He's using the latest era 102MP medium format cameras.

One of the things that has kept me from taking the plunge into digital medium format has been that prior to the development of the ~100MP cameras by Fuji and Hasselblad, there just wasn't a convincing reason for me to move from Full Frame (FF) to Medium Format (MF). Let's compare some numbers:

In the FF realm, the current generation of Nikon 45.7MP bodies have 8256 horizontal pixels covering 35.9mm of 35mm film frame, resulting in 230 pix/mm at a pixel size of 4.35um (5200 dpi). Crunching numbers, that leads to a Diffraction Limited Aperture (DLA) of 7.1.

The Sony a7IV has 61.2MP, 9504 horizontal pixels covering 35.9mm, resulting in 265 pix/mm at a size of 3.78um (6700 dpi). Calculated DLA is 6.2.

The Fuji GFX50R has 51.4MP, 8256 horizontal pixels covering 43.8mm, 188 pix/mm at a size of 5.31um (4800 dpi). Calculated DLA is 8.7.

Looking at these numbers, I don't see a compelling reason to move from a Nikon or Sony sensor to the Fuji 50MP system ... unless you can mount a significantly better lens onto the system.

In the world of ~100MP both MF Hasselblad and Fuji have come out with 102MP cameras. The Fuji GFX100 has 11,648 horizontal pixels covering 43.8mm, 266 pix/mm at a size of 3.76 um/pix (6750 dpi). Calculated DLA is 6.2. These numbers seem very close to the Sony a7IV.

The change in DLA that goes hand-in-hand with MP count makes it clear that lens quality is becoming more important. As MP increases f/8 is no longer "optimal" and we have to change our reference to something more like f/5.6; if your sensor dictates a DLA in the range of 6.2 to 7.4 then it's important to have a lens that is optimized by f/5.6.

Simply looking at the numbers (I will be embarrassed if my math is wrong), I'm trying to wrap my mind around exactly where the big step-up in quality occurs with MF vs FF. (Sony certainly has been trying to close that gap.)

Is the biggest advantage that MF offers over FF attributable to the lenses? I'm wondering how the Rodenstock lenses mount on the Fuji bodies and if it's even feasible/worthwhile to adapt them to FF bodies like the Sony or Nikon Z.

After doing all of this math, it's evident that none of the cameras will beat the 8000 dpi drum scan. The drum scanner still reigns supreme.



Jan 06, 2024 at 05:42 PM
Peter Figen
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · Digitizing Film


coralnut wrote:
Well, I guess I'm lucky enough to be one of those guys who knows what he doesn't know. That is to say, I don't know everything that I don't know, but I do know that there are specific gaps in my knowledge and I'm trying to fill them in. I'm trying to avoid being doomed to endure a lengthy digitization project, only to find out that I need to start over with new equipment to get it right. I'm willing to do what it takes to get good results the first time, so I'm still in the mode of
...Show more

Yeah, you only know what you know until you learn what you didn't know and then you go, oh crap, I wish I knew it then.A good starting place.The problem I've found with most enlarging lenses is that used for copying film, they're just not that well optimized for that distance and while they might be great enlarging lenses, they're not really the best for digital scanning. And looking up a 100mm f/4 Digaron-S, it's only optimized from one tenth life size to infinity, from Rodenstock's website. It'd be great for copying 8x10 film.The lens that really rocks this whole application (and there are some others as well) is the Rodenstock 105mm f/5.6 Digaron APO Macro FLOAT lens where you can dial in the floating element anywhere from one third life size to three times life size. It's the being able to set that floating element to the exact reproduction ratio that takes this lens above and beyond. The Contax 645 120mm f/4 Macro with its automatically set floating element is in the same league but limited to a 1:1 ratio and where those two lenses, the Contax and the Float lens overlap, it's very very hard to tell the difference between the two, but for me, shooting with the GFX, I need to get to just under 1.4:1 ratio to fill the GFX frame with a 35mm piece of film, so the Rodenstock is preferred. And to address something further down, that Rodenstock lens cannot be mounted directly to the GFX or any other camera as there is no integral focusing mount in the lens. You have to mount it to some sort of focusing bellows system like a Cambo or Novoflex. I've been using the Novoflex tilt-shift bellows for a variety of macro images as well as the digital scanning. I'm sure there are other solutions as well. Don't forget that the apertures you've listed for the diffraction onset are the number prior to factoring in bellows factor, so that your 200mm f/4 Nikkor is already an effective f/8 when it's wide open at 1:1 ratio and you might have to stop down a stop just to pull the corners in.For as long as we can keep those scanners going with parts and service starting to more scarce and more expensive at the same time, there will be a time when they become giant door stops. The setup I'm using with the GFX and the Rodenstock Float lens is very very close to 8000 on the drum scanner but without the flexibility of being able to set the scanning aperture independently from the scanning resolution, which I know is a mouthful that probably doesn't make any sense now but we can get in to the technical explanation later.

Edited on Jan 06, 2024 at 10:36 PM · View previous versions



Jan 06, 2024 at 07:56 PM
Peter Figen
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · Digitizing Film


Okay, well, that response did not format how I expected it to. Sorry about that. I'll try and re-do it later but I hear a guitar calling my name for the next few hours.


Jan 06, 2024 at 07:58 PM
dvoss
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · Digitizing Film




In the world of ~100MP both MF Hasselblad and Fuji have come out with 102MP cameras. The Fuji GFX100 has 11,648 horizontal pixels covering 43.8mm, 266 pix/mm at a size of 3.76 um/pix (6750 dpi). Calculated DLA is 6.2. These numbers seem very close to the Sony a7IV.

That makes sense since Sony fabricates the sensors for all three of these cameras. They (should) have the same pixel pitch (3.76 microns). Jim Kasson and others have shown that the 102MP sensor is actually fabricated from four smaller segments.




Jan 06, 2024 at 08:30 PM
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