--> Skip to main content

Negative scans with a new method

 


For years I used a Nikon Coolscan to scan my slides and negs. Those scanners use a less-common Firewire connection (Apple sucks!) Now at the school lab I run, we use Epson V700 scanners. The quality of scans for 35mm especially leaves a lot to be desired! 

Here's what I did......

  • Put my Sony A7rII with a macro (a real macro that can do 1:1) on a copystand
  • Put a flat panel LED light box on the stand
  • Put my negative in a negative carrier (I tried a few carriers, in this case the neg carrier is for a Besler 45)
  • Put a couple of boxes (in this case 100' rolls of Kodak Plus X from the 1980's) to space out above the light box (prevents dust showing from on the lightbox)

For comparison, I also scanned a set of negatives on the Epson V700. The results showed me that I shouldn't be scanning 35's on the Epson!

Epson vs Camera Scan, overview

Right off the bat, some of the exposures from the Epson in default mode looked pretty crappy. But I chose this Epson scan (on the left) because I thought it looked close to what I was looking for. I scanned in 16 bit gray scale at 4800dpi on the Epson. The "scan" on the right was with the Sony A7rII and an adapted Canon 100mm macro taken at f8.

Epson vs Camera Scan, details

The camera "scans" are RAW files. As such there's a lot of room to go up or down with exposure or pull detail from the highlights and shadows. The shadows on the Epson scan are blocked up, even though this negative is a really easy properly exposed and developed sample.

Epson vs Camera Scan, shadow detail sample

The Camera Scan blows the Epson scan out of the water. You can see film grain throughout the image that is crisp and clear. The details present in the camera scan are comparable to a good drum scan. Scanning takes just a few seconds for each image (repositioning, and setup). 

I don't think I'll bother ever using the Epson for 35's again.


(as always images and words ©Michael Halberstadt)







Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Linhof Serial Year List - Salomon Says

Recently I've acquired a few Linhof cameras. I got a 5x7 view camera from Oakland Museum's White Elephant Sale. Later I stumbled upon a Color Kardan 90 Jahre Jubalaeum edition on Craigslist. And more recently, I found a "baby Technika" 2x3 (6x9) at Oakland's East Bay Depot for Creative Re-use. Not knowing much about Linhof large format cameras, I tried getting more info online, and came across a strange thread on the Large Format Photography Forum . Basically on this thread various Linhof owners ask a guy named Bob Salomon what year their Linhof was made. And the thread is over 100 pages long! Sifting through that thread is mindnumbing. Why Bob doesn't just publish the list of serial numbers is beyond me. Maybe it's just nice to feel needed. So I started compiling a spreadsheet of the serial numbers and the answer Bob gives. If you don't feel like spending a couple days reading this thread to get a hint as to the age of your Lin

Lossy DNG File Sizes by ISO.

Fairly recently I discovered the magic of lossy DNG's. My stock photo library is ever growing. Though JPG's might really be enough for my archive, I've been keeping my raw files. RAW files take up lots of space. And RAW files can't typically keep user generated EXIF data in the file. RAW files keep their keywords and other metadata in a sidecar, that is if you regularly save the EXIF data to file. So recently I've been converting all my RAW files to lossy DNG's. After testing the highest ISO setting on the new-to-me A7R IV, I converted the files to lossy DNG's only to find a surprise. The very high ISO lossy DNG's were much larger than the original Sony RAW files! Lossy ARW vs Lossy DNG full image sample So I thought it would be a good test to shoot from the lowest to highest ISO, convert to lossy DNG and see where the file size savings invert. Here's the data as seen in the above screen shot: ISO Lossy Sony ARW Raw file size (MB) Lossy DNG file siz

How to stop annoying Corel pop-up ads

Corel has done something extra sleazy. For those not familiar, Corel has been making image editing software for as long as I can remember. The Canadian based company is known for budget graphics software including Corel Draw! (Similar to Adobe Illustrator) and Paint Shop Pro (Similar to Lightroom) as well as some other products. The price of their software makes it hard to resist. I bought a few of their products years ago. Recently ads started popping up in Windows (not on a web browser, but just in the right corner of my monitor. Those ads were for Corel products and would float over all other panes in my Windows. How sleazy is that?! So I found a way to get rid of the ads for good. Or at least until you install another Corel product. If this happens to you, and you find it as annoying as I do, follow this instruction. First, hit control (+) alt (+) delete and select task manager at the bottom. If you look at your task manager, you'll see something called "background