« Flak Photo's 'Beautiful New Machine' | Main | Penn Camera Bankrupcy and Kodak Death Watch Update »

Wednesday, 04 January 2012

Comments

I have so few good color slides from the old days that I'm willing to send them out; but I have thousands of b&w negatives, and this approach fills me with hope.
Please go on....

This will maybe not meet Ctein's high standards, but here is what an online friend of mine does, mainly for convenience as he says:

http://derscheuch.wordpress.com/2009/12/22/wie-krieg-ich-das-denn-nu-in-den-rechner-rein-teil-eins/
http://derscheuch.wordpress.com/2009/12/28/wie-krieg-ich-das-denn-nu-in-den-rechner-rein-teil-zwei/
http://derscheuch.wordpress.com/2010/01/06/wie-krieg-ich-das-denn-nu-in-den-rechner-rein-teil-drei/

It is in German, but you can see the setup in part two and the result in part three. He uses a Sony Alpha 900 (not the camera in the pictures) and a 100mm macro lens, the light comes from a transparency unit. The final result links to his flickr stream, which contains many more examples.

This is something I've started experimenting with - my first attempt exposed the discontinuous spectrum of the energy saving light bulbs in my lamps resulting in loss of some colours; later experiments involved taping slides & negative strips to the windows, which brought me to the alignment issues. That is as far as I got, so any hints......

Good Stuff Ctein. One ancient photo I've recently printed for a client arrived as a scan from a negative, (possibly a plate) and has astonishing tonal range and sharpness which left me quite breathless. Exif data indicates it was done with - wait for it - a Phase One P65+. All things are possible....

I think I will have puffed out my second wind of film photography if it ever comes to this. If it was this difficult and you could get a better result then maybe, but sounds too hard to get just ok.

"At 2400 PPI, 1:1 magnification, your depth of field is really, really tiny."

Does dropping down scanning resolution and/or magnification increase effective depth of field? My coffee-brain says, "no" because the optical distance hasn't changed with scan settings. But maybe you're meaning effective or resolvable depth of field?

Overall I'm wondering if sacrificing scan res (or camera sensor size?) could be somewhat overcome later with a wee bit of Unsharp Mask such that the overall result is clearer than it would have been when scanned higher (within the limitations of the print size etc.)

Or will the next installment reveal that critical alignment is easily achievable with the right gadget, rendering my question moot? Thanks!

If you have thousands of negatives, and they are 120 or smaller, go to BH and buy a film scanner. It will do a better job, you will help keep the manufacturers making them, and you will not go crazy. Mike can put up some links.

I'm looking forward to side-by-side results of this technique compared to a flat-bed scanner. We've scanned thousands of slides in our office with an Epson V750 Pro with good results. Like so many other instrumentation decisions, it boils down to "good enough" vs. "good" vs. "great", and the time required to achieve it.

Waiting breathlessly for part two.

John, (sitting here with thousands of 35mm half frame negs)

There is a long discussion of scanning large format negatives with a camera at the Large Format Photography Forum: http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=84769.

How about using a trans light approach by putting the negatives on a light table? Obviously would have to set the exposure manually and cover the light table around the borders of the negative to avoid flare.

William Blackwell has written a nice article detailing his investigations into "camera scanning" at The Agnostic Print. Quote: "I’ve recently built such a system for the University of Vermont Slide Library. [...] we hope to digitize our 150,000 slides in under three months (pre metadata inclusion) with only $3400 in equipment."

After many hours of frustration trying to get good scans from my B&W negatives while utilizing flatbed scanners I gave up. The problem was not sharpness or tonal range, but excessive grain. One of the owners of a local camera store suggested I use my light table, Nikon D700 and 60mm macro lens. To achieve film flatness I use an old Beseler negative carrier that clamps the negs in place. Once I got everything dialed in the results have been better than I could ever have gotten from a flatbed. The only thing I might try different is trying a longer macro lens as I think I am getting slight barrel distortion with my 60mm Nikkor.

It goes without saying that I use a VERY sturdy tripod. I might try locking the mirror up to see if there is any real difference in sharpness.

Ctein,

I'm currently scanning negatives with a Nikon Coolscan and I had a broken computer monitor (bad lcd, good backlight) that I converted into a light table to preview the negatives. Would this serve as a good light source for photographing negatives? It seems to me that if it's good enough to view scanned negatives on a computer it should be good enough to backlight negatives for re-photographing, but I'd like to hear your opinion.

I recently have been exploring how to shoot 35mm B&W negatives and have used a LED video light as lightsource. My old Durst enlarger provided me with a lightbox which I put over the LED light to diffuse the light even more.

The film holder of the Durst keeps the film pretty flat without the use of the glass plates. The planparallel position of camera sensor and film are the hardest part for which I do not have a good solution yet.
Testshots with the GH2 + 45mm macro lens look promising with regards to the lighting.

Looking forward to the next episode of your column Ctein.

For anyone thinking of scanning film there have been a couple mid price Nikon film and slide scanners appear on fredmiranda.com in the past few months, including a Nikon Coolscan IV ED. I just took a draw and bought a LS-2000 for $115.00. Next week will test and see if it works. One has to be patient and check the listing frequently.
I am not related in any way to Fred Miranda or his site.

For linear HDR, ZeroNoise might be a (very) decent solution.
http://www.guillermoluijk.com/article/nonoise/index_en.htm

Some background: For the past 20 years I have specialized in the field of photomicrography. Most of my subject matter has been glass mounted specimen slides. About 7 years ago I started scanning a collection of 4x5 and 5x7 black & white glass plates (dating from 1890 to roughly 1915) for our local museum. For the glass plates an Epson 4990 scanner was used. A few years ago we came across some 16mm film footage that we wanted to make fairly large prints of. Using a film scanner was out of the question since that would necessitate the cutting of the 16mm film. My solution was to use my photomacrography equipment as follows: I used a Nikon Multiphot system. With the Multiphot, the camera plane, lens plane, and the subject plane are all aligned well within a fraction of a degree of each other. For a camera body, at first used an older Leaf Lumina which could be dedicated to the set-up, but later changing to a Nikon D700. For a lens I first used a 35mm Micro Nikkor, later changing to 65mm Micro Nikkor which gave me a greater lens to subject distance. These lenses have T stops rather than f stops. Stopping down one T stop from maximum aperture worked best for me. For a light source I first used a small 4x5 inch Aristo light box but quickly switched to the collated light source of the Multiphot’s condenser microscope like system which greatly increased the resolution and contrast of the images. I would say this is the ultimate film scanning system that accommodates 8mm to 4x5 inch film. Changing the lens, film holder, and condenser takes less than a minute. The Micro Nikkors (16mm, 35mm, 65mm, and 120mm) far out perform normal brand name Macro lenses. Zeiss Luminar lenses would be another option. The costs of these optics seem ridiculously high (look them up on EBay) until you use them and experience the superb images they produce. The Achilles heal of this whole set up is definitely the film holder. Very few, if any, photographic film holders adapted from darkroom enlargers have the “microscope” quality tolerances of the Multiphot. I ended up sandwiching the film, emulsion side down, under a piece of anti Newton glass.

I've had most of my color slides that were worthwhile scanned.

But I have at least a 1000 color photos that need to be scanned. These are mostly family pictures and not worth sending to a commercial service. I've thought about whether a light table and a good macro lens for my DSLR would be more useful than a slow film scanner.

Someone should make a dedicated 'lens' which has a space to fit the film into, and is already perfectly focused.

My second comment. I have been using an Epson flatbed V600 to do quick scans of older photos. The scans have been made quickly because my wife has to return albums to relatives. I have had good results with photos dating back to 1915, 1942 and the 1940s, but all B&W. The link below is to some of them, the oldest prints. I have to go back and clean them up a little, dust spots, alignment, etc. But for 2 minutes on each for family history the are adequate.

http://alan996.smugmug.com/Other/Babbette-family-old/20889607_XVL3fM

Dear David,

Depth of field ALWAYS involves resolution! It's right there in the equations. The more resolution you want, the smaller your depth of field. In the "macro" realm, which is where we're talking about working, it's proportional to the resolution.

Unsharp masking does nothing to improve resolution. Useless in this case.

pax / Ctein
==========================================
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com
==========================================

Dear John,

Yup! An Epson 750 flatbed is going to run rings around the camera-copy approach unless the latter is done absolutely perfectly.

That's a no-brainer- no tests or examples needed (nor will any be provided).

pax / Ctein

Perhaps this is the time to go hunting for some long forgotten accessories such as Nikon's BP-6 bellows coupled with a PS-6 slide copier. These are aligned and the diffuser is build in. Twenty years ago I used similar equipment to do slide to slide copying. No easy task then. The two major problems were precise focus and colour temperature control. With today's digital equipment live-view would eliminate the first problem and colour casts are easy to correct in post processing.

I've been doing this for a while, using an ebay led movie light with milky plexiglas as a light source, an Omega neg carrier, and my D300 on a copy stand, and it's working great. The most unexpected thing I discovered was that no enlarging lens (I tried a bunch of good ones) worked as well as my 60/2.8 Micro-Nikkor at f/8.

In-camera sharpening turned out to be a bad idea, accentuating grain (aliasing?) without gaining sharpness. Once I got things set up right, autofocus is working very well for the final focus, too!

Using the mirror for parallel setting is a great idea. That was my final hurdle.

New dedicated film scanners are still being made - someone over on LUF just posted this link:
http://www.geardiary.com/2012/01/04/plustek-to-unveil-new-line-of-scanners-at-ces/
As someone else mentioned, the sensible way to keep film scanners available is simple: buy them. Must say I'm disappointed to see the Heath Robinson DIY approach being used, when perfectly good film scanners can still be bought new. Surely we should wait with these desperate measures until the time we have no option.

One thing you haven't mentioned in this article (and perhaps might have covered in the next section) is the speed of using a digital camera for scanning. I've got a Canon Canoscan FS4000US and it takes anywhere from 5-10 minutes to scan one frame. This doesn't include pre and post scanning adjustments from within the TWAIN module. It takes me at least 4 hours to scan a roll of 36 exposures properly.

The DSLR solution seems to have the potential to be a time saver and provide usable files. I'm looking forward to reading your concluding article.

As Greg has pointed out, there is equipment already designed and made for just this purpose. At a slightly less flexible and much less expensive level, there is equipment designed for making copies of 35 mm film in the pre digital days.

I've experimented with this with reasonable success using just such purpose designed equipment. I used Olympus equipment because it's good and because I already had it.

I used a setup like that shown here,
except with a Canon 5D in place of the OM film body.

The Oly Auto Bellows and slide copier are well made and connect to each other so that parallelism is maintained without any fancy fussing.

The Slide Copier is quite well designed, with separate provisions for holding slides and short strips of bare film. The Roll Film Adapter does what its name implies.

The copier has its own piece of diffusion glass built-in. I used it with a 4x5 in. light 'table', but flash could easily be used, as well.

The Olympus 80/4 bellows lens is corrected for 1:1, very flat field and high resolution - exactly for this purpose.

The 5D gives a theoretical resolution of 3600 dpi. The Bayer array design reduces that, although I have no way to really measure how much.

As I was interested in 'scanning' a bunch of old slides, that's what I tested on. On some 1930s Kodachromes, 5D copies and 4000 dpi scans on a Canon FS4000 were close to indistinguishable. There were subtle differences at 100%, but I couldn't say one was better than the other.

That's not a real test of the system, as film and lens seem to give no more than maybe 2400 dpi to resolve.

With slides, focus check is probably needed at least for each change of mount from different processing batches, if not more often. With bare film in strips or rolls, it probably isn't necessary.

DOF didn't seem to be a problem, but I didn't try shooting a slide in standard mount, then putting it bare or in a glass mount. Glass mounts are problematic, as anti Newton Ring glass reduces resolution.
Getting a bare single frame in any holder centered, square and flat is difficult.

I came to the conclusion that the whole process wasn't useful for me. It's slow, as each frame has to be hand set and hand exposed, and no better than using a good flatbed, like the Epson V series or the Canon 9950F I have. Setting 12 slides into the scanner is quick and easy. Inserting 5 strips of film is only slightly fussier. Scanning can then be automatic.

The CanoScan software had problems with DR. Using VueScan, results are almost as good at a nominal 4800 dpi as the pure film scanner at 4000 dpi. For most of my older film, and the slides inherited from my father, there just isn't anything to be gained with the film scanner.

Even the film scanner, which will automatically handle strips of 6 frames or 4 slides at a time, is less bother than the slide copier set-up.

Moose

I have had good results using a Beseler color head enlarger with the neg or slide in the neg holder shining onto the base and then using a Minolta A2 on it's back on the base. Results were very good using 35mm and even better using 6X6 or6X7 negs.

The classic two-mirror enlarger alignment method sounds like it will work for aligning the lens to the film holder in this kind of a setup.

For extreme dynamic range, some kind of compendium shade might also be worth while; at least be very careful masking off any part of the lighted surface that the film being imaged doesn't cover.

Given a well-built set of hacks, the actual "scanning" can be MUCH faster this way than in a scanner. But it does take personal attention; can't just dump a batch of slides (sorted for similar exposure) into the feeder. On the third hand, given a well-built set of hacks you might well be able to find a cheap teenager who could then run images through the rig pretty fast.

One obvious loss is you don't have the ICE defect elimination. Depending how much this is your good work vs. your snapshots, that may or may not matter much (presumably the "good" work has been well taken care of, right?).

Anybody got an old Spiratone Dupliscope?

I was just wondering something. I wonder if it's possible to do the digital equivalent of a contact print. Lay a 35 mm negative (or slide) directly onto the surface of a digital sensor then shine a light through it somehow. It would not exactly be a simple DIY project though, seems like it would need some custom electronics, but maybe there's a skunkworks team at one of the sensor makers who have tried this with discarded sensors. Be fun to try.

One word of warning for those considering using an enlarger head upside down: most of them were designed to ventilate by convection in a normal non-upside down position!
Put them upside down and you got a sure fire recipe for burned out lamps, at best.

Doesn't mean it can't be done: just make sure you rig some form of forced ventilation to ensure it happens. Doesn't need to be a hurricane-force breeze, either! :-)

Do go on ...

This could be the justification for purchasing a Pentax 645D that I, and possibly others, have been waiting for. It scans slides and negatives, and it takes pictures as well!

I'll be sorely disappointed if you tell me that my lowly D700 is sufficient.

Can anyone recommend a resource to explain the relationship between density range and dynamic range? Ctein said that BW/color negatives had a density range of around 8 stops while slides were 10-13. I had been of the impression that negatives had a wider dynamic range than slides in general and that some had a much wider dynamic range than 8 stops in particular.

Any explanation would be appreciated.

I have a lot of 35mm color slides, with only a small proportion that should be scanned really well, in my opinion. My little brain didn't even THINK about sending them out, so I will do that - doh! I've tried with the flatbed, and it fails on 35mm. It does very well with medium format when everything goes right, and since I love the actions and mechanisms of shooting film, I shoot only medium format now. I'm getting sellable 20x24s fairly consistently from the V700 scanner. I don't like, or want, to sell any print that is less than very good to excellent, and this is working, thank goodness. All of my 35mm equipment is going away slowly, through auctions and other sites. I always thought that when I reached my older years (I'm 63), I would have more time - yeah, sure! So, I'll finally whittle down to the medium format camera and one digital camera.

"Unsharp masking does nothing to improve resolution."

True - and yet ...

What most people mean, most of the time, when they toss about comments on resolution is not resolution, but sharpness.

Where resolution is a fairly clearly definable factor. Sharpness, however, is a subjective mix of resolution and contrast. It didn't matter so much in the film era. In the digital era, it matters quite a lot.

Imagine an 8 bit image file of alternating pixels of values 127 and 128. Even at 100%, it's going to look like continuous 50% gray. Boost the contrast way up, and suddenly it is clear that resolution is very high.

Unsharp Mask, both as edge enhancer and for LCE, has a similar effect on apparent sharpness. As such, often together with contrast, curves and/or levels, it can greatly enhance the visibility of resolution otherwise not apparent to the eye.

- and yet ...

Deconvolution algorithms are capable of actually increasing the resolution of an image. One can only imagine the extent to which this might be the case with a custom algorithm for a specific lens and repro ratio. Still, even the generalized solutions can make a significant difference.

Yes, every effort should be made to get it as good as possible in the initial capture, but to dismiss so lightly software that can improve the result seems short sighted to me.

If I were faced with the choice between more contrast at edges and more resolution with less edge contrast, I probably would have chosen the former for film copies of slides. I would likely choose the latter for digital copies today.

Moose

About 30 years ago I wanted some 35 mm positives from negatives for projection. After some thought and Rube Goldberg construction, I projected the image with my enlarger on flat white paper at about 11x14" and copied those images with a 35mm camera. The camera was quite close to the enlarger so the distortion was minimal and depth of field was ok for sharpness.
I also tried a projector but the Kodak Carousel optics were not adequate.
Later I found a gadget at Porters for copying slides that had a built-in lens but never tried it.
Today, I would try back projection or a 45 deg partially silvered beam splitter.
Caveat:good enough!
All this seems much less critical than macro.

http://specialtyphotographic.com/
The slide/negative copiers are still available.
Again - the "good enough?" caveat.

Dear Al,

Yeah, old print scanning is a LOT easier, and a very modest scanner can do a very good job.

I talk about scanning prints a lot in DIGITAL RESTORATION (http://photo-repair.com/DigiRestBook.htm). It's pretty easy to do once you learn the right approach.

pax / Ctein

Nico

"Someone should make a dedicated 'lens' which has a space to fit the film into, and is already perfectly focused."

EBay is awash with them , they are called slide duplicators and the were popular in the 60s and 70s for duplicating slides. I still have one I got for $15 from Spiratone when I was in college. It made me really popular with art students who were always needing to dupe slides.

They work surprisingly well despite looking like pieces of junk. The only problem with them is that they are set to f16 or f22 at about 100mm extended to 200mm of course, so they show up any dirt you have on the sensor in great detail. I was never able to get my 1Ds clean enough to use it.

Oh and one more thing , they only work on full frame cameras , and they tend to crop the slide unless you take the whole thing apart and shorten the tube and refocus it.
Back then people were more upset by the cardboard mount getting in the picture than by losing some of the image.

I see someone is selling some polaroid branded gadgets that have a slide stage and a closeup lens that mounts on the lens of your camera. Sounds like just the think to give relatives and friends who are always asking for help scanning slides.

On the other hand , my daughter just sticks old slides into a 79 cent slide viewer and holds the eyepiece up to the webcam on her laptop and is perfectly happy with the results which are vastly better than most of the old photos you see on facebook

Obviously my comment on the Plustek 7600 didnt make it through. Why ever... Bad.

[email protected]


[Your original comment is published in the "Featured Comments" section of the original post. And if you had included a real email address, then I could have told you so privately. --Mike the Ed.]

I still have the old Bowens Illumitran 3 to "scan" old negatives and slides up to 4x5".

Very interesting reading. Some weeks ago I did a very simple comparison for a colleague. I own a flatbed scanner (Epson 3170) with which I have made a lot of scanning of framed slides and b/w negatives. It turned out to be sufficient for the Internet and prints up to 5" x 7". Some months ago I bought a plustek 7400 film scanner after reading the test of the plustek 7600 at luminous landscape. My largest print has a width of 20" and looks acceptable. And lately I tried the Olympus E-P2 adapted to the old OM 3.5/50 macro, a step down ring and an Olympus slide duplicator (named "digital film scanner") which I got on Ebay for 1€ plus shipping costs.

Comparing these setups with slides from the colleague showed the following results:
- Resolution was sufficient in all cases. This came as a surprise and I think is due to the high ISO slide film and the rather cheap Canon zoom from the eighties.
- As could be expected the dynamic range was critical with the flatbed scanner.
- Workflow seemed easiest with the flatbed scanner which is able to scan four framed slides or up to 12 uncut stripes at once.
- Color handling is critical and was best with plustek and Silverfast and the E-P2 and the Olympus raw converter.
- The files from the camera showed some pincussion distortion. Cropping was required in any case due to the change in format from 3:2 to 4:3.

Currently I use the flatbed scanner for bulks of slides and the plustek if I want to achieve high quality. Usage of the E-P2 is still under evaluation but seems to be a little bit cumbersome. Therefore I am looking forward to the upcoming parts of your posting. Before I owned the E-P2 I considered the usage of my Ricoh GRD, whose sun shade fits nicely across the frame of a slide and gives the correct distance for a copy. Of course this would require a professional light box instead of just a window on a cloudy day.

I used to work at Repro Images, a high end slide duping lab in Vienna Va. We mostly worked with stock agencies, they'd send us 1000's of slides and want anywhere from 10 to 100 dupes of each in both 35mm and what we called 70mm. The owner had gone to great lengths to get as good a dupe as possible while also making the high volume profitable. All of this was done optically, all analog, all the way. Some of it may apply to doing digital copies as well since the set up would be similar.

We ran a closed loop system. The color corrections and the lab were locked together. The e-6 process was tweaked slightly to help overcome the inherent increase of contrast when duping. If you ran your own slide film through the lab, it wouldn't look quite right...

The cameras we used were heavily modified Mitchell motion picture cameras. We had both 35mm and 65mm. All sorts of things were done to them. New lens mounts, new film gates, additional pin registration, the movement was totally overhauled, etc. we'd load up 1000' of duping film (the 65mm was a custome order from Kodak) in the magazines and let it roll for as many frames as needed. I estimate the frame rate at around half to 3/4 a frame per second.

The slide we were going to dupe was usually tensioned, but sometimes it was put between glass. Sometimes wet mounting in glass was necessary. I'm pretty sure we used 4x5 Omega dichroic heads as our light source. It was put on its side with the light facing us. The slide was mounted vertically, and it was on a heavy duty rig. The camera was on a massive pedastel and everything was connected directly to the foundations of the building (we were in the basement).

The owner claimed that for the best results, having a lens that was not only optimized, but built for a single magnification factor was key to get the absolute best results, which what he was charging a premium for. For 35mm, he used what he called either duping or Repro nikkors. Apparently they were originally designed for motion picture labs for printing optical fx on film. They had no focussing mechanism. He claimed that they cost 5000 each back when he bought them in the mid 80's I believe. For the 70mm (actually 65mm stock) we used a Goertz "Imperial Magnar". It was made by Goertz USA and he claimed it cost 7 grand in 1978! In 1996, We did a comparison with a brand new APO RODAGON 150mm and found that there was too much contrast in the dupes and no advantage in "detail" so we kept using the older lens. I mentioned several times how nice it would be to use those lenses for regular photography but he claimed that there'd be little point, they were optimized for things that no one else did.

I gotta figure that between getting the sensor plane and the film plumb and the lens it's going to take quite a bit of doing to take images of film that are as good as, let alone better than, a good scan. Whenever you involve optics and distance between the sensor and object, things can get messed up really quickly. I'd be curious to see how well people do with this. I remember how much better our dupes were than even competent labs, let alone hacks. We had to go to outrageous lengths to get there, who will be willing to set something up to get as good as a decent scanner?

Dear Kelvin,

Please see my Addendum above.

Dear Mani,
I don't have one tenth the influence on industry-wide sales you think. The reality and trend I see is that film scanners are disappearing from the market. The number of models becomes fewer and fewer every year. I expect that by the end of the decade it will NOT be an (affordable) option for most photographers. Maybe flatbeds will be good enough. Maybe not.

pax / Ctein
==========================================
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com
==========================================

Density range (in processed film) is the difference in density between the most transparent area and the densest area in the processed film. This is important because your scanning/photographing method of digitizing the image has to be able to handle that entire range, or it will miss some of the picture.

The dynamic range we talk about is the difference between the minimum exposure that will produce a difference from no exposure, and the maximum exposure that will produce a difference from "infinite" exposure. This is relevant to your original film exposure -- if the brightness range of the scene fits within this, you can pick an exposure that captures all of it, whereas if the brightness range of the scene exceeds this you can't capture the full range in one shot, you have to decide to lose some highlights or shadows.

Generally, slides have a bigger density range, but negatives capture a bigger dynamic range.

Dear Kelvin & others,

Remember that do-it-yourself scanning will not allow you to benefit from things like Digital ICE and similar very effective hardware-based dust-and-scratch elimination tools. They don't work perfectly, but they get 90+% of the crud.

You will spend at least as much time cleaning up your camera-scans as you saved making them.

Fact of life, unfortunately.

The good news is that, unlike spotting prints, you only have to spot a file ONCE. As someone who feels like he's spent the majority of his career spotting prints (dye transfer takes LOTS!!!) I feel this is still a big win. Just don't get to thinking you get off scott-free.

pax / Ctein

RE: ADDENDUM from Ctein;
A lot of people just want to preserve memories a little longer and in a more convenient medium. Even if it is "half assed" with reasonable instructions you will get a reasonable result. Perfection in reproductions is often in the mind of the person for whom you did the work. My collection of over 2000 digital copies of our late fathers body of work brought many happy memories to four people who miss him very much. Done with canon slr's the work is not half bad, to bad I had to teach myself.

David and Ctein, thank you for the explanation regarding density range and dynamic range. Up to this point I had thought that I needed a scanner with a very high Dmax (4 or above) to be able to record black and white negatives that had a wide exposure range.

I've got lots of slides, b&w negatives and many years of family photos on color negatives that I'd like to digitize so this discussion is very interesting.

Peter Krogh has been advocating camera scanning for a few years now. He's the author of "The DAM Book: Digital Asset Management for Photographers" which is an excellent book that I highly recommend for anyone thinking about digital workflow. Here's a link to a paper he gave at a 2008 conference on this topic:
http://thedambook.com/downloads/Camera_Scanning_Krogh.pdf .

Peter has also been very involved with an ASMP project funded by the Library of Congress called dpBestflow. The goal is to help photographers, particularly professionals, to understand digital workflow for photography including metadata, backups, archiving, etc. This project has an extensive website that offers hours of video training in addition to lots of other resource. There's a page on this site about camera scanning: http://www.dpbestflow.org/camera/camera-scanning

The topic of camera scanning has been discussed quite a bit in the online forums on Peter's web forum: http://thedambook.com/smf/index.php.

Ctein,
You might be interested in the Large Format photography forum thread on this. Stitching macro shots of 4x5 and larger film is of great interest to these guys, even if Medium Format and smaller is impractical for all the reasons you mentioned. More importantly, they've begun testing prototype setups.

The thread was previously in the registered users area, but has been moved out into the open.

The comments to this entry are closed.