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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:05 pm 
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How to Scan Your Film Using a Digital Camera and Macro Lens and why you should do it this way according to PetaPixel. I'm gonna give this a shot sometime this year (who knows) and will report back.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:34 pm 
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This popped up on my YouTube feed recently. I haven't had a chance to watch it and I've just realised it's more than a year old:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgOTk4ApEYs

They do a lot of photography related videos. They must be authoritative, right?


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:53 pm 
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I ended up with the V600, which, upon a lot of reading seemed to be the way to go for my needs and how much money I wanted to spend. This bird pic

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International Bird of Mystery by Christopher Brian's Photography, on Flickr

is my very first scan with the V600. It's 35mm using default settings on the Epson scanner software and minimal efforts in Lr4. I am mildly pleased with that result and confident I had made the right scanner choice. Until today. I scanned one of the 120 negatives that I had the lab do previously for comparison. This is their cheap scan which I think they run through a Coolscan 9000 on what I assume is a low-fi setting. I think I pay something like $6 for a 120 roll to be scanned. Yes, I know Burlington Camera is more expensive than options in the city that are immensely inconvenient to me and not worth the extra hassle. Anyway, I figured since the files I got from them were only a couple MBs and it is their budget scan that my V600 would be a bit closer than it is.

Here is the comparison:

Image

Image

I'll let you guys figure out which is which, I think it's kind of obvious. Anyway, I'm hoping that when I get the time to follow the link and advice that TooManyShots gave me on POTN here and here and refine my process I'll be able to get a bit better. This result is kinda disappointing, I didn't think my baseline would be so low compared to a Coolscan on its lowest settings. :( The difference in dmax is apparent and I'm disappointed in the colour as well. Perhaps because it's darker the colours look muddier? Though there is a difference in detail, it's close enough to where I want and will probably be fine once I figure out the scanners sweet spot, get the anti reflective glass and figure out a better holder system. I'm more disappointed by the Dmax and colour difference. Are my expectations too high?


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 2:17 pm 
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By the time you do all of the above you have spent close to a grand on the setup


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 3:10 pm 
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The glass can be picked up from Michael's for around $10 for an 8x10 pane apparently. Figuring out a better holder system may mean rigging the existing one after I figure out where the sweet spot for the V600 is.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:36 pm 
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I don't have time to fiddle with it now but a quick preliminary run with VueScan made an immediate difference in terms of colour, dynamic range and sharpness. The review here said it would. Definitely noticeably better. Relieved and pleased. It can output to raw too. Not sure if that's going to translate into some latitude or not. Will have to test that out later.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 5:20 pm 
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The Art of Photography on Scanning


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:05 am 
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What that review doesn't tell you is that Epson software does offer colour balancing option with channel levels and curve adjustment. While vuescan does it too, Epson is much easier to use. I have done some testing with both and the software makes absolutely no difference in quality. All it does is allows you to post-process before the process. Vuescan has a lot of options, but most are not worth using due to hardware limitations, like the dynamic range increase with multi pass. V500 and 600 can't do exact passes, the moving heads can't get into precise enough positions to not soften the image, apparently. While vuescan looks like it's better, the results are the same provided you do the same processing. I would love it to be different, but in my case it wasn't. Maybe you have better luck at that. The problem with looking at web resources is one person found some benefits while the other didn't, or one software seemed better to one, while the other preferred some other piece. There is no absolute. Same with reading about betterscanning holders. Is it worth the price or not...


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:16 am 
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ions wrote:

This is actually a very good video, shows you the whole process.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:15 am 
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PotatoEYE wrote:
ions wrote:

This is actually a very good video, shows you the whole process.


I agree. It's mostly what I've been using/doing for my scans, except:
Haven't thought twice about resolution. I think I just do everything ay 2400dpi when I should be reducing them for my 6x6 or 6x9.
I also use the auto thumbnail where I can -- it just saves me the tedium of selecting every single frame. Doesn't work for really dark exposures, or at all for 6x9.

Levels seem to be the key adjustment for the scanning process. I do a rough adjustment for the scan, and fine tune after using Aperture. For colour, I adjust RGB separately for a rough correction to colour cast, and fine tune again as before. I hear that Vuescan has built in colour profiles for the film you want to scan, but I highly doubt that they're correct for some of the badly expired slide film I've tried. Vuescan doesn't like my G4 PowerBook anyway.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:11 am 
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PotatoEYE wrote:
What that review doesn't tell you is that Epson software does offer colour balancing option with channel levels and curve adjustment. While vuescan does it too, Epson is much easier to use. I have done some testing with both and the software makes absolutely no difference in quality. All it does is allows you to post-process before the process. Vuescan has a lot of options, but most are not worth using due to hardware limitations, like the dynamic range increase with multi pass. V500 and 600 can't do exact passes, the moving heads can't get into precise enough positions to not soften the image, apparently. While vuescan looks like it's better, the results are the same provided you do the same processing. I would love it to be different, but in my case it wasn't. Maybe you have better luck at that. The problem with looking at web resources is one person found some benefits while the other didn't, or one software seemed better to one, while the other preferred some other piece. There is no absolute. Same with reading about betterscanning holders. Is it worth the price or not...


Great post! It's definitely complicated (frustratingly). As to your last point I was at my wit's end, admittedly short, trying to find consistent reliable information regarding the DSLR method. That's partially why I gave up and bought a flatbed. I will give the Epson software another shot in comparison to the VueScan and see how it goes. It's far more complicated and frustrating than it needs to be. Someone with $100k of VC money could probably clean up if they knew the right people.

ofermod wrote:
PotatoEYE wrote:
ions wrote:

This is actually a very good video, shows you the whole process.


I agree. It's mostly what I've been using/doing for my scans, except:
Haven't thought twice about resolution. I think I just do everything ay 2400dpi when I should be reducing them for my 6x6 or 6x9.
I also use the auto thumbnail where I can -- it just saves me the tedium of selecting every single frame. Doesn't work for really dark exposures, or at all for 6x9.

Levels seem to be the key adjustment for the scanning process. I do a rough adjustment for the scan, and fine tune after using Aperture. For colour, I adjust RGB separately for a rough correction to colour cast, and fine tune again as before. I hear that Vuescan has built in colour profiles for the film you want to scan, but I highly doubt that they're correct for some of the badly expired slide film I've tried. Vuescan doesn't like my G4 PowerBook anyway.


Annoyingly my frustration with the artofphotography tutorial is the amount of Ps work involved. That is what I want to get away from. I don't dispute what is said or that it is required, it just pisses me off. I did play with the film profiles in VueScan and it did net me a positive gain (I liked the results) but, as you say, how helpful that's going to be for me is debatable.

Blah. Scanning blows.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 9:36 am 
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ions wrote:
Annoyingly my frustration with the artofphotography tutorial is the amount of Ps work involved. That is what I want to get away from. I don't dispute what is said or that it is required, it just pisses me off. I did play with the film profiles in VueScan and it did net me a positive gain (I liked the results) but, as you say, how helpful that's going to be for me is debatable.

Blah. Scanning blows.


I guess there is a bit of a surprise in the amount of post required when it comes to scanning film -- now you need to contend with noise coming from the scan process, and colour really threw me off for a long time. The Epson software isn't an enjoyable place for me, so I try to do as little as possible there. I don't find myself doing much more post after that than I do with digital, though I don't seem to be as meticulous about things as others are around here. I seem to have dust handled to my liking during the scanning process and I'm not too nit-picky about it after the scan is done. There are maybe 1-2 shots/roll where I need to clean dust away from my subject, or clean up something egregious. And I actually quite enjoy turning the wacky colours that come off the scanner into something I like.

So my personal annoyances are more with the mechanical aspects of scanning: having to run between floors, dealing with curl, and the relatively low horsepower of the G4 processor. Like with laundry, I forget I'm in the middle of the process and don't reload the scanner efficiently. I've got a box of my neice's baby pictures I haven't looked at in over a year.

Ultimately, though, it's about the thinking process that goes into shooting film for me: either ignoring colour and looking for contrast and texture, or looking for colour and finding the rather distinct character in the end.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 10:05 am 
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One other thing people claim about film profiles in vuescan is it clips the dynamic range, I have not used them myself as I wanted to get the most range I could, but if you test and find out otherwise let us know! I have found the b&w and colour profiles minimal and lacking the profiles for films I used. Also how can a profile know the way you processed your film...which essentially makes a difference in the look. To me, scanning seems to be a very subjective thing, just as post processing is on digital, thus probably involves quite a bit of difference in the way people show the optimal settings. At least with flatbeds.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:23 pm 
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Judging by my own comparisons in software and methods doing col our negs, I found vuescan to produce quite decent results using portra profile, which is what I was scanning. Auto levels seems to do a decent job of getting close on most, some post processing obviously required for better results. Epson couldn't get the colours right no matter what I did. Sharpness still suffers compared to DSLR method, but it too had its drawbacks.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:36 pm 
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The Epson software is pretty crap for profiles, or any saved settings for that matter.

However, when dealing with this:
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Bike cart by ofermod, on Flickr
Expired (free!) Ektachrome with bleeding over the top and bottom, I doubt any software will figure it out. Both my 135 and 120 have a distinct pink cast to them when they come off the scanner.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 5:05 pm 
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ofermod wrote:
The Epson software is pretty crap for profiles, or any saved settings for that matter.

However, when dealing with this:
Image
Bike cart by ofermod, on Flickr
Expired (free!) Ektachrome with bleeding over the top and bottom, I doubt any software will figure it out. Both my 135 and 120 have a distinct pink cast to them when they come off the scanner.


I get some magenta cast as well, I suspect the hardware limitation (unlike Nikon scanners) can't quite eliminate the orange base. I usually get rid of it in levels going into separate channels and moving the middle slider until I get rid of it


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:44 pm 
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Scantips has some explanations of what's happening in scanning, also a decent overview of what some controls in vuescan do


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:29 am 
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Sorry PotatoEYE but Ektachrome is colour positive film thus doesn't have an orange mask. But I do agree that vuescan does many things that the Epson Software doesn't with the one exception that I have never done a scan using vuescan that actually looked better then doing it using the epson software. Believe me I have been trying for over a year now. It's all in how you extract the maximum capabilities out of the scanner and how good your workflow is after the scanning stage.

Sorry ions but DMAX has nothing to do with shadow detail on colour negative films, this is a common misconception.

Unfortunately getting a good scan is more then a bit of an art. Once you figure it all out going back to a Lab scan is a bit like going back to jpegs after using Raw. Consider your 48bit scan as your RAW: sharpening, colour correction, contrast, brightness, curves... are best done outside of your scanner software.

The V600 is adequate for medium format prints to 18"x18" but only good for web in 35mm. This is because the actual resolution if you scan at 2400 or 3600 dpi is less then 1500dpi.

Last tip is don't waste your time fooling around with anti glare glass or the "better" scanner holders unless you have at least a V700. The Lomography DigitaLIZA is a better lower cost option for keeping film flat.
http://blog.metrix-x.com/2012/11/vuesca ... -plus.html


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:07 am 
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Oooh. I like the DigitalLIZA. I wouldn't mind getting some sprocket hole action :)

However, only one strip at a time is more of a downside to me. Curl is more of a problem for me with 35mm than 120 -- but nothing an evening under a good book doesn't solve (I use an old bargain photography book appropriately).


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:35 am 
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ofermod wrote:
PotatoEYE wrote:
ions wrote:

This is actually a very good video, shows you the whole process.


I agree. It's mostly what I've been using/doing for my scans, except:
Haven't thought twice about resolution. I think I just do everything ay 2400dpi when I should be reducing them for my 6x6 or 6x9.
I also use the auto thumbnail where I can -- it just saves me the tedium of selecting every single frame. Doesn't work for really dark exposures, or at all for 6x9.

Levels seem to be the key adjustment for the scanning process. I do a rough adjustment for the scan, and fine tune after using Aperture. For colour, I adjust RGB separately for a rough correction to colour cast, and fine tune again as before. I hear that Vuescan has built in colour profiles for the film you want to scan, but I highly doubt that they're correct for some of the badly expired slide film I've tried. Vuescan doesn't like my G4 PowerBook anyway.


Medium or large format film is the key.
Not only you are working with a larger "sensor area", but typically also the lenses on those cameras used to be better than many older 35mm lenses. I find 1600 to 2400 dpi on 6x9 film ideal and most practical for getting sharp and grain-free clean images.
Upon closer examination, I was surprised to see that many of my old 35mm images were quite soft, most likely due to the quality of zoom lenses I used at that time. The images were adequate for 5"x7" prints and slide presentations, but they wouldn't cut it today for much higher publishing standards.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 4:15 pm 
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Any thoughts on the dedicated film scanners vs flatbed scanners?

It seems that most manufactures have given up on making dedicated film scanners.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:10 pm 
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Hi, anyone here thinking of selling their v700 ? I am looking to get a v700 or v800...

Thanks


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