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DSLR v Plustek: Compare and contrast

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I thought it may be interesting for those thinking of doing their own scanning to have some comparison of making a digital image with a DSLR (in this case using a Canon 5DII, 100mm macro lens, light box and starbucks large cup -thanks digitalrev) and a recently acquired Plustek 8100.

 

The negative was photographed using the highest raw value on the 5D and the negative at 3600dpi.

 

This thread shows an image of each of the negatives with no editing, literally insert and press the trigger/ scan button. The first image is always the one taken with the DSLR.

 

The next threads show:

 

1. the positive, only using LR5 tone curve with no editing at each process

2. an applied High Contrast SEfex 2 preset with some positive clarity adjustment

3. a 100% crop

 

The images have been modified for a maximum 300k file size limit and there has been very little, if any, editing during the whole process nor any significant cleaning (e.g. no spot removal etc).

 

I do not see a discernible difference in the final images. But I would appreciate your comments especially at the negative stage, given this was one of my first batches developed.

 

Anyway, the negatives and positives:

 

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The positive using LR5 tonal curve.

The Plustek definitely has a better contrast, I don't think it has anything to do with the way I have re-sized them

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Post processing using Silver Efex Pro2, with the clarity slider pushed to around 30.

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Bear with me, the final set, 100% crop.

 

As I said, I see no significant differences with my untrained eye, the Plustek appears a little more contrasty, but this, I am sure could also be manipulated in LR for the DSLR image.

 

A few comments, mainly aimed at those thinking about digitalising their own film:

1. developing film is easy and is all kitchen sink stuff - 20 mins tops for 2 films. I have found B+W quite user-friendly and at beginner level it does not need to be an exact science, providing you follow the general developing instructions. It does give me a lot of satisfaction developing my own film.

2. the Plustek is easier to use than setting up a DSLR on a tripod etc. The image took about 2 mins to scan on the Plustek. I found the DSLR set up a chore, which was the main reason for getting the Plustek.

3. with the DSLR set-up you can treat yourself to a macro lens, which is good fun in its own right.

4. The Plustek was considerably cheaper than my macro lens - it probably cost a third of the lens.

5. The Plustek fits in my carry-on bag; very portable.

 

I look forward to your comments.

 

David

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I have no doubt a good DSLR setup will work well, but I wonder about the convenience, especially if you have a lot of negatives to scan.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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Scanning software was Vuescan - as supplied with the Plustek.

 

I forgot to mention the film was HP5+.

 

David

Silverfast is supplied with the 8100, but you are using Vuescan?

Pete

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I use the Nikon Coolscan LS4000 and like it allot over using a DSLR and taking a image of the negative...

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My comment would be what good value the Plustek is especially against the much praised legacy machines that command prices that are hard to comprehend, other than scarcity.

 

I am not a power user but would find it difficult to zero off all the software in the Silverfast, a bit like RAW from cameras I suspect some processing happens behind the scenes. That does not detract from the findings as we are talking real world usage.

Personally for Flickr and web I scan at 2400 which I think takes much less than 2mins per image.

I have a need to do some 120 soon and have been looking at the venerable Bowens Illumitran which would greatly simplify your tripod/Starbucks set up and uses repeatable flash illumination.

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I am very pleased with the results from both set-ups; though I am particularly pleased with the Plustek, which has removed the hassle of using a DSLR. I would like to see the Plustek up against a drum scanner, purely for curiosity's sake.

The Plustek does seem to be very good value for money. In fact, the reviews on Amazon put me off buying it first time round. I also considered Nikon V Coolscans and the Epson V700 but the general feeling on this forum was that the Plustek was an acceptable scanner for 35mm. The Plustek is perfect in terms of size as it does not need a dedicated surface in my study; it is also small enough that I can take it with me when I work away from home. The Bowens Illumitran may be a tad too large for my study, though it seems the perfect set up for a DSLR.

The Epson V700 appears to be a popular 120 scanner, not much seems to be said about the Plustek 120 here, or that I have noticed.

The 3600 dpi was chosen as I considered this suitable for comparison purposes with a large RAW file - I am still to work out how the original dpi scan is affected by the resizing of an image for posting !! Yes, 2400 dpi is considerably quicker.

David

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@2400 a full frame yields about 4MB, that is the file I post to Flickr, link below, recent shots are on ORWO N74 with TD-201 developer (Anchell & Troop ) two bath formula.

The 120 scanner may not get much attention on here as Leica don't make many 120 cameras. The consensus is, it needs manual focus, it is expensive. The latter perception because of the comparison to the 8100 !!

If I want a large print I send out for a scan, as usual the last 10% of quality costs proportionally more than the first 90%.

If you crop before scanning you get a small file so if I crop massively I will push up the dpi.

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Chris - I understand that images uploaded to the web do not always reflect the actual quality of the image, but your ORWO images do not appear to show the grain that is present on equally rated ISO film (eg HP5) evident on flickr/ in my image. Is this a combination of the film-type and development method you are using or is there something I am missing in my development processes? From your thread I am assuming many of your images have been scanned at 2400dpi on a 'desk-top' scanner.

It is fascinating what a simple google search throws up for ORWO and TD201; and, in some ways disappointing that I doubt I will ever have the time too experiment beyond my comfort zone of Kodak/ Ilford film and chemicals. I would like to achieve a consistent and competent level before pushing my boundaries.

 

David

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David

 

You want HP5+, we have HP5+ and TD-201

 

Full frame and centre crop, I think the grain is there, certainly on the crop.

 

 

/applications/core/interface/imageproxy/imageproxy.php?img=http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5486/11107408173_01e69f1d0e_c.jpg&key=93154645f66dfd93c1a969f2d8c8f1b392052fcdfb5917108bf1f3dc18550290">

 

 

/applications/core/interface/imageproxy/imageproxy.php?img=http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3791/11107240906_fa41943fa8_c.jpg&key=56443003154032fc28e9b755156d41307669ade282857c7b33549066ce4c83d6">

 

If you right click on the recent ORWO shots and open the original file you will see better the grain structure.

TD-201 is a very good, simple developer. Holds speed gives good shadows, doesn't be unkind to blown highlights and is gentle on grain. it was formulated expressly for the "T" grain and similar "modern" emulsions but works universally.

I am sure I could get better scans, I see flatness as an issue, bands are sometimes in better focus but as I said just for the web, fine for me. I'm not shooting to sell or please anyone else.

 

I hadn't googled that combination, Tom Abrahamsson shoots a lot as well, perhaps he doesn't tag as well

 

Flickr: T&T and Mr B's Photostream

 

If you post your Flickr link I can take a look at the files.

Edited by chris_livsey

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Thank you for the interesting comparison, David.

 

I'm certain I will stick with my film scanner, but the DSLR-results are quite impressive.

 

Stefan

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Chris - I would appreciate that, thanks. I will let you know when I upload some film images.

 

Looking at my positives again, they are not as grainy as I first perceived now I have some images to compare them with. I must have the crop etched into my memory.

 

I need to digitalise some FP4 and PanF and see if the grain is as noticeable using the Plustek. I am interested to see if the scanning process introduces additional grain/ noise.

 

David

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/applications/core/interface/imageproxy/imageproxy.php?img=http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7306/9462180493_9cf3bd4873_b.jpg&key=1628dd461fd644185dae7c988439987cbbbd26e9cf504a77939b5d68d8d50fb3">

 

Pan F D23

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