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Susie

Film and scanning

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Hi Guys,

 

Is there a recommended film contrast for scanning?  What I mean is when the film is exposed and developed (black and white) should I go for the softest negatives I can?  This is a sort of question for the future as I do not at present have a scanner.  When I can I use Ilford Pan F, or FP4+.

 

The subjects are not consistant in contrast - a mixture of landscape, street, people etc., high and low contrast.

 

Susie

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Hi Susie,

I didn't change my developing for scanning. Just go on as it was good for prints, also.
As far as I see the possibilities for tuning in the process are much greater then in the traditional lab (at least with the few materials we have left there).
Ilford films I always developed for the higher contrast (gamma 0.6) for color-enlarger.

Frank

 

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For scanning B&W, many people like slightly (only slightly) soft negatives. The idea is to have as much information as possible - i.e. lots of shadow detail and no blown highlights. Contrast adjustments can be made later using software.

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I agree with Michael, Susie. When it comes to scanning, it is very easy to add contrast afterwards, but difficult to remove it without ending up with a mess.

 

Head over to the "I like film...", and post whatever you produce. People are very friendly and helpful there.

https://www.l-camera-forum.com/topic/205842-i-like-filmopen-thread/page-2320

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I am using predominantly the same kind of 35 mm films for my B&W work. To digitize the negatives, I am using my Plustek 8200i scanner with NegaFix control in the SilverFast 8 software. It allows to select the film used and automatically adjusts contrast according to it. You can still tweak it manually a bit in addition before the final scan. Really love this feature, it is very useful especially for color film negative adjustments for scanning. If you shoot quite a bit of film, I highly recommend getting a suitable film scanner. The Plustek scanner with software is about $350 - it already paid off for me for the amount of negatives I scanned with it in excellent quality. Other option for example are the Epson flatbed scanners like V750 etc. 

 

 

Leica M6, CV 28/2 lens, Ilford Pan F+ 50 film, developed in Rodinal (1:50). Scanned with Plustek 8200i scanner. 

Edited by Martin B

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I don't think you should ever attempt the final image by scanning, use more powerful Photoshop or Lightroom tools for adjusting contrast etc. So a soft contrast scan is ideal, make sure it has all the information you can get from a negative, but be prepared that the result will be distinctly underwhelming until you start on the post processing proper. Whether this corresponds to exposing and developing the film specifically for scanning is a moot point. If your scanner can get detail out of the shadows and highlights I would say carry on as you are on the basis of future proofing your negatives, after all you may one day end up with a darkroom. If on the other hand you find detail consistently missing adjust the exposure and development to extend the contrast range.

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Thanks for your replies and suggestions, guys.

 

The frustrating thing is that I used to have a dark-room (well, a blacked out bathroom).  I still have my gear in the loft here, and sometime I hope to be able to print again.  

 

I am always so dissapointed with prints from outside firms (mainly due to their film developing I think) but I still like to use film. I should be able to set up to develop film again with no problem, hence the possible move to scanning negs.

 

Best wishes,

 

Susie

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I'm able to maintain both printing methods so far and for now. I was lucky to obtain some not expensive darkroom paper and some was given to me. FB paper lasts for decades.

And inks, paper and jet printer is not expensive at all. Letter size, dual side, heavy (200+) inkjet paper is 15$ for 50 sheets. 

 

With scans the negative doesn't need to be any special. But the printing skills are adequately important. Where are mostly non specialized, automated print mills and where are few small shops with printing experts. I asked to print from my scans twice (it is expensive) one of these experts. Results were as good as darkroom prints then it is framed and on the wall.

I knew which paper they use, the printer is on the counter and they use nothing special, but PS. Yet, I can't make it looks this good if I print at home with inks. Only under enlarger

.

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