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Recommendation on negative scanner

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1 hour ago, Mark II said:

It is also worth looking at the Kaiser light tables.

i plan to scan only 6x6 negs with the GFX + ipad..so its ok for me

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Dedicated film scanners are generally better then flatbed scanner.  I've used a Nikon Coolscan 9000 for 35mm and MF for the last 10+ years.  Nikon no longer supports the software, so I use third party Vuescan.  It works ok for B&W -- a little flat but lots of resolution.  I always have to add contrast to the scanned negative.  For color film, I have a 3rd party plug in filter, I forget the name; I don't shoot much color anymore.  

Not much choice in new film scanners anymore.  Plustek is a name to investigate.  They make dedicated film scanners.

Edited by TheBestSLIsALeicaflex

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Scanned my first film yesterday and I have a question regarding SilverFast.

I select following: Transparency - Negative - 16 bit HDR RAW for scanning B&W film and I select output as DNG file. But when I open it in Lightroom - it's negative, not positive. TIFF - the same.

I can select 8 bit JPEG output and I do get normal picture, but I would prefer to archive DNG, not JPEGs.

I couldn't open their forum either - it requires username/password even for main page and therefore I cannot even register there.

 

I tried demo version of VueScan but it also cannot produce DNG and final image is quite overexposed (compared to Silverfast). And they say that for scanning negatives I should use professional version (which I cannot try before paying $99)

 

Any help would be appreciated

 

Edited by dimm

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I am currently using Plustek 8200i scanning to 48bit DNG in positive mode. Using negative lab pro for conversion. I’m using the bundled SilverFast AI. Downside is that infrared scratch removal isn’t usable scanning DNG raw. 
I want to try Vuescan for iSRD but the software often freezes (Mac OSX Catalina). Anyone experiencing the software issues too?

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I bought new in the days and kept a CoolScan 5000. I did sell my LS40. I still works fine and delivers great results with Vuescan, both color and B&W. If you want to do batch scan, I can recommend the SA-30 adapter and film roll which will allow you to scan 36 images in one go. Just be patient and pick on up on Ebay at a reasonable price.

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I've tried flatbeds, cheap neg scanners, a Nikon 5000 and scanning via a Sony A7iii on a copy stand (BEOON). The first two are not worth it.

 

The second two give almost identical results, but my Nikon scanner is sitting idle as the camera scanning method allows me to get through a roll of 36 (or 12 from 120) in 2 or 3 minutes as well as XPAN negatives, and in all cases I get the negative rebates as well. It also allows me to go directly to Lightroom, avoiding the whole Vuescan vs Silverfast thing.

Edited by convexferret

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Agree 100%. Scanning negatives is not something to be done in 2020. dSLR method is many times faster, more convenient and the image quality is superior to any commercially available scanner today. I don't even use a copy stand, I just lay down my digital camera on two stacks of books and point it at a vertically mounted light table which I attach the scanning mask to. Then you tether your camera to a RAW processor, develop your own set of recipes and it takes 5-10 seconds (and 4-5 mouse clicks) per frame. The slowest part is mounting negs on a scanning mask, I am thinking about building something which uses uncut rolls of film (maybe shoot through an open lens mount of a broken film camera, using a light table instead of the film backplate?)

Edited by Steven Seven

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On 2/8/2020 at 6:55 AM, dimm said:

Scanned my first film yesterday and I have a question regarding SilverFast.

I select following: Transparency - Negative - 16 bit HDR RAW for scanning B&W film and I select output as DNG file. But when I open it in Lightroom - it's negative, not positive. TIFF - the same.

I can select 8 bit JPEG output and I do get normal picture, but I would prefer to archive DNG, not JPEGs.

I couldn't open their forum either - it requires username/password even for main page and therefore I cannot even register there.

 

I tried demo version of VueScan but it also cannot produce DNG and final image is quite overexposed (compared to Silverfast). And they say that for scanning negatives I should use professional version (which I cannot try before paying $99)

 

Any help would be appreciated

 

RAW is always only as negatives. I use with program with Plustek 8200i and sometimes I switch to VueScan. Still couldn't find out why sometimes one works better than another one.

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1 hour ago, Steven Seven said:

Agree 100%. Scanning negatives is not something to be done in 2020. dSLR method is many times faster, more convenient and the image quality is superior to any commercially available scanner today. I don't even use a copy stand, I just lay down my digital camera on two stacks of books and point it at a vertically mounted light table which I attach the scanning mask to. Then you tether your camera to a RAW processor, develop your own set of recipes and it takes 5-10 seconds (and 4-5 mouse clicks) per frame. The slowest part is mounting negs on a scanning mask, I am thinking about building something which uses uncut rolls of film (maybe shoot through an open lens mount of a broken film camera, using a light table instead of the film backplate?)

I would like to know your workflow, I am working with new color negs on Portra 160 and I am getting far more than 5-10 seconds to process a negative. I am using a 3200K slide copier. 

1) Photograph the negative

2) Bring into ACR, try to set a white balance, but always pegs to 2000 the lowest ACR can go, with Portra 160. 

3) Invert the curve to make a positive, image is very blue

4) Work with color channels to get closer.

5) Open image

6) In PS first select Auto color, works some negs but mostly no

7) If auto color doesn't work go to levels, if there is a grey in the image color pick the grey. If not use individual color channels. 

8. Should be there, it is important to have a color balanced monitor 

This is a lot of work, for each neg. Been thinking of going back to scanning.

 

Edited by tommonego@gmail.com

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5 hours ago, tommonego@gmail.com said:

I would like to know your workflow, I am working with new color negs on Portra 160 and I am getting far more than 5-10 seconds to process a negative.

 

I use Capture One for RAW processing and tethering with a 5000K Kaiser white table. When you photograph the very first negative for a given film type (say, Portra) you have to do pretty much everything you just did, i.e.

  • Invert image
  • White / black points and white balance
  • Adjust curves for every color channel

Once you got the look you enjoy, you save it as "Custom Preset". From now on, every time you scan Portra, you just click on this preset. Capture One allows you to build custom "Toolsets" (tabs) so I have my presets, curves, white balance and everything else I need for scanning, so yeah - each neg takes a few seconds.

This gives you a nice starting point, but obviously you'd want to tweak every image later on, but that's no different than working with regular digital RAW files. And even for tweaking, you'll probably have a series of images done under similar light / setting, so tweaks from the first one can be copy-pasted to the rest of them.

So yeah, overall I'd say the most annoying part is mounting film to the scanning mask.

Here's a more detailed tutorial, this guy uses Lightroom with a plugin: http://natephotographic.com/dslr-film-scanning-perfect-color-negatives/

 

Edited by Steven Seven

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On 2/12/2020 at 9:25 AM, tommonego@gmail.com said:

I would like to know your workflow, I am working with new color negs on Portra 160 and I am getting far more than 5-10 seconds to process a negative. I am using a 3200K slide copier. 

1) Photograph the negative

2) Bring into ACR, try to set a white balance, but always pegs to 2000 the lowest ACR can go, with Portra 160. 

3) Invert the curve to make a positive, image is very blue

4) Work with color channels to get closer.

5) Open image

6) In PS first select Auto color, works some negs but mostly no

7) If auto color doesn't work go to levels, if there is a grey in the image color pick the grey. If not use individual color channels. 

8. Should be there, it is important to have a color balanced monitor 

This is a lot of work, for each neg. Been thinking of going back to scanning.

 

Try Negative Lab Pro. It’s really convenient and provides good (if not better) result. The trial software let’s you convert 12 neg. worth give it a try. 

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On 2/12/2020 at 12:34 AM, Steven Seven said:

Scanning negatives is not something to be done in 2020. dSLR method is many times faster, more convenient and the image quality is superior to any commercially available scanner today.

I discounted your experience right here. I’m guessing you haven’t made controlled side-by-side comparisons with all available scanners, you just have some need to believe your method is automatically best.

 
For people who are interested in some useful information instead, Stealth3kpl (Pete) had a link somewhere to a great video comparing DSLR capture vs flatbed vs drum scan. Just can’t find the link right now...

edit: here it is:

Nick Carver is great fun, all his videos are entertaining and informative, and he definitely doesn’t have any insecure “my way is vastly superior” bs. 

Edited by plasticman

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> Nick Carver is great fun, all his videos are entertaining and informative, and he definitely doesn’t have any insecure “my way is vastly superior” bs.

BS comes out right at 0:24 which makes the rest of the video irrelevant, but I watched. I won't resist the temptation of stating the obvious, e.g. saying "using a scanner in 2020 to scan film is retarded" doesn't generate any money, but making a controversial video does. But if you insist:

  • He should have learned about camera tethering. This would have saved him "bending" over each frame. In fact, he didn't have to leave his computer chair or even touch the camera, saving a ton of time and back pain.
  • The statement about "But that's Canon colors" is plain stupid. Once digitized, the colors are whatever you want them to be. No, you're not losing Velvia look. He didn't seem to complain about "Epson colors" from the scanner. But if the goal is to be content with a one-click result, just get "Velvia 50" filter for you iPhone Instagram and call it a day!
  • Yes, inversion is a painful process, but the fact that you go through it once per film stock, is not even mentioned, you can use presets from that point forward.
  • He dismissed Lightroom negative inversion plugins with his "Canon colors" BS.
  • The only interesting bit is the difficulties with stitching panoramas. I've never done any panoramas so I can't comment, but if I were forced to guess, I'd look at the lens-specific automatic corrections in his RAW converter and/or the quality of his scanning mask (curved negatives), a lot of people use Lomography which is absolutely terrible by not flattening lateral curling.

Anyway, the bottom line is to pause and re-evaluate your life choices and stop learning about technology from Youtube. It's bad for you.

Edited by Steven Seven

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3 hours ago, Steven Seven said:

Anyway, the bottom line is to pause and re-evaluate your life choices and stop learning about technology from Youtube. It's bad for you.

I'm a software developer - but thanks for the tip about where I should learn about "technology".

Also thanks for the gratuitous insult about "re-evaluating" my "life choices": next time I'm reading or watching a comparison of different ways to digitize film I'll make sure my "life choices" are properly aligned with the content. 🤷‍♂️

Anyways, as anyone who's read my previous posts about film-scanning will know, I have absolutely nothing against capturing film with a DSLR. When my Coolscan stops working I'm probably going to need to switch to that method out of sheer practicalities.

When I do, I hope I don't become "that guy" who feels they have to insult and denigrate other techniques because it's not the way they do things themselves, out of some insecurity problem.

I'll leave the discussion to the constructive contributors. Nothing entertaining about forum members trading insults.

 

3 hours ago, Steven Seven said:

won't resist the temptation of stating the obvious, e.g. saying "using a scanner in 2020 to scan film is retarded"

 

PS: I just noticed this is your 6th post on the forum. Nothing against new contributors of course - you're very welcome here - but wow, starting out throwing around insults and saying people are "retarded" because they are scanning film. Way to go!

Edited by plasticman

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On 2/12/2020 at 7:19 AM, Steven Seven said:

Here's a more detailed tutorial, this guy uses Lightroom with a plugin: http://natephotographic.com/dslr-film-scanning-perfect-color-negatives/

 

Even in 2018 'this guy' was still using a notably crappy film scanner to make a comparison, so yeah, he'll get better results with a DSLR, it's like entering two horses for a race, betting on the thoroughbred and not the donkey, then congratulating yourself for having won a fair race. 

He goes on to say that a lab scan can lose detail (I thought he was using his own scanner so he's already changed the goalposts), but how can a lab know what you expect from your negatives? Around here the general advice is to make a low contrast scan so all the detail is captured and adjust contrast later, a lab try's to make a representative scan that looks ok to the average person. It's not great because they can't anticipate the photographers needs but with your own scanner you can.

So 'this guy' has started out by manipulating the argument to fit his point, so to paraphrase you 'this alone makes the rest irrelevant', and I stopped reading the rest of the BS right there.

Edited by 250swb

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On 2/8/2020 at 7:55 PM, dimm said:

Scanned my first film yesterday and I have a question regarding SilverFast.

I select following: Transparency - Negative - 16 bit HDR RAW for scanning B&W film and I select output as DNG file. But when I open it in Lightroom - it's negative, not positive. TIFF - the same.

I can select 8 bit JPEG output and I do get normal picture, but I would prefer to archive DNG, not JPEGs.

I couldn't open their forum either - it requires username/password even for main page and therefore I cannot even register there.

 

I tried demo version of VueScan but it also cannot produce DNG and final image is quite overexposed (compared to Silverfast). And they say that for scanning negatives I should use professional version (which I cannot try before paying $99)

 

Any help would be appreciated

 

It's normal to stay at negative in Tiff and DNG format, if you edit in lightroom, get the Negative Lab Pro. 

https://www.negativelabpro.com/https://www.negativelabpro.com/

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36 minutes ago, darkinners said:

It's normal to stay at negative in Tiff and DNG format, if you edit in lightroom, get the Negative Lab Pro. 

https://www.negativelabpro.com/https://www.negativelabpro.com/

I meanwhile work with 8 bit positive tiff.

The question is do I really need to scan 16 bit HDR an convert after that in Negative Lab Pro? What does that give me?

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2 minutes ago, dimm said:

I meanwhile work with 8 bit positive tiff.

The question is do I really need to scan 16 bit HDR an convert after that in Negative Lab Pro? What does that give me?

16 bit I assume you scan B&W? The extra bit depth in theory will store more information of gray scale in your scans. If you want to archive I would suggest to use highest bit depth available. 

If just for social media or web 8 bit is enough. 

Edited by darkinners

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23 minutes ago, darkinners said:

16 bit I assume you scan B&W? The extra bit depth in theory will store more information of gray scale in your scans. If you want to archive I would suggest to use highest bit depth available. 

If just for social media or web 8 bit is enough. 

Yep, B&W. I will give it a try though. Thank you

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6 hours ago, dimm said:

Yep, B&W. I will give it a try though. Thank you

 

7 hours ago, darkinners said:

16 bit I assume you scan B&W? The extra bit depth in theory will store more information of gray scale in your scans. If you want to archive I would suggest to use highest bit depth available. 

If just for social media or web 8 bit is enough. 

 

 

Ok, I tried this workflow. It works, but it has few downsides:

1. Almost all SilverFast editing abilities are disabled if scan in 16 bit HDR mode. No scratch and dust removal and no film select. As a result I get negative which requires much more work afterwards.

2. Negative Lab Pro doesn't have film selection and much more primitive controls 

3. Even after inverting negative to positive all controls in Lightroom continue to work as if I still working in negative - in other words all sliders are inverted. So, if I want to lower exposition I should move slider right. It drives me crazy

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