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jaeger

Shoot film and digitized it?

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Hi Jaeger, there are plenty of examples of film digitized and posted on this forum. You can see them on the "I Like Film" thread, "Leica M Film Photos" and others. Apart from internet postings, many of us have made wonderful prints from our digitized negative. At one stage I made a 1.5m X 1m print from a Leica/Tri-X negative that looks superb. The thing with digitizing negatives is that the digitizing process - essentially, taking a digital photograph of the negative or transparency - copies inherent film traits such as grain. All the wonders of digital processing are still at your command, but the picture itself has many of the qualities that are so loved in film. It is not hard to try it out - send a negative/tranny you like to a (ppreferably, professional) lab that can scan it, process the scan yourself to your satisfaction, then get them to make a print. I'm pretty sure you'll be very happy with the result.

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2 hours ago, jaeger said:

Does any of you do it?  I have both film and digital cameras I sometimes like the rendering of film, but will digitizing it ruin everything?

I look at it this way: using film adds another layer of creativity to my photography. 

As @stray catsays above, take a look through 'I Like Film'.  It's the most vibrant and interesting thread with the best photographers on the forum involved in it.  Every image you'll find there was originated with film, dust off your film cameras and join in the fun!

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Digitising film doesn't ruin it, it's simply a pragmatic way to present the image. You can still process your film at the kitchen sink, but scanning or copying with a digital camera replaces the darkroom and the enlarger. 

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I am glad that I never sold my Coolscan 5000 when I moved to digital many years ago. I am slowly but surely returning to film and even added a Coolscan 9000 so I can scan my Hassy negatives. Film is a wonderful medium that brings elements to an image which are hard to replicate with a sensor. Scanning that image at good resolution does not change this. Software and printers have improved a lot over the past decade and so the 'digital' results have become much better and more predictable. Trying it yourself is your best option here !

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I develop my own film and then use my Plustek scanner so the negatives can be processed using software. I prefer Pixelmator Software for my Mac. I like the analog feel and finished product of shooting film  .... but other than developing with chemicals, I use the software as I don't have the room for a dark room, so a dry dark room is fine with me. 

While I used to have a printer, I found the quality is high when I use a company that prints what I select for them. 

Best of both worlds....jim

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For some film is nothing but digitized image. For older film look is on the analog prints and on projected slides. 

Projected slides is the only true method to see the film look. While analog prints are non-direct interpretations of film.

Digital is taking film  image with much bigger interpretation, but it is still visible on the screen what image was taken on film.

Actually, I have seen scans of bw negatives and darkroom prints to be about the same. 

With color film for prints... I can't compare analog color prints and color prints from scans. To me it is way too different.

Yet, Fred Herzog's film color photography of older Vancouver was digitized and printed on big size. I was at one of the first exhibitions of these prints (in Vancouver, BC). Content on images was dominating.

For my invaluable photography I prefer darkroom prints from bw negatives and scans of those prints. I prefer this way for digital representation of my photography.  For color it is too much of the effort. Color film scans... I'm not impressed with outcome. It still looks different from digital, but not as impressive as bw. IMO.  

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I've been doing this for years now, as I closed down the printing part of my darkroom and very few companies still use methodology other than digitizing film for prints. Does it "ruin" it....IMHO, no, but it is different. Furthermore, I've had an opportunity to now digitize hundreds of film shots from years back of family, where the prints from these negatives have faded. As KO.FE. notes, color and transparencies present different challenges than B&W in digitizing. Some color negatives I have from the 1960s and 1970s where the dyes have faded, seem almost impossible to digitize the colors accurately.

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I can see going with purity, 35mm b&w printed in a darkroom. But I don't have that option and after scanning some of my older b&w work I realized I was better at working digitally than in a darkroom. I have started to shoot film again, scanning on my Epson V700 or photographing with my Leica CL, this I set on a slide duplicator and get excellent results with b&w but I find color a chore. I think it comes down to what do you want to do, how do you like your images best?

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@jaeger I have had some of my Kodak Tri-X negs and my Fuji Velvia 50 chromes scanned for digital presentation/use.  When looking at the results on a computer screen, I don't see any loss of image quality with the Tri-X scans.  The Velvia 50 scans sometimes exhibit a bit of a loss of contrast for some reason but that is easily addressed in Lightroom. 

Scans of B&W and E-6 based images can make some very nice prints, provided you do not enlarge to the point that the film grain becomes apparent.  From a 35mm neg/chrome, an 11x14 inch inkjet print still retains print IQ that is exhibit quality. 

It may be possible to go larger than 11x14 and still have acceptable printed IQ, but that is the largest size I have had made so far. 

Edited by Herr Barnack

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On 12/1/2020 at 9:08 PM, jaeger said:

Does any of you do it?  I have both film and digital cameras I sometimes like the rendering of film, but will digitizing it ruin everything?

I sure do! To me whether film or digital it’s just a means to an end. For me it all comes down to the content, the composition, the story, the “decisive moment”. No amount of rendering will fix a bad picture so I try not to get hung up on that stuff. 

Edited by plaidshirts

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17 hours ago, jaeger said:

Has anyone uses the Nikon ES-2 to get the job done? 

Do you already have a macro lens and a suitable camera? There are some upsides and downsides to using the ES-2 depending on your starting point. If you use say a Nikon D750 it will be able to convert a negative into a positive in-camera, but only in JPEG. But if you are copying your negs you only want to do it once and it really should be done as a RAW image. And if you aren't using a camera that can do that you'll also need some negative to positive conversion software. So it's a bit compromised either way. And of course if the bug bites film comes in many sizes and this system won't do medium format

The alternative is more flexible because you'd be able to copy multiple film formats but still requires something like a Nikon 60mm macro lens on your Nikon. You need a cheap small copy stand, generic about £40, an LED light source, Kaiser about £40, a 35mm film strip holder, Lomo about £40, and some plugin software, ColorPerfect or Negative Lab Pro about £40 to £80. 

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I enjoy going from B&W film to digital.  With some great advice from some members here ( especially @250swb Steve) I just bought a Plustek 8100 and the results I'm getting, to me, have taken my scan results to the next level.  I used and still have an Epson V600 for quick pre-scans (12 shots at a time) and then pick the ones to run through the 8100.  I have not had time to go through many of my previous V600 scans to compare to the 8100 scans but the ten or so I have compared are much sharper with greater detail.  

I have a few professionally made wet prints from a few years ago and have not compared them to prints (Walgreen's probably, for convenience) from digitized shots but I will when I have time.

To the OP, there are many roads to the end result as illustrated by all the great photos on the forum using different techniques.  Good luck!

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I still have my trusty Nikon Coolscan 9000 for use with my M4, Nikon F2AS and Hasselblad H6D with film adapter. The results are excellent.  For the best color prints I rent a darkroom here in Dallas and use wet chemicals and enlarger.  Plus I just really like doing things this way versus the fully digital approach which I still use for most work.

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Am 3.12.2020 um 15:41 schrieb jaeger:

Has anyone uses the Nikon ES-2 to get the job done? 

Yes. With a Nikon D850 using the in-camera conversion. Shot with Leica M6.

Edited by Mucleica

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1 hour ago, Mucleica said:

Yes. With a Nikon D850 using the in-camera conversion. Shot with Leica M6.

Thanks for posting this shot.  Does the setup require you to use the in-camera software that limits you to a jpeg, or can you get a NEF file?  What do you use for a light source and does the camera's meter indicate proper exposure?  How secure (tight) is the negative mount?  Can you shoot handheld?  

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I don't see a problem for using the RAW-files if you want to digitize your black and white negatives.

In your RAW-converter software you look for the tone curve, e.g. in Lightroom you activate the button "Point Curve", the second one, which has no color. It looks like this for the negative:

 

Now you drag up the low point on the left to the top and the high point on the right to the bottom - and you get a positive version of your copy from the negative:

You can work on this like you normally do for your files from the camera - just in the inverted sense (e.g. increasing highlights will damp them, decreasing shadows will lighten them up etc.) 

 

 

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