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(yet another) Film scanning post


bdolzani

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Would most agree that the cost of a 40+ MP body (say an L-mount but not Leica) has lowered enough to where that would be the best option for scanning 120 film, and massive for 35mm?

I'm currently using either my M246 and Nikon 60mm macro for B&W, or a Nikon D600 and same lens. 

I'm thinking of an MP upgrade.

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I guess the answer in my book would be what is your current setup not delivering that you wish to achieve? I did most of my scanning with an much smaller rez camera (non-Leica) and although I own a new hi rez body (again non-Leica), I haven't tried it for scanning purposes, because I'm getting good results with my old setup (printing 3x4 ft prints). Not exhibition quality, but for me that's irrelevant, most of my prints are on canvas with 6-7 ft viewing distances. I guess if you have the spare  cash or are planning to make money off your prints, you may see a very nominal improvement.

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3 hours ago, bdolzani said:

Would most agree that the cost of a 40+ MP body (say an L-mount but not Leica) has lowered enough to where that would be the best option for scanning 120 film, and massive for 35mm?

I'm currently using either my M246 and Nikon 60mm macro for B&W, or a Nikon D600 and same lens. 

I'm thinking of an MP upgrade.

Yes, because you’ve obviously got the other bits in place like a copy stand etc. so refining the camera is the next option. Your M246 is perfectly fine, but something like a Nikon D810 could be an improvement overall for colour etc. and there are a lot about secondhand from dealers. On the other hand a camera that can take your Nikon 60mm and also do pixel shift could potentially improve on that. But treat the search as a way to buy another camera that you can use in other ways to get value out of if it, so not just a copy camera.

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3 hours ago, bdolzani said:

Would most agree that the cost of a 40+ MP body (say an L-mount but not Leica) has lowered enough to where that would be the best option for scanning 120 film, and massive for 35mm?

I'm currently using either my M246 and Nikon 60mm macro for B&W, or a Nikon D600 and same lens. 

I'm thinking of an MP upgrade.

If you really want to 'scan' at extreme MPixels why not shoot the 120 film in 4 sections and stitch it together. This has the advantage of costing nothing more ..... . Works for me, although in general ~25MPixels is more than enough unless the original is of great importance for some reason.

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For 120 film, a resolution in the ballpark of 40MP makes sense. For 35mm that's 24MP. I find the lens more importan, however, if the macro I used would not deliver perfectly sharp grain in the corners. So, if upgrading is in the cards, I’d look first at the lens.

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3 hours ago, spydrxx said:

I guess the answer in my book would be what is your current setup not delivering that you wish to achieve? I did most of my scanning with an much smaller rez camera (non-Leica) and although I own a new hi rez body (again non-Leica), I haven't tried it for scanning purposes, because I'm getting good results with my old setup (printing 3x4 ft prints). Not exhibition quality, but for me that's irrelevant, most of my prints are on canvas with 6-7 ft viewing distances. I guess if you have the spare  cash or are planning to make money off your prints, you may see a very nominal improvement.

I do love my setup for 35mm and I'm aiming for a good 'one-shot' solution for 120, versus stitching which I don't have any desire or experience with. Figured more MP could make the one-shot technique good enough for typical prints that I do sell/offer - mostly up to 11x14.

With my latest 120 roll I scanned with my V550 (after upgrading my Vuescan software, perhaps unnecessarily), and compared it with a one-shot scan with the 246. In photoshop it opens as a 21x16 file at 240dpi. Most likely enough indeed..!

thank you

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1 hour ago, hansvons said:

For 120 film, a resolution in the ballpark of 40MP makes sense. For 35mm that's 24MP. I find the lens more importan, however, if the macro I used would not deliver perfectly sharp grain in the corners. So, if upgrading is in the cards, I’d look first at the lens.

Hey I just saw your post in the film forum from December, regarding the 70mm Sigma lens. I was indeed considering the 105mm. So that's an improvement over the Nikon 60mm macro? 

Like @250swb said, I'd like to be able to multi-use the 'scanner' as a shooter too, if need be. For me a non-Leica L mount body is more affordable than a 40+MP Leica body. (Would it be the SL2 that's the best/low-ish cost 40+MP option in L mount?) But same end game. 

Edited by bdolzani
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7 hours ago, bdolzani said:

I was indeed considering the 105mm. So that's an improvement over the Nikon 60mm macro? 

I guess so. Can't say much about the 105mm macro. I took the 70mm as its for me the more useful lens for other applications. 

If I didn't own the SL2-S and were looking for an affordable high-resolution option, I’d buy the Lumix S1R used. 

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7 hours ago, hansvons said:

I guess so. Can't say much about the 105mm macro. I took the 70mm as its for me the more useful lens for other applications. 

If I didn't own the SL2-S and were looking for an affordable high-resolution option, I’d buy the Lumix S1R used

That's indeed what I've been considering....thank you 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I had a bit of a mental breakdown today regarding camera scanning and film. I almost decided that I was done with film (believe me it was a shocking depressive afternoon), however it does illuminate the feeling that I'm always very happy with my monochrom shots...however (part 2) I might be resolving on simply not developing and camera scanning at home, and just sending my rolls out while I work on digital workflow in between. The stress of the scanning process is a burden while I should be shooting and allowing those who work at dev and scan all day do what they do (given that they are actually good at it...I do worry sometimes. My scans in past years have been often horrendous, and I didn't even realize, upon getting an 800k file back. I would opt to pay for highest res scans now). 

I've truly enjoyed home development over the last handful of years, however I've also always preferred the B&W development of labs I've used years ago, which I believe often use Xtol, which I don't use at home, and perhaps they are simply better at the process. 

I would like to enjoy the stock that I still have in my fridge, that only weeks ago I was excited about and replenished...

to be continued...

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Do you use the Valio Easy35? In combination with the Sigma 70mm Macro at f11, any scanning question should be resolved. 

Then you either go the LR Negative Lab Pro route (convenient, good results) or the fully manual route which works best with Capture One but requires a deeper understanding of what's going on under the hood (fully linear camera profile, manually set neutrals from white to black, proper gamma curve etc). The latter delivers even better results. 

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I use Xtol too, by the way, and it's as uncomplicated as it gets. You can buy it as Adox XT3 1-litre powder and use it for 8 rolls in a convenient 1:1 diluted solution. It’s a compensating, fine-grain and sharp developer, pretty much the opposite to Rodinal. Think of it as D76 only a bit more refined and environmentally less harming. 

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thanks for these comments @hansvons. I do have a nice setup, and was excited to build it out. Currently still using my M's with the Nikon macro or a D600. Both are great. Plus the Essential Film Holder and yes I do use NLP. No complaints on my setup (though I could certainly whittle down my camera options - maybe I'll swap something for an SL). Currently I have HC-100, Rodinal, and DD-X bottles. I'd like to try that Adox...I'm always curious but feeling bogged down by the process if I'm not shooting film consistently, which lately I'm not as much as I used to. 

I have wide ranging feelings lately about 100% DIY film process! Thanks for this encouragement. Here's my setup, minus a camera. 

 

Welcome, dear visitor! As registered member you'd see an image here…

Simply register for free here – We are always happy to welcome new members!

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I tried many set-ups for scanning film. Here's a summary of my cellected exopereiences:

1: The best lens is Rodenstock Apo-Rodagon-D 75MM F4. It is better than Contaxt 645 120mm marro lens with clear advantages. I use it to scan all 135 and 120 films.
    However, it has a weakness in flare for the light around the film。 You need block the lighth properly. I lens hood is not helpful. 

2: Light source: make sure your light source is gridless. It must be uniform.The best light source I found so far is like this:
    Digital Film Scanner Light Box for Photo Slide 120 135 4X5 Film Negatives viewer | eBay

    Advantage: Its slide carrier can fit to the light box to block the unnecessary light. 
    Disadvantage: the slide is too close to the light box, if any dirty or scratches on the surface of the light, may not diffuse enough.

3: Copy Stand: The best I find is Leica R AF bellows plus any tripod.  Heavier would be better.

4: Camera: Modern CMOs is better than CCD. The dynamic range is significantly wider. This is especially important for slides as the dynamic range could be easily exceeds the sensor. MP is helpful but not critical, since I can always merge  multiple exposures. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
5 hours ago, jimeca said:

@Einst_Stein have you an example of a scanned image with your set-up ? 

 

How do you install Rodenstock Apo-Rodagon-D 75MM F4 on a DLSR ? Like a Nikon for example

It has m39. I have m39 to Leica R adapter then LR to LM. I also have M39 to Hasselblad V, then HB-V, then HB-V to Contax 645 or HB-V to Leica S. 

I believe it is easily LR to Canon EOS, Leica M to any modern mirrorless, or M39 to any DSLR.

You might need M39 to M42, as M42 adapter is more popular. 

You might also need a bellow (strongly recommend old Leica R bellows) or variable focusing tube for focus assistant. 

It is also very helpful to get a variable close-up rail. It works better to have two adjustments: a camera to object distance adjustment and a lens to camera distance adjustment. The Leica R bellows has the two in one.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Einst_Stein said:

Thank you very much for your reply. 

I see on the internet very correct 35mm film scans with sharpness and character of the film. But also like the scans I just got from the lab : ugly !

I do not find the quality of what I see.

 

 

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8 hours ago, jimeca said:

@Einst_Stein have you an example of a scanned image with your set-up ? 

 

How do you install Rodenstock Apo-Rodagon-D 75MM F4 on a DLSR ? Like a Nikon for example

Use an adapter like everybody else.

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10 hours ago, jimeca said:

@Einst_Stein have you an example of a scanned image with your set-up ? 

 

How do you install Rodenstock Apo-Rodagon-D 75MM F4 on a DLSR ? Like a Nikon for example

What aspects are you interested? The scanned results are highly depend on the originals. Here particularly I mean the proper exposure.

i found my negatives  is relatively easier than my slides, due to the raw dynamic range. I often need exposure bracketing to scan the slides, then do photo merge for dynamic range in LR. Negatives rarely need that. Be warned though, I am not very careful in color accuracy. This might be more picky in dealing with negatives. 

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