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M7 Color Slide Film and Scanner Choices


Peter Natscher
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Hello Leica Film Forum!

 

After much fence sitting and Leica Forum reading, I bought a M7 (.72) and 50mm f/2 Kit and a 28mm f/2 Summicron. After more funds are saved, I might purchase a 90mm lens. I do primarily scenic, architectural, and landscape photography. For the last 10 years, I have been taking pictures with various Nikon SLR's and DSLR's. I want to return to color slide photography with a lighter-weight camera set that is more inconspicuous. The M7 and small lenses will offer this for me. This is my first venture with a 35mm range finder camera and I am excited about it! I would also like to eventually scan my choice slides myself to do a better job than the local photo processing store here in Monterey, California. I did use a 35mm Kodak Retina f/2.8 range finder camera back in 1964 when I was 14. It was a wonderful camera and my first experience with photography. Maybe, I have come full circle?

 

My two questions are: 1) What color slide film are you using with your film M's? 2) What scanner are you using to scan your color slide film?

 

Thanks, Peter

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Welcome to the forum Peter

 

My preferred colour film is Fuji Astia. Very natural colours and very easy to scan on a Nikon Coolscan V. Has some latitude too, which is helpful. Provia is nice too.

 

In my experience, Velvia is very saturated and Kodachrome blocks out shadows too easily for my liking and at least in the RotW, takes too long to process.

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Peter,

 

Since you are in the United States, look at Kodachrome. Very many people believe it has not been bettered. Perhaps needless to say, I am one.

 

As mentioned, I can recommend Kodachrome 64 asa. Much more natural colours than Velvia which, although superb film, I found it too artificial colourwise but like anything else, it is a very personal taste and many people will swear by Fuji. You really need to try some and see. If funds allow, invest in Leica Pradovit Projector with a Colourplan lens to project your images you will then see the true magic of your lenses and your slides. A scanner can never do them justice

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Kenneth is spot-on. I've been using a Pradovit RT-m for years with the 90mm Super ColorPlan Pro lens, and it is just another world altogether. Having said that, I have used the new Pradovit D1200 projector to display drum scanned 4x5 chromes and I must admit this workflow has taken multi-media projection to another level.

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I'm a film slut and shoot a bit of everything, but Kodachrome remains my all-time favorite. Lately I'm shooting it almost exclusively.

 

I'm also considering a scanner, and from what I've seen so far the Nikon Coolscan 9000ED appears to be the best for scanning Kodachrome. It's a bit pricy, but commercial scanning will cost me around $200 per dozen rolls, so I calculate that at the rate I shoot I'll reach the break-even point within a year.

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Guest Bernd Banken

Hi Peter,

 

hurry up to get a Nikon 5000 scanner. This is the best for 35mm format regarding features, speed and results.

The big advantage is the filmfeeder* which allows you to scan the uncut films with 36 exposures in one shot. There is a flickr blog about the very simple modification (small wire bridge in the connection-plug of the 6-frame feeder) to avoid the expensive add-on feeder for $$$money.

 

*extra item

 

Cheers

Bernd

 

PS here is the link to the hacker's manual:

 

http://www.jrobertlennon.com/articles/vuescancoolscan/

Edited by Bernd Banken
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commercial scanning will cost me around $200 per dozen rolls

 

This turns out to be what it would cost for mounted slides. For uncut rolls the scanning costs are just under a quarter of this.

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If you're going to shoot slides, shoot whatever slide film you like, buy a good projector with a great lens, and get a good, flat screen. It can't be beat, or even touched by digital projectors and digital files.

 

But if what you want is prints, and if you're going to use a desktop scanner (especially a flatbed, but even the desktop film scanners) then you'll get much better results with digital capture from an M8 or any 8MP or more DSLR, no matter what the film-and-scan crowd wants to propagandize. Unless you get drum scans or make wet prints the old-school way, digital capture of the original scene beats a digital capture of a slide.

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But if what you want is prints, and if you're going to use a desktop scanner (especially a flatbed, but even the desktop film scanners) then you'll get much better results with digital capture from an M8 or any 8MP or more DSLR, no matter what the film-and-scan crowd wants to propagandize. Unless you get drum scans or make wet prints the old-school way, digital capture of the original scene beats a digital capture of a slide.

 

Sorry for the comparision - does water colour painting give 'better' results than painting in oil? It sure is more practical, the paint is drying faster...

 

I use both film and digital printing, by the way.

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