Digitizing my 5x7 negatives

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by steveh, Nov 12, 2015.

  1. Well, the darkroom is going to have to go, and I've been investigating a means to digitize my negatives without spending a lot of money on equipment. So, pictured here is my solution. An old lightbox, my 5x7 Canham view camera, a Panasonic Lumix camera with 14-42 lens. I removed the back and replaced it with a board with 5x7 hole cut out on which to mount the negative. The first couple of images have turned out pretty good, processed in Lightroom. Hope this helps somebody.
  2. Here's my first try:
  3. Since you didn't mention it I'm going to for the benefit of others: RAW is probably a good idea, extra bits are even nicer when processing negatives.
    I'm also wondering if you have any flatness of field issues.
  4. Do keep an eye out for used Epson V-700, V-750, V-800, or V-850 scanners. You will get more resolution out of your negatives that way. Sometimes they are under $150 on eBay.
  5. +1 to John's comment. Buy a flatbed Epson scanner, digitize all your negatives, then sell the scanner. Probably will cost you only $50 total and will give much better results.
  6. For an example of my scanning of a 5x7 negative, see http://www.photo.net/digital-darkroom-forum/00NA2J
  7. Thanks for the replies above. Yes, RAW files are better. So far I'm pretty happy with the results. I'm now using a 45 mm macro lens. I get about a 20 megabyte file which seems plenty for me. I've made a couple of 11x14 test prints and they seem sharp and detailed enough. Maybe as I get a bit more sophisticated I'll feel the need for a scanner, but so far, so good (I have a scanner for smaller negatives). Lightroom doesn't have a specific process for negatives, but I've found a good workaround without having to go to photoshop.
  8. The Epson flatbed scanners although rated for 6400PPI can only resolve (poor optics?) about 2000-2400 real PPI of information. Still that gives you about 150 to 190 real megapixels. You can make a decent size inkjet print off of that.
  9. Great Idea!

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