It is the Journey

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by NHSN, May 7, 2021.

  1. Nothing new here, but I just got reminded again:

    For a while I have been on the lookout for a simple way to digitize my negatives and the Nikon ES-2 seemed to fit the bill, a tad pricy but didn't require too much fiddling around.
    I got the ES-2 - a little flimsy/plastiky - but it does what the label says.

    Now, as it often happens, shortly after my purchase, something more interesting showed up; a PB-5+PS-4 incl. lens from a seller literally next block from where I live - and that for less than what I paid for the ES-2.
    Now talk about a piece of beauty: Amazing crinkle paint, smooth rail operation and lock-down, positive tactile feedback all over, magnets to hold bellows in place when not in use, precise horizontal and vertical frame adjustments of the negative/slide holder, basically everything the ES-2 isn't.

    Not to bash Nikon for making the ES-2, I am sure I wouldn't/couldn't pay the price of the PB-5+PS-4 if manufactured today, but what a difference in the experience!

    When sitting down to digitize my negatives and slides with the ES-2, it was mostly like a chore - I had to pull myself together - now the exact same task with the exact same output is something I am happily looking forward to.

    I am once again reminded that a large part of my joy of film photography is the joy of handling these things, something most objects in the realm of digital photography fails to provide (me).
  2. Maybe one of these would make you absolutely ecstatic then? Illumitran.jpg

    A later model than this, complete with good Rodenstock 60mm Rodagon lens, went for a hamner price of £75 UK (~$100 US) two days ago at auction. The lens alone was worth £50.

    So that's only about £32 including auctioneers commission, for a complete film copying rig that'll handle formats up to 6x7cm. Just add digital camera of choice.

    I'm hopping mad. I paid £50 for mine, and without lens!:mad:
    Fiddlefye, NHSN and James Bryant like this.
  3. I'd love it. My wife wouldn't. Don't know where to hide it.
    Fiddlefye likes this.
  4. That is exactly why I am back shooting film with a Nikon F2AS, and picking up Nikkors for pennies compared to what I would have had to pay for them 25 years ago, and it’s all so much fun to use.

    But I am sticking to the scanner-to-dng process of digitizing the negatives as I shoot, with Vuescan and the Plustek 8200i. I have the process down to where I can do a strip of 6 negatives to dng in about 15-20 minutes. The quality of the scans is just superb and I can easily keep up with a 3-5 rolls of film per month capture rate.

    Basically about the equivalent of getting an uncompressed raw file from a 16-17MP digital camera. The dng comes out at about 90mb and the jpegs out of Adobe camera raw run 20-30mb, depending on the subject matter.

    I’m expecting to receive my first metal print from one of the scanned negatives next week, a 12x18 inch print from Bay Photo that I figure could have gone up to at least 20x30, had I really wanted to pay for it, LOL....
    Last edited: May 7, 2021
    NHSN likes this.
  5. The footprint is quite small - smaller than a toaster - and it's a lot smaller than a vaccuum cleaner, washing machine, cooker or many other 'girls toys'.

    I'm going to duck and cover now, to avoid the backlash from that sexist remark! :cool::cool:
    NHSN likes this.
  6. Purchase a semi fitted cover off Ebay and it might "fit" nicely next to all the computer "stuff". Keep us posted on the flying bricks Joe ! Aloha, Bill
  7. Honeywell offered a "Universal" version of their older Pentax Repronar. It's similar to rodeo_joe's illumintran. It is a good way to go for individual slide or negative copying:

    I still prefer a dedicated scanner for longer runs of copying, but they are hard to find. expensive, and often have antique interfaces...
  8. How so JD?
    I've adapted a heavy old enlarger glassless negative carrier to my Illumitran. It takes strips of film any length, so I can bang off copies almost as quickly as I can move the film from one frame to another.

    B&W negatives are a doddle, but colour negative takes time to get the colour dead right. And that's also the case if I use a dedicated film scanner. The difference is that a full rez 'scan' takes about 5 seconds on the copier, and 90 seconds plus on the scanner.
  9. We've been over this point again and again. For those new to this interchange, I'll simply say I've tried virtually all of the alternatives for slide and negative scanningl, and for both quality and time taken for the whole process (not just scanning one image) I've found my best results from my Nikon CoolScan 9000.
    barryreid and rick_drawbridge like this.
  10. Well, yes and no.
    The question's been asked a few times, and the details of exactly why you prefer the scanner have been evaded as often.

    It can't possibly be quicker, and I doubt there's much to choose in quality. So why exactly the preference/difference?

    I've been through the same copier-scanner comparison and come to the opposite conclusion.
    Last edited: May 17, 2021
    Robin Smith likes this.
  11. No. Among other factors, you just haven't gone back to the links in the early posts. I haven't evaded anything, you are the one who won't accept my reasons (based, by the way on my experience with scanning 10s of thousands of slides and negatives.) That's not evasion on my part, but unwillingness on your part to consider that someone else might possibly come to different conclusions. You do keep asking, but you never listen to the answers since you've already decided you're right....

    wrong. Note. I said total process, not just copying one or two images. with the camera and copy stand apparatus you have to be there feeding each slide individually, one after another. With a magazine loading scanner, then you can do 6 to 8 images before you have to turn around and reload, so the speed of one scan is moot, since you are NOT WAITING ON IT. It's my total time that matters to me, not the time for one slide. I can be working on other things while the scanning goes on, and on, ...

    If you think that your process is better, do it. But allow me my conclusions based, I dare say, on considerably more scanning, using different methods.
    Last edited: May 17, 2021
    q.g._de_bakker likes this.
  12. my scans, as saved on disk, amount to
    668.85 GB on disk for 95,607 items. That is not the total since many poorer quality or just lower resolution scans done early on have been discarded or archived. For reasons detailed in my posts, I have done long runs of digitizing using different scanners and methods.
    These numbers do not include many other scans of 4x5 and other than 35mm format negatives
  13. OK, OK. Steady on JD. No need to turn this into a battle!

    My main 'argument' is that there is little or no difference in quality between digital camera copying and using any affordable scanner. And that metric of quality includes necessary colour tweaking of those negatives/slides that don't respond to automatic processing. Which is where my time is mainly consumed.

    Generating the raw scan is trivial.

    Also, my experience of batch scanning is that it isn't a hands-free operation. My negatives are already cut into 4 or 6 frame lengths. So the longest time I could leave a scanner 'churning' would be about 15 minutes without wasting time and leaving it idle. In that same 15 minutes I can easily digitally copy an entire 36 exposure film or more.

    The number of 'scans' to be done simply multiplies the individual (average) frame time as far as I'm concerned. That I could squeeze in a cup of tea or coffee between reloading the scanner is really neither here nor there.

    So there you have it. A simple and unheated description of why I prefer digital camera copying.

    No need for an outburst, just an outline of methodology and preferences.

    I totally respect your choice, but this discussion should really be for the benefit of anyone considering which method to choose. A blanket statement of 'scanning is better', or 'camera-copying is better' doesn't present the pros and cons of each method sufficiently well.
  14. What? WHAT?
    Fiddlefye and q.g._de_bakker like this.

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