Scanning Film: It's Getting Better.

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by fotografz, Apr 3, 2004.

  1. Just installed a Minolta 5400 35mm scanner to use for my B&W wedding film work. 5400 dpi produces a huge 16 bit file when the B&W is scanned in RGB color space. over 200 meg. Not only does that kind of resolution provide a smooth tonality, it really allows for some severe crops. It also has ICE to remove dust and scratches, which cannot be employed when scanning traditional B&W emulsions, But If you use C-41 B&W films like Kodak T-Max 400CN, Portra B&W, or Illford XP-2, you can scan them using the color neg. setting and desaturate, then correct contrast etc. before scanning the final file (see attached cropped example) In the example, note that ICE removed all the emulsion defects without altering fine detail in the image itself (see wisp of hair over subjects right eye) I specifically selected a badly marked neg. for this test. I had heard that ICE softened the image, but I cannot detect that at all. Just thought some of you would like a non-scientific report in case you were considering this route to digital printing.
  2. Scanning can take quite a bit of time. I think that scanning is viable only if the number of shots to be scanned is small. For a film shooter it makes sense to give a set of regular, wet chemistry set of proofs, and then just scan the images that will either be used in an album or enlargements. I really wouldn't want to scan hundreds of images.

    You can get the film scanned when it is developed for a very reasonable price. Adorama uses a Noritsu digital printer, and you can get the scans on a CD for under $10, but they aren't very high resolution and need a fair amount of color and exposure correction. Correcting a large number of images is much faster than scanning though. It would be a reasonable way of delivering an all digital set of proofs.
  3. I don't understand. If you are indeed using C41 B&W and color film, you already get
    hundreds proofs along with the processed negatives.

    So the scans are just of the ones to be printed as enlargements. Instead of having a lab
    make prints, you make them for reasons of creative control.

    IMO, these new scanners with higher resolution and features like grain control, ICE and
    batch scanning make it a much easier task than just a few years ago.
  4. I suppose that I didn't make myself clear. I meant the same thing.
  5. Hey Peter!

    The Minolta seems pretty easy to use, and the results look good so far. My first dedicated
    film scanner was a Minolta, so I had some faith in this one going in. I understand there are
    some issues with noise with the bigger 5400 MF scanner. But this 35mm only one seems
    excellent so far. An important upgrade for my wedding work.

    My Polaroid SprintScan 120 suddenly refused to transport the film holder, so I could only
    scan the first frame of a strip (and the last by flipping the film around). I'll still use it for
    the occasional MF neg, or use my flatbed 1640 SU Epson... which I also want to replace.

    I'll wait and see what the Digi-Ms look like. It'll be interesting to see if they're full frame or
    chopped off sensors. FYI: Rumor has it that the Canon 10D will be replaced with a full
    frame version this fall.

    Meanwhile, Leica USA replaced both my M7s (.072 & .085) with brand new cameras with
    the MP finder. Big difference. How's the MP working out?
  6. Marc,

    How exactly did you talk Leica USA into changing your rangefinder. I have held off on buying an M7 because ...after agruement after arguement with Leica USA... they refused to guarantee that if I bought a "new" M7 that it would be one with the MP finder. They would not give me a serial number where the change occurred. What they did with the early M7 finders was just wrong in my opinion.

    Jonathan Russell
  7. Well Joathan, it wasn't easy. I bought my M7s not long after they first came out from Sam
    Shoshan of Classic Camera (my long time dealer). When I heard about the exchange offer
    for MP finders I called him and I was quite irritated. He called the President of Leica and
    they put a priority on it. Sent the cameras in ...and then was informed that the finders
    were out of stock with no firm shipping date from Germany. Sam squealed again, so they
    sent me 2 brand new ones. Both had high serial numbers but the .085 didn't have the new
    MP type finder in it! By then they had the new finder parts, so they said they would replace
    the finder and did exactly that ...except it came back with one of the LCD numbers inside
    malfunctioning. Back it went again. As luck would have it, a few new M7 .085s had come
    in and they immediately sent me one that did have the MP finder. An ordeal, but worth the
    wait, because the finder does not flair even with a spot light directly into it. And I have 2
    brand new ones now.

    Leica USA said that they don't even know which serial #s have the MP finders in them and
    can't tell until you test them.
  8. marc, can you elaborate on the source of the 10D rumor? with the 1D2 being a 1.3 crop, i would think that at best, the 10D replacement would be a 1.3x and more likely still a 1.6 crop.
  9. What film was used for this scan?
  10. Ronald, it was Kodak T-Max 400CN.

    If you use a C-41 type B&W film, you can apply ICE to remove the dust and scratches. ICE
    doesn't work with traditional B&W films.

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