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08-01-2010, 08:41 AM   #31
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Okay, so I've hit my first couple of snags already.

The quality of the scans are fantastic, by the way. The problem I'm having, however, is with the software (or at least I think it's with the software). I've tried multiple strips of negatives from different batches and still find a light purple/white band near the top that spans the width of the scan. Some scans it's not noticeable, but most scans have it.

Also, Digital ICE was working, and now is not. I'll select Digital ICE and do a preview scan, which goes fine, and then the software unchecked the Digital ICE box after the preview scan is complete. I re-enable the box, and tell it to perform the whole scan, which goes alright, but it comes back with scans that obviously didn't make it through the Digital ICE filter, but took just as long to produce. I'm using C41 based color negative film (Ektar, actually) so I don't understand why it would be a problem, or better yet, why it would have worked before (I got about 10 frames scanned before I noticed the issue). I've restarted the system a few times, and am running in Professional mode on the software.

So far, impressed with the picture quality, but not so with the crap software and unpredictable results.

08-01-2010, 09:06 AM   #32
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You should at the very least try VueScan.

VueScan Scanning Software for Windows 7, Mac OS X (Snow Leopard) and Linux
08-01-2010, 09:33 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by drewdlephone Quote
Okay, so I've hit my first couple of snags already.

The quality of the scans are fantastic, by the way. The problem I'm having, however, is with the software (or at least I think it's with the software). I've tried multiple strips of negatives from different batches and still find a light purple/white band near the top that spans the width of the scan. Some scans it's not noticeable, but most scans have it.

Also, Digital ICE was working, and now is not. I'll select Digital ICE and do a preview scan, which goes fine, and then the software unchecked the Digital ICE box after the preview scan is complete. I re-enable the box, and tell it to perform the whole scan, which goes alright, but it comes back with scans that obviously didn't make it through the Digital ICE filter, but took just as long to produce. I'm using C41 based color negative film (Ektar, actually) so I don't understand why it would be a problem, or better yet, why it would have worked before (I got about 10 frames scanned before I noticed the issue). I've restarted the system a few times, and am running in Professional mode on the software.

So far, impressed with the picture quality, but not so with the crap software and unpredictable results.
Epson Scan and retaining settings are two terms that don't coexist very well. Strangely, Nikon Scan suffers from the same problem. What I have found helpful is to save a general setup (say for Ektar) and start each session by loading that setup. This should override the defaults and not change until you change them.

Steve
08-01-2010, 04:36 PM   #34
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Well, this is an excellent thread. Timely too, as I will be back to scanning 645 and 35mm shortly.

Comments.
I have the 5400 elite II from Minolta.
It doesn't like vista. I am trying to get an INF from here to make it work, but so far, no luck. It is just a pity that Sony gobbled Minolta at that point, as minolta software and support was quite timely and moving along.

Just to reassure myself that things were working I trialled vuescan again this am and it worked great, although no multi-frame support on the demo (that I could see - could be user error). I still can't like it and prefer the minolta suite.

If I can get it going.

I will likely go back to XP and have a dual boot just so I can use it as some of the scans it produces are excellent. So, I think someone was looking at Win 7, I think that this will be a similar issue, even with compatibility mode.

As an aside, does anyone use this model on a mac with snow leopard?

I also have a 4490 for medium format. OK scanner, but you really need the custom holders from better scanning to get rid of curling and height focus issues/attendant light loss. I have had some excellent scans out of it, but film underexposure is your enemy (as always..).

Happy scanning.


Last edited by Clarkey; 08-01-2010 at 04:37 PM. Reason: question
08-01-2010, 04:53 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by drewdlephone Quote
Okay, so I've hit my first couple of snags already.

The quality of the scans are fantastic, by the way. The problem I'm having, however, is with the software (or at least I think it's with the software). I've tried multiple strips of negatives from different batches and still find a light purple/white band near the top that spans the width of the scan. Some scans it's not noticeable, but most scans have it.

Also, Digital ICE was working, and now is not. I'll select Digital ICE and do a preview scan, which goes fine, and then the software unchecked the Digital ICE box after the preview scan is complete. I re-enable the box, and tell it to perform the whole scan, which goes alright, but it comes back with scans that obviously didn't make it through the Digital ICE filter, but took just as long to produce. I'm using C41 based color negative film (Ektar, actually) so I don't understand why it would be a problem, or better yet, why it would have worked before (I got about 10 frames scanned before I noticed the issue). I've restarted the system a few times, and am running in Professional mode on the software.

So far, impressed with the picture quality, but not so with the crap software and unpredictable results.
That sort of behaviour is what I like least about Epson Scan.

To enable ICE in all the scans in a batch, click the ALL button in the preview window, which selects all frames, then click the ICE checkbox. It will work for one batch, then probably reset to off.

It is possible to nail things down a bit more using the Save Settings function in the main window, but that is pretty clunky.

John
08-02-2010, 12:02 AM   #36
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Steve, thanks for the details.

I would like to add some, too.

A high-resolution scan of a 35mm slide with the Nikon takes one minute an thirty seconds.

A high-resolution scan of a 35mm slide with the Reflecta takes two minutes.

A high-resolution scan of a 35mm slide with the 'DSLR plus macro lens' solution takes one second.

That is one of the main reasons why I don't use these dedicated film scanners any more. In the meanwhile I improved my method:

I develop b/w films on my own. As soon as they are dried I don't cut them immediately but first of all I scan them. The camera is on a tripod, high enough that the film does not touch the ground. I digitize the whole film with 36 frames within two minutes. Quality is good enough for A2 size prints. I use this size for my expositions.
08-02-2010, 10:04 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by cxo Quote

A high-resolution scan of a 35mm slide with the Nikon takes one minute an thirty seconds.
27 seconds for Kodachrome at 3000 dpi (~12 megapixel) AF and AE on, with ICE off (51s with ICE on). Negatives take about 1/2 again longer. (I own the Nikon.)

That being said, the idea of using some sort of slide copier/macro lens setup has intrigued me. In theory, the results should be as good or better than a dedicated scanner. The time per exposure should be somewhat longer than 1 second given time to set up, remove dust, and focus, but the effort might be worth it.

The cost breakdown goes something along these lines:

Bellows/slide copier: $50-$150+ used at auction
50mm lens with reversing adapter: $50
-or- 50mm enlarger lens with M39 adapter: $60
-or- 100mm bellows lens: $150+

Assuming you already have a 10 megapixel or better dSLR, for somewhere between $100 and $400 you could get a working setup that would give any Epson flatbed a solid run for the money. You lose something to convenience and the lack of ICE, but if you are doing mostly B&W, that should be less of an issue.

Could you post some photos of your copier setup along with a description of your workflow and some sample images (including full resolution crops)? A new thread in this section would probably be preferable. Questions about scanning solutions come up fairly regularly and it would be good to have all the options out there and an post/article to link back to if needed.


Steve
08-02-2010, 04:52 PM   #38
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What kind of light source would be good enough for slide copier/macro lens setup?

08-02-2010, 11:01 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
27 seconds for Kodachrome at 3000 dpi (~12 megapixel) AF and AE on, with ICE off (51s with ICE on). Negatives take about 1/2 again longer. (I own the Nikon.)
How about 4000 dpi? And which Nikon do you own? There are some differences, also regarding speed.

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
That being said, the idea of using some sort of slide copier/macro lens setup has intrigued me. In theory, the results should be as good or better than a dedicated scanner. The time per exposure should be somewhat longer than 1 second given time to set up, remove dust, and focus, but the effort might be worth it.
It is. Last year in an exhibition in Vienna I showed A2 size prints from these 'scans'. One of the best things is that this style of 'scanning' does not over-emphasize grain, but a lot of details are shown.

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
The cost breakdown goes something along these lines:

Bellows/slide copier: $50-$150+ used at auction
50mm lens with reversing adapter: $50
-or- 50mm enlarger lens with M39 adapter: $60
-or- 100mm bellows lens: $150+
Not a bad guess, I paid quite exactly $120 for the bellows and $150 for the lens.

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Could you post some photos of your copier setup along with a description of your workflow and some sample images (including full resolution crops)? A new thread in this section would probably be preferable. Questions about scanning solutions come up fairly regularly and it would be good to have all the options out there and an post/article to link back to if needed.
Well, I think I don't have to take a photo of the setup, it's quite simple, looks like this on a tripod at eyelevel:

Slide copier on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Exposure times in more or less bright sun at f/11 are between 1/30 and 1/8s. Before the winter I will build a very bright LED light source. Some people use a strobe in front of the bellows but I did not try that yet.

The workflow:

- Develop film, dry it.
- Don't cut it, put it right into the "scanner"
- Set the camera to max. resolution, auto white balance should be enough
- I focus using 'Liveview' at maximum enlargement on the LCD screen
- I use RAW to get the most details, then convert into Tiff 16 bit
- Process in Photoshop
- Print
08-03-2010, 01:17 AM   #40
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I've got a V300, which cost less than USD 100 from Ebuyer. Its apparently got the same quality (CCD and lens system) as the higher models, just with fewer bells and whistles like ICE. Going above 2400dpi seems to generate its own grain above these levels. Here is an interesting link on optimal scanning resolution:
Technique - Optimal scanning resolution

The first V300 got sent back for a purple line, but I am embarassed to say that I think its actually easy to fix, which is good for you. The first segment of the film holder which the scanner runs over is a vacant section, segregated out for white balancing the CCD. If there is any dust on this section, you get a purple line. Try dusting your scanner gently.

It sounds like the Dimage scanners are the ones to go for, when balancing performance and cost, but they regularly sell at GBP 400 on Ebay. Ken Rockwell has been promoting them which probably doesn't help, see link beneath for his summary of different models:
Recommended Photo Scanners

Something to consider is the film selected, as its rumoured Kodak have optimised their bases for scanning. Certainly, TMY scans better than HP5+.

***********bit that follows is personal opinion of a noob to printing!***********

For what its worth, my limited experience over the last year leads me away from scanning. In particular, my ultimate aim is to get prints, not digital files. When I have spent all this time collecting primes, lugging tripods around, it seems a shame to give up on control at the printing stage. Wet prints look so much better, that I am thinking of selling the scanner. My Nikkor f2.8 50mm is sharper than the lens in the V300 (rumoured to be a pinhole in some scanners!). I have a loupe which is maybe more useful than scanning, as its so quick to establish whether a photo has potential. I just file my negatives in a A4 Kenro paper neg holder from 7dayshop, circling with a fat soft 2B pencil around the ones I intend to print on rainy Sundays.

In fact, for the time it takes to make a print (15 minutes or so) from B&W, versus scanning (around an hour a roll) its questionable whether its even worth bothering to digitize my shots. Particularly when I probably only want to print 4 shots per roll. I guess maybe over time I will change my prints, perfecting exposure and contrast, but seriously, I think the photos I am getting out of my enlarger are better than anything else I've done digitally.

In colour, the white balance from my V300 is bordering on psychadelic, even when I take the digital image and use a dropper on it. I believe the source of the problem is that the colour curves are non-linear, which means that the colour balance changes for intensity, and the curves cross over each other. This would be a similar effect to incorrect development time (I don't develop colour negs at home, yet, so maybe I am suffering from incorrect development times?!). This then raises the question of the accuracy of the B&W scans, as the scanner uses a RGB CCD. Its too much to think about, so I resign myself to getting someone else to print my colour pics. Boots charge about GBP 5 (USD 8) for a complete set of 4x6 prints. The local Fuji pro photographer charges me GBP 1.5 for a Fuji Frontier 5x7, and I get the money back in terms of picking his brains for advice on technique. Maybe some of the software like Vuescan or Silverfast will have the necessary colour profiles? But once you start fiddling with colour, you have to profile your monitor, yet another expense in a Spyder and time and maybe a new monitor....arghhh!

Finally, if its really necessary to digitise the image, via a CCD, maybe its better to do it initially. A camera body is cheaper than one of these scanners, and the beauty of Pentax is that the K mount manual lenses can be used on the modern bodies.


edit:interesting collection of comparison of scans of 0.25*0.25" of film on things like Nikon 9000, Epson 4990, Heidelberg etc
http://www.terrapinphoto.com/jmdavis/

Last edited by whojammyflip; 08-04-2010 at 01:21 PM. Reason: addition of comparison of scanners
08-03-2010, 08:25 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by cxo Quote
How about 4000 dpi? And which Nikon do you own? There are some differences, also regarding speed...
Super Coolscan 5000 ED

I did the scan at 3000 dpi to give approximately the same megapixel resolution as what the average dSLR delivers. ICE was turned off to further level the playing field.

I was sort of hoping that you would start a new thread that might be appropriate for a "sticky". The majority of users on this forum are unfamiliar with slide copiers (never seen or even heard of one) and many on the film section are completely new to film. Having a "how to" with photo illustrations showing equipment and results would be helpful to people wanting to follow your advice. It would also serve as an easy way to point people in the right direction when inquiries are made about film-to-digital options.

I looked at your photo of the setup on Flickr and all I can say is WOW! That is one really nice bellows/duper. (drool running down chin...) For the benefit of the other readers...



Two questions:
  • Did you have to have an adapter made to use this setup with Pentax K-mount?
  • Is there some sort of strip film adapter?


Steve
08-03-2010, 11:07 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Super Coolscan 5000 ED

I did the scan at 3000 dpi to give approximately the same megapixel resolution as what the average dSLR delivers. ICE was turned off to further level the playing field.

I was sort of hoping that you would start a new thread that might be appropriate for a "sticky".
Well, my company wants my time, I will do that but give me some time.

Here in Germany where I live we have a remarkable renaissance of analog photography, but also in other parts of the world. For details see www.apug.org.

Many people here started to turn their DSLRs into scanners :-)

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Having a "how to" with photo illustrations showing equipment and results would be helpful to people wanting to follow your advice. It would also serve as an easy way to point people in the right direction when inquiries are made about film-to-digital options.
Well, I consider a Youtube movie...

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I looked at your photo of the setup on Flickr and all I can say is WOW! That is one really nice bellows/duper. (drool running down chin...)
Well, there are a few more:

Pentax
http://kmp.bdimitrov.de/misc/macro/auto_bellows_slide_copier.jpg

And here is the manual:
Google-Ergebnis für http://whitemetal.com/ppro/auto_bellows_cover.gif

Nikon made some of the best:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3591/3473076155_c89af35ba7_b.jpg

And they had great accesories:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/images/images345x345/37862.jpg

Konica
http://cybernetdenis.net/work/bellows.jpg

Ihagee (now, that's an old one, but I think it could be used on a modern DSLR, it's just a matter of finding the right adapter)
Diakopiervorsatz zum Ihagee Balgengerät by Photo but More

Novoflex, probably available for all SLR systems ever built:
http://dunkelnetz.de/images/dies_und_das_f__r_forum/unfugbilder_f__r_tests/k...t-novoflex.jpg

Today Novoflex makes the most advanced bellows available:
Novoflex - Bellows Systems

They even have one that allows Tilt/Shift like a 4x5" studio camera:
Novoflex - Tilt-/Shift Bellows

And, of course, they have an attachment for negatives or slides...

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
  • Did you have to have an adapter made to use this setup with Pentax K-mount?
As it is an Olympus bellows with an Olympus OM bayonet I needed an adapter. But there are also bellows for Pentax K.

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
  • Is there some sort of strip film adapter?
It's built in, the small slot in the slide holder.

One important advice: forget gadgets like this:
http://www.riccos-camera.de/makethumb.php?pic=images/big/diaduplikator-t2-06-16.jpg&w=285&sq=Y

All these cheap gizmos use a strong, bad close-up lens that turn your best lens into a very bad one.
08-03-2010, 05:03 PM   #43
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I've just inherited a whole bunch of old family slides and everyone wants me to give them digital versions. Though I have a decent film scanner (9000ED), I dread the labor of scanning them all and frankly I won't do it but for a selected few. The thought of being able to "scan" them with my DSLR intrigues me. I'd love to get my hands on something like in that picture above. That thing rocks.
08-03-2010, 05:27 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
...I'd love to get my hands on something like in that picture above. That thing rocks.
My thoughts too. That is quite possibly the most robust bellows/duper setup I have ever seen. As soon as I saw it, the gear acquisition genes went active in a major way!

Steve

BTW...there is one on eBay $199 BIN/Offer...go for it Tuco, you know you want it...
08-04-2010, 12:59 AM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
BTW...there is one on eBay $199 BIN/Offer...go for it Tuco, you know you want it...
That's overpriced...

I hope I did not set the fashion now...

A few years ago I used a Mamiya C220 and C330f, twin lens reflex cameras with exchangeable lenses. They were really good, but I always found them too big for my taste. So I sold them. Since then a "TLR" tsunami hit ebay and other market places. Today such a camera is worth 2-3 times what it was a few years ago, everyone wants a TLR.
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