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01-13-2012, 11:07 AM   #1
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Scanning 120 slide film - slide or negative?

Hi Everyone,

I'm brand new to flim. Have a 645N on the way and just trying to figure how this is all going to work. My question: After getting my 120 slide film processed, is it better to scan the negative or the processed (unmounted) slide?

Sorry if this has been answered, I tried my best to find something by searching.

Best Regards,
Anthony

01-13-2012, 11:26 AM - 1 Like   #2
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either can scan well. Ive scanned all types of film. It is easier to have the processor do a 4 base scan for Proofing/Web though and then just scan the frames you want high quality at home - At least that is my preference I find Scanning tedious on a flatbed and i can't afford a nikon 9000

EDIt I noticed you said get your slide filme processed and mentioned negative or slide. there is no negative, Slide film is a Positive. Print is a Negative. you can get both in B/W or colour (for B/W you can actually use almost any B/W film - no Fuji Across- and have it done as a slide at

http://www.dr5.com/
01-13-2012, 12:07 PM   #3
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OK, I see. That makes sense, explains why I couldn't figure this out. Thanks for the reply!
01-13-2012, 12:40 PM - 1 Like   #4
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If you're looking to make a decision as to whether to shoot slide film or negative, my suggestion is to shoot negative as a negative will hold more information than a slide. That is to say it can hold more detail--you can expose for the shadows without losing detail in the highlights.

01-13-2012, 12:47 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnyates Quote
If you're looking to make a decision as to whether to shoot slide film or negative, my suggestion is to shoot negative as a negative will hold more information than a slide. That is to say it can hold more detail--you can expose for the shadows without losing detail in the highlights.
I agree Negative is far more forgiving. If you are just starting with film it is a better (and cheaper to process) route

OTOH Some slides (like Velvia) have very distinct characteristics that may be appealing - but they require high levels of exposure accuracy to get the best results
01-13-2012, 05:36 PM   #6
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Thanks guys. I made the call to start with slide film, got a couple packs of Provia 100 on the way. Will see how that goes, part of this involves me learning to understand exposure a little better.
01-13-2012, 08:37 PM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by adelorenzo Quote
learning to understand exposure a little better
With slide film you need to peg your exposure to the highlights--overexposure is deadly. The method I was taught is to meter the brightest highlight area of your scene that you wish to hold detail--for instance, the bride's dress in sunshine--and open up two and one half stops.

This is where your spot meter comes in handy.

To properly expose negative film, meter the area of your scene containing the darkest shadows you wish to see in the print and close down 2 stops.

The accuracy of your meter may cause you to slightly vary the guidelines stated above, but it's a good starting point.

More information on exposure => Zone System - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

If you decide to get a medium format film scanner and do your own scans, the best scanner driver is VueScan => VueScan Scanner Software for Windows 7, Mac OS X Lion, Linux, iPhone, iPad, iPod
01-14-2012, 11:48 AM - 1 Like   #8
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While all of the above information is good, I would suggest, as a noob, that you trust the camera's meter for the first couple of rolls. The 645N has an excellent matrix metering system similar to that on current Pentax product. The Provia you have ordered is more forgiving of exposure than Velvia and you should be fine for most shooting unless you have the proverbial white dress in full sun scenario.

Truly...go forth and have fun. The 645N is very easy to use and is a pleasure in the hand. I kid you not. I am not a 645N owner, but I had the privilege of using one for a month this last summer. The learning curve is extremely easy.

Now, in regards to the white dress in full sun situation, even negative film will block up in the highlights unless you provide exposure compensation. In that case I would suggest manual exposure with either an incident hand held meter or spot metering the dress (the 645N has a spot meter setting) and applying 2 stops additional exposure. Knowledge of how light meters work and how film responds (or not) is important and can allow you to get usable results in many difficult lighting situations.

As for scanning...having the lab do it is $$$ for good work. I own an Epson V700 and am very happy with the results I get with medium format film. I use the Epson scanning software and driver that came with the scanner in preference to VueScan (I have both), but that is purely a matter of preference. I don't like the SilverFast product that was also bundled with the scanner. Again, it is mostly a matter of preference and the choice of one crummy user interface over other crummy user interfaces.

If you are scanning your own, tell the lab to return your slides unmounted and uncut. That allows you to cut the length to fit your carrier and the plastic sheets that you will use for storage. Unless you have a MF slide projector, there is little use mounting the transparencies. To the best of my knowledge, very few scanners support mounted 645 slides.


Steve


Last edited by stevebrot; 01-14-2012 at 11:56 AM.
01-14-2012, 12:47 PM   #9
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Once again thanks @johnyates, @stevebrot. This is so helpful.

I'll probably try some different ways of exposing my shots, definitely the ways you have suggessted. I'll shoot some familiar scenes and light conditions and see how I make out compared to my digital shots. I love that the camera will imprint information on the film so I can figure out what was going on at the time.

I plan to do my own scanning. That's my next acquisition, looking at one of the Canon or Epson models. I'll scan my own stuff for online or basic prints, I figure I can always get a pro scan done if I need something more than that. When you think about $20+/roll for scanning at a decent resolution, the cost of buying a scanner adds up pretty quick.
01-17-2012, 11:41 AM   #10
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Its been about 5 years since I hung up my Bronica ETRS, so my information is certainly old.

If you shoot landscapes or nature I would highly recommend that you at least give Velvia 50 a try (do they even still make it?). Its an acquired taste, so you may love it or hate it. For nature photography I would never use anything else. Its very unforgiving, Also, I recommend shooting 220 so you change film less often.

In 2005, I didnt want to spend the money for a dedicated Nikon film scanner. I tried many different scanners that were available to me at the time. I really was not happy with the Canon or Epson offerings. The dedicated Minolta scanner was OK, but lacked the resolution. Eventually the scanner that I settled on was a Microtek Artixscan 2500. It was a big heavy beast with a SCSI connection. I bought it a large discount on Ebay. If you have the room, dont overlook legacy professional solutions like Leaf Scanner, Imacon, or other drum scanners. If you are patient you can often buy them on the cheap. in my experience they far exceeded the consumer grade scanners.
01-17-2012, 11:58 AM   #11
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They do still make Velvia in 50 iso (they also have a 100 iso varianty a little more forgiving but i don't like it as much)

220 though is gone now that the wedding crowd and the pro studio crowd shoots digital mostly. AFAIK no-one makes 220 anymore (freestyle photo only has Portra 400 neg in 220 - no B/w, No Transparency- a sure sign it's gone
01-18-2012, 06:14 AM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by ro345 Quote
If you have the room, dont overlook legacy professional solutions like Leaf Scanner, Imacon, or other drum scanners. If you are patient you can often buy them on the cheap.
Here on planet Earth, a drum scanner or $10,000 Imacon would be seen as a ridiculous purchase for a newcomer to film.
01-18-2012, 08:01 AM   #13
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plus 1 ^^^^
I've not seen any spectacular deals on any either (I'd love an imacon even an ancient one)
01-18-2012, 09:42 AM   #14
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Uh, a howtek 4500 just closed on ebay for $1200 much less than $10000. I've seen them lower than that when the auction was pickup only. My point being that the Canon/Epson consumer stuff isnt that great for scanning film. Sure an Imacon or drum scanner is over kill. But older stuff that Umax, Microtek, and Leafscanner produced will probably be much better than todays consumer hardware.
01-18-2012, 11:20 AM   #15
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I plan to start with a basic flatbed to make scans for internet and home inkjet prints. If I manage to get a photo worth a large print then I'll send it in for scanning.

Much like doing the math of having your rolls scanned when developing, if you consider that pro drum scans can run upwards of $100 (depending on size) then I guess there is a point where a big-time scanner makes sense if you are doing a lot of it.

Right now, I just hope I can get some film back that isn't totally botched. I'll go from there.
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