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03-22-2018, 08:56 PM   #1
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Location: New Mexico
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third party processing and scanning

A few more questions on my return to film photography. Eventually I want to get to processing my film at home, but there is no point processing at home until I either can scan the negatives myself, or I have a darkroom to print myself. (most likely the former.) So at this point I sent my first couple of rolls off to be developed and scanned by TheDarkroom.

I opted for their middle grade "enhanced" scans, which end up with a ~6 megapixel 3k x 2k JPG. They do have a higher resolution scan available for an extra $5 per roll over the middle grade scans, which I'll probably try next. It is ~6700x4400, or about 30 megapixels, but seems to still be delivered in JPG.

Has anyone found a third party processor that processing the film and can provide TIFF or something more akin to RAW files, and do so at a reasonable cost? I'd love to have scans where I don't have to worry about JPG compression issues and that have 12btis per channel instead of 8. Am I overthinking this?

03-23-2018, 01:51 AM   #2
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I have been scaning my negatives for a while with my DSLR, both 35mm and 120. You just need your digital camera, a macro lens (a normal lens plus extension tubes will also work), a light source behind the negative (I use a bulb+a white PVC elbow to soften the light) and some patience.

You get RAW files (I shoot with my K3 or K50 so 24 or 16 megapixel file) wich you can process in lightroom of any other post processing software.
This way you have much more control over your final image, you can increase contrast, clarity, correct under/over exposure on the original picture etc.
Here some pictures I have processed that way:

35mm | Flickr
120 | Flickr

I recently built a scanning "holder" with some laminated wood and plastic sheet to hold the negative, the camera and the light in place, Once I have everything set, I can scan one 36 exposure roll in a few minutes.
03-23-2018, 06:53 AM   #3
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These folks offer very high resolution options but the cost is staggering...

High res scans are $45/frame!

Trust DSI for your Film Processing & Scanning- Free inbound shipping

They offer less expensive scans also...
03-23-2018, 07:40 AM   #4
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Imerino Quote
I have been scaning my negatives for a while with my DSLR, both 35mm and 120. You just need your digital camera, a macro lens (a normal lens plus extension tubes will also work), a light source behind the negative (I use a bulb+a white PVC elbow to soften the light) and some patience.

You get RAW files (I shoot with my K3 or K50 so 24 or 16 megapixel file) wich you can process in lightroom of any other post processing software.
This way you have much more control over your final image, you can increase contrast, clarity, correct under/over exposure on the original picture etc.
Here some pictures I have processed that way:

35mm | Flickr
120 | Flickr

I recently built a scanning "holder" with some laminated wood and plastic sheet to hold the negative, the camera and the light in place, Once I have everything set, I can scan one 36 exposure roll in a few minutes.
Interesting idea. I'm not much of a handyman, and building stuff is usually out of my comfort zone. Any idea if the Pentax slide copier (the thing that attached to the bellows) can accept a strip of negatives without cutting them to individual frames? Are there any other prebuilt options? I already have a K-3ii and a F100/2.8 Macro lens. Do you need to worry much about evenness of the illumination behind the negative?

QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya:
These folks offer very high resolution options but the cost is staggering...

High res scans are $45/frame!
yikes. That is a little outside my reach!

03-23-2018, 10:59 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 27
I am not sure about the Pentax slide copier but seems that there are some options currently for sale. If you google "Scan film with DSLR" you will find many blogs, webs about the subject, some more "professional" than others:

How to digitise film negatives using a DSLR ? Ant tran
How to Scan Film Negatives with a DSLR

About the light, it is absolutely essential to soften and make it even on the frame, thats why I use the elbow, so the light is not falling directly into the negative. I have tried many different options but this has been the best so far...

Below is a picture of my gadget, I know that it is not pretty but it works (the Program Plus is only to show the layout ).
I am working now in an upgraded version to be able to scan 120 negatives with the same system.
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