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04-01-2019, 12:27 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by pres589 Quote
I'd like to get something where the negative and the camera/lens are all mounted more solidly together for copying.
Indeed, there is the rub. Slide copier bellows are typically designed for use with a 50mm and 24x36mm FF format. Going to APS-C requires more extension than the copier section bellows is able to provide, though duct tape has been employed as a fix. A traditional copy stand might be an option except that find alignment is a pain unless one is talking a professional setup such as used by museums and those typically are made for large originals and larger format cameras.

QuoteOriginally posted by Bob 256 Quote
I still defer to my Nikon scanner which has a true 4000 dpi rating and offers the advantage of cleaning up some negative defects (dust, etc) by using a fourth infrared scan (in addition to the RGB) to detect anomalies which are patched. That can't practically be done with DLSR methods but if you have 100 slides to scan,
I chuckled a little in that I know people who bought the 5000 ED with the SF-210 slide stacker specifically for bulk "walk-away" digitizing. Full resolution scans can take a fairly long time (~1 minute for slides), but if one is watching an episode of Dr. Who while doing a full load of 99 slides, the minutes simply fly by.

QuoteOriginally posted by Bob 256 Quote
DSLR scanning is a LOT faster once set up, and the K-1 with a good lens can equal the Nikon's resolution.
There you hit it on the head. With a FF camera, decent quality macro lens, and bellows copier setup, one can pretty much make very high quality copies as quickly as it takes to swap slides in/out of the holder. Whether they approach drum scan or even 5000 ED quality is not important and often not necessary. (Focus accuracy for dSLR copies is the big challenge when working for speed and camera AF may not be up to the task.)

Probably the biggest drawbacks to dSLR "scanning", in my mind, is dealing with unmounted slides/negatives and also the orange mask used for C41 films. One can adapt the holders from enlargers or make something with plastic and tape, but its a pain. As for the orange mask; yes, it is possible to rack all the sliders in Photoshop in an attempt to correct, but without some sort of automation, such is a pain. In the wet darkroom, we had color analyzers and highly precise color heads. On most scanners, the correction is built in. When doing dSLR work, it is rule of dead reckoning.


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04-01-2019, 12:39 PM   #17
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C-41 orange cast isn't that hard to deal with in my estimation. Color balance it nearly all the way out, invert the negative so it's now a positive image, and tweak a bit with the sliders in your software tool of choice (mine remains to be Lightroom). I've wondered about finding some filter plug-in to do a lot of that for me although I assume it will still require a bit of slider work on my part to get right.

I think something that recreated the bellows setups with drawer slides and some ball heads to hold the camera/lens and a negative holder and maybe a strap around the filter end of the lens to assure everything is square. Another project...
04-01-2019, 07:22 PM - 1 Like   #18
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I haven't tried it myself, but theoretically there should be a filter pack that would cancel the orange mask prior to capturing the negative which should simplify tweeking it out after inverting the colors. Such a filter would produce about an equal density of gray across the negative (and should be easy to judge visually using the unexposed areas), but the effect of the orange mask (correcting magenta and cyan dye deficiencies) would remain. Probably a bluish filter pack using color compensating filters (used over the illumination source)???

Also, it might be wise to use a fixed white balance setting with a camera, because auto white balance is designed to work with positives and might push color balance unpredictably for negatives, especially if the mask isn't nullified when shooting.

Last edited by Bob 256; 04-01-2019 at 07:32 PM.
04-01-2019, 09:05 PM - 1 Like   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Indeed, there is the rub. Slide copier bellows are typically designed for use with a 50mm and 24x36mm FF format. Going to APS-C requires more extension than the copier section bellows is able to provide, though duct tape has been employed as a fix.
My Pentax A auto bellows with slide copier attachment and Pentax-F 28-80 lens zoomed all the way in to 80 works fine without any duct tape. The only customization I needed to do was a filter thread adapter because the lens doesnít have the right thread to match up with bellows on the slide copier.

Itís certainly not the best lens in the world, but under the circumstances, it seems to work fine.

04-01-2019, 09:18 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bob 256 Quote
I haven't tried it myself, but theoretically there should be a filter pack that would cancel the orange mask prior to capturing the negative which should simplify tweeking it out after inverting the colors. Such a filter would produce about an equal density of gray across the negative (and should be easy to judge visually using the unexposed areas), but the effect of the orange mask (correcting magenta and cyan dye deficiencies) would remain. Probably a bluish filter pack using color compensating filters (used over the illumination source)???

Also, it might be wise to use a fixed white balance setting with a camera, because auto white balance is designed to work with positives and might push color balance unpredictably for negatives, especially if the mask isn't nullified when shooting.
A: shoot in raw so the white balance on the camera doesnít matter.
B: make sure a little of the orange out of frame is visible. Then in Lightroom use the eye dropper tool in the white balance section to white balance away the orange.

After you invert, your image should be 80% of the way there. It will almost always need black and white point set and curves used to tweak the contrast. It will sometimes need some color adjustment. Iíve found that if your digitizing is consistent the color of your illumination and color of the white balance is also the same across hthe roll, so I white balance the orange away on one frame then sync that adjustment across the entire roll.

I think a good scanner with good software can probably do a better job, but since I shoot a lot of 6x4.5, 6x6, and 6x7, there are no affordable (to me) options other than my DSLR setup. (The $200 flatbed scanners seem to be a bit lacking in real resolution for 35mm. They seem to max out at around 1200 dpi (based on tests Iíve read), and since the short edge of a 35mm frame is a bit under an inch, I can predict their real world resolution is in the ballpark of 1800x1200 or just over 2 megapixels.
04-07-2019, 03:51 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by link800 Quote
For 35mm negative and slide scanning I'm considering these-

I'm curious to see what everyones opinion here is. Personally I would like a high as possible resolution and I don't care about speed. I don't shoot anything but 35mm, so I don't care about other formats.
I agree that a DSLR with the appropriate setup can make much faster scans particularly of slides and b&w. Of course this will require manual advancement and centering of the film. With color slides, post work of inversion is relatively trivial but of course there is no dust and scratch removal (ICE) and doing so manually can completely negate the speed advantage of this process.

Example of Nikon D800 "scan" of a very dirty Kodachrome compared to the Coolscan - with and without ICE. The Coolscan takes about a minute to complete a scan and I am certain it would take me much longer and even less quality to do the cleaning in post work.




In this example of a very dirty color negative film, you can see how good Coolscan ICE is as well as it's color accuracy compared to my attempt at color negative inversion in post work.



I've only attempted color negative inversion in post a few times although I have reviewed the process of many posted on youtube and two things are obvious. There is no one single process and any process will have to be adjusted for each frame of film. This alone - without consideration of dust and scratch removal, makes DSLR scanning of color negatives more time consuming then using a Coolscan.

The new Nikon D850 has color negative inversion built-in and I will have to try it out as I do have the autobellows for a full frame Nikon.

Speaking of the achieving the highest possible resolution from your scans, here is an example of scans from a Nikon D800, Coolscan and Pentax K20D of Kodak Techpan @ ISO25 processed in Technidol. You will notice that even though the D800 provides more pixels then a 4000dpi Coolscan, you will notice that they are about equal in achieving detail from the film. You will also notice that there is even more detail on the film that was not achieved by these methods.



I was just testing to see just how good my used manual focus lenses were and of course I was pleasantly surprised to find out just how outstanding a used Pentax-M 50mm F4 macro was!
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