Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
04-12-2012, 07:24 AM - 2 Likes   #1
Inactive Account




Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Beerse
Posts: 94
Ultra Quick Film to Digital Conversion (on the cheap) with the Pentax K-5

Well it was a rainy day yet again here in Belgium and basically I was bored out of my mind... So I looked at some family albums and came across an Album owned by my parents.
All the pictures were really bland and had almost no contrast and colors. They used some really cheap film and camera's to take their holiday pictures.
Then a wild idea popped in my mind: Why not use my K-5 to take a photograph of the old film and try to improve the bland pictures.

I didn't have a light table so instead I used my LED TV (any LCD, TFT will do) and placed it horizontal, hooked it up with my PC and took a nice white background to fill the screen (photoshop, paint, ...).
Then grabbed myself a roll of painters tape, to put the film on. You need a bit of distance between the film and screen, otherwise you see the pixels and we don't want that.
Next I took my Tripod, my K-5 and a Tamron 90mm f2.8 macro lens, leveled everything out and placed it above the film.
it was time to darken the room, closed the curtains and voila ready to take some pictures. I used manual focus, f2.8, fast shutter speed and ISO:100: RAW.

After that I could inverse the picture and used some RAW settings to enhance the clarity, saturation, etc.. I've run it trough Nik's Define 2.0 to decrease the noise of the cheap film camera and added a bit more contrast.
It took me 5min to capture 24 pictures.

I think it's a nice and very quick way to convert old film to digital, if you don't have a film scanner or dark room and don't want to invest money in either of them.

Quick Examples: (Note this came from an unbranded film camera and the cheapest film money could buy)




Last edited by Vorture; 04-12-2012 at 03:57 PM.
04-12-2012, 08:39 AM - 1 Like   #2
Ole
Administrator
Ole's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,853
Cool approach!
04-12-2012, 08:50 AM   #3
Veteran Member
jeztastic's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Canterbury
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 596
Very cool... Made a somewhat botched try at this myself, may come back to it with more TLC. How did you keep the negatives flat?
04-12-2012, 09:17 AM   #4
cWj
Junior Member
cWj's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: 10301
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 26
That's what the tape was for, no?

04-12-2012, 09:32 AM   #5
Inactive Account




Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Beerse
Posts: 94
Original Poster
No it served just as a holder to lay the film on. So I could put the film with the frame I want in the middle of the hole.
I just used 2x 50g weights (with some soft felts) on both ends to keep the film flat. You could use anything that wouldn't damage the film to keep them flat
04-12-2012, 10:20 AM - 1 Like   #6
Veteran Member
jeztastic's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Canterbury
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 596
QuoteOriginally posted by Vorture Quote
No it served just as a holder to lay the film on. So I could put the film with the frame I want in the middle of the hole.
I just used 2x 50g weights (with some soft felts) on both ends to keep the film flat. You could use anything that wouldn't damage the film to keep them flat
Clever. Simple clever!

I came up with a really convoluted way of doing this which involved... Well, scratching the negatives basically... I'll try this when I have the time.
04-12-2012, 11:24 AM   #7
Pentaxian
fs999's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Luxembourg
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 3,666
A good scanner does a better job
04-12-2012, 12:32 PM   #8
Inactive Account




Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Beerse
Posts: 94
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by fs999 Quote
A good scanner does a better job
Indeed but the thread clearly states if you don't want to invest in a scanner or other material. This is an easy method that takes very little time and if you used some good film/film camera you can get excellent results.
I do have a scanner (older model) and these pictures taken with the K-5 almost matches the same result, if not even better, but indeed a very good scanner does a better job. I had more fun with this method then I would have with a scanner.


Last edited by Vorture; 04-13-2012 at 02:07 AM.
04-12-2012, 03:26 PM - 1 Like   #9
Veteran Member
Julie's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Illinois
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,067
Nice idea, thank you for sharing it.

I purchased a $90 Kodak scanner and to my dismay, it does not pick up on the super dark grays/blacks in my photos if it is at the edge, it just crops it out. Kind of a problem since I shoot black and white...

I will definitely try this out sometime.
04-13-2012, 01:19 AM   #10
Veteran Member
jeztastic's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Canterbury
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 596
QuoteOriginally posted by fs999 Quote
A good scanner does a better job
I would qualify that a little - a very good scanner does a better job. If you're careful and use a sharp lens you're getting a 16ish megapixel scan in RAW format. Can most scanners really achieve that?
04-13-2012, 02:06 AM   #11
Inactive Account




Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Beerse
Posts: 94
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by jeztastic Quote
I would qualify that a little - a very good scanner does a better job. If you're careful and use a sharp lens you're getting a 16ish megapixel scan in RAW format. Can most scanners really achieve that?
Indeed a very good scanner will do a better job if you need it for bigger prints, I've used a CanoScan 9000F and the results are excellent at high resolution (9600dpi).
Those cheap flatbed scanners with build in film scan aren't all that great, missing shadows, lost color, not that great software, very soft, etc.. (also a big factor is the film and camera used ofcourse)
So in my opinion the K-5 is a better choice (or any DSLR with a Sharp lens, if you own one) if you don't want to spend a few hundred bucks on a scanner.
The RAW gives you a lot of headroom to enhance the picture, add a bit of RAW-presharpening and some Output sharpening and it'll do wonders.
For a digital picture having a resolution of 8MP is more than enough for me.
04-14-2012, 02:52 PM   #12
Inactive Account




Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Beerse
Posts: 94
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Julie Quote
Nice idea, thank you for sharing it.

I purchased a $90 Kodak scanner and to my dismay, it does not pick up on the super dark grays/blacks in my photos if it is at the edge, it just crops it out. Kind of a problem since I shoot black and white...

I will definitely try this out sometime.
Let me know how it goes
04-14-2012, 11:35 PM   #13
Veteran Member
cbope's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Helsinki
Posts: 664
I recently bought an Epson V500 Photo scanner with built-in lightsource, and find it does a great job. I have been scanning in some old family photos recently with it. I chose this model because it has good resolution (9600x9600 dpi), bit depth (48-bit) and good dynamic range. I'm sure it can pull a lot of color and detail out of slides and photos, but to be honest I have been scanning at a pretty low "for screen" resolution of 300 dpi and 24-bit color.

As the OP said, he has found a good and inexpensive method to "scan" in these old photos, great idea. The main drawback is if you just want to scan a few photos or slides, set-up is a bit of a chore, but otherwise it gives acceptable results. Remember, the original image is pretty low-quality when coming from a cheap camera or fast film, so there is a limit to how good the images can be without starting to look over-processed. You would probably not get substantially better results even with a professional scanner, especially if the originals are faded and losing color.
04-15-2012, 02:06 AM   #14
Inactive Account




Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Beerse
Posts: 94
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by cbope Quote
I recently bought an Epson V500 Photo scanner with built-in lightsource, and find it does a great job. I have been scanning in some old family photos recently with it. I chose this model because it has good resolution (9600x9600 dpi), bit depth (48-bit) and good dynamic range. I'm sure it can pull a lot of color and detail out of slides and photos, but to be honest I have been scanning at a pretty low "for screen" resolution of 300 dpi and 24-bit color.

As the OP said, he has found a good and inexpensive method to "scan" in these old photos, great idea. The main drawback is if you just want to scan a few photos or slides, set-up is a bit of a chore, but otherwise it gives acceptable results. Remember, the original image is pretty low-quality when coming from a cheap camera or fast film, so there is a limit to how good the images can be without starting to look over-processed. You would probably not get substantially better results even with a professional scanner, especially if the originals are faded and losing color.
I totally agree with you. The film I used as an example in the thread were pretty much faded, it took quite a bit of processing to get the details and color back.
Indeed if you have a scanner, use that, if you don't and want to develop a shot on the fly without spending money, then this will do.
04-15-2012, 01:22 PM   #15
Junior Member




Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Liverpool
Posts: 40
Great idea, and results aren't too bad, especially if you say that the original film and camera weren't top notch.

The only problem I can see is the feint 'grid' outline of the pixels in the monitor behind. This can be easily rectified by increasing the distance between the LCD and the film, possibly by taping the film to a clear transparent sheet of plastic or glass. Add this step, and the results will be really good. The other option is to buy a second hand light panel, the type used for transparencies - I have one and they are so useful for macro, backlights, and would be for this use as well.

David
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
camera, contrast, dslr, f2.8, film, k-5, k-5 ii, k-5 iis, k5, pentax k-5, screen
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Shooting Stars w/Pentax Film & Digital kjames5 Photographic Technique 11 06-26-2012 07:27 AM
Pentax Q Quick Dial Smart Effect and Digital Filter mdavi Pentax Q 2 03-23-2012 02:56 AM
quick jpg extraction in Pentax digital camera utility? GSk Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 9 07-24-2010 05:12 PM
ME Super gets a digital conversion!!! geauxpez Photographic Technique 3 11-25-2009 05:06 PM
Slide to digital conversion Stewart Minnis Photographic Technique 11 02-26-2008 02:07 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:30 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top