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10-07-2016, 12:16 AM   #1
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using the K-1 with pixelshift to "scan" medium format negatives/sludes, anyone??

Has anyone tested to use the pixelshift feature of the Pentax K-1 (or K-3 II) to "scan" medium format negatives/slides? How did it work out? Pro and cons? Compared to DSLR "scanning" without pixelshift/ flatbed scanners/ real MF film scanners. Since I have the K-1 I will probably test it on my 4.5x6, 6x6, 6x7 and 6x9 negatives. But I'd apprechiate advice from anyone who has tried this, or thoughts from others considering the same option.


Last edited by Douglas_of_Sweden; 10-07-2016 at 04:51 AM.
10-07-2016, 01:02 AM - 1 Like   #2
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No cons that I can see- just better resolution and color!

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10-07-2016, 05:07 PM   #3
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I use a flash to "scan" 35mm film and I think pixel shift doesn't work with that. Even without ps the k3ii is more than enough for my needs, but then again I'm working with tiny negatives compared to 6x9.

One approach i've seen for getting better results is to stitch multiple photos at high magnification into a "panorama"
For 35mm 400iso film vs 24mp I think it is overkill, but maybe medium format is a different story.

Last edited by aaacb; 10-07-2016 at 05:35 PM.
10-07-2016, 07:08 PM   #4
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Oddly I was just trying that tonight. (K3-ii)
I just have a light box (probably for tracing or viewing negatives??)
It is a box with a single daylight fluorescent style bulb and a frosted glass on top.

I can get a decent exposure at 1/60 sec, so flash isn't really necessary.

The big problem is color correcting the negative. Inverting the image retains a horribly cyan cast that I cannot quite correct.
I found a couple of explanations on fixing and some PS actions, but they don't do the job.
I guess is matters a lot on what type of film you use with regards to how you adjust the colors.
I put a couple of hours into it and I have not figured out a good system yet.

I'm about ready to buy an moderately expensive but decent scanner.

10-07-2016, 07:30 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by amoringello Quote
cyan cast that I cannot quite correct
Could it be because of your light source is warmer? Flash may fill the spectrum closer to daylight.
10-08-2016, 05:09 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by aaacb Quote
Could it be because of your light source is warmer? Flash may fill the spectrum closer to daylight.
Good point. Could be.
Who knows, the glass top might be limiting some of the light or altering it as well.
10-08-2016, 01:22 PM   #7
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An iPad can also be used as a makeshift lightbox if you turn the brightness right up.
10-09-2016, 08:17 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by amoringello Quote
Oddly I was just trying that tonight. (K3-ii)
I just have a light box (probably for tracing or viewing negatives??)
It is a box with a single daylight fluorescent style bulb and a frosted glass on top.

I can get a decent exposure at 1/60 sec, so flash isn't really necessary.

The big problem is color correcting the negative. Inverting the image retains a horribly cyan cast that I cannot quite correct.
I found a couple of explanations on fixing and some PS actions, but they don't do the job.
I guess is matters a lot on what type of film you use with regards to how you adjust the colors.
I put a couple of hours into it and I have not figured out a good system yet.

I'm about ready to buy an moderately expensive but decent scanner.
The colour correction issue maybe alleviated somewhat by first setting the camera WB to your light box source i.e. without a negative in place. Then shoot your negatives as required, the orange mask will still be there of course but you will have corrected the light source hopefully to a manageable level for getting a good edit.

You will in any case still get a pretty high level of Cyan cast to most negative materials when inverting the image, but virtually any colour cast should be correctable in PS using Curves for instance. You may also want to consider negating the orange mask by shooting an area of clear processed film to use as a layer mask and probably dozens of other ways to achieve good results.

If you want to post an example of a colour neg you have copied I would be happy to have a look and see if I can suggest any way to correct.

I suspect that unless you are going for a dedicated film scanner (more than moderately expensive) then you are likely to get results at least as good as any flatbed scanner by shooting with your DSLR and potentially even better results by shooting with a macro (more than 1:1) in sections and stitching as mentioned elsewhere in the thread


Last edited by TonyW; 10-09-2016 at 09:06 AM.
10-09-2016, 03:47 PM   #9
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Well...I've managed to sort out the inversion of 35mm film colir negatives before, so I think I can do that again. And the bulk of 120mm film that I need to scan is BW or color slides.

The set up I'm going for will look like this:

1) One LED light-pad for the light source. It comes with a standard flash-shoe mount so it will be easy to fix it in a vertical position in front of the rest of the set up. The model I picked doesn't only have a controle for the light intensity, but also for the color temperature from 3000-6000K. It's on its way from China.

2) One Pentax 67 Autobellows with slide copier. It works just like the ordinary Pentax autobellows...just bigger. The slide copier includes convenient ways of fixing 120mm film or mounted slides in front of a built in diffuser glass. It will take both 4.5x6, 6x6, and 6x7 formats. The only that won't fitt are my 6x9 negatives from my Voigtländer Bessa rangefinder. But the film will fitt and if I take first one shot, then shift the film 2cm, then another shot, it shouldn't be hard to stich two 6x7 into one 6x9. And I don't use the Bessa that much.
The 6x7 Bellows cost more than a 35mm Belliws, but much less than the new Pentax film duplicator. The 6x7 Bellows are on their way from Japan.

3) Some lens....It appears the 6x7 Autobellows were often used with the SMC Macro-Takumar 135mm f4 (1:2 macro) lens, which I have. But given I'm going to shoot medium format negatives/slides on a 24x36mm sensor I might end up using a different focal length. Depends on how far I can adjust this with the bellows. It will take some experimenting to figure out which combo that works best.

4) Pentax K-mount to 6x7-mount adapter. Got this.

5) Pentax K-1. Got it.

6) My heaviest tripod. Smaller light stand for the light source.

7) Remote controle. Got it.

So I'm just waiting for the LED-light and the 6x7 Autobellows. The cost for them is compareable to a good flatbed scanner, but far beölow the cost of a dedicated MF film scanner. If it is worth it of course depends on the qualuty I will get.

As a bonus I will have a new toy for macro with the Pentax 67.

Last edited by Douglas_of_Sweden; 10-09-2016 at 03:53 PM.
10-21-2016, 01:08 PM   #10
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I'd love to see a photo of this setup when you've got it up and running!
10-21-2016, 01:39 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Douglas_of_Sweden Quote
Well...I've managed to sort out the inversion of 35mm film colir negatives before, so I think I can do that again. And the bulk of 120mm film that I need to scan is BW or color slides.

The set up I'm going for will look like this:

1) One LED light-pad for the light source. It comes with a standard flash-shoe mount so it will be easy to fix it in a vertical position in front of the rest of the set up. The model I picked doesn't only have a controle for the light intensity, but also for the color temperature from 3000-6000K. It's on its way from China.

2) One Pentax 67 Autobellows with slide copier. It works just like the ordinary Pentax autobellows...just bigger. The slide copier includes convenient ways of fixing 120mm film or mounted slides in front of a built in diffuser glass. It will take both 4.5x6, 6x6, and 6x7 formats. The only that won't fitt are my 6x9 negatives from my Voigtländer Bessa rangefinder. But the film will fitt and if I take first one shot, then shift the film 2cm, then another shot, it shouldn't be hard to stich two 6x7 into one 6x9. And I don't use the Bessa that much.
The 6x7 Bellows cost more than a 35mm Belliws, but much less than the new Pentax film duplicator. The 6x7 Bellows are on their way from Japan.

3) Some lens....It appears the 6x7 Autobellows were often used with the SMC Macro-Takumar 135mm f4 (1:2 macro) lens, which I have. But given I'm going to shoot medium format negatives/slides on a 24x36mm sensor I might end up using a different focal length. Depends on how far I can adjust this with the bellows. It will take some experimenting to figure out which combo that works best.

4) Pentax K-mount to 6x7-mount adapter. Got this.

5) Pentax K-1. Got it.

6) My heaviest tripod. Smaller light stand for the light source.

7) Remote controle. Got it.

So I'm just waiting for the LED-light and the 6x7 Autobellows. The cost for them is compareable to a good flatbed scanner, but far beölow the cost of a dedicated MF film scanner. If it is worth it of course depends on the qualuty I will get.

As a bonus I will have a new toy for macro with the Pentax 67.

I used to scan my slides (mostly 120) using a high end Heidelburg desktop scanner). I was never very happy with the results.

I wish you luck; and personally expect that the Pentax K1 with a good macro lens in the pixel shift mode would likely better the results of most any desktop slide/neg scanner!!
10-28-2016, 03:48 AM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by bobbotron Quote
I'd love to see a photo of this setup when you've got it up and running!
Have patience!

The 67 auto bellows and slide copier just arrived from Japan. They are incredibly large!
I mean, I knew they would be...but it is another thing to see it in reality!

I've got a problem with the power source for the LED lamps I ordered for this, otherwise I've got all parts now. Due to work load and some travel it'll take me 1-2 weeks before I can put this together and test it. But when I get there I promisse a picture of the set up. And eventually of some scanned photos.
10-28-2016, 07:37 AM   #13
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I've set up a similar scanner with my K3, I totally get it takes some time go get all the pieces in order.
11-05-2016, 03:45 AM   #14
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I've used the K-1 in pixel shift mode with macro lens for B&W slides, works a treat especially if you have no other means. Use live view mode to manually focus on the grain and detail in the image. Imported in Lightroom as a 166MB Tiff, and you can adjust white balance there too. After this it depends on your post process capabilities but you should be able to pull a good size file for printing.
11-07-2016, 02:49 PM   #15
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auto beölows 67...



It's the SMC macro-Takumar 135mm f4 in the picture. We will see what works best eventually to transfer 6x7cm neagatives/slides to a 24x36mm sensor instead of another 6x7cm neagative. A shorter focal length might be better.

The small device in front of the bellows is a Pentax67-K mount adapter.

Last edited by Douglas_of_Sweden; 11-07-2016 at 11:18 PM.
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