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08-05-2009, 01:21 PM   #1
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Photo scanning at Dwayne's and ScanCafe

Any experience with scanning 120/220 at Dwayne's?

They list a 4.5MB scanning for $2.99 for negative (at the time of development) and $4.95 for slides, yet their customer service cannot tell me what size in pixels is that. I guess it must be pretty low but I would like to know. Anyone knows?

Also, in regards with ScanCafe: what is your experience with scanning 120/220 film?

Thanks much.

08-05-2009, 01:29 PM   #2
pbo
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$2.99 is for a roll. Resolution is 2796x2048; photos need tweaking though (or it's just me who screwed up when taking a photo in the first place )
08-05-2009, 02:57 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by pbo Quote
$2.99 is for a roll. Resolution is 2796x2048; photos need tweaking though (or it's just me who screwed up when taking a photo in the first place )
Thanks. It looks good enough to be able to judge focus, DOF etc and than later on send keepers for a higher resolution scan somewhere else. Not a bad deal especially if the same price applies to 220 rolls.
08-05-2009, 03:56 PM   #4
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Yep, the price is okay, I can post some samples if you wish - I have 3 rolls scanned from them on my hard drive. The bad thing I have noticed - but I am not sure if that's camera-related or dwayne-related - is that I saw some traces of rollers on one or two frames - especially visible on photos with a lot of skies.

08-05-2009, 04:22 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by pbo Quote
Yep, the price is okay, I can post some samples if you wish - I have 3 rolls scanned from them on my hard drive. The bad thing I have noticed - but I am not sure if that's camera-related or dwayne-related - is that I saw some traces of rollers on one or two frames - especially visible on photos with a lot of skies.
If that is only for a few frames out of 3 rolls than no biggie: it probably falls in line with the consistency you get from any lab.

When done with some rolls I will try them.

So far I scanned one Fuji 160C roll at northcoastphoto.com and at 16MP it is about what I expected, not bad at all. The price is becoming an issue if shooting 220 and lots of them.

Here is a shot from that roll which was underexposed by 1.5 F-stops or so.

Pentax 645N with FA 75mm F2.8 lens, wide open:

Last edited by DigitalSlide; 08-05-2009 at 08:00 PM.
08-05-2009, 08:38 PM   #6
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I'm interested to know how ScanCafe is also. Anyone?
08-06-2009, 04:36 AM   #7
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I can't really comment on any of those services as i'm a Brit

I use one of these to scan all of my negatives: Epson Perfection V700.
08-06-2009, 06:31 PM   #8
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I sent the same Fuji 160C roll (along with a bunch of 35mm film) to ScanCafe: 6-7 weeks from now I should have an answer. Not holding my breath though.

08-21-2009, 10:00 AM   #9
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Some scanning learning curve

Hi, Most of my film use is 35mm Kodak Ultra color 100, but I had a chance to play around with some medium format negs that member PBO loaned to me.
I am still figuring out how to post some of these, and of course, need PBO’s permission first before doing so. (large file sizes)

The film was Kodak Porta 160VC, with a variety of indoor and outdoor shots taken on a Bronica I believe. I think that PBO said that these were his first experience with medium format as well, so two beginners I guess. It was actually quite a learning experience spread over multiple days.

The images were sort of “walk around” shots – various pictures he had taken in the San Francisco area. Some were from the East Bay, looking West toward SF, others were cable cars, girls, etc – normal everyday “walking camera” pictures. There is one food plate picture taken indoors.

The scanner I have is a canoscan 8800F, which is rated at 48 bit color depth x some reasonably high resolution that I thought I understood, but now am not so sure. PBO sent along the file from the scan that Dwayne’s had performed so I had a reference to work against. Below are some observations / learning curve from the eyes of a beginner. I scanned these a couple of different ways, and decided for various reason to use the TIFF format, as it seemed to be more easily manipulated by the end user. Comments on this are welcome.

a) The Dwayne’s scan file size seems to indicate that the scan is approx 600 dpi. I was not expecting to be very impressed with it, but it is certainly good enough to see which negatives are worth extra effort and investment. Given the time needed to do an initial scan of the images at s similar resolution, it seems well worth the money.

I did notice the same thing that PBO noticed – there is something funny going on in some areas of the film, and the negatives were extremely dusty. It is hard to tell though if this is because it is a used camera that needs a tune up / cleaning, or something at the film processor. PBO did say this was the first roll ever through the camera since he purchased it, and the camera has clearly been well used. Since the film in 120 format is not nearly as protected as in 35mm, handling is also more sensitive, and we have had a very dusty summer.

b) For many consumers, the Dwayne’s scan seems to be sufficient, which I really didn’t expect. As it turns out, I had to work a bit with the image to get it to look like the commercial scan, especially in the area of contrast settings. It seemed like I had to turn up the scan contrast and adjust the cyan to match the Dwayne’s colors.

It was interesting just how much the pictures shifted in “feel” depending on the color adjustments. I am not really qualified to adjust the color settings of someone else’s shots, so I did it two ways – default settings and a few times with the color adjusted until it was close to the Dwayne’s scan “look”. No idea which is correct or desired.

c) At 600 dpi x 48 bit, the images are around 5 mb, and there was clearly a lot of information not captured, but it looks ok on a screen (no enlarging)

d) At 1200 dpi x 48 bit, the images are approx 60 mb, and clearly the ability to zoom in was improved.

e) At 2400 dpi x 48 bit, the images are approx 240mb, and again, the ability to zoon in was improved – actually quite dramatically over the original scan size. This turns out to be a good size to use (as will be explained in the next step) but the scan times are starting to get pretty long – realistically, 10 minutes per scan plus another 10 minutes of setup and goofing around - if everything goes correctly.

e) The next level up, which I think was 9600 dpi x 48bit, the image size is nearly 1 GB – each. This sounds ok until you try to open the file, which my laptop could not, even though it has 4 gig or RAM. I think the problem is that my laptop, like many computers today, uses “shared” memory for the processor and video, and the video is limited to 500 meg max. I might be wrong on this, but I think this means that it simply cannot view an image larger than this 500meg limit. At this kind of file size, moving the files around starts to become noticeable, even with a fairly recent vintage computer.

The scan time for these files, including setup and goofing around, starts to be in the 30 – 40 minutes per scan, but at least it is possible. I wish I had taken the time to attempt to open some of these files before I scanned a bunch of images at this size for PBO, and then later realized that they were probably bad for various reasons – day wasted – well in retrospect, learning.

Another important point that I learned is that the film holder position is out of focus. Considering how well the rest of the scanner is built, this seems kind of crazy, but in some ways it makes sense. As a flat bed, the most common use would be to put a picture, face down on the glass for scanning, so this would seem to be the correct focal point. When you scan the negatives, there is a second light source in the lid, which backlights the negatives, which are conveniently slid in / out of a film holder – slightly above the glass.

I am really not that picky / qualified to critique cameras, art, and pictures, but this out-of-focus aspect is pretty obvious once you figure it out. Originally, I thought it was just a problem with my own negatives - operator error, but it seems to be systematic. I read some reviews of this scanner on-line, and similar comments were made, even by people that really like the scanner, so perhaps they all do this. In any event, I am still pretty happy with the scanner.

I was able to improve things a lot by placing the film directly on the glass. This is kind of a PITA though, as it still needs to be pretty carefully positioned. I might make a different holder to align the film as the standard one is sort of in the way for this approach.

I am sure the experienced scanner users are either shaking their heads or laughing by now at my learning curve. I am happy to have had the learning experience, but I have to say I was caught off guard by just how much you need to know to make a decent scan, and how much time is involved, even if you are pretty good at it. My hat is off to the people that are good at this.

HarryN
08-25-2009, 01:27 PM   #10
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I have a Epson 4870 and I had similar struggle that you went through. I usually scan at 2400 dpi and found the output more than adequate for my needs. You should check the native/hardware resolution of your scanner, as I believe you don't gain anything (or might even lose some) in going above the native resolution. 9600dpi...sounds super high (really doubt any consumer-grade scanner can even approach that), I think you're better off blowing it up in photoshop at that point

Regarding the neg. holder, I think it's pretty common issue. There are some after market holder with adjustable height, but I can't convince myself to spend the $100+ to try it out. If you do scan on glass, be careful of newton rings that can form due to small surface gaps between the glass and the neg. Currently I use a neg. holder that I create myself. It's made out of plastic signs that you can find in dollar stores. The good thing is that they are really thin and I find that it improves the focus.

Wish you all the best in this scanning labyrinth
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