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09-01-2010, 08:36 PM   #1
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Some noobish SLR questions.

Ok, I'm not new to photography, but I AM very new to using film. I just bought an old Pentax SV in good shape to basically play with.

I have some questions about my workflow, however and if i'm doing anything "wrong".

Here's an example of my workflow for my first time out with it:
1. Bought 400 speed B&W film (Kodak, i think)
2. Took photos
3. When finished, took roll of film to Walgreens and asked for only a CD of photos.
4. Received CD and negatives of film
5. Transferred images from CD to computer and imported into Apple Aperture

Here's where my questions come in:

1. When i import them into Aperture, the software treats it like a color image and they even take on a hue of blue/green/tan at times. Do I need to "convert" it to B&W?

2. Should I even be doing post-processing work in the first place? I kind of like the idea of leaving them "raw" and as they were taken from the camera. What's the general consensus on post-process work on film?

I'm by no means doing serious work with this camera. It's merely a toy for me, honestly. I like the idea of it's "raw" and "retro" feel, and really like how my first set of photos came out. Any suggestions/comment/etc. are extremely welcome!


(oh, here's a gallery from my first ever "shoot" with my new-to-me SV: Matthew Smith | Around Town (SV))

09-01-2010, 09:07 PM   #2
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The CD images should be JPEG format and should import directly into Aperture without needing modification. What do the files look like if you drop them onto your Web browser? The browser should show them as they are.

09-01-2010, 11:05 PM   #3
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Sounds like you are using 400CN. Most of the scanning gear at the 1-hour places only do color and so the actual color of the film is the tan tinted hue. As long as the scans are at least 24bits or more, it should represent a good enough scale to play with it. In the old days when they really processed prints, the tone would vary from a slight blue black hue (cold) or a faint brown red (warm) and a gray scale range greater than todays standards (24bits).
09-02-2010, 03:21 AM   #4
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Yes, the drug store scan will have random tones to it - if that bothers you simply desaturate in post.

You can do whatever you like, or whatever looks good to you, with the jpegs on the CD. Apart from desaturating, I usually find I need to tweak the levels... the scans are often too light, though depending on the minilab, can be nearly anything --- their scanner settings, if they even care, are set based on the print output of the machine, rather than to produce the most faithful scans of what's on the film. After all their main purpose is to produce prints.

09-02-2010, 06:00 AM   #5
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Great, thanks guys! Yes, they are .jpgs on the cd. I just didn't know if it was normal to tweak the images, or if i should go the "purist" route and leave them untouched. I will definitely, at the least, desaturate them.

Ah, just thought of another question. Is there a way to specify the "size" of the scans? Mine came back at only about 2mb/image.

Any other suggestions/tips for a better workflow?

One thing that i'm finding hard is that there is no EXIF data to look back at...which is needed even more for the SV since it's very much manual!

Here's a photo of the SV that i picked up. Not bad for $45, which included a Ricoh 50mm F2:

Last edited by maconmatt; 09-02-2010 at 06:08 AM.
09-02-2010, 07:36 AM   #6

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Your "raw" is at the mercy of the labs scanning. Hopefully you are getting more than just JPEGs so you can edit them if needed. The analog to digital conversion really needs your input IMHO.

Photographers have been getting by for over a 100 years without EXIF metadata. You have to do it the old fashion way. Memory and writing it down. You can use a EXIF editor to attach the basics in a JPEG file if you want which is a good way to save the information.

You can ask if they scan larger and I'm sure you'll pay more but I think you may have to find a place to process your work that scans larger or invest in a scanner for yourself.
09-02-2010, 07:43 AM   #7
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Thanks again for the quick and informative response!

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