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04-14-2011, 08:58 PM   #1
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Beating the Labs (lol)

Hey all,

So I recently bought an ME super ($20!), and am wanting to get back into film. I even had a film picked out that was cheap and accessible, some fujifilm superia 400, but....

Well, here was my plan. Just get the negatives from the lab, and "scan" it with a tripod, my k-x, and my macro lens. Didn't realize the negatives would be monochromatic (in the case of the superia (my friend shot a roll of it)). Unless there's some magic preset in some program somewhere than translates that into colour prints, I guess I have to either look for a film that is more conducive for my method (would that corner me into B&W only?), or suck it up and pay the extra money for them to print it (which would turn the $3 for the negatives into $10 altogether, a bit of a turnoff/meaning I wouldn't do it nearly as much).

Unless there's a 3rd option I'm totally unaware of, anyone got some suggestions for films?

04-14-2011, 09:25 PM   #2
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You can duplicate slides fairly easily with a macro lens and digital camera but generally they are more expensive to have processed.

Your negatives aren't actually monochromatic; they show a total colour inversion of the scene you photographed placed on a coloured (often orange) film base. Software like photoshop can take care of the colour inversion but correcting for the colour of the film base takes more work. I'm sure somebody out there has posted a how-to online.

A negative scanner will have software that automatically corrects for the film base colour and inverts the colours in the negative image to create a positive image in the output file. I use an Epson V500 to scan my negatives because it will handle both 35mm and medium format film. There are many other scanner options out there, or you can have the shop processing your photos scan the film for you. Scan quality can vary dramatically from one shop to another depending on their equipment and how well it is set up. If you already have access to a scanner with a transparency unit then give that a try.
04-15-2011, 01:45 AM   #3

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this is why they are called ‘negatives’. the colour is negative inverted. most computer graphics applications, even the cheaper ones can all do basic colour inversion. most scanner software can do the same thing. I don’t know about the details of how good each applications colour inversion is, but its a very basic feature. what graphics/photo software are you using to do any ‘post processing’ work on your photographed negatives? in all honesty, a quality home flatbed scanner is your best bet for easily converting your film negatives into digital prints. but your method is of course the cheapest, and with a little leg work can give excellent results. also, are you shooting in RAW? as that should without a doubt be your capture method for this type of thing.

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