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07-21-2013, 02:35 PM   #1
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My Return to Film and my Analogue/Digital Hybrid Idea Thing

Hello Film Pentaxians, I'm glad to say I'm back to shooting film. Kind of.

I stopped shooting film many many years ago when I bought my first digital camera. The truth is I was never technical about it. My first SLR was digital, so even though I've shot hundreds of film rolls, I don't know anything about film. Now I just bought an inexpensive Vivitar film SLR, a K1000 clone [K mount of course] and I want to start/return to shooting film, not exclusively, but more like as another tool in my bag [figuratively speaking]. Also because it's my cheap alternative to full frame

One of the things I've come across [I still don't have my camera, it's arriving this week] in my mind is developing film. I don't have a darkroom, and I will not build one. So what do you guys do if a lab won't do push/pull on a film? How do you scan your photos, do you scan the film itself or a print? I'm thinking of working with some sort of film/digital hybrid: shoot film, scan an uncopressed image from the negative [somehow], "develop" in Lightroom.

I want it this way because I know that, in the end, a) I will want my photos online, and b) to re-print them, having a digital file is just easier nowadays. My prints are typically 8x12 and 11x16, so having a digital file of an analogue photo is perfectly acceptable -not to mention desirable, for me.

I'd be silly to think I'm the only one approaching film photography this way, so I hope you guys can share some insights and thoughts on what I'm planning to do, maybe I'm wrong about something, or some tips to make it better?

I can't wait for my film camera to get here ^__^

07-21-2013, 03:19 PM   #2
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VueScan will scan a RAW file (DNG or TIFF), a decent negative/slide scanner will set you back $250 - $500. A flatbed somewhat less.

I use a flatbed myself. 8x10 prints are perfectly acceptable to me even from a JPEG.

Some cheap drugstore ISO 400 I shot last year.

Scans Spring-Summer 2012 - a set on Flickr

Last edited by boriscleto; 07-21-2013 at 03:26 PM.
07-21-2013, 03:55 PM   #3
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A negative scanner is how much again?! I'd better use that on glass hehe. I tried scanning my old negatives in my flatbed scanner but they won't come right, it seems I have to leave it open for light to go through the film, I may need to rig something up.

Those are very nice shots! It seems they all have a magenta tint, would this be on the film side, or when you scanned them? [Most notably the squirrel] I will mostly be shooting B&W anyway, but I'm curious about this.
07-21-2013, 04:25 PM   #4
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Developing is easy at home, B&W in particular, but C-41 as well, no darkroom required. Googling developing at home will generate plenty of how-to's and the equipment required. Look for used darkroom kits, as they'll be inexpensive and likely to be complete.

I "scan" my photos with a DSLR and a home made neg holder.

07-21-2013, 04:26 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by FoTom Quote
Hello Film Pentaxians, I'm glad to say I'm back to shooting film. Kind of.

I stopped shooting film many many years ago when I bought my first digital camera. The truth is I was never technical about it. My first SLR was digital, so even though I've shot hundreds of film rolls, I don't know anything about film. Now I just bought an inexpensive Vivitar film SLR, a K1000 clone [K mount of course] and I want to start/return to shooting film, not exclusively, but more like as another tool in my bag [figuratively speaking]. Also because it's my cheap alternative to full frame

One of the things I've come across [I still don't have my camera, it's arriving this week] in my mind is developing film. I don't have a darkroom, and I will not build one. So what do you guys do if a lab won't do push/pull on a film? How do you scan your photos, do you scan the film itself or a print? I'm thinking of working with some sort of film/digital hybrid: shoot film, scan an uncopressed image from the negative [somehow], "develop" in Lightroom.

I want it this way because I know that, in the end, a) I will want my photos online, and b) to re-print them, having a digital file is just easier nowadays. My prints are typically 8x12 and 11x16, so having a digital file of an analogue photo is perfectly acceptable -not to mention desirable, for me.

I'd be silly to think I'm the only one approaching film photography this way, so I hope you guys can share some insights and thoughts on what I'm planning to do, maybe I'm wrong about something, or some tips to make it better?

I can't wait for my film camera to get here ^__^
Welcome (back) to film!

Sorry, I can't help you on the push/pull issue. Never tried that myself. But the scanning, that's normally done with the film. The lab can provide scans at the time of developing, however resolution may vary by lab. But in the end, you'll have the original negative to get a higher resolution scan if you need it. You can find lots of good info regarding labs, developing, scanners, and scanning in this forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom - PentaxForums.com.

Best of luck to you.

Fred
07-21-2013, 04:27 PM   #6
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You don't need a darkroom to push or pull your film, just a changing bag, a tank and a few bottles for chemistry. You can actually get it down to two chemicals, developer, a water stop bath, and fixer, and then I like to add photo-flo to the final rinse, but you don't need a separate storage bottle for that. For B&W, I use Rodinal for my developer, and Formulary TF5 for my fixer. For color negs or slides there are a few more chemicals and temperature is more critical, but you still don't need a darkroom to develop your film, once it's in the tank you can work in daylight.

I scan with an Epson film scanner, can't tell you the model because I'm not at home right now, but it does MF as well as 35mm. It's good, not great, but I've yet to find a cheaper solution. Professional scans don't fit into my workflow or my budget.
07-21-2013, 04:35 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gareth.Ig Quote
Developing is easy at home, B&W in particular, but C-41 as well, no darkroom required. Googling developing at home will generate plenty of how-to's and the equipment required. Look for used darkroom kits, as they'll be inexpensive and likely to be complete.

I "scan" my photos with a DSLR and a home made neg holder.
Hmm, tempting.. Ok, I'll look into it and see how easy/inexpensive this can get without me making a mess at home.

The scan-with-a-dSLR method was off my list because I don't have a full-frame [digital] camera, and the only two I have, have 16 and 18MP cropped sensors.. not ideal I would say. What camera/lens do you use for this? And could I see some of your "scans" please? =]
07-21-2013, 04:37 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by hollywoodfred Quote
Welcome (back) to film!

Sorry, I can't help you on the push/pull issue. Never tried that myself. But the scanning, that's normally done with the film. The lab can provide scans at the time of developing, however resolution may vary by lab. But in the end, you'll have the original negative to get a higher resolution scan if you need it. You can find lots of good info regarding labs, developing, scanners, and scanning in this forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom - PentaxForums.com.

Best of luck to you.

Fred
Thanks Fred!

I had not seen that subforum, looks like I'm going to have some reading to do hehe.

Best regards!

07-21-2013, 04:42 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by maxfield_photo Quote
You don't need a darkroom to push or pull your film, just a changing bag, a tank and a few bottles for chemistry. You can actually get it down to two chemicals, developer, a water stop bath, and fixer, and then I like to add photo-flo to the final rinse, but you don't need a separate storage bottle for that. For B&W, I use Rodinal for my developer, and Formulary TF5 for my fixer. For color negs or slides there are a few more chemicals and temperature is more critical, but you still don't need a darkroom to develop your film, once it's in the tank you can work in daylight.

I scan with an Epson film scanner, can't tell you the model because I'm not at home right now, but it does MF as well as 35mm. It's good, not great, but I've yet to find a cheaper solution. Professional scans don't fit into my workflow or my budget.
Thank you for this information, I'll be reading more about this and at first glance it does seem fairly simple and not as expensive as I thought it would be. I guess I'll try and if it doesn't work with my own workflow, I'll ditch it and resort to a lab and scan them myself. I fear it will take too much time from me, as I will not be shooting film exclusively, and I already spend quite some time in Lightroom hehe.
07-21-2013, 04:52 PM   #10
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FoTom, I recently had an idea similar to yours. I'm not really old enough to have a huge collection of negatives (my first SLR was digital), but my relatives have some. Add to this fact a budding interest in 35mm film photography and I decided to purchase a flatbed scanner with a good reputation for scanning negatives. If it all falls through, I thought to myself, at least I'll have an excellent scanner for everyday use. So I settled on an Epson Perfection flatbed scanner (which comes with special holders for 35mm and medium format films) which set me back very little since I bought it refurbished straight from Epson.
I can tell you that I've used it far less than I had expected to a year ago. The reason for this is twofold: scanning negatives is cumbersome, and I've had difficulty finding a film camera that doesn't require work. So yeah, I've scanned a few old photos with good results using the VueScan software, but getting any new material has been problematic.
The first problem can't be avoided; dealing with lots if negatives and loading them into holders is not a fun time. Then scanning at all but the lowest resolutions is time-consuming.
As for the second point, unless you have a working film camera of your own, or know someone who does, getting one in perfect working shape at a reasonable price is going to require some looking around.
But don't be put off...I'm not saying my experience has been bad, and do keep in mind it is only my experience. I too was curious about merging the two technologies...I'm sure it just takes a skill (and a functioning film camera) which I don't yet have. I hope you have the patience and post some results.
07-21-2013, 05:02 PM   #11
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Hi Schmidt. I'm not that old either, it's just that I've been shooting film in point-and-shoots since I was very little, and well, throughout the years I collected a big number of negatives hehe. The camera I just bought is quite inexpensive, they still make film SLRs!

It is true, scanning negatives must be a pain in the butt, and yet I'd like to try it because shooting with film makes it totally worth it. I'll post results once my new camera arrives and I shoot the first roll with it.

For now I'll try scanning my old negatives, although I don't have an adapter to use with my flatbed scanner =P
07-21-2013, 05:11 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by FoTom Quote
Hmm, tempting.. Ok, I'll look into it and see how easy/inexpensive this can get without me making a mess at home.

The scan-with-a-dSLR method was off my list because I don't have a full-frame [digital] camera, and the only two I have, have 16 and 18MP cropped sensors.. not ideal I would say. What camera/lens do you use for this? And could I see some of your "scans" please? =]
I should actually qualify my advice, in that I'm also relatively new to film and have only been doing this for 4 months. That said, I've already recovered all my upfront costs for the film I have developed at home.

I use the K-5 with an M50 mounted on an extension tube. Results include:

First B&W film developed myself
Recent Black & White Shot
Colour Film

These are MF photos, 6x7, so not a direct comparison for the 35mm. All of these neg's I developed myself. The first photo is a bit muddy and was an artifact of my early "scanning" techniques, I was using flash and diffusing the flash through a couple sheets of paper, and the light coming through the paper wasn't even. Now I bounce the light off the paper, with much cleaner results.
07-21-2013, 05:14 PM   #13
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So they still make 35mm film cameras! A little pricey for me though, so I'll just keep looking for a Pentax in good shape.

You mention that you don't have film adaptors. What kind of scanner do you have?
07-21-2013, 05:31 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Schmidt Quote
So they still make 35mm film cameras! A little pricey for me though, so I'll just keep looking for a Pentax in good shape.

You mention that you don't have film adaptors. What kind of scanner do you have?
They do! And you can find that particular one used on evilBay at a much lower price. And it's a K-Mount camera because it's a K-1000/KX clone ;]

My scanner is an Epson scanner/printer.
07-21-2013, 05:37 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gareth.Ig Quote
I should actually qualify my advice, in that I'm also relatively new to film and have only been doing this for 4 months. That said, I've already recovered all my upfront costs for the film I have developed at home.

I use the K-5 with an M50 mounted on an extension tube. Results include:

First B&W film developed myself
Recent Black & White Shot
Colour Film

These are MF photos, 6x7, so not a direct comparison for the 35mm. All of these neg's I developed myself. The first photo is a bit muddy and was an artifact of my early "scanning" techniques, I was using flash and diffusing the flash through a couple sheets of paper, and the light coming through the paper wasn't even. Now I bounce the light off the paper, with much cleaner results.

Those are really nice photos! What lovely girls [your family?], and the tunnel shot is quite compelling!

So you're using a cropped camera to scan medium format negatives?! That is amazing! Wow, I guess I was worrying too much about 35mm. Have you been able to make large prints with your scans?
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