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11-24-2015, 04:55 PM   #1
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Things I learned about my Pentax ME...

...upon receiving some prints back today.

1) I seriously need more practice shooting with this camera, if only to get more practice loading the bloody thing (first four pics on the roll were a washout).

2) It handles backlighting very, VERY badly (over-reads and under-exposes) unless you take great care over what you expose for.

3) It works with my AF200Sa thyristor flash exceptionally well.

4) I need a negative scanner badly. Does anyone know of a good printer-scanner combination that also handles 35mm film scans? High quality photo printing capability is not essential, I'm happy to take jpegs to Walmart for that, but the place that develops my films does a less than stellar job of scanning the negs to CD. Advice from fellow Canadians would be good, as I don't want to get my hopes up over something only to find it's not available here.

11-24-2015, 05:21 PM   #2
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I've been very happy with my Epson Perfection V600 scanner. Comes with all you need to scan negatives, positives, etc. Good software with it too. Affordable at around $200.
11-24-2015, 06:03 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
...upon receiving some prints back today.



2) It handles backlighting very, VERY badly (over-reads and under-exposes) unless you take great care over what you expose for.

.
I wouldn't assume the camera is to blame until you start scanning yourself and really see what the camera is doing.
Your prints were most likely made from automated scans, ad aren't likely that accurate.

The V500/V550/V600 scanners are a great affordable scanner that will do a great job with 35mm for prints up to 8x12. I have a V500 that I bought 6 years ago and I've scanned probably 500 rolls of film with it.
11-24-2015, 06:27 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
Does anyone know of a good printer-scanner combination that also handles 35mm film scans? High quality photo printing capability is not essential, I'm happy to take jpegs to Walmart for that, but the place that develops my films does a less than stellar job of scanning the negs to CD. Advice from fellow Canadians would be good, as I don't want to get my hopes up over something only to find it's not available here.
My local Walmart stopped taking film (and for that matter, even selling it) about a year ago. Thank god. OK, the film was a good deal. Anyhow I've been taking my film to stuporstore/loblaws for developing, and far more pleased with their lab scans, which are significantly higher-res. The scans make the images appear to be 2-3 stops overexposed, which is certainly consistent with the crapulous machine prints you can order, if you want to throw away money. Not so.

They just need to be post-processed and have the gamma boosted until they are more in the realm of what you may have remembered from the shoot. Not sure what your digital manipulation skills are like, but this can be done on relatively low level software, e.g. gThumb (but you'll get much better results in Photoshop or GIMP).

I'm not sure you are ready to take on a scanner which I think you'll find is considerably more difficult to master than correcting lab scans. Anyway, your call, but shop around for a better lab, you may be pleasantly surprised, as I was.

11-24-2015, 06:38 PM   #5
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The prints are fine quality wise, because the flash shots and a proportion of the better non flash shots are outstanding. The CD scan jpegs are execrable; the prints cannot possibly have been made from them. The alternative is to spend extra on postage rather than drop them somewhere convenient.

Sooner or later I will start developing my own. Then a scanner will be necessary. A 3 in 1 scanner printer fax or copier with a 35mm film scanning capability is what I really need.
11-24-2015, 08:28 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
It handles backlighting very, VERY badly (over-reads and under-exposes) unless you take great care over what you expose for.
With the ME exposing for a small part of a scenery is not really possible. The exposure measurement is taken from the whole frame, with a preference of the center/bottom. EV correction does the trick, but needs some experience.

If you don't have that experience (spot measurement has made life easier, but specially matrix measurement made such skills obsolete for most people), there is a cheap way to (re-)gain this experience:

Any Penax DSLR, and many better P&S cameras can simulate the way the ME works.
Switch exposure measurement to be as with the ME, use Av and work with EV correction.
40+ years ago, we had to invest a lot of time and money to gain that experience you now can get within 15 minutes for free.

Last edited by RKKS08; 11-24-2015 at 08:29 PM. Reason: Typing
11-25-2015, 04:02 AM   #7
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What you need is either a dedicated film scanner, or flatbed with transparency adaptor (lid has built in light). I've never heard of a multi-function film scanner-copier-printer.
11-25-2015, 06:48 AM   #8
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You can also use your DSLR to scan negatives. I've seen at least a few threads describing various techniques. I tried it once with the DA 35 ltd with the negative simply taped to a backlit window. You then reverse things in post and you get an image that is higher res then what most film scanners ( I think) can give you.

11-25-2015, 08:19 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by wissink Quote
You can also use your DSLR to scan negatives. I've seen at least a few threads describing various techniques. I tried it once with the DA 35 ltd with the negative simply taped to a backlit window. You then reverse things in post and you get an image that is higher res then what most film scanners ( I think) can give you.
I've heard of people getting really good results from this technique. ISTR from film days there was a slide copier lens attachment that took care of e.g. alignment issues, dunno about digital SLRs with smaller sensors though.
11-25-2015, 09:32 AM   #10
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You could get one of the Epson Perfection V series photo copiers, copy your negatives to positives and save the images to desktop....which is where the scanner sends them anyway. Then print with a regular photo printer feeding your images from your desktop. A FAX function is pretty old school when you can save a jpg and email it.
QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
. A 3 in 1 scanner printer fax or copier with a 35mm film scanning capability is what I really need.

What kind of things are you photographing "pathdoc"? Maybe you need a different camera.

Last edited by Niner Alpha; 11-25-2015 at 09:40 AM.
11-25-2015, 09:55 AM   #11
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From what I was reading, you want something that scans at at least 4000dpi and 48 bit color. ALso you do NOT want to scan to JPEG, as you will lose some image data through compresion. You want TIFF or a scanner that does DNG RAW (some do).

The V600 has the specs you need.

I found this helpful review of the V600, but the review also has a short education on scanning concepts that I think will benefit anyone who is considering scanning their negatives. I just decided to try this, too. So I only recently found this review and it has helped me better understand what I need.

Scanner Review: Epson Perfection V600

There are other scanners on B&H that are dedicated and have carriers. I have read reviews on some scanners, and some people report risks of carrier breakage, or of carriers or slots that make it much easier to scratch and otherwise damage negatives. Read reviews on a scanner before you buy, and if there are no reviews, DO NOT BUY!

Also, there are some scanners on the market that are 14MP and claim they can "bump" that up to 22MP with software tricks. The reviews on that technology are mixed, but the real measure of what you need is based on DPI and color.

Here is yet another thread with very useful information on this:

How do I convert all my film negatives to digital? - Forums - CNET

I suggest reading the V600 review link and then the above discussion thread, as after those two resources I feel I have enough information to make a much better informed decision. So far I am leaning towards a V600 myself. Hopefully Santa will bring me one this Christmas

Hope this helps. It sure helped me!

Last edited by Suleeto; 11-25-2015 at 10:00 AM.
11-25-2015, 10:30 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Suleeto Quote
So I only recently found this review and it has helped me better understand what I need. Scanner Review: Epson Perfection V600
I second the reviewer's recommendation of Vuescan software (as noted, the V600 isn't supported yet), especially vs. the bundled epson software. I got an epson 6600 flatbed (1600ppi) and vuescan well over 10-years ago, scan to 3200ppi (interpolated) @ 48-bit, which yields a ~50MB zip-compressed tif (which vuescan does natively), and developed a custom photoshop action to pull up and ballpark-correct images. My next scanner will probably be the V600 -- but not for another year or two at least.
11-25-2015, 10:30 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Suleeto Quote
. ALso you do NOT want to scan to JPEG, as you will lose some image data through compresion.
Depends on what you want the image for and if you are going to print it how you are going to print it, doesn't it? What ever "image data" you lose by scanning a negative for non commercial use is probably not noticeable, in my estimation, as jpg.. But I think you should be very happy with the V600. I'm happy with mine. It's also good for old photo projects. Like scanning an old family album image and....with the free ICE software... touching up and sharpening the images.
11-25-2015, 11:31 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Niner Alpha Quote
Depends on what you want the image for and if you are going to print it how you are going to print it, doesn't it? What ever "image data" you lose by scanning a negative for non commercial use is probably not noticeable, in my estimation, as jpg.. But I think you should be very happy with the V600. I'm happy with mine. It's also good for old photo projects. Like scanning an old family album image and....with the free ICE software... touching up and sharpening the images.
Having played with image formats quite a bit, I have to disagree. Jpegs lose a LOT. And you never want your digital "originals" to be compressed. Create TIFF or RAW originals, and then if you need Jpeg or PNG for web use, spit out a converted file. I've noticed a lot of differences, and you just can't pull as much detail out of a Jpeg. Maybe today someone doesn't care about that, but in a year or two from now when they start finally playing with RAW editing and PS/LR, they will go back to their digital originals and be glad they scanned into TIFF or DNG and not weak-sauce Jpegs.

Always scan in the best quality possible for future contingencies.
11-25-2015, 12:10 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Suleeto Quote
Having played with image formats quite a bit, I have to disagree. Jpegs lose a LOT. And you never want your digital "originals" to be compressed. Create TIFF or RAW originals, and then if you need Jpeg or PNG for web use, spit out a converted file. I've noticed a lot of differences, and you just can't pull as much detail out of a Jpeg. Maybe today someone doesn't care about that, but in a year or two from now when they start finally playing with RAW editing and PS/LR, they will go back to their digital originals and be glad they scanned into TIFF or DNG and not weak-sauce Jpegs.

Always scan in the best quality possible for future contingencies.
Well.. I'm not saying that one shouldn't use RAW and create gigantic TIFF files to be saved for some special added photo quality....but that is not what the OP was asking for.



4) I need a negative scanner badly. Does anyone know of a good printer-scanner combination that also handles 35mm film scans? High quality photo printing capability is not essential, I'm happy to take jpegs to Walmart for that, but the place that develops my films does a less than stellar job of scanning the negs to CD. Advice from fellow Canadians would be good, as I don't want to get my hopes up over something only to find it's not available here.

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