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01-17-2009, 07:54 PM   #1
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How do you view negatives?

Hey everyone...

So I just received my order from Adorama with all the stuff I need to develop my own (black and white) film. As I was admiring all the cool new chemicals I got, I thought to myself, "How will I see the finished product?"

I know a lot of people here develop their own film... What is the standard (if there is one) way of "looking" at the pictures. Do most of you have a film scanner and just scan the negatives on to your computer? Or do you continue with DIY and create prints (I heard this was costly). Or do you bring the negatives to a photo lab and have them scan or make prints?

If there is not a "standard" next step, what is your next step and why? Or what would you recommend to a newbie?

Thanks in advance,
-Ted

01-17-2009, 08:18 PM   #2
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If you've bought the stuff to do your own b/w developing you're a step ahead of me already.

I have my developing done by a lab and then do my own scanning at home. Any prints come from my inkjet. I suppose if there were a really nice one I might have a lab do a print for me, but that would strictly be a special case.
01-17-2009, 08:28 PM   #3
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Well, when I finished developing and drying my negatives, I'd make a contact sheet. And then I'd look at the results thru a loupe. I think that's pretty standard dark room protocol.

Tho today, laying the negatives on a flatbed scanner and inverting the result would sure be a quicker way to see what's worth printing.
01-18-2009, 05:41 AM   #4
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Flat bed? you need a type of light source behind it to scan.

I generally use conventional Darkroom, it is easier, faster and more fun (to me)

01-21-2009, 06:23 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by titrisol Quote
Flat bed? you need a type of light source behind it to scan.

I generally use conventional Darkroom, it is easier, faster and more fun (to me)
Yea. A flat bed negative/film/slide comes with a the appropriate light attached to the scanner's cover. I use a Canon 8600F to do the job.
01-21-2009, 10:48 AM   #6
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Flatbed scanner to make a contact sheet would do the trick. Though if you look into flatbed film scanners, most have only room for 2 or 3 strips at a time. So I would suggest:

1. Lay down as many strips of negatives as can fit on the scanning surface (shiny side down)
2. Put a piece of glass or plexiglass on top to flatten out the negs
3. Put a sheet of paper over the plexiglass or glass to diffuse light
4. Shine a bright light on the 'sandwich' to provide a bright back-light so the scanner can do its job properly

or you can scan with a film scanner 2-3 strips at a time at low resolution. It should scan pretty fast if the resolution is low enough.

Edit: forgot to add that I will usually scan at high res with the film scanner any photos that I want to have printed. That way I can pp myself then send it online to a printing service. I have an Epson V500 and I find that the Digital ICE technology doesn't work well for B/W scans. So instead, I remove scratches and dust manually in Photoshop.

Last edited by Nachodog; 01-21-2009 at 10:54 AM. Reason: Didnt' finish post
01-21-2009, 10:51 AM   #7
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I'm looking into scanning the negs as well. It costs me half the price to develop without printing the negs at my work, and to have their lab scan at the resolution I want (2400-4800dpi, 14-20Mp depending on the image) it would cost me over $15 per roll just for them to scan them. Like others have noted, you need a scanner intended for this purpose however; it needs to have dual light sources (one on each side of the negative) to work properly. Models that fit that bill are Canon's 8800F, Epson's 4490, V500, and V700, and I'm sure there's others. You might do well to consider a scanner with Digital ICE as well, which slows it down some but delivers dust and scratch free scans. The Epson 4490 is the least expensive model that also provides this.

I'm not trying to neuter the darkroom experience (I'm just starting to learn it myself) but I think that having high-quality scans of your negs definitely helps if you intend to show off and distribute your pictures, or send them to labs to get printed. It also saves wear and tear on the actual negatives.
01-21-2009, 12:55 PM   #8
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I have a nice little light table I use to look at them before loading them into the holder for the scanner. The important thing is to use a light table that puts out as little heat as possible.

01-21-2009, 09:08 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by drewdlephone Quote
I'm looking into scanning the negs as well. It costs me half the price to develop without printing the negs at my work, and to have their lab scan at the resolution I want (2400-4800dpi, 14-20Mp depending on the image) it would cost me over $15 per roll just for them to scan them. Like others have noted, you need a scanner intended for this purpose however; it needs to have dual light sources (one on each side of the negative) to work properly. Models that fit that bill are Canon's 8800F, Epson's 4490, V500, and V700, and I'm sure there's others. You might do well to consider a scanner with Digital ICE as well, which slows it down some but delivers dust and scratch free scans. The Epson 4490 is the least expensive model that also provides this.

I'm not trying to neuter the darkroom experience (I'm just starting to learn it myself) but I think that having high-quality scans of your negs definitely helps if you intend to show off and distribute your pictures, or send them to labs to get printed. It also saves wear and tear on the actual negatives.

So this leads me on to the next question. What scanners do you guys like and what are the pros and cons? I think I've settled on the work order I want to do:

1)shoot the photos
2)develop the film myself
3)scan the negatives to view them and use/share them online
4)(optional)send to lab to get printed

I'm looking for something that is affordable (around $150) and that will give good enough results to print. I will be mainly shooting B&W. How is the Epson 4490, does anyone have it who can comment on it?

Thanks,
Ted
01-21-2009, 11:14 PM   #10
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I use the EPSON V500 photo, a flatbed with second light source in lid, and neg carriers for 35mm, mounted slides and MF.

Good software included too, in most cases you can do a 'thumbnail' preview, it detects the gaps between each frames and sets up multiple image files so you don't have to mess around with the marquee tool. Really low key shots (nighclubs, etc), confuse it though.
01-22-2009, 12:06 AM   #11
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Tri-x 400, shot at iso 200 on ME super, developed at home with cafenol-C, scanned with Epson V500.



Congrats on the KX, very nice camera. Hope you enjoy it.
01-22-2009, 01:08 AM   #12
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I can give you some first-hand experience with the 4490 as soon as I pick one up (should be a week or so). In the meantime, I thought it might be useful to add that if you're scanning true B&W film (silver halide emulsion as opposed to the C41 based films), you won't be able to use Digital ICE, as said software doesn't work on B&W films, or Kodachrome for that matter.
01-22-2009, 07:02 AM   #13
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Thanks for sharing the scan KungPOW, and thanks for the tip drewdlephone... I will be shooting true B&W so I'll keep in mind that I don't need one that comes with ICE.
01-22-2009, 07:29 AM   #14
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Minolta Dimage II scanner

40 but color depth with 2880 DPI resolution (effective 10MP scan)

but it is ssslllllloooooooooowwwwwww
01-22-2009, 08:18 AM   #15
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Ilford HP5 400 ISO developed with Kodak D-76 and scanned with V500 @ 2400 dpi (resized for web).

Don't know what that weird pattern is over the goalie's right shoulder though.
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