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10-26-2009, 12:23 AM   #1
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Film work-flow?

Right now, i find myself shooting with both my film and digital SLRs. I have to admit I enjoy shooting with both and love that I can use pretty much all my lenses on both systems.

I currently have a good workflow for my digital slr, but at the moment I'm a bit stuck with the film workflow.


Right now my film work flow is:

a) Take photos with film SLR
b) Develop photo ($)
c) Make prints of 4x6 ($$)
d) Scan 4x6's on typical desktop flatbed scanner (grainy and occasional dust and not very good digital quality)
e) Edit slightly in Photoshop Elements
f) Post on Flickr, incorporate into Lightroom

The problem with this work flow is the added expense of 4x6 prints (about an extra $11 per film roll) and the grainy and crummy quality of the digital scans.


Curious on what your work flow is? Do you use digital and film and have work flows for both?

And any recommendations for a reasonably affordable (but produces nice, reprintable pictures from negatives) scanner?

10-26-2009, 12:56 AM   #2
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Since I work in a lab my work flow will be different than others.
I pick up a roll of film. Usually while at work, in the lab, for the same price you would (there isn't much markup on film)
Take photos.
Bring film into work, and if I have some extra time it's suddenly mysteriously developed.
Do a high res scan, and print what I want to.
No edits, if I want to edit pic's I'll shoot digital.
Then, if I care to I'll add it to my blog, or website... and add the prints I want to my portfolio.

If I was in your shoes I'd most likely get the film developed, then a high res scan. Don't get any prints done, unless you really want them.
You may what to tell the lab that you don't want any edits. I've seen labs destroy photographs by performing what the lab tech thought was the right effect.

Then take the disk home, and choose what you want to develop.
Then perform the edits required, and print what you want to.

You may want to shop around for your developing and scanning.
Although they did a good job, one Vancouver lab charged me a small fortune for a high res scan... while getting slides developed.
Although I had no problems with the price they charged for the developing, and printing.
10-26-2009, 03:00 AM   #3
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My work flow is different from the two above.

1. Take photos
2. Develop roll, sending colour photos to a lab and doing B&W at home
3. Scanning the negatives/slides at home
4. Editing a little or a lot depending on the scan, as some films are harder to scan
5. Posting on flickr or sending digitalised images to a lab to make prints.

I'm just now getting access to a darkroom with the ability to make copies of both B&W and colour negatives so I'll see how this changes my work flow.


As little laker said, I would absolutely skip the prints unless you really want them.


QuoteOriginally posted by dugrant153 Quote
And any recommendations for a reasonably affordable (but produces nice, reprintable pictures from negatives) scanner?
This all depends on what you think is reasonable and affordable. But the obvious tip if you are only going to be shooting 35mm film is one of the Nikon Coolscans. They seem to produce very nice pictures. Flatbeds, keep to the higher end models to get good results.
10-26-2009, 03:32 AM   #4
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Sorry, the term "work flow" was invented for digital and is not backward compatible!

Chris

10-26-2009, 04:09 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
Sorry, the term "work flow" was invented for digital and is not backward compatible!

Chris
"Work flow" spelled backwards is "wolf krow".

I send my film off to be developed, specifying "no prints". Then I scan the negatives myself on a CanoScan 8800F, usually using VueScan. I then run the resulting files through LR2, just as with photos that started their lives as digital files.
10-26-2009, 06:16 AM   #6
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35mm color print- CVS drugstore development and 'CD Only' - $5.50 or so. If I need bigger or specialized scan, I'll scan it myself.
120 color print - a local minilab (Mimosa in Hoboken) to develop only. Scan at home.
Slide - I don't shoot slides much, but I send them off to Dwayne's for development, I scan them myself (though I'm trying out the Dwayne's scan on the last 35mm roll I sent).
B&W - I develop these myself, and then scan. Curse the dust and scanner issues.

With all the above, photoshop (usually Elements) is essential, as I'm not after a 'snapshot' but rather something that's a 'print' in the old wet darkroom sense. That is, manipulated curves, spotting, dodging and burning where needed etc. In the wet darkroom, for anything with an 'artistic' intent, this sort of stuff went on as a matter of course. So why not with scanned film?

I use an Epson 4490. When it works well, the results are good. When it doesn't the results are frustrating.
10-26-2009, 07:53 AM   #7
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i've been shooting less and less 35mm film these days. but when i did, i would just get the lab to scan, but usually they aren't that great. i bought a Coolscan V but i've barely used it because it's a lot of work and my computer is slow.

most of the time i have been shooting medium format slides or black and white. medium format slides i just look at on a loupe and black and white i get a nice contact sheet and use a loupe as well. don't really care most of the time who gets to see my pictures anyways except maybe vacation pictures.

i'm trying to move my photography away from the computer ... i'm in front of the freakin thing day and night
10-26-2009, 08:46 AM   #8
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When I shoot film, 95% of the time I shoot B/W.

I develope my film in the kitchen, scan it with an Epson V500, and then process the image with Lightroom. Note that I am scanning the negatives and not prints. You lose quality by scanning prints.

Once the image is scanned, the process is the same digital, or film.

10-26-2009, 10:19 AM   #9
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Mine is similar to the above with a few added quirks:
  • Have 35mm film processed by pro lab (no prints, uncut)...$3
  • Cut negatives into 6 exposure strips and bulk scan at low resolution (1000 dpi) using Coolscan 5000 ED
  • Put strips into loose-leaf photo sleeve pages
  • Import scanned images into Lightroom
  • Use Lightroom to print proof sheet on cheap photo paper
  • Put negatives and proof sheet together into binder
  • Evaluate images in Lightroom and flag keepers for later rescan at higher resolution
In case anyone is curious, I scan the proofs at low resolution to save disk space. I have found that the lower resolution works great for posting to the Web, e-mail and small prints.

Steve
10-26-2009, 10:37 AM   #10
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B&W slides sent for processing/mounting.
Colour slides taken to local lab for processing/mounting.

Any odd scanning or print enlargements are also done at a local lab.
10-26-2009, 07:42 PM   #11
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Original Poster
thanks all for sharing. It's really got me thinking... soooo...here's what I'm thinking now

-get a reasonable and cheap scanner (thinking Epson V300 or something) for importing into Lightroom, processing, and then archiving digitally and display on web.

-For any larger prints, just pull out the negative and have the individual frame printed.

The way I see it now, everything now goes into Lightroom, whether digital or film image. It's just with film, I import it as a scanned file and then it integrates into my original workflow. Hah! I think I've got it!
10-26-2009, 10:13 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
In case anyone is curious, I scan the proofs at low resolution to save disk space. I have found that the lower resolution works great for posting to the Web, e-mail and small prints.

Steve
It also reduces your time spent scanning by at least 50%!
10-26-2009, 10:31 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Venturi Quote
It also reduces your time spent scanning by at least 50%!
In the lab I'm working in a low res scan takes about 3 - 5 minutes extra time over printing the photos alone.
However, if I do a high res scan it takes 15 - 20 minutes longer.... on the main machine.We do have another machine, that's faster. However it's usually only used for special orders.
10-27-2009, 10:32 PM   #14
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1. Develop film, hang to dry
2. Proof a dried film onto paper
3. Select neg to print
4. Grab a beer
5. Make print, evaluate, repeat, etc
then maybe..
6. Tone print in selenium or sepia
and again, maybe...
7. Cut mount board to suit, wack in frame and hang on wall.
10-28-2009, 07:31 AM   #15
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take photos->develop->nikon coolscan->done
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