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Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 07-25-2017, 11:51 PM  
How can I scan my negatives for archival purpose ?
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 32
Views: 1,537
Yes, that's a very good summation. As one of the sidelines in my old "photographic" job, I was responsible for preservation management of photos sound and moving images in a substantial archives. One of the key strategies we developed was systematic migration of digitized content. In very simple terms, the digital masters are stored on drives and migrated to different storage as drive technology evolves, and can be readily batch converted to other file formats if necessary. Multiple backups are kept, including off-site. Backups included storage on CDs or DVDs as well as hard drives. We did keep originals.

If I was still in the business now, I'd be looking at solid state drives for storage of some backups.

It's relatively simple for professional archives, but quite a can of worms for the general public particularly if the intent is to preserve things for tens or hundreds of years. You might consider printing books of selected images.

Looking at the OP's question, there is no simple answer. "Archival quality" is a pretty nebulous term. For example, the standards for archiving the work of a master photographer where high colour accuracy and resolution down to the finest grain would be considered necessary are quite different from family snapshots where pleasing moderately sized prints could be a reasonable goal. We're talking a high end with drum scanning and very sophisticated colorimetry vs. middling level with a decent desktop scanner and eyeballing colour corrections on a (maybe) calibrated monitor. I'd recommend the simpler approach to the OP, as that is within the reach of an average person who is willing to put in the effort to learn a moderate amount about the technology.

Colour negs tend to be all over the place in terms of colour balance. Even scanning software with specific film profiles won't always work due to off-spec development and fading during storage. Unlike slides you cant use the original as a baseline for judging accuracy. You often just have to wing it.

My own standard for family photos is 3600x5400 pixel TIFF files. I use Lightroom and Photoshop for processing, and simply go for rendering that I find pleasing without worrying about absolute technical accuracy. I generally like to adjust tones that we perceive as neutral to be reasonably so, but otherwise just go for what feels right. I often use auto color in Photoshop and tweak from there. If that doesn't work I have to get my hands dirty. I've been using Photoshop since the early 90's and have a fast computer, so usually get OK results before I resort to setting my hair on fire.

I recommend getting a good Photoshop book, studying colour correction, and practicing, practicing, practicing.

Hang on to the negs as you may find that you will want to rescan some as you learn.
Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 07-18-2017, 07:23 PM  
Film woes (mistakes and lessons learned)
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 19
Views: 883
Oops- I intended to be humorous, not offended! In my case, maybe I have six months' experience repeated 80 times.

Yes, the hardening fixer point is also good. I think I found Kodak Rapid Fixer somewhat better than powder hardening fiixers at high temps. These days I use an Ilford liquid concentrate, but only at around 68 degrees so can't comment on higher temperatures.

Cheers
Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 07-18-2017, 06:08 PM  
Film woes (mistakes and lessons learned)
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 19
Views: 883
I've only been processing for 45-odd years, but I agree. I've used water from many different sources without difficulty. If it ain't broke don't fix it. For those of you who may not believe us, get a copy of "Controls in Black and White Photography" by Richard J. Henry. IIRC he dealt with the issue in some detail. In any case, it's a good reference book.

In terms of the effects of high temperature, 82 degrees is probably OK. Just make sure you compensate development time for it properly, and keep the temperature of the rest of the steps close to the same. One issue with some developers is that at higher temperatures the developing time drops to under 5 minutes, which makes even development problematic. Just dilute the developer more or use a less active one to increase time.

In the late 70s I ran a black and white lab for a newspaper publisher. I did lots of push processing at 85 degrees to speed things up. No problems.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 06-15-2017, 01:42 PM  
Post your B&W Film shots
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 6,524
Views: 653,168
I photographed this arbutus tree in a snowstorm, which was useful in obscuring distracting background details such as a lighthouse and mountains...Pentax ESII, SMC Takumar 35/2.0, Ilford FP4 Plus
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 06-13-2017, 06:05 PM  
:cool: Lets see those ''film'' shots
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 16,185
Views: 1,877,064
Salal plants in our yard. Pentax S3, Kilfitt Makro Kilar D 40/2.8, HP5 Plus
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 06-12-2017, 04:57 PM  
:cool: Lets see those ''film'' shots
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 16,185
Views: 1,877,064
Haven't posted for a while, but here is something recent. Made with a Pentax S3 and Kilfitt Makro Kilar D 40/2.8 on HP5 Plus.
Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 05-21-2017, 07:53 PM  
Some Film Scanning Questions
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 9
Views: 685
I'd say that the colour balance of the original scans is quite decent. I'll discuss the third and fourth scans from the top in the original post.

Yes, the white of the train is not pure. It may, however, be accurate. Note that adjacent to the train there is a large area of warm-tone tile. It is quite possible that the illumination from the skylight to the left of the train was bouncing off that tile and imparting some warmth to the colour of the left side of the train. With a subtle effect such as that, given the way our minds make assumptions about colours, it is entirely possible for a viewer to perceive that something is white when in fact it is slightly off.

Nothing wrong with correcting that colour cast in post processing. It is unlikely that even a very competent scanner operator in a mass production situation would make that sort of minor adjustment as it is better done by the photographer to suit his or her own tastes.

I agree with others that the green bushes in the processed version of the image are excessive. In Photoshop, I would correct this using the hue/saturation function. Select the green in the foliage and reduce saturation.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 05-19-2017, 09:36 AM  
Dark Negatives
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 24
Views: 1,024
It looks to me like your main problem is underexposure. Judging by the lack of detail in shadows I'd estimate that you are about 3 stops under. (Underexposed negatives are usually described as being "thin" or "lacking in density".) As others have demonstrated, it is possible to correct to some extent in post processing. It's somewhat like "pushing" film, except that software rather than increased development is used to bring contrast and brightness to acceptable levels.

Underdeveloped negatives would tend to be low in contrast but I would expect to see substantially more shadow detail than in your examples. Note that the shot of the section of film strip that you also included appears to be adequately exposed and correctly developed, although perhaps a bit too dense overall. Perfectly useable, though.

I did note that there is some evidence of a bit of light leakage on that film strip, around sprocket holes. If you are bulk loading film, I would suspect a light leak in a cassette.

I wouldn't worry too much about using pixel shift or HDR. If you are filling the frame when copying negs, the K1 has plenty of resolution even without pixel shift. The dynamic range of modern DSLRs is adequate to handle the brightness range of correctly exposed and developed negatives.

Anyhow, you're making a good start.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 05-11-2017, 02:38 PM  
Sony A9: is there still a future for DSLRs, and Pentax mirrorless suggestion
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 579
Views: 23,939
Call me silly, but I kind of like working with a mirrorless camera and battery grip. With small lenses such as adapted Leica rangefinder lenses, the grip-less body is great. If I'm using larger lenses, I attach the grip and, voila, I have a body suited to that application. That flexibility in one camera is really nice.

On the subject of Pentax going mirrorless, I don't really care. I will point out that it would be relatively easy to produce a mirrorless body with a shorter registration distance than K-mount, and to offer a smart adapter for legacy lenses. Sony does that with A-mount to E-mount adapters.

I've been watching the development of the K-1 with interest, and may get one sometime as I have a good set of FF lenses. In the meantime I'm enjoying my A7r with vintage lenses.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 05-05-2017, 11:50 PM  
Plenty of K bodies. Any logical reason to get a Spotmatic era body?
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 50
Views: 2,461
Because you can.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 04-22-2017, 08:55 AM  
Honeywell Pentax Spotmatic Models
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 11
Views: 790
According to Gerstad van Oosten (his book "The Ultimate Asahi Pentax Screwmount Guide") there was a small test run of an Electro Spotmatic in 1971, sold only in Japan. The ES was developed from that. From pictures in the book, it appears that there was a transitional version with Electro Spotmatic stamped on the front and ES stamped on the top.

I was loaned an ES when they first came out, which led to my ongoing use of Pentax gear.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 04-20-2017, 05:36 PM  
:cool: Lets see those ''film'' shots
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 16,185
Views: 1,877,064
I'd say the pictures were probably shot on Kodachrome. I've scanned a good deal of pre-war and late 1940s Kodachrome, and these have a similar "feel". Agfacolor is unlikely, as it was a German product.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 06-15-2016, 12:24 PM  
:cool: Lets see those ''film'' shots
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 16,185
Views: 1,877,064
The camouflaged structures are there to draw attention away from the dumpster, which is actually a secret entrance to a bunker whose purpose I can't tell you about.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 06-06-2016, 10:25 AM  
Viewfinder blind
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 40
Views: 1,929
The light leakage you are hypothesizing is something that I have rarely encountered in over 40 years of photography, most of that as a professional. i have seen it occasionally on cameras with defective mirror mechanisms or deteriorating light seals.

I have actually used LXs extensively with no problems with light leakage. That is hands-on experience, not a hypothesis. If you happen to have a camera body where experience demonstrates that this is an issue, yes a viewfinder blind of some sort is useful.

I will also point out that viewfinder blinds are useful in preventing light entering the viewfinder from causing metering errors when the camera is in automatic mode and the photographer's eye/face is not shading the viewfinder- for example, on a tripod with cable or self-timer.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 06-06-2016, 05:59 AM  
Viewfinder blind
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 40
Views: 1,929
Yes, the K2DMD and ESII both have viewfinder blinds. The LX does not need one as automatic exposure is metered off the film during actual exposure. The mirror is up and serves as a viewfinder blind. (I've shot with all three recently.)

On cameras without blinds, I often just cup my hand over the viewfinder when I fire the shutter.

Note that mirrorless cameras don't need viewfinder blinds.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 05-23-2016, 07:53 PM  
Spotmatic ESII problem. Lens locked in AUTO.
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 19
Views: 1,053
Yup. That sums it up pretty well. The interlock prevents exposure errors that will occur if an SMC lens is in M mode when on a full aperture metering body. If the lens is in A mode, stopping down using the meter/stop down switch will give correct exposure as well as DOF preview. Hopefully Pentax will make this simpler when they release the ESIII.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 05-23-2016, 07:05 PM  
Spotmatic ESII problem. Lens locked in AUTO.
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 19
Views: 1,053
On Pentax M42 cameras with full aperture metering when using SMC lenses, switching from Automatic to Manual aperture is accomplished by using the stop-down/meter switch on the left side of the mirror box.
Forum: Pentax Full Frame 05-17-2016, 08:32 PM  
Pentax K-1 Mirror slap issue?
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 146
Views: 14,864
Here are some thoughts about the A7r, without hyperbole.

Before buying an A7r, I defined my requirements and did due diligence. The due diligence process took place over a six-month period after the camera was released.
As a long-time professional, that is how I approach major equipment purchases. As distinguished from my hobbyist side, where I make impulse buys of all sorts of "obsolete" lenses.

My remaining professional level work is tripod-mounted landscape photography with large prints as the finished product. All other work is entirely casual. I don't really care about AF, burst rate, etc. etc. I do need a high-quality sensor and the ability to focus manually with very wide lenses in dim light.

My due diligence included reading all available independent reviews and many user reports. In particular, I researched reports on the performance of specific adapted lenses on the A7r. My conclusion was that many of my manual focus lenses would work well on the A7r, but I would need a major upgrade on lenses wider than 28mm. I then bought a Leica adapter and went to a friendly local store where I made test shots with my trickiest lens, a pre-aspherical Leica Summilux 35/1.4. I also verified that there was nothing fatally nasty about the camera's handling, controls and viewfinder. When I examined the RAW files they met my expectations as a member of the Ancient and Honourable Order of Pixel Peepers. A month after I bought the camera, the 16-35 became available locally and, as planned, I bought one.

I'm very happy with the technical quality of my results over the last two years, and have found the camera pleasant to use within my personal parameters. As I've said elsewhere, I wouldn't recommend the A7r as a generalist photographic tool. The K-1 at first glance, and several established cameras from other brands, are better. However, in terms of my personal requirements in my dotage the A7r has been a great success.



The "performance" is not at top-of-the-line Nikon or Canon levels in many ways. This was well-known soon after release. When I researched the A7r, I concluded that for my work an approach similar to my use of medium format film cameras would be appropriate. That has proven to be the case. Fine by me. I'm not a spray and pray type.

I find the EVF and focus magnification extremely useful in my most challenging conditions.



It was widely acknowledged soon after release that the AF performance of the A7r was not brilliant. Sort of average by mirrorless standards at that point. Doesn't matter to me. I've never even bothered to try continuous AF on the thing.

I've done some very casual low-light AF work using adapted A-mount lenses. The performance was adequate. There are issues using native e-mount lenses in low light because they tend to focus stopped down, and some menu diving may be required to overcome this.




"Ergonomics" is a matter of personal preference, experience and flexibility.

I had no problem customizing the interface to meet my needs. Thousands of other people are using the camera happily. In terms of size/weight, I view the camera as modular. I use the battery grip with large lenses. If I want to go compact, I take the grip off and use my Leica lenses. This was expected, which is why I bought the grip as a package with the camera.



Lossy RAW compression strikes me as a rather goofy idea. I've no idea why Sony came up with it. That being said, I've seen no evidence of any problems in most conditions. I have seen a few examples of possible artifacts under extreme conditions. It's only a problem when it's a problem, and that is rare.

You left out shutter vibration, which is at a level that I find very weird in a mirrorless camera. On the other hand, I was prepared for it and had no problem developing simple workarounds for my applications. I can see where it could be a pain in the butt in a fairly narrow range of circumstances.

HopelessTogger, I wish you better luck with the K-1.

---------- Post added 05-17-2016 at 08:51 PM ----------



[/quote]

Please note that in the comment your are "quoting" I suggested sensible research. There was no mention of 6 months of intensive research or of listing all sources.

I suppose indulging in hyperbole could be interpreted as digging yourself a hole.
Forum: Pentax Full Frame 05-17-2016, 07:11 PM  
Pentax K-1 Mirror slap issue?
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 146
Views: 14,864
Exactly. I have no problem with reasoned comments, based on experience and sensible research, that can be used to illuminate a discussion.
Forum: Pentax Full Frame 05-16-2016, 05:31 PM  
Pentax K-1 Mirror slap issue?
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 146
Views: 14,864
If you insist on interjecting your generally irrelevant complaints about another brand, why should you not be questioned? What is your point?
Forum: Pentax Full Frame 05-16-2016, 02:59 PM  
Pentax K-1 Mirror slap issue?
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 146
Views: 14,864
I have one Zeiss/Sony lens. Excellent imaqe quality. I gather that Zeiss/Sony quality control could use some improvements, but the use of the term "zero" in that regard is an exaggeration.

What is the exact nature of your problems with the Sony system? How experienced a photographer are you? If Sony is that awful, why did you buy one in the first place?

Are you sure your skills are up to par? What if you start using a K-1 and have an equally horrible time with it?

This is a Pentax forum. Why do you repeatedly use it is a platform for bashing another brand while offering little if any real evidence to support your claims?

I like Sony gear. I like Pentax gear. They are different systems. So what?
Forum: Pentax Full Frame 05-16-2016, 01:49 PM  
Pentax K-1 Mirror slap issue?
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 146
Views: 14,864
That's odd. I've been using mine quite painlessly, and getting excellent results, for the last two years. it's just another camera. I learned the controls and got on with things. Same will be the case for the K-1 if I decide to get one.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-29-2016, 10:00 AM  
Which zoom lens with spotmatic f?
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 8
Views: 672
First of all, there are two key differences between Super Takumar and SMC lenses. One is that SMC stands for Super Multi Coated. Super Multi Coated lenses have much better flare resistance and light transmission than Super Takumar lenses. The other difference Is that SMC lenses have a coupling mechanism in the lens mount that enables full-aperture metering with certain Pentax bodies, those being the Spotmatic F, ES, and ESII.

Super Takumar lenses allow only stop-down metering, which means that you have to close the diaphram to the working aperture to obtain an exposure reading. This is inconvenient because it makes the viewfinder darker. Stop-down metering is used on Pentax cameras such as the Spotmatic, Spotmatic II, SP 500, SP1000. It is also the usual metering mode on most other screw-mount cameras.

The only Pentax screw-mount zoom that has the full aperture coupling mechanism is the 45-125 as recommended by Adam. With Pentax's usual quirkiness, their other SMC zooms have SMC coatings, but do not have the full aperture coupling mechanism.

Super Takumar lenses are very fine in many ways, so if you can live with stop-down metering they are a very good value. The Spotmatic F works fine in stop-down mode with these lenses.

In terms of third-party zooms, Tamron Adaptall lenses are probably the best bet. In particular the SP series are very good. You will need a Tamron adapter specifically made for full aperture metering. The one I have is stamped "ES" to indicate that. These adapters also have a small gear visible on the edge of the adapter that is not present on plain screw-mount adapters.

You may have difficulties finding other third-party screw mount zooms that have the necessary mechanics for full aperture metering.

I find the old Pentax screw mount gear very enjoyable to use. I'm in the middle of a roll of black and white on my ESII and will be using a Spotmatic F next.

Have fun!
Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 04-27-2016, 12:11 PM  
Stand development - chemistry.
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 17
Views: 1,377
You might try Beau Photo in Vancouver. Beau Photo Supplies - Cameras, Equipment, Albums, Rentals

Their website is very sketchy, but I've heard that they carry quite a bit of darkroom stuff.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 04-24-2016, 09:04 AM  
Super Program Possible Defective Meter Readout
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 8
Views: 846
In my experience this sort of issue is not unusual with Super Programs, at least when they see extensive use in bad conditions. I had two that I used a lot in extreme cold and generally tough situations for about 15 years. Both had problems, although oddly they became more reliable with age.

There is a small shiny button on the left side of the mirror box. When pushed it turns on the meter with illumination in the display windows. Try pushing the button. If the displays work, at least you know the LEDs themselves are not the problem. This means the issue is probably the meter switch in the shutter release. If that is the case, possible causes include bent or dirty contacts. Bent contacts of course require disassembly. Dirty contacts can often be fixed by very carefully dripping a small amount of electrical contact cleaner into the gap between the shutter release and the locking collar. One or two drops might do it. Maybe a bit into the cable release socket too. You can also try operating the shutter release via a cable release to see whether that stirs things up.

Make sure you are using fresh batteries and that the battery contacts are clean. Super Programs can get a bit weird when batteries are low.
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