View Full Version : Scanning Questions with samples

11-Feb-2013, 14:30
I stumbled upon this website last year and it's inspired me to try large format film. I've bought myself a couple of 4x5 cameras and am now using a chomanix with a fuji 134 5.6 lens. I'm really enjoying using the film although I've been getting mixed results so far. Now that I have a few slides and negatives to play with i'm trying to nail down my scanning technique. I have a epson v700 with the better scanning adjustable height holder. I'm currently not wet mounting my film just using tape and getting the slides as tight as possible. So i've uploaded a resent scan from a fuji 100f slide. Under a loupe the image seems much sharper. I can't seem to dial in the height of the betterscanning holder to get any better results. I'm wondering if this is as good as I can expect to get out of this scanner? Would wet mounting my scans improve the sharpness? I think the detail seems ok, although I have shots from the same location with my old 5d mark2 that are more detailed, it just seems a little soft to me. Also i used the epson scanning software and thought about trying vuescan out but not sure if it would help with sharpness. Right now I don't feel I have any exposure that would justify sending out for a drum scan, hopefully that will change soon. I'd like to be able to get better quality out of my epson though. So any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks8919189192

11-Feb-2013, 16:11
Hi, those are good. There is a guy on ebay that does drum scans if you want to try it out. I have a epson 4990 with the variable height holder and I have my holder high over the glass. I think about 2 turns per screw. I never did wet mount. I compared his drum scan to my epson and I can tell you right now the drum scan will pull the details out of the shadow areas better than the epson. I compared my shots to my 5d and the 4x5 film still wins. You have to look hard, but the 4x5 will give you better tonality and look more realistic as opposed to a clinical look. You won't see to much of a difference between the 5d and 4x5 until you go over 30x40, this is where the film shines. I really like provia and velvia 100 over the velvia 50. If you find fuji 160s that stuff gives greens a nice color.

Go to this link to see a comparison I did with my 4x5 globuscope vs the canon 5d and 17-40L.


11-Feb-2013, 20:50
I haven't found wet mounting to be any better than dry mounting, just a different way of working.
Your scans don't look bad to me, but have you set the height of the holder properly?
I have a v750 and I think the optimal height is the same for the v700: about 3-3.5mm, or 4 turns of the screws.
Make sure you test the height properly, and compare the results.

11-Feb-2013, 22:02
Thanks for the replies. minesix66 do you know what the guys username is who does the drum scanning? I might be interested in sending him some negatives if it's not to expensive. I was thinking once I have some decent shots I was going to send them to Tim Parkin in the UK. He seems to be the cheapest that I've seen, even if I have to send them half way around the world, literally. I didn't mean to sound like I think the 5d resolves more detail. The detail is better with the 4x5, it just seems to lack the sharpness. I'm new to the post processing of film scans so I haven't experimented much with sharpening. So far it seems able to take much more sharpening. I've tried a couple times now to dial in the better scanning holder and I have a feeling I might not be at the perfect height. Is there a height you reach that you know for sure that you've hit it? Or is there a small range? I can get into a range that's sharper, but never seem to hit a height that's sharper than the rest. Ari do you find the wet mounting to be easier? I find that using tape I end up covering more of the negative than i'd like to be able to hold the tension of the film. Anyway I know it's more than just resolution. I've blown some of my stitched 5d m2 shots up to 25ft by 10ft and am amazed how much detail they have. Where I see the difference is in the color so far. Such as the sample shots, they look overly lavender where the digital color would have been closer to reality but then it would have been an ordinary shot I've taken a 100 times before. I have a 6x17 back coming and can't wait to give that a try along with some velvia 50. Then it's onto 8x10, I have to at least try it all before it's gone. Thanks again for the reply's.

12-Feb-2013, 05:26
I don't know what you found when adjusting your better scanning holders, but I found that if I had the opportunity to raise them higher, I could pull even more sharpness into my scans. Wet scanning won't affect the focus point.

I know I'm not getting the best scan height for my V700 but personally I've resolved the fact that for now, this is "good enough".

Drum scans are always an option for critical images (since it can get pricey if you desire to digitize all of your negatives) and it may be a good idea for you to get an apples-to-apples comparison with one of your images so that you can decide what's your best course of action with your future scans.

Bruce Watson
12-Feb-2013, 11:18
Under a loupe the image seems much sharper.

Than what?

Much depends on how you are judging sharpness. If you're trying to use a computer monitor to judge sharpness, you're pretty much out of luck. The pixel spacing on a computer monitor is much greater than the pixel spacing from an inkjet printer, for example. So it would be really odd if the image did notlook considerably softer on a monitor (at 100%) as opposed to loupe/light table. This is normal.

My way of thinking is that the only way to judge the sharpness available in the final print, is to make a print. Anything else is just guessing.

Lon Overacker
25-Feb-2013, 21:08
I agree with Bruce's line of thought here. Yes, it's critical to have your focus point accurate for scanning and obviously you need a sharp piece of film. Having said that, viewing a scanned image on a monitor at 100% is NOT the same thing as viewing the 4x5 wiht a loupe, regardless of magnification. The <relatively> small piece of 4x5 film on a light table, if you have good sharpness, almost always looks awesome! Scanning, then enlarging to 100% view without output sharpening and processing, well, is going to be disappointing, on screen. But don't let that discourage you. A properly scanned neg or transparency and good processing skills, your prints can be terrific. If you can tear yourself away from loupe sharpness and detail vs. monitor sharpness and detail, you'll be better off.

26-Feb-2013, 19:36
Len Eiger here does drum scans. I would trust him before some guy on Ebay.

6-Mar-2013, 13:11
Just a simple question. I just purchased a box of Green 8x10 X-ray film. I would like to scan the end product, and with the aide of Photoshop make prints. I'm interested in what you all think would be the best scanner that will not cost me an arm and leg ( used is OK ). I would like to also use a professional grade of software. I can scan my 4x5's now, but the ability to do 8x10's is where I would like to go. I want something that will keep me going, and having to up-grade will not be for some time. Thanks, R.W.Delung