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Padu Merloti
7-Apr-2007, 13:20
Yesterday I drove to best buy locked on the idea of buying a V700. It seems that best buy is the one with best prices on this scanner right now (check online).

They didn't have it. Well, the item is not available for store pick up.

I've been reading a lot about scanners here lately, and the purpose for this scanner would be to do simple scans to post the images on the web. I was hearing voices in my head saying that $500 would be to expensive for web photos. I also realized that for that eventual piece of art, a V700 would be bellow expectations.

So here's what I tried:

http://padu.smugmug.com/photos/141730095-M.jpg
http://padu.smugmug.com/photos/141730097-M.jpg
http://padu.smugmug.com/photos/141729001-M.jpg

I just placed the chrome on top of the light box and took a picture using my dSLR and a decent 50mm prime lens. The definition I believe is good enough for the web. The colors are not good, and at the left it is shifting to yellow because my lightbox (an x-ray viewing box) seems to have a yellowish ligh on that side.

I think that when I fix the lightbox and spend a bit more time on photoshop equating the colors to the original, it will be even better.

Now I have $500 to spend elsewhere (somebody said lenses?)


Anybody else here done the same?

Gordon Moat
7-Apr-2007, 13:27
Did you do anything to keep the film flat? Use a polarizer to minimize reflections?

I thought about doing something similar to make 35mm slide dupes from 4x5. This would mainly reduce my lab costs of making dupes. I was not sure about all the issues, though I do have a very new twin 5000ºK light box. Seems like it should work okay for simple reproduction.

Ciao!

Gordon Moat
A G Studio (http://www.allgstudio.com)

Padu Merloti
7-Apr-2007, 13:37
Did you do anything to keep the film flat? Use a polarizer to minimize reflections?

I thought about doing something similar to make 35mm slide dupes from 4x5. This would mainly reduce my lab costs of making dupes. I was not sure about all the issues, though I do have a very new twin 5000ēK light box. Seems like it should work okay for simple reproduction.

Ciao!

Gordon Moat
A G Studio (http://www.allgstudio.com)


No, it was 2 in the morning and that was a quick and dirty test. The brownish border at the left I believe is because the film was not flat.

I'm confident that I'll be able to get a decent quality for web photos. My bogen tripod has "copy" extension arm, so that would help the perspective. I've used a wide aperture because I was handhelding the camera, so if I mount it in the tripod, I will be able to use smaller apertures and I'll also test with a polarizer.

Gordon Moat
7-Apr-2007, 13:42
Thanks Padu. I look forward to seeing your improved results. This might be a nice 4x5 to web solution, or for making 35mm dupes. Best of luck.

Ciao!

Gordon Moat
A G Studio (http://www.allgstudio.com)

Ash
7-Apr-2007, 13:54
I use a flatbed, with a 35mm neg scanner lightbox built in. Basically I trick it into thinking I'm scanning 35mm..

I scan a length, check the leveling, then move the neg across, scanning up to 3 sections for one 4x5. I then stitch it together manually, as I don't trust the photostitch programs. I can get high res that way :)

I use a piece of glass taped to the base to keep the neg perpendicular

Ash
7-Apr-2007, 14:16
hmm actually is there a way of rigging a dslr/digicam onto a 4x5 enlarger?

I know I know, if you have the darkroom then just make a print, then scan the print.

Be interesting if the lenspanel could be made to accept the enlarging lens, and a set of copy-bellows. In effect the neg is 'enlarged' (rather, reduced) onto the camera's sensor ??

Bob Salomon - HP Marketing
7-Apr-2007, 14:21
Take a look at the Novoflex CASTEL COP DIGI duplicator for slides.

Ash
7-Apr-2007, 14:28
http://www.novoflex.com/english/html/co_ema3.php

Looks a bit rubbish, to be fair

David A. Goldfarb
7-Apr-2007, 14:46
Just for web output or anything that your digicam is good for (small prints, offset printing, etc.), it's a handy method of digitizing slides and negs. Before I had a scanner for MF and LF negs, I did this with a 5000K light pad and a sheet of glass over the neg or transparency, and I turned off the room lights to prevent reflections. For higher resolution than the camera provides, you could of course take multiple shots and stitch.

I keep a digicam on a copy stand most of the time mainly for digitizing documents and making PDF files, because it's so much faster than a scanner. I've been considering just upgrading it and replacing my scanners with it, because it's fast, I have several good lenses for such use, and is good enough for what I need (mainly web display--if I print digitally, I get a drum scan).

Chris Strobel
7-Apr-2007, 14:47
What about just picking up a 4990 off ebay.They are under 400 bucks, and will do your art too as long as you don't go too big.I wet mount mine with a scanmax kit and the 11z14's I've been getting are mind blowing.

Gordon Moat
7-Apr-2007, 15:02
Thanks for the reply David. Does it matter whether the glass is museum, anti-newton ring, or regular glass?

Ciao!

Gordon Moat
A G Studio (http://www.allgstudio.com)

Ash
7-Apr-2007, 15:06
You should use AN glass. I lay my negs on a neg scanner and I still get rings!!

David A. Goldfarb
7-Apr-2007, 15:42
AN glass or AR glass is desirable if you have it. It depends on the film, since some films (like those with retouching surfaces) are less prone to Newton's rings. If you've got one sheet of AN glass, it should be on the base side, even if that means having to flip the image afterward. If you've got a glass (or glassless for that matter) neg carrier from an enlarger that will can sit flat and stay closed on the light table, you can use it for this purpose.

Rick Olson
7-Apr-2007, 17:39
Now this is interesting ... I have been debating the same thing on what to get - an Epson 4990, 750, etc. While I have some negatives to scan, I am hesitant to put out the cash for a dedicated scanner for 120, 35mm etc. as I want to "wet print" my negs once I get my darkroom set up. I am also working in 5 x 7, so a flatbed scanner is the only affordable answer for that ... at least until I read this thread. I pulled a few of my 5 x 7 negatives, some of my 120 negatives and even a 35mm slide for a test. I then got my Canon S3 point-and-shoot digital camera and my lightbox and shot some images. I went back to the Mac and converted them to B/W and added some slight sharpening. Results are attached. These are not even the best quality I could pull, as I was shooting in Macro, hand-held with a slow shutter speed and the negatives were left in their protective mylar sleeves. Quite amazing, actually what you can do this way.

Image 1 and 2 = 5 x 7 Kodak TMY (Pyrocat MC)
Image 3 and 4 = Ilford Delta 100 120 (Pyrocat MC)

Rick

Padu Merloti
7-Apr-2007, 17:55
What about just picking up a 4990 off ebay.They are under 400 bucks, and will do your art too as long as you don't go too big.I wet mount mine with a scanmax kit and the 11z14's I've been getting are mind blowing.

Don't let the neg. scanner manufacturers know what we're doing :)

I've been stalking ebay for the last 2 weeks, and I couldn't find a deal that would justify a used 4990 for about $350 instead of a new V700 for $500. Still, $300 is more than $0, and I think they'd produce the same results for what I'm trying to do.

Gordon Moat
7-Apr-2007, 18:09
Wow Rick! Those would work fine for internet display. I think we have a winner here. If you get a chance, could you post a detail crop at full resolution?

Ciao!

Gordon Moat
A G Studio (http://www.allgstudio.com)

Rick Olson
7-Apr-2007, 18:15
Gordon ... sure

Can you explain how I would do that? I have Photoshop, so all I need are your instructions. There appears to be good detail in the center and degrades towards the edge, as expected.

Thanks,
Rick



Wow Rick! Those would work fine for internet display. I think we have a winner here. If you get a chance, could you post a detail crop at full resolution?

Ciao!

Gordon Moat
A G Studio (http://www.allgstudio.com)

Gordon Moat
7-Apr-2007, 18:40
Hello Rick,

Probably one of the train images, near the center. I was guessing a full resolution shot from your digital camera would be many pixels wide, by many pixels tall. Without resizing in PhotoShop, just take the cropping tool and adjust for just a center rectangle of an image. I don't know how large an image your Canon S3 can make, but I am guessing probably larger than those examples you posted. Hope that makes sense.

Ciao!

Gordon Moat
A G Studio (http://www.allgstudio.com)

Doug Dolde
7-Apr-2007, 19:00
Now this is funny. Shoot 4x5 then you settle for the resolution of a digital camera.

Chris Strobel
7-Apr-2007, 19:03
Very impressive, I like that train shot alot on the right.What film did you use?


Now this is interesting ... I have been debating the same thing on what to get - an Epson 4990, 750, etc. While I have some negatives to scan, I am hesitant to put out the cash for a dedicated scanner for 120, 35mm etc. as I want to "wet print" my negs once I get my darkroom set up. I am also working in 5 x 7, so a flatbed scanner is the only affordable answer for that ... at least until I read this thread. I pulled a few of my 5 x 7 negatives, some of my 120 negatives and even a 35mm slide for a test. I then got my Canon S3 point-and-shoot digital camera and my lightbox and shot some images. I went back to the Mac and converted them to B/W and added some slight sharpening. Results are attached. These are not even the best quality I could pull, as I was shooting in Macro, hand-held with a slow shutter speed and the negatives were left in their protective mylar sleeves. Quite amazing, actually what you can do this way.

Image 1 and 2 = 5 x 7 Kodak TMY (Pyrocat MC)
Image 3 and 4 = Ilford Delta 100 120 (Pyrocat MC)

Rick

Chris Strobel
7-Apr-2007, 19:05
Ooops, never mind I see the film.Four hours of sleep has made me blind

Rick Olson
7-Apr-2007, 19:09
Hello Gordon,

Here you go. The crops below are at camera (6 MP) resolution matching the order of the images attached above in my original post. They include very good detail for a less than optimum approach. No sharpening in Photoshop was applied. They were sized to meet the requirements for this site. Quite amazing ... still.

Rick



Hello Rick,

Probably one of the train images, near the center. I was guessing a full resolution shot from your digital camera would be many pixels wide, by many pixels tall. Without resizing in PhotoShop, just take the cropping tool and adjust for just a center rectangle of an image. I don't know how large an image your Canon S3 can make, but I am guessing probably larger than those examples you posted. Hope that makes sense.

Ciao!

Gordon Moat
A G Studio (http://www.allgstudio.com)

Rick Olson
7-Apr-2007, 19:13
Hello Chris,

Thanks. The steam locomotive images were both shot on Ilford Delta 100 (120) and developed in Pyrocat MC.

Rick


Very impressive, I like that train shot alot on the right.What film did you use?

Gordon Moat
7-Apr-2007, 19:27
Now this is funny. Shoot 4x5 then you settle for the resolution of a digital camera.

Hello Doug,

The only reason I think to consider doing this is for display on the internet. If you consider how small images are on many websites, then I don't think this is a problem. I would not consider it as a substitute for a good scan for printing usage.

The other way to use this would be for creating 35mm dupes, such as for sending to a publication. I would not expect the 35mm dupes to be used for printing. Basically the method is a quick and simple solution with very limited application.

I had 35mm dupes made of medium format shots in the past. Obviously not as good as the original, but when scanned on a very good dedicated 35mm film scanner, the results had better dynamic range than from scanning the originals on a low end flatbed.

Ciao!

Gordon Moat
A G Studio (http://www.allgstudio.com)

Gordon Moat
7-Apr-2007, 19:29
Hello Rick,

Thanks for posting the crops. I agree that the results are surprising. Seems like an elegant quick solution for displaying images on the internet. How would you compare the results to how the negatives look under a loupe? Is there a great deal of detail missing, or actually somewhat close?

Ciao!

Gordon Moat
A G Studio (http://www.allgstudio.com)

walter23
7-Apr-2007, 19:43
Anybody else here done the same?


Yeah, I did that all the time until I got my scanner. I had some surprisingly good results that way, using a 350D + 17-40mm lens around 40mm. For web display this works great, but for nice prints I needed to use the scanner. Ignoring resolution, the deficiencies of the photo-copying method are that it is more time consuming to set up, it's harder to keep the negatives flat, it doesn't give quite the tonal subtlety a good scan can, and it's even harder to get colour transparencies right (this is already a hassle with a decent scanner).

One thing I've found is that suspending the negative above the light source on a piece of glass can help reduce any residual detail from imperfections on the light box surface (in my case, the pattern of pixels on the LCD monitor I was using as a light box). I also photograph them in a completely dark room to avoid reflections (you could use a polarizer as suggested, but getting rid of most reflections by working in the dark still seems sensible to me).

Here's a couple of shots I photographed this way (I've since scanned them and the scans are a bit nicer):

1 (http://ashphotography.ca/gunther/uploads/pages/photoaday07/DJTRIKETK2IMG_0821.JPG)

2 (http://ashphotography.ca/gunther/uploads/pages/photoaday07/DJSTRIKEY4IMG_0825.jpg)

Rick Olson
7-Apr-2007, 20:02
Gordon ... the actual images are very sharp, but these "scans" capture a great deal of information that would satisfy website requirements. Much more than I would have thought. My next step is to do this correctly with a tripod and removing the images from their sleeves.

(Sorry ... couldn't resist posting a few more ...)

Rick



Hello Rick,

Thanks for posting the crops. I agree that the results are surprising. Seems like an elegant quick solution for displaying images on the internet. How would you compare the results to how the negatives look under a loupe? Is there a great deal of detail missing, or actually somewhat close?

Ciao!

Gordon Moat
A G Studio (http://www.allgstudio.com)

David A. Goldfarb
7-Apr-2007, 20:11
Ignoring resolution, the deficiencies of the photo-copying method are that it is more time consuming to set up, it's harder to keep the negatives flat, it doesn't give quite the tonal subtlety a good scan can, and it's even harder to get colour transparencies right (this is already a hassle with a decent scanner).

If you decide to go this way and just leave the camera set up on the copy stand most of the time, I find it faster than using the scanner, and using a glass sandwich, I find the negs are flatter than with a glassless neg carrier in a scanner.

On the issue of dynamic range, I'd agree that I've gotten better results with a film scanner, but that might just be an issue of the brightness of the light table. You've got more real control over exposure with a camera than with most scanners, and I suppose you could combine two exposures to make a HDR image.

Oren Grad
7-Apr-2007, 20:29
Don't forget that for scans intended only for the web, you don't need to spend anywhere near the price of a V700. You can usually get perfectly usable scans - and often excellent ones - from any flatbed that can scan transparent material at the size you need. If there's no dedicated holder for your film size, you just plunk it right on the glass. There are flatbeds for less than $200 that can do 8x10, and if all you need is 4x5 you can get away spending even less.

Yes, Newton's rings may be an issue with some films under some conditions.

Ted Harris
8-Apr-2007, 06:35
Oren is right ... for web only scans you can find plenty of used scanners on eBay for 100 or less that do the job (look at Agfa T1200 prices for one). I have to argue with the results from the digicam shots though. They are indeed quite good but not as good as you will get from even the cheap used scanners we are talking about. I think sharp, crystal clear imags on the web are something to shoot for if you can gt them.

Rick Olson
8-Apr-2007, 09:32
Agreed ... as I did this experiment last night, I found it pretty easy to get good "camera scans" from my 5 x 7 negs. When I moved on to the 120 and 35mm, I had to get much closer in macro mode, which increased barrel distortion greatly.

Rick

Brian Ellis
8-Apr-2007, 10:12
Depends on what your purpose for posting to the web is. If the idea is to send snapshots to friends and family I guess this is o.k. If you're planning to put it on a web site or anywhere else where technical quality is at all important . . . well, to be honest I don't think these are going to impress anyone.

walter23
8-Apr-2007, 11:11
Agreed ... as I did this experiment last night, I found it pretty easy to get good "camera scans" from my 5 x 7 negs. When I moved on to the 120 and 35mm, I had to get much closer in macro mode, which increased barrel distortion greatly.

Rick

If you have a macro lens, it will work great for this. I've done 120 negs with my canon 100mm macro.

Padu Merloti
23-Apr-2007, 16:00
Ok, a couple more tests.

This time I used a better lightbox (but did a crappy job on dust control) and put a glass on top of the film to make it flat.

http://padu.smugmug.com/photos/146295779-L.jpg

For web sharing, I found it decent enough.

Here's the setup I've used for digital duplication:

http://padu.smugmug.com/photos/146295791-M.jpg

Dupes were taken using a 10MP dslr, with reasonable glass (tamron 28-75 2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical IF).

For grounds of comparison, I sent the chrome out for my lab (Chrome Digital in San Diego) to scan it with a scitex flatbed. The first thing I could notice was the lack of latitude on the dSLR... on my dupe, if I underexpose a bit more to capture the house number (visible on the scitex) I'd start to loose details on the shadows. Not very important in this picture, but it was a good illustration on why to have a good dedicated scanner for any serious stuff.

Here's also a 100% crop comparison of both digital files:

http://padu.smugmug.com/photos/146300562-O.jpg

Gordon Moat
24-Apr-2007, 17:41
Thanks Padu. Definitely interesting, and might be good enough for web sharing of images. That lightbox almost looks like an old flatbed scanner with the lid removed. I am a little surprised at the noise (grain/texture) in the D-SLR shot; almost like that plastic around the 4x5 was left in place, or something on the glass . . . strange.

The colour and tonal quality of the Creo Scitex scan really jumps out beyond the D-SLR. I was expecting the resolution to be a bigger difference, and not the colour quality. Very interesting experiment. It would not surprise me if a D-SLR, AN glass, really good two bulb lightbox, and good lens would challenge some flatbed consumer scanners on image quality. Results like these almost belong in the Comparitive Scanner Review.

Ciao!

Gordon Moat
A G Studio (http://www.allgstudio.com)

JW Dewdney
24-Apr-2007, 19:34
It should work fine for what you're doing. I use a copy stand (bencher) with backlight source for similar things. I suspect the problem might be with low-quality (low-CRI) tubes in your box. Do you know what they are?

Padu Merloti
25-Apr-2007, 11:09
That lightbox almost looks like an old flatbed scanner with the lid removed.

If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck... :D

That's exactly it. I had an old scanner which I removed its internals and put one of these circular fluorescent lights. I got the diffusion piece from an old laptop monitor. It's composed of a few "lens sheets" and one or two diffusion sheets. I'm not sure I liked it. Maybe I'll spend 50 bucks and buy one of those slim lightpads.



I am a little surprised at the noise (grain/texture) in the D-SLR shot; almost like that plastic around the 4x5 was left in place, or something on the glass . . . strange.


I agree, and it only caught my attention when I compared it with the scan... maybe it's the notebook lens sheet that I used for the lightbox diffusion.



The colour and tonal quality of the Creo Scitex scan really jumps out beyond the D-SLR. I was expecting the resolution to be a bigger difference, and not the colour quality. Very interesting experiment. It would not surprise me if a D-SLR, AN glass, really good two bulb lightbox, and good lens would challenge some flatbed consumer scanners on image quality. Results like these almost belong in the Comparitive Scanner Review.


The color difference I believe I could've adjusted in photoshop, but what really suck on the dslr is the lack of dynamic range. I found out that resolution is not as bad as I thought. DR in the other hand may be the biggest problem, but again, this is only for web display. A file like this will never see the color of paper.

Ciao!

Padu

Padu Merloti
25-Apr-2007, 11:11
It should work fine for what you're doing. I use a copy stand (bencher) with backlight source for similar things. I suspect the problem might be with low-quality (low-CRI) tubes in your box. Do you know what they are?

They are round fluorescent lights that I got from an old x-ray viewing box. What is low-CRI?

Gordon Moat
25-Apr-2007, 11:22
Hello Padu,

The slim lightboxes are okay when you need to transport something. A better choice would be a Porta-Trace Lightbox. I got a two bulb 10" by 12" recently, which seems to make a big difference viewing transparencies. You can also get replacement bulbs for these in the future when needed.

After reading your explanation, I think the texture might be the old laptop screen. Probably a proper white Lucite sheet might have worked better, though then you would have needed a stronger bulb. Easier just to buy a lightbox. I got the Porta-Trace stainless finish, though I think maybe the oak finish would look much nicer, not that it makes any difference in how they work.

Ciao!

Gordon Moat
A G Studio (http://www.allgstudio.com)