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Thread: Camera scanning on the cheap -- an example approach

  1. #11
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Camera scanning on the cheap -- an example approach

    Doesn't the Fuji have some type of cable release?

    If she wants to use an Arduino, then this might be of some help: https://github.com/nSomnius/Scanduino-by-ReallySmall
    May tomorrow be a better day.

  2. #12

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    Re: Camera scanning on the cheap -- an example approach

    She just learned Arduino so that link is perfect. Thanks.

    Is it as simple as a cable release? It actually has an old-school screw-in release, but you can also use an electronic release. I assumed it was a more complicated control setup, but if it's just triggering the shutter via the plug that should work.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter De Smidt View Post
    Doesn't the Fuji have some type of cable release?

    If she wants to use an Arduino, then this might be of some help: https://github.com/nSomnius/Scanduino-by-ReallySmall

  3. #13
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Camera scanning on the cheap -- an example approach

    Sure. We use what's basically an electronic cable release. All the camera needs is a momentarily closed circuit. First pulse and the mirror goes up. Second pulse and the shutter fires. I'm not sure why the various software, such as Helicon Focus, won't work with fuji. There are fancier connections that control aperture, shutter speed....but those aren't needed for a scanner.

    Maybe I should just send you some scanner parts....although not the Velmex Unislide.
    May tomorrow be a better day.

  4. #14

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    Re: Camera scanning on the cheap -- an example approach

    That's a very kind offer Peter. However, if I go down the route of building a system like the one you devised it won't be for a while. The reason is I'm already bumping up against one annoying problem inherent to any "stitching" approach: it's not uncommon to have negatives where stitching fails because the software can't figure out how to put two images together due to lack of detailed elements that can be matched up. This is where scanners win the day (no stitching).

    In some of your previous posts in other threads you mentioned you used templates in PTGui to line things up. I presume that only works when you can be assured that each frame is exactly in the same position each time. That's more likely with your computer controlled setup than with a manual setup like mine. To cut to the chase, when your system was up and running, would you have been able to stitch a 4x5 negative that was mostly low detail? An example is a landscape shot where there's a tiny band of "land" at the bottom and a lot of sky with no clouds in most of the frame. Or most of the pictures from Thomas Joshua Cooper's Atlantic Basin Project where there's a lot of soft ocean and sky. My current setup would fail on probably half of Cooper's pictures.

    I wouldn't want to make the effort to build a more sophisticated camera scanning setup that still failed me on the stitching end!

    Rob



    Quote Originally Posted by Peter De Smidt View Post
    Maybe I should just send you some scanner parts....although not the Velmex Unislide.

  5. #15
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Camera scanning on the cheap -- an example approach

    Another question is, how many and what size stitch captures can be done with available software such as Photoshop CC?

    I tried stitching many, I forget the number, maybe 50 images of a wall mural some years ago. PS CC failed at some point. I had to do sections. Then stitch those. Not ideal.

    Just anticipating larger film sizes, like 8X10 and up.

    I think specialized stitching software does better than PS CC. IDK
    sin eater

  6. #16
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Camera scanning on the cheap -- an example approach

    "To cut to the chase, when your system was up and running, would you have been able to stitch a 4x5 negative that was mostly low detail? "

    Yes. You wouldn't really be building a system. It'd be more like re-connecting. To be more accurate, I built my system on a plywood table. I stapled control cables to the table to keep them out of the way. When I took the system down, I cut the cables. I'd be happy to send you everything but the Velmex unislide. So you'd have to come up with a way to attach your camera to the structure. Even if you don't want to mess with connecting the camera to the Arduino, you could let the Arduino control negative stage movement, and you could simply use a cable release to lock the mirror and fire the camera. You'd have to probably change the overlaps, as I used a full frame camera, but that shouldn't be too big of a deal.

    For Randy, I don't suggest scanning 8x10 at 1x. How big would you print? I'd work backwards from that, giving yourself a little wiggle room. For example, with a 24 megapixel camera, wouldn't 6 sections suffice with 8x10, even with the overlap?
    May tomorrow be a better day.

  7. #17
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Camera scanning on the cheap -- an example approach

    Rob, Peter, I am not going to make a DSLR scanner, but do admire your efforts.
    However we do spend a lot time here discussing scanning.
    Which is fine with me.

    I wonder if new LF/ULF scanners may come to market.

    Before I upgrade to a V850...
    sin eater

  8. #18
    schatten & licht nomennominatur's Avatar
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    Re: Camera scanning on the cheap -- an example approach

    Although, by comparison, my own setup is quite rudimentary (see image below), I venture to add my 2 cents:

    1) By substituting my standard glass with two strips of high quality museum glass cut to my needs (inexpensively sourced from a gallery/framing shop), results improved substantially, obviating the need for wet mounting, thus speeding up my workflow.

    2) Using the DSLR tethered to my mac, employing a dedicated tethering software ("Sofortbild" freeware) I can focus on grain in live view 1:1 on the notebook without any eye strain. This, with my Nikon, works much better than LR tethering. The software allows for deferred exposure so that any tripod vibrations from hitting the mousepad will have settled. Of course, I use mirror pre-release on the camera.

    3) I humbly move the negative setup manually. This is not much of a problem for me, because I prefer generous overlap anyway, to ensure hassle free automatic stitching results in PS.

    4) Cheepskate me, I even skipped the 25$ LED lighttable, because for b&w my iPad (arguably more than 25$) will do nicely with a 3" deep spacer (black wood frame) to obscure display pixels.

    5) I prefer to stop down a bit more with my 105 mm Micro-Nikkor (f/16-f/22), since it is not a dedicated copying lens and does have some residual field curvature. This also takes care of minor levelling adjustment errors.

    Originally, this setup, employing my 10 year old D700, was an interim solution for 35 mm, when my dedicated negative scanner was away for service. However, in the end, I preferred the results due to less "pseudograin" interference of scanner resolution with film grain on some of the more grainy films like HP5. I meanwhile use it for MF and LF, too.

    Kind regards
    Mathias


    Setup:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_2618.jpg 
Views:	70 
Size:	70.5 KB 
ID:	186696

    Example:

    [ I apologize that, due to storage limitations of my personal website, the link to a haphazard medium format scan will have to do. Even in the compressed jpg, zooming in on the sweatshirt fabric shows a satisfactory result imho, but other's eyes may be more discerning ]

    47 megapixel jpeg of example:
    http://galerie-elsner.de/pictures/Vb

    Thumnail of example:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Jasmin_Vb_photomerged-DUP-1-LR-1.jpg 
Views:	78 
Size:	54.2 KB 
ID:	186698

    (Rolleicord Vb with Schneider Xenar 75 mm f/3.5)
    "In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, in the expert's mind there are few."
    (Shunryo Suzuki)
    http://www.galerie-elsner.de

  9. #19

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    Re: Camera scanning on the cheap -- an example approach

    Thanks Mathias.

    From the picture it looks like you're using the "glass sandwich" approach. Is that right? You've sandwiched the negative between two pieces of glass? This "museum glass", is it the anti-reflection kind? If so, how are you positioning them -- e.g., is the roughened side of the glass facing inwards?

    The tethering approach looks very interesting. Unfortunately Sofortbild only works with Nikon. I have to get serious about finding something that works well with Fuji. Mind you, focusing with live view on the Fuji is actually very easy.

    Quote Originally Posted by nomennominatur View Post
    Although, by comparison, my own setup is quite rudimentary (see image below), I venture to add my 2 cents:

    1) By substituting my standard glass with two strips of high quality museum glass cut to my needs (inexpensively sourced from a gallery/framing shop), results improved substantially, obviating the need for wet mounting, thus speeding up my workflow.

    2) Using the DSLR tethered to my mac, employing a dedicated tethering software ("Sofortbild" freeware) I can focus on grain in live view 1:1 on the notebook without any eye strain. This, with my Nikon, works much better than LR tethering. The software allows for deferred exposure so that any tripod vibrations from hitting the mousepad will have settled. Of course, I use mirror pre-release on the camera.

    3) I humbly move the negative setup manually. This is not much of a problem for me, because I prefer generous overlap anyway, to ensure hassle free automatic stitching results in PS.

    4) Cheepskate me, I even skipped the 25$ LED lighttable, because for b&w my iPad (arguably more than 25$) will do nicely with a 3" deep spacer (black wood frame) to obscure display pixels.

    5) I prefer to stop down a bit more with my 105 mm Micro-Nikkor (f/16-f/22), since it is not a dedicated copying lens and does have some residual field curvature. This also takes care of minor levelling adjustment errors.

    Originally, this setup, employing my 10 year old D700, was an interim solution for 35 mm, when my dedicated negative scanner was away for service. However, in the end, I preferred the results due to less "pseudograin" interference of scanner resolution with film grain on some of the more grainy films like HP5. I meanwhile use it for MF and LF, too.

    Kind regards
    Mathias


    Setup:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_2618.jpg 
Views:	70 
Size:	70.5 KB 
ID:	186696

    Example:

    [ I apologize that, due to storage limitations of my personal website, the link to a haphazard medium format scan will have to do. Even in the compressed jpg, zooming in on the sweatshirt fabric shows a satisfactory result imho, but other's eyes may be more discerning ]

    47 megapixel jpeg of example
    http://galerie-elsner.de/pictures/Vb

    Thumnail of example:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Jasmin_Vb_photomerged-DUP-1-LR-1.jpg 
Views:	78 
Size:	54.2 KB 
ID:	186698

    (Rolleicord Vb with Schneider Xenar 75 mm f/3.5)

  10. #20
    schatten & licht nomennominatur's Avatar
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    Re: Camera scanning on the cheap -- an example approach

    Quote Originally Posted by rdeloe View Post
    Thanks Mathias.

    From the picture it looks like you're using the "glass sandwich" approach. Is that right? You've sandwiched the negative between two pieces of glass? This "museum glass", is it the anti-reflection kind? If so, how are you positioning them -- e.g., is the roughened side of the glass facing inwards?

    The tethering approach looks very interesting. Unfortunately Sofortbild only works with Nikon. I have to get serious about finding something that works well with Fuji. Mind you, focusing with live view on the Fuji is actually very easy.
    I am aware that anti Newton glass should display some roughness, however, neither with naked eye, nor with a 10x loupe am I able to discern any roughening. However, I do not get any Newton rings at all, sandwiching the film without any spacers. I am a bit puzzled myself. The glass is from a rather prestigeous framing shop out of town. Next time I go there, I will ask the owner about the technical details of this archival glass, which he uses only for the most expensive framing jobs. The glass is rather thin, thus the top glass does not brutally weigh down the negative, yet flatness is more than sufficient for my DOF setting.

    Kind regards
    Mathias
    "In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, in the expert's mind there are few."
    (Shunryo Suzuki)
    http://www.galerie-elsner.de

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