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Thread: How do you digitize 8x10" sheet film?

  1. #11
    Resident Heretic Bruce Watson's Avatar
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    Re: How do you digitize 8x10" sheet film?

    Quote Originally Posted by pkr1979 View Post
    Am I missing out on something?
    I think you are, yes. That doesn't mean that you'll think so, which is fine, but you did ask...

    What I think you're missing out on, is a reason to do this. Most people seem to shoot 10x8 with the intent of contact printing. If you're going to scan, why are you using 10x8? You'll gain almost nothing from scanning 10x8 over scanning 5x4.

    That said, drum scanning 10x8 is certainly doable. But it's certainly a PITA also. If you're going to scan 10x8 I suggest looking for a professional flatbed. But I doubt anyone makes them any more.

    If you're sure you want to drum scan and you're sure you want support and maintenance (and you're willing to pay for them), you'll need to be looking at Aztek scanners. They are, I believe, the last company in the world still making and selling drum scanners, parts, supplies, and service (but also check to see if ICG in England is still functional; if they are substitute "ICG" for "Aztek" all over this paragraph because that would be a heck of a lot closer to Oslo than Los Angeles is). Perhaps the most cost effective thing for you to do then is to coordinate with Aztek to see if you can find a used Aztek scanner in the US close to Aztek. Have them clean / tune / refurbish it and ship it to Norway or wherever you need it. It'll be expensive, but hopefully you won't have to do it again. Just a thought.

    If it were me (and it clearly is not) I'd proof off one of the Epson consumer flatbeds. If the proof showed sufficient promise to warrant a professional scan, I'd get one made. As in, I'd send the film to Lenny Eiger (on this forum) and pay him to do his thing. Why? It would save you the expense of buying and maintaining a drum scanner, the time and frustration (you wouldn't believe me if I told you) of learning how to do a proper fluid mount on a drum, and the time making scan after scan after scan learning how to use the software to get the most out of the scanner. Instead, send your film, and a check, to Lenny. But probably that's just me. And I used to be a pretty good drum scanner operator.

    You can learn from my mistakes, or learn from your own. Whatever makes you happy.

    Bruce Watson

  2. #12

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    Re: How do you digitize 8x10" sheet film?

    What right do you have to tell people how they should enjoy their photography? This forum really gets my goat in this respect sometimes. People here come to learn and share not to be shot at. Many people do get a lot out of shooting 8x10 beyond traditional printing methods, I'm certain.
    'Why are you using 10x8?' For the pleasure?? But he doesn't have to justify it.
    Thank you.
    My 5x4 and - slowly growing - 8x10 flickr albums

  3. #13

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    Re: How do you digitize 8x10" sheet film?

    I shoot 810 because I really enjoy the slides. So the intent isnt so much to have them scanned - however, it is a nice and easy way of storing and displaying them. I do believe you when you say doing drum scans is quite the effort - if I fully comprehend it is another matter. I would probably be happier learning from your mistakes - however, my mother says Im not, apparantly, capable of learning anything - except the hard way ;-) What do you mean by proofing one of the Epsons by the way?

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    Re: How do you digitize 8x10" sheet film?

    Thanks Dave :-) I sold the Epson to get the F8+. However - I am considering getting a new one and try to take out the glass in that scanner, cut the glass from the F8+ to fit it to the Epson and use that glass in that scanner instead - as I know that particular ANR glass actually works.

  5. #15

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    Re: How do you digitize 8x10" sheet film?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Watson View Post
    What I think you're missing out on, is a reason to do this. Most people seem to shoot 10x8 with the intent of contact printing. If you're going to scan, why are you using 10x8? You'll gain almost nothing from scanning 10x8 over scanning 5x4.
    I mostly contact print 8x10 in the analog darkroom, but if I want an enlargement from that neg scanning/printing via the desktop is the only way I can do it.

  6. #16

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    Re: How do you digitize 8x10" sheet film?

    Quote Originally Posted by pkr1979 View Post
    Thanks Dave :-) I sold the Epson to get the F8+. However - I am considering getting a new one and try to take out the glass in that scanner, cut the glass from the F8+ to fit it to the Epson and use that glass in that scanner instead - as I know that particular ANR glass actually works.
    You don't need to take the glass out of the Epson scanner. The best option in my opinion to scan 8X10" materials on the V700 or V800 is fluid mounting, with the media mounted to the bottom of a sheet of glass spaced just a bit off the glass. Buy a sheet of window glass cut to the size of the existing glass, and glue small washers as spacers at the four corners. Mount the negative or transparency on the glass with fluid mount, negative side to the glass, cover it with a thin sheet of clear polyester, and tape around the edges with blue masking tape. Now place the glass on the scanner, negative down, and choose Film with Film Area Guide in Document Type of the Epson scanning software. The washers will place the plane of focus just above the level of the scanner glass, which generally is the best point of focus with this setting.

    It is possible to get very good results in fluid mounting negatives and transparency materials with the Epson V700/V800. Not as good in absolute terms as one could get with a drum scanner or professional flatbed, but perhaps good enough for your purposes. And setting up a drum scanner or professional flatbed can be a lot of hassle, and expensive to farm out.

    Scanning with the film placed negative side down on the scanner glass (without fluid mounting) gives pretty good results, but not as good as fluid mounted, and with many film you will get AN rings scanning this way. Fluid mounting, if done correctly, always enhances scan quality.

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  7. #17
    Resident Heretic Bruce Watson's Avatar
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    Re: How do you digitize 8x10" sheet film?

    Quote Originally Posted by pkr1979 View Post
    I shoot 810 because I really enjoy the slides.
    Fair enough. Usually not much wrong with doing what makes you happy.

    Quote Originally Posted by pkr1979 View Post
    So the intent isn't so much to have them scanned - however, it is a nice and easy way of storing and displaying them. I do believe you when you say doing drum scans is quite the effort - if I fully comprehend it is another matter.
    It's not so much that the physical act of drum scanning is difficult. Although drum scanners are big, noisy, slow, and hot (my old ColorGetter 3Pro dumped 900W into the room while running, which will heat up a room even in the winter). The problem is more mental -- there's a lot to understand about how all the settings interact and effect the resulting image in the scan file. How to balance graininess with perceived sharpness, that kind of thing. And the only way I could find to learn it was to scan the same film over and over and over, modifying a single setting per scan, then looking at the differences. And most of those differences are hard to perceive, especially at lower magnifications. But really, if you can learn to use movements on a view camera, you can learn to drum scan. It just takes longer to learn drum scanning -- you don't get that "instant gratification" you get by tilting the lens stage and watching the image change on the ground glass. Instead, you have to change a setting, then scan for an hour, then pull the file into your computer and look at the result, knowing that the dot pitch of your monitor is going to be considerably different than the dot pitch on a print, and that your monitor is a light source, while a print is a reflective source. It just takes a lot of practice is all.

    Quote Originally Posted by pkr1979 View Post
    I would probably be happier learning from your mistakes - however, my mother says I'm not, apparently, capable of learning anything - except the hard way ;-)
    You must be my long lost brother! My mother used to tell me the same thing. And she was correct of course. What more proof is needed beyond my learning to drum scan?

    Quote Originally Posted by pkr1979 View Post
    What do you mean by proofing one of the Epsons by the way?
    I was assuming (it's usually bad to assume, which I illustrate all the time, such as now) that if you were scanning you want to use negative films. Because you'll get better color accuracy for one thing. And you'll have lower densities to scan through for another, which makes scanning with a consumer flat bed feasible. If you're going to scan tranny film, you really need the high end light source and high sensitivity of PMTs to read through densities out to around 3.6 or higher (who knows? Kodak's step charts stopped at 3.6).

    So what I meant by proofing from an Epson consumer flatbed scanner was that you could scan a color negative 10x8 film on it, use the scan software (or a photoeditor) to do the negative -> positive and mask subtraction so that you could look at a positive proof on your computer screen and decide if the film was worth printing.

    But since you are using slide film, you don't really need to do that -- you can just put the film on a light table and evaluate it right there without any manipulation at all. That is, the tranny is WYSIWYG.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    What are you actually trying to do? If you're scanning just to have "a nice and easy way of storing and displaying them" then I'd avoid drum scanning. I'd only go the drum scanning route to make prints; think of a drum scanner as a digital darkroom enlarger. It'll give you all the shadow detail from your tanny, and as much resolution as you need to make a really large print. Which you'd only want if you were making such a print. There's nothing much else to do with a full size scan file.

    If you're scanning just for an easy-to-pull-up file, or for the web, a consumer flatbed is more than enough. No, it won't see very far into the shadows of your transparency, but most computer monitors aren't sufficiently calibrated for that to matter too much anyway.

    Bruce Watson

  8. #18
    Steven Ruttenberg's Avatar
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    Re: How do you digitize 8x10" sheet film?

    My V850 does very well at scanning and I can make prints from a 4x5 up to over 50 inches. 8x10s would be similar. I don't have too many issues with shadows as long as my exposure was good and I do the conversion properly.

  9. #19
    Resident Heretic Bruce Watson's Avatar
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    Re: How do you digitize 8x10" sheet film?

    Quote Originally Posted by sanking View Post
    You don't need to take the glass out of the Epson scanner. The best option in my opinion to scan 8X10" materials on the V700 or V800 is fluid mounting, with the media mounted to the bottom of a sheet of glass spaced just a bit off the glass. Buy a sheet of window glass cut to the size of the existing glass, and glue small washers as spacers at the four corners. Mount the negative or transparency on the glass with fluid mount, negative side to the glass, cover it with a thin sheet of clear polyester, and tape around the edges with blue masking tape. Now place the glass on the scanner, negative down, and choose Film with Film Area Guide in Document Type of the Epson scanning software. The washers will place the plane of focus just above the level of the scanner glass, which generally is the best point of focus with this setting.

    It is possible to get very good results in fluid mounting negatives and transparency materials with the Epson V700/V800. Not as good in absolute terms as one could get with a drum scanner or professional flatbed, but perhaps good enough for your purposes. And setting up a drum scanner or professional flatbed can be a lot of hassle, and expensive to farm out.

    Scanning with the film placed negative side down on the scanner glass (without fluid mounting) gives pretty good results, but not as good as fluid mounted, and with many film you will get AN rings scanning this way. Fluid mounting, if done correctly, always enhances scan quality.

    Sandy
    Yes, what Sandy says.

    Bruce Watson

  10. #20
    Steven Ruttenberg's Avatar
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    Re: How do you digitize 8x10" sheet film?

    Don't forget to use the bar that comes with the V700/800/850 in the calibration area to tell scanner to use the low res lens for 8x10, or you will not get the full scan of image. I bought the ANR for 8x10 from Better scanning. If needed, I can use small shims to raise it. I only fluid mount, which I have found to be much better than dry mounting. Easy to do as well. If I do not need to raise the image, I would wet mount directly to scan glass, place ANR glass over wet-mounted negative and then scan. I think there are some options depending on how much focus is off, if any.

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