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Thread: DSLR scanning vs Dedicated flatbed scanning.

  1. #11

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    Re: DSLR scanning vs Dedicated flatbed scanning.

    This is a very important point Peter. It's noteworthy that DT Cultural Heritage (the company whose equipment is showcased in that post I linked to above) went with a camera-based system for digitizing items for conservation purposes. Have scanners reached the end of the line in terms of development? It rather looks that way. In contrast, no end is in sight for improvements to sensors for digital cameras. In that respect, it makes perfect sense that a company that wants to sell equipment to museums for digitizing flat artefacts would go with a camera-based system.

    When I read the article, my first thought was that this was a strange business to get into given how niche film is, especially large format film. But then the light went and I thought about the vast amount of existing historical material in collections around the world that needs to be digitized -- negatives, positives, prints, etc. -- all eventually (hopefully!) to be made available online. And then there's all the new material HABS/HAER photography. The conservation world knows what it's about, so presumably they have no concerns about the quality of the files generated by "camera scanning".

    The business model makes a lot more sense in that context... Sadly, these systems are seriously expensive so they won't be making an appearance in my life!


    Quote Originally Posted by Peter De Smidt View Post
    One further note: cameras have improved significantly since when I first started to do this. Back then, I had a Nikon D200. It had limited dynamic range and resolution, but it still wasn't hard to beat an Espon scanner. These days there are a number of great cameras that offer high resolution, high dynamic range, and zero-vibration shutters. All of those things matter. What this all means is that one could get very high quality while doing less stitching. If I remember rightly, I used 25 exposures to capture a 4x5 piece of film with my D200. If you're making 16x20s, I bet that 3 exposures with a D800 or better camera could do it, and it'd be very fast.

    Dslr scans and film scanner scans don't necessarily line-up pixel-wise. What I mean is that even is the pixel dimensions of the two scans are the same, it doesn't follow that they are equal in quality. I'll limit myself to Epson scanners, in particular I'm not talking about drum scanners, but my D200 outperformed my Epson scanner significantly, even when the pixel dimensions were the same. The dslr produced cleaner and richer files. Yes, those are subjective terms, but they were also supported by step wedge and resolution target scans. Lastly, Lightroom, Capture One, Photoshop, all are significantly more powerful and easier to use than any scanner software I've used, including Nikon Scan, Epson Scan, Vuescan, Colorgenius....

    I believe that Lightroom now allows outputting a raw file from stitched raw files. If so, that's huge.

  2. #12

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    Re: DSLR scanning vs Dedicated flatbed scanning.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter De Smidt View Post
    I believe that Lightroom now allows outputting a raw file from stitched raw files. If so, that's huge.
    Indeed it does. In my current setup the input is 12 DNG files (I convert my Fuji RAF files to DNG with a third part developer, outside of Lightroom). Inside Lightroom, I stitch them together, and it creates a DNG. Unfortunately, I end up having to work on the file as a TIFF because Lightroom does not have a usable tool for inverting negatives. It's easy to invert them: you simply flip the tone curve. However, all of the sliders are then "backwards", which makes editing the files a huge pain. Plus, as I mentioned above, spotting is awful in Lightroom compared to Photoshop -- so I end up exporting the DNG as a 16 bit TIFF, spotting it in Photoshop, and then bringing it back into Lightroom.

    I was initially concerned that this would be a problem, but a DNG is basically a TIFF so it hasn't made any difference that I can detect.

  3. #13
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: DSLR scanning vs Dedicated flatbed scanning.

    As Robert mentions at the start of the thread, there's a new plugin for Lightroom: NegativeLab Pro. It looks promising, especially for scanning color negatives!
    “You often feel tired, not because you've done too much, but because you've done too little of what sparks a light in you.”
    ― Alexander Den Heijer, Nothing you don't already know

  4. #14

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    Re: DSLR scanning vs Dedicated flatbed scanning.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter De Smidt View Post
    As Robert mentions at the start of the thread, there's a new plugin for Lightroom: NegativeLab Pro. It looks promising, especially for scanning color negatives!
    BTW, I received notification today that version 2.0 of Negative Lab Pro is now available, with much improved support for flatbed scanners among other things:

    https://forums.negativelabpro.com/t/...b-pro-v2-0/256

    I have been experimenting with a Fuji X-T3 (26 Mpix) and the previous version of Negative Lab Pro for proofing LF color and B&W negs, as well as digitizing old family photos. Because I am not striving for critical sharpness at this point, I have been using an inverted tripod rather than a copy stand and taking a single shot rather than stitching. My results so far with negative materials have been pretty darn good, good enough for web display and small prints. Chrome has been more challenging, for some reason images tend to come out "hot" (high contrast with a tendency to blow out highlights) so I've had to reduce exposure and more aggressively open up shadow areas in Lightroom. I am not sure if my old, uncalibrated monitor is part of the problem, or perhaps I am hitting some limitations in my camera's dynamic range?

    Regardless, this rudimentary setup seems to be working well as long as one stays within its crude tolerances and the resolution limits of the camera. On another forum one of the MF digital reps is claiming that the super high-end DT Film Scanning Kit can in some cases outperform drum scans (particularly in terms of shadow detail recovery), so it will be interesting to see how good single shot scans can get once models such as the Fuji GFX100 (102 Mpix) come down in price.

  5. #15

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    Re: DSLR scanning vs Dedicated flatbed scanning.

    Just tried it. The author has done a good job of integrating his plugin with Lightroom. Unfortunately, you still need to make a separate TIFF copy if you want the sliders to go in the right direction. Another catch, for me, is the matter of spotting. Yes, you can send the TIFF to Photoshop from inside Lightroom. It works, but for reasons I haven't been able to figure out, the TIFF that Photoshop saves back into your Lightroom catalogue becomes massive. Anyway, if you want to stay inside Lightroom, this plug-in is worth exploring.

    ** Important: I'm working in black and white, which is a bit more straightforward when it comes to inverting (in that you don't need special tools). Inverting colour negatives is a whole other thing (and I have no opinion on how well that works with this plug-in!) **

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter De Smidt View Post
    As Robert mentions at the start of the thread, there's a new plugin for Lightroom: NegativeLab Pro. It looks promising, especially for scanning color negatives!

  6. #16

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    Re: DSLR scanning vs Dedicated flatbed scanning.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Leppanen View Post
    BTW, I received notification today that version 2.0 of Negative Lab Pro is now available, with much improved support for flatbed scanners among other things:

    https://forums.negativelabpro.com/t/...b-pro-v2-0/256

    Regardless, this rudimentary setup seems to be working well as long as one stays within its crude tolerances and the resolution limits of the camera. On another forum one of the MF digital reps is claiming that the super high-end DT Film Scanning Kit can in some cases outperform drum scans (particularly in terms of shadow detail recovery), so it will be interesting to see how good single shot scans can get once models such as the Fuji GFX100 (102 Mpix) come down in price.
    Once Fuji add Multishot I think the GFX 100 will be able to produce results rivalling a drum scan

  7. #17

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    Re: DSLR scanning vs Dedicated flatbed scanning.

    Quote Originally Posted by asnapper View Post
    Once Fuji add Multishot I think the GFX 100 will be able to produce results rivalling a drum scan
    Sorry, but IMHO Multishot is LOL

    You can make a test, just download some 100% crops of multishot side by side tests, then sharpen each crop to its best, you will find the same:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Just take this image and sharpen with Ps the "1 Shot" crop and compare:


    https://www.dpreview.com/news/980785...e-400mp-images

    You have a lot of side by side posted tests, what I find really funny is that the shots are posted but no optimal sharpening is applied latter, with is the first a Photoshop professional checks after loading a new image.


    This suggests that Multishot feature mostly has a better embedded sharpening (or super-resoultion effect from accumulating images) than doing a real job, because the lens normally is a limiting factor.

    Usually 100 MPix MF sensors yield around 50 to 70Mpix effective...

    Even with a cheap DX DSLR of the Nikon D3400 class you may beat a drum by stitching a number of shots, for example stitching 16 shots (4x4) for a 35mm film frame, (use a reversed lens in this case), if stitching crops then we have no practical limitations.

  8. #18

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    Re: DSLR scanning vs Dedicated flatbed scanning.

    I have the Panasonic S1, which has multishot. I have tried it using Leica S lenses, in particular the 120mm APO macro, which should have no problem resolving the claimed 100mp. The mutli shot is not a gimmick. It really works. But it does not give 100mp of pure sharp data. If you zoom to 200-300%, you can occasionally see glitches. In comparison to the Leica S 006 itself, it has a larger file size, but the resolution is not so far apart. In some cases the greater acutance of the CCD in the S made it look sharper, but in others the S1 looked better. What it does do, however, is make a better file than the camera can make without multi-shot. I have no question about that. I intend to try it for scanning, but I have not had the time to dedicate to it yet. I do think the GFX100 will be a superb camera for camera based scanning, multishot or not.

    I do think camera based scanning is the future. The biggest issue is not the cameras at all, but the transport. Once someone builds something that can hold the cameras rock solid and plane parallel with the film flat, and provide a good light source, I think film scanners will start to disappear from high end applications. Digital Transitions seems to have done this for institutions, but the price is of course made with unlimited budgets in mind. I looked into it once, but the software license alone was 6000 dollars, so I figured it was not in the price league of a small market and business like I have here in Iceland.

  9. #19

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    Re: DSLR scanning vs Dedicated flatbed scanning.

    Quote Originally Posted by StuartR View Post
    I have tried it using Leica S lenses, in particular the 120mm APO macro, which should have no problem resolving the claimed 100mp.
    Stuart, 100MPix (at contrast extintion) in a 24x36mm frame means 115740 efective pix per mm2, which exactly requires 170 lp/mm. This is possible in optimal lab consitions and comparable with other comon FX primes (Nikon, Canon...). Well, a Nikkor EL 50mm enlarger lens resolves remarkably more... and it can be found for $30, used...

    Another thing is crafting 170lp/mm on a sensor, pixel size would be 0.003mm, so for a 120mm lens focal angle is 0.0007º.

    So if during the taking you have an angular vibration of only 0.001º you will have 1/2 of the lp/mm and 1/4 of the pixels, this is 25MPix at contrast extintion limitation from shake. (sorry for the math)


    Just check your own multi-shots vs single shots after you sharpen each crop to the optimum


    There is a way to enhance the result, this is using a 1/100,000s or a 1/1,000,000s strobe, a 1/30,000 strobe would be a good start... but also focus and alignment has to be perfect.


    One thing is shooting flat targets in a lab and another thing is practical conditions.

  10. #20
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: DSLR scanning vs Dedicated flatbed scanning.

    Here's another company that's been doing this for a long time: http://www.gigamacro.com/gigapixel-m...maging-system/
    They offer the Nikon MM objectives as an option. They are outstanding for high resolution work. I have one of the 3x MM lenses. It's terrific....for scanning resolution targets. It's not that useful for scanning film, except, maybe, 35mm and smaller

    Before we get too carried away, though, note that PMT scanning has in theory an advantage in resistance to flare and signal to noise compared to cmos scanning. A high quality drum scanner in excellent condition can likely scan higher density materials with better contrast than can a cmos-based system. Is that difference important? Well, that depends on you, and what you're doing with the files, and whether you can find a good drum scanner in tip-top condition with a good operator.
    “You often feel tired, not because you've done too much, but because you've done too little of what sparks a light in you.”
    ― Alexander Den Heijer, Nothing you don't already know

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