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Thread: Should I Drum Scan, X1 Flextight Scan, or use the Epson V850 w/Aztek Wet Mount Kit?

  1. #41

    Re: Should I Drum Scan, X1 Flextight Scan, or use the Epson V850 w/Aztek Wet Mount Ki

    Quote Originally Posted by interneg View Post
    What I've found is that the Frontier system approach does is knock off bits of gamut, highlights & shadows to both autocorrect & force-fit films into the gamut of certain papers - and I'm not entirely sure how much NLP does this, or follows an automated model based around sample & divide of the film mask colour. I do something similar by hand (which allows significant adjustment & intervention for optimisation) which while slightly slower, allows me to get very close to the colour of hand printed RA-4 darkroom prints - and much more so than when trying to match a scan off a Frontier. I've been playing around with making LUTs for Photoshop & they do have serious potential, but they're a time consuming fiddle to perfect if you're really fussy about getting the colour right across a wide range of negatives.
    Yeah it's just based on Fuji Image Intelligence, and it actually has a Noritsu profile as well. There is a lot of flexibility, it doesn't clip like the Frontier will. I hear you though, custom LUTs are going to have a lot more control. I need to work fast however and NLP gets me from negative to great in just a few clicks. Apparently the next versions of NLP are going to integrate LUTs in some way, not sure what Nathan exactly has planned but he's mentioned it. He is very available in his Facebook group too which has been nice.

    Generally I'm glad people are working on this, because Epson, Nikon, Durst etc are not. I would venture that even recent efforts by users and NLP plus a few others are making better conversions that Phase One's crazy expensive software package. Just a guess though since they want like $5k for the Cultural Heritage version of C1P alone.

  2. #42

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    Re: Should I Drum Scan, X1 Flextight Scan, or use the Epson V850 w/Aztek Wet Mount Ki

    Quote Originally Posted by sperdynamite View Post
    Generally I'm glad people are working on this, because Epson, Nikon, Durst etc are not. I would venture that even recent efforts by users and NLP plus a few others are making better conversions that Phase One's crazy expensive software package. Just a guess though since they want like $5k for the Cultural Heritage version of C1P alone.
    It's not a terrifically difficult thing at one level - effectively it's a global colour correction (RA-4 paper apparently is designed to deliver neutral results when the neg is exposed to it with tungsten & a 50R filter) & and setting black and white points on the RGB curves, but the tricky bits come when dealing with the seemingly subtle yet annoying oddities of exposure through subtractive filters vis-a-vis working in an RGB colour space etc etc. The LUT I made for Portra 400 let me go from an uninverted neg to an inversion only needing fine tonal balancing in one click - most of the time. That said, I've been so busy recently that I've not done much more to refine it in the last few months. I'm often working more in the direction of dye transfer aesthetics than what might be perceived as 'chromogenic', and rarely scanning entire rolls/ lots of sheets at high resolution (usual job approach involves a contact scan suitable for making the digital equivalent of an enlarged contact sheet, then high res scanning & working up the selects).

    BTW, most of the Cultural Heritage hardware is actually made by Cambo & can be bought separately.

    And regarding the Fuji Frontier, I'm pretty sure it uses a LUT at the output end for the paper, not sure if it also uses one at the input to model the tungsten & 50R effect.

  3. #43

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    Re: Should I Drum Scan, X1 Flextight Scan, or use the Epson V850 w/Aztek Wet Mount Ki

    Quote Originally Posted by sperdynamite View Post
    Frankly I would continue to use your 90mm Sony lens...

    The copy stand is easy, search your local craigslist for a while and one may show up.... For the light source you need a high CRI LED panel. I use the Kaiser Slimlight Plano.

    The hard part are the film holders. For 35 I use the Negative Supply Mark I, it's a bit expensive unless you scan a lot as I do. Otherwise I currently use a mix of Bessler carriers and a custom ANR glass platform that I use for sheets.

    A note on pixel shift, it's not always night and day. Turns out bayer interpolation is pretty good actually. I use PS for very important 35mm and 120 scans, and always for sheets (because with sheet film the time doesn't slow me down and it seems to make a bigger difference). So your A7R3 is a great option, lots of people are using it now. I did read that the pixel shifted files from the A7R3 may be readable in ACR now as well, something to look into. ACR and LR is important to my specific workflow, it may not be for yours.

    Some do use enlarging lenses, but the performance in side by side tests is worse than with modern macro lenses. There is a group called "Digitizing with a digital camera" on Facebook where you can see this info. Macro lenses are also made to be flat field, and if you're shooting at 5.6-8, DoF and diffraction are not issues.

    In my testing my results meet or exceed those of Imacon/Hasselblad scanners, so I'm not really kidding about them being obsolete. While building a DIY scanning kit with an S1R is not exactly 'cheap', at least all the components are swappable and will be upgraded over time... I'm about to scan 10 Ektar 4x5s. It will likely take me about 30 minutes to get 10 155mp scans, with the best color conversions I've yet encountered via Negative Lab Pro (based on Fuji Image Intelligence found in Frontier and Durst Sigma scanners). With an IQSmart it would take me hours I presume, and I'd still want to use NLP to do the conversions. So, you start looking at the pros and cons...and there is likely to obvious best choice. But the S1R for me delivers the goods and then some. Plus I'm taking my 'scanner' to a paid shooting job today. :-)
    Sperdynamite and all,

    I unfortunately sold my Sony FE 90mm/2.8 G Macro lens this past March, ironically to have enough money to buy a mint used Linhof Technikardan 45 with a set of 5 Rodenstock/Schneider lenses that I have now. That Sony FE 90mm was literally the only lens I had. So my Sony a7R III has been without a lens and basically hasn't been used since March. That's why your setup appeals to me so much. Not only would I finally have a lens to use (say, with the Sigma 70mm f/2.8 DG Macro Art Lens (for Sony E-Mount) that you recommend/use) with my Sony a7R III, I'd also have a pretty powerful scanning device. Kill two birds with one stone, as they say.

    As far as combining the Sony a7R III pixel shift photos, I use PixelShift2DNG (https://www.fastrawviewer.com/PixelShift2DNG) instead of Sony's Edge software. PixelShift2DNG works great.

    And you're right! Who knows how long the Hasselblad, which has been bought out by DJI (the Chinese drone company), will continue to provide support for their high-end Flextight X1 and X5 scanners? (You can't purchase the Hasselblad Flextight scanners anymore on B&H.) The technology for mirrorless cameras will only improve over time. I can't say the same about scanners.

    Anyway, your setup greatly appeals to me. I want to get my setup started as soon as possible.


    So, considering that all I really have right now is my Sony a7R III, I need to start a list of the other items I'll need:

    Here's what I currently have in my B&H shopping cart:

    1.) Sigma 70mm f/2.8 DG Macro Art Lens (for Sony E-Mount) -- $469.00
    2.) Kaiser Slimlite Plano 5000K Battery/AC Lightbox (8 x 11") -- $88.88
    3.) Smith-Victor 36" Pro-Duty Copy Stand -- $256.10
    4a.) Beseler Anti-Newton Glass for the 45M, 45V and 810 Series Enlargers -- $83.95
    (do I need one or two of these?)

    4b.) Perhaps instead of getting the "Beseler Anti-Newton Glass for the 45M, 45V and 810 Series Enlargers", should I perhaps get the betterscanning.com "Variable Height Mounting Station"? It costs $119.95 (http://www.betterscanning.com/scanning/mstation.html)

    Please let me know if I'm missing anything or have any suggestions or improvements. (The only type of film I have for scanning are 4x5 negatives/transparencies and medium format 6x12 and 6x17 panoramic negatives/transparencies).

    Also, of note, I use Capture One and Affinity Photo (my Lightroom/Photoshop replacements), so while I don't think that'll interrupt my workflow (Affinity has a terrific RAW editor), it's something to consider.

    Many, MANY thanks!

  4. #44

    Re: Should I Drum Scan, X1 Flextight Scan, or use the Epson V850 w/Aztek Wet Mount Ki

    Quote Originally Posted by manfrominternet View Post
    Sperdynamite and all,

    I unfortunately sold my Sony FE 90mm/2.8 G Macro lens this past March, ironically to have enough money to buy a mint used Linhof Technikardan 45 with a set of 5 Rodenstock/Schneider lenses that I have now. That Sony FE 90mm was literally the only lens I had. So my Sony a7R III has been without a lens and basically hasn't been used since March. That's why your setup appeals to me so much. Not only would I finally have a lens to use (say, with the Sigma 70mm f/2.8 DG Macro Art Lens (for Sony E-Mount) that you recommend/use) with my Sony a7R III, I'd also have a pretty powerful scanning device. Kill two birds with one stone, as they say.

    As far as combining the Sony a7R III pixel shift photos, I use PixelShift2DNG (https://www.fastrawviewer.com/PixelShift2DNG) instead of Sony's Edge software. PixelShift2DNG works great.

    And you're right! Who knows how long the Hasselblad, which has been bought out by DJI (the Chinese drone company), will continue to provide support for their high-end Flextight X1 and X5 scanners? (You can't purchase the Hasselblad Flextight scanners anymore on B&H.) The technology for mirrorless cameras will only improve over time. I can't say the same about scanners.

    Anyway, your setup greatly appeals to me. I want to get my setup started as soon as possible.


    So, considering that all I really have right now is my Sony a7R III, I need to start a list of the other items I'll need:

    Here's what I currently have in my B&H shopping cart:

    1.) Sigma 70mm f/2.8 DG Macro Art Lens (for Sony E-Mount) -- $469.00
    2.) Kaiser Slimlite Plano 5000K Battery/AC Lightbox (8 x 11") -- $88.88
    3.) Smith-Victor 36" Pro-Duty Copy Stand -- $256.10
    4a.) Beseler Anti-Newton Glass for the 45M, 45V and 810 Series Enlargers -- $83.95
    (do I need one or two of these?)

    4b.) Perhaps instead of getting the "Beseler Anti-Newton Glass for the 45M, 45V and 810 Series Enlargers", should I perhaps get the betterscanning.com "Variable Height Mounting Station"? It costs $119.95 (http://www.betterscanning.com/scanning/mstation.html)

    Please let me know if I'm missing anything or have any suggestions or improvements. (The only type of film I have for scanning are 4x5 negatives/transparencies and medium format 6x12 and 6x17 panoramic negatives/transparencies).

    Also, of note, I use Capture One and Affinity Photo (my Lightroom/Photoshop replacements), so while I don't think that'll interrupt my workflow (Affinity has a terrific RAW editor), it's something to consider.

    Many, MANY thanks!
    I would say that you are right on with everything save the film holder set up. I would avoid the Better Scanning kit, as I have it and it doesn't really sit flat on a light table. The anti newton ring glass is generally the way to go, you just need to DIY something to hold it above your source. You may want to mask off around the film as well.

    As for items 1, 2, and 3, you are right on. In fact I cannot recommend the Sigma enough. Used it again to scan 10 Ektar 100 4x5 negatives. The whole process took about 30 minutes including conversions. Dust is still and issue I'm fighting. Even after running the film through an anti static vac from Kinetronics multiple times I still see a fair amount. I need an de-ionizing gun attached to a compressor I think, blah...

    Oh and by the way for the Sigma I'd recommend F5.6 generally, seems like the sweet spot. Though I shot today at 8.0 and the results were also very good. They responded to sharpening very well.

  5. #45

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    Re: Should I Drum Scan, X1 Flextight Scan, or use the Epson V850 w/Aztek Wet Mount Ki

    Quote Originally Posted by sperdynamite View Post
    I would say that you are right on with everything save the film holder set up. I would avoid the Better Scanning kit, as I have it and it doesn't really sit flat on a light table. The anti newton ring glass is generally the way to go, you just need to DIY something to hold it above your source. You may want to mask off around the film as well.

    As for items 1, 2, and 3, you are right on. In fact I cannot recommend the Sigma enough. Used it again to scan 10 Ektar 100 4x5 negatives. The whole process took about 30 minutes including conversions. Dust is still and issue I'm fighting. Even after running the film through an anti static vac from Kinetronics multiple times I still see a fair amount. I need an de-ionizing gun attached to a compressor I think, blah...

    Oh and by the way for the Sigma I'd recommend F5.6 generally, seems like the sweet spot. Though I shot today at 8.0 and the results were also very good. They responded to sharpening very well.
    Sperdynamite,

    Thank you so, SO much for this. I'm clearly new to this so your help is incredibly appreciated, as is everyone else's on this thread.

    I do have just a few more quick questions about the film holder setup, which is the most confusing aspect of this setup to me, especially since I'll only be scanning 4x5 negatives and 6x12/6x17 medium format panoramic negatives:

    1.) Regarding the "Beseler Anti-Newton Glass for the 45M, 45V and 810 Series Enlargers", do I need one or two of these?
    I'm asking because I'm wondering if I have to "sandwich" the 4x5 negative or 6x12/6x17 medium format negative in between two of these glass plates, instead of between just one glass plate and, say, the surface of the Kaiser Slimlite Plano 5000 Lightbox.

    2.) Instead of getting one (or, if recommended, two) of these "Beseler Anti-Newton Glass(es) for the 45M, 45V and 810 Series Enlargers", which is basically just a sheet of glass if you click on the link, should I just get the "Epson 4x5 Holder With ANR Glass (made for the V850)" instead?

    3.) What kind of film holder setup would you recommend if I'm scanning only large format 4x5 negatives and medium format 6x12 and 6x17 panoramic negatives?

    4.) When you say I need a "do-it-yourself something" to hold the Anti-Newton Glass above the light source, what do you mean by that exactly? I originally though that one would 1.) put the negative directly on the lightbox (or put the negative "sandwiched" in between two sheets of ANR glass on top of the lightbox, thus negating step 2), 2.) put the anti-newton ring glass directly on top of the negative, 3.) mask off the frame, and 4.) take a pixel shift photo with the mirrorless camera (that, of course, supports pixel shift). Do I have that completely wrong? (I assume I do.)

    5.) And finally, if I go with the "Beseler Anti-Newton Glass for the 45M, 45V and 810 Series Enlargers", which again is basically just a sheet of ANR glass, how would you recommend that I mask off the area around the film?

    I'm just about ready to hit the "buy" button with what's in my B&H shopping cart, but I just need to figure out the film holder setup for both 4x5 negatives and 6x12/6x17 panoramic medium format negatives. I'll purchase whatever you recommend.

    Once again, I really appreciate your suggestions and help. I can't thank you enough, especially because your setup also gives me a lens for my Sony a7R III, which hasn't been used since this past March.

  6. #46

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    Re: Should I Drum Scan, X1 Flextight Scan, or use the Epson V850 w/Aztek Wet Mount Ki

    Instead of these (presumably expensive) AN glasses, I'd recommend the following. Go to a framing shop. Buy on piece each of the following, sized to accomodate your largest negative:
    - One so-called anti-reflection glass, which is actually lightly frosted glass. You may encounter either one or two sides frosted (check reflections)
    - One so-called "museum" anti-reflection glass, more expensive, but still less than the photo-branded AN glass
    Insist that you need pieces without any scratch or blemish. Ask for edges/corners to be sanded or do it yourself with fine abrasive paper.
    Sandwich negative, back side against the (one of the) frosted sides of the cheapo frosted glass, emulsion against the "museum" glass.
    Emulsion (and museum glass) facing camera. And yes, you will have to mirror the resulting image. And the remaining challenge is even illumination with good CRI, but that is another story, possibly already solved.

  7. #47

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    Re: Should I Drum Scan, X1 Flextight Scan, or use the Epson V850 w/Aztek Wet Mount Ki

    I still need help with this film holder setup, especially since I'm now even more confused. Sperdynamite said that I need a "do-it-yourself something" to hold the Anti-Newton Glass above the light source. I'm not sure what this means exactly.

    Also confusing me is the fact that I don't know if I need one Anti-Newton Ring glass (to sandwich the negative directly in between itself and the lightbox), or two Anti-Newton Ring glasses (to sandwich the negative and then put this "sandwich" directly on the lightbox).

    Perhaps someone can help illustrate how to assemble a film holder setup with text. For example:

    CAMERA
    |
    |
    |
    |
    ANTI-NEWTON RING GLASS (with black masking on top?)
    NEGATIVE
    ANTI-NEWTON RING GLASS
    LIGHTBOX

    Or:

    CAMERA
    |
    |
    |
    |
    ANTI-NEWTON RING GLASS (with black masking on top?)
    NEGATIVE
    LIGHTBOX

  8. #48

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    Re: Should I Drum Scan, X1 Flextight Scan, or use the Epson V850 w/Aztek Wet Mount Ki

    Should I just get the sturdy plastic 4x5 Holder and the Medium Format Holder for the Epson v850? (BOTH have ANR glass.) At $65 for both of these film holders, this seems like the least expensive option.

  9. #49

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    Re: Should I Drum Scan, X1 Flextight Scan, or use the Epson V850 w/Aztek Wet Mount Ki

    CAMERA
    |
    |
    |
    |
    ANTI-NEWTON RING GLASS (with black masking on top?)
    NEGATIVE
    ANTI-NEWTON RING GLASS
    LIGHTBOX


    The ANR glass between the lens and the negative will blur a bit the image, (anyway if you take a single shot you may not notice it less because at the end you are taking a low resolution image ) Seriously, if you take and stitch 9 shots of a 4x5" then you will notice a lot that blur.

    Remember to compare all 3 ways you have: DSLR, V850 (from your friend) and X1.

    4x5 Velvia sheets are a powerful media that deserve you make the side by side comparison.

  10. #50

    Post Re: Should I Drum Scan, X1 Flextight Scan, or use the Epson V850 w/Aztek Wet Mount Ki

    I thought it might be easier to show and not tell. Apologies for the noisy iPhone pic. This is my set up for scanning sheet film. The window behind has a blind that comes down to mask all light by the way.

    You can see my simple cut out mask for 4x5, my lens has a hood on it of course, and you can see the distances my ANR platform is from the Kaiser panel. This distance is important as it blurs any surface issues on the panel itself. Those kaisers scratch so easy, and they show up if you just lay your original on the light.

    No need IMO to sandwich your film. Sheet film does not really curl all that much, and very curly sheets (rare) can simple be weighted or taped at the edges. I hardly ever have to do this, and viewing my extreme edges at 100% of a 155mp file still shows good sharpness. Because dust is always possible I like to reduce possible surfaces.

    If you don't care about scanning edges, my vote would be to just use negative carriers from enlargers. Just make sure to make a platform for them that holds them a few inches above the light. This is a super easy solution that will definitely work. Enlarger carriers are everywhere on the bay, and it should be easy to make some feet for one to hold it up a good distance. I scan my 120 film using Bessler carriers. Negative Supply is making a 120 carrier though, and when that comes out I will use it.

    My ANR platform was a custom make for me from a friend.

    Oh and the other thing you don't see is the tether cable that would go to my Mac, which is to the right of me taking this photo. The S1R has decently good tethering software from Panasonic, and the USB-C cable charges the camera's battery while it's plugged in, no need for an over priced AC adapter!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_0687.jpg  

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