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Thread: Scanner, enlarger, or contact printer? Which one and why???

  1. #11
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Scanner, enlarger, or contact printer? Which one and why???

    Do you have a computer?

    Do you use Photoshop?

    If not what do you use on the Interwebs?
    sin eater

  2. #12

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    Re: Scanner, enlarger, or contact printer? Which one and why???

    I use Affinity as a PS replacement. I think I have CS4 on an older computer.

    I'm not sure if Affinity has the features necessary for negative work, but it's pretty good. I like it more than PS in many ways.

  3. #13
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Scanner, enlarger, or contact printer? Which one and why???

    Try inverting any color picture, it will look like a negative.

    Then convert it to B&W and adjust curves

    Then invert again

    I have no idea what Affinity is

    I gladly pay $10 a month for the latest CC PS, it has many good features.



    Quote Originally Posted by AdamD View Post
    I use Affinity as a PS replacement. I think I have CS4 on an older computer.

    I'm not sure if Affinity has the features necessary for negative work, but it's pretty good. I like it more than PS in many ways.
    sin eater

  4. #14
    Foamer
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    Re: Scanner, enlarger, or contact printer? Which one and why???

    A 4x5 contact print isn't something to hang on a wall. Getting an enlarger for 4x5 will take a lot of space and time to set up and learn. I suggest buying an older scanner such as the Epson 4990 for $150. Film is placed in a special holder/frame and scanned using Vuescan software. You take the file to PS and process it like you do digital files. You should be able to make decent 20x30 prints from this. I've made several for my home from b&w 4x5 negs this way and they looked great and didn't involve a lot of time or money. I scan with an Epson v700 and process the file in the current Photoshop CS. It has a clone tool to remove dust, sharpen, and dodge & burn etc. I'm just not a dark room guy. I'm just an outdoors guy that loves old lenses and messing with cameras.

    I've been doing 4x5 for 20 years and 5x7 for the past three years. I've so far resisted setting up a dark room because of space concerns but mostly because that's not where my interest lies. I'm an outdoors guy. I am currently getting into 8x10 with the plan of making contact prints. My primary interest is the ability to make historical prints from my wet plate negs doing albumin printing. Otherwise I would not have messed with the size and expense of 8x10 and would be happy scanning 4x5 and making prints that way. I highly doubt I will ever go the route of getting an enlarger but will have to set up a small work area in my basement and seal it off to make it dark in order to make the albumin prints. I still plan on spending 90% of my time outdoors taking shots and 10% of my time in a dark room. Be advised it could be several months before you start coming up with negatives you actually want to print. You first have to learn what the camera can do and what it's best at. Don't be in a hurry.


    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  5. #15

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    Re: Scanner, enlarger, or contact printer? Which one and why???

    AdamD,

    Scanning will certainly provide much flexibility for output, especially starting with a 4x5 neg. If you have something larger than a consumer level 13" printer, you can print to very large sizes depending on the scan resolution and you level of acceptable quality in a print. You could also use that digital file to output digital negatives for alt process printing, but that's a whole 'nutter world! You can certainly use Affinity Photo, but IMO you'll get the best conversion by scanning a linear file and using the ColorPerfect plugin to convert. I don't think it will run under PS CS4 so you would have to invest in an Adobe subscription of, better yet, grab a copy of PhotoLine (www.pl32.com) There will be a learning curve there--mainly because you'll have to get used to what similar PS things are called in PL--but it's a very powerful editor and very reasonably priced. In many ways, PL is more powerful than PS!

    Good luck and have fun!

  6. #16

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    Re: Scanner, enlarger, or contact printer? Which one and why???

    Quote Originally Posted by Two23 View Post
    A 4x5 contact print isn't something to hang on a wall. Getting an enlarger for 4x5 will take a lot of space and time to set up and learn. I suggest buying an older scanner such as the Epson 4990 for $150. Film is placed in a special holder/frame and scanned using Vuescan software. You take the file to PS and process it like you do digital files. You should be able to make decent 20x30 prints from this. I've made several for my home from b&w 4x5 negs this way and they looked great and didn't involve a lot of time or money. I scan with an Epson v700 and process the file in the current Photoshop CS. It has a clone tool to remove dust, sharpen, and dodge & burn etc. I'm just not a dark room guy. I'm just an outdoors guy that loves old lenses and messing with cameras.

    Kent in SD

    Kent, as usual, you are spot on!! I'm exactly where you are just 20+ years behind you!!

    Question on the scanned negative....and I am well aware that it will take many months to finally get a shot worthy of an enlarged print, but, my question is, with the scanned image, why would you use that file to create an enlargement?

    Would you not only use the scanned image to evaluate the quality and when you decide it's time to enlarge, then send out that negative to be processed by a lab with the right equipment to do it right???

    If you enlarge with a scanned image, are you not undermining the entire point of shooting on film? It seems that the scanned image will still lose the quality and add noise?

    On the flip side, maybe everything I just said is true, BUT if you're only enlarging up to 20x30, you will not "see the digital"???? Is that right? Then, if you wanted to go bigger, THEN, you'd send out the negative??? Is this correct?

    How am I doing here??

  7. #17

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    Re: Scanner, enlarger, or contact printer? Which one and why???

    Quote Originally Posted by Two23 View Post
    A 4x5 contact print isn't something to hang on a wall....

    Kent in SD
    Depends. I have a couple of 4x4 Mary Ellen Mark prints that look great on the wall!

  8. #18
    jp's Avatar
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    Re: Scanner, enlarger, or contact printer? Which one and why???

    Enlarging a 4x5 to 20" print on the short edge is only a 5x enlargement. It's not enough enlargement to show quality loss.

  9. #19
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: Scanner, enlarger, or contact printer? Which one and why???

    I won't comment on computer graphics, but an optical enlarger allows reductions, 1:1 and enlargements, so that would be the most versatile tool for printing large format negatives.

  10. #20

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    Re: Scanner, enlarger, or contact printer? Which one and why???

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon View Post
    Depends. I have a couple of 4x4” Mary Ellen Mark prints that look great on the wall!

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