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Thread: DSLR scanning impact on resulting image....

  1. #1

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    Dec 2019
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    DSLR scanning impact on resulting image....

    Hi.
    I am currently using a Nikon D7200 and macro lens to scan my 4x6 and 35mm negatives. I've noticed that my 4x5 images tend to be a little flat and lack contrast and are generally pretty boring looking. They are sharp and all get out, but otherwise just meh... After some tweaking in software they look better. Hold that thought...

    The images from the Nikon F100 seem overexposed. That could be from a variety of reasons, but, here's my question....

    When using a DSLR to scan, what impact will that have on the original negative image? I shot my negatives on a light board at f8 100 ISO.

    Here's where I'm going with this....I'm trying to figure out if my F100 meters too bright and if i need to underexpose a bit to achieve better results OR am I causing the problem AFTER shot and when I scan.

    Honestly, there's no way to really be able to diagnose my problem as there are way too many variables.

    So, maybe if you can approach this from generalities.

    Many thanks,

    Adam

  2. #2
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: DSLR scanning impact on resulting image....

    Color or black and white? If black and white, then there are many ways to determine exposure and development. I prefer Fred Picker's version in the Zone VI Workshop, although I prefer going in 1/3 stop increments instead of 1/2. But if you can see good tonal differentiation in all parts of the negative that important to you, then you're probably close. With digital camera scanning, I recommend shooting tethered into Capture One, although there are other good options. Shoot raw. Look at the resulting histogram and adjust. Make sure to mask off all extraneous light. Tweak settings in your raw processor to give the overall results that you'd like.

    You could always send some test negatives to an experienced person. They could tell you quickly whether the negatives are ok.
    May tomorrow be a better day.

  3. #3

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    Re: DSLR scanning impact on resulting image....

    The D7200, which I use for the same purpose, has a huge dynamic range--on the order of 11-12 stops, while negative's range is half that, so it's unavoidable that your untouched scans come out flat.

    That's why we have photoshop. Take a look at my work here, http://flickr.com/mdarnton and see if the pix look flat to you.

    Overexposure and underexposure are defined by what works. If you are missing desired shadow detail in your negs you are underexposing the negs; blown out highlight details in the negs mean overexposure of the film. These trends in the negs will obviously carry through to the scans, which can't make an image where there is none on the neg. If the scans are too light or too dark, that's a problem with the scan exposure, not the negs. In terms of darkness, when you flip the scans to positive they should be as close to right as you can make them. If you are shooting jpegs for scanning, you can also pump up the camera's own contrast in shooting settings to help put you in the right neighborhood.

    There are too many steps here to tell you where you're going wrong without seeing the negs and the scans.
    Thanks, but I'd rather just watch:
    Large format: http://flickr.com/michaeldarnton
    Mostly 35mm: http://flickr.com/mdarnton
    You want digital, color, etc?: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stradofear

  4. #4

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    Re: DSLR scanning impact on resulting image....

    mdarnton,

    Your images look perfect! I love the shot of Gary.

    Yeah I'm not getting that and I'm thinking that it's my post processing problem with 4x5 and my exposure and processing with the 35mm.

  5. #5
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: DSLR scanning impact on resulting image....

    Post some samples.
    May tomorrow be a better day.

  6. #6
    Steven Ruttenberg's Avatar
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    Re: DSLR scanning impact on resulting image....

    I have been looking at this option and trying to find a good xy table with plenty of xy adjustment (to cover at least 8 x10) so I can use a macro lens with my camera. I did experiment with converting a 4x5 Toyo into a digital film scanner. Has geared shift/rise/fall, bellows to shield extraneous light. Just need a uniform light field to illuminate negative. One thing you can do, is point the setup towards the sky on a sunny day for your uniform light source.

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