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Thread: Why are all of my photos soft?

  1. #21

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    Re: Why are all of my photos soft?

    But it will be great for soft focus portraits now.

  2. #22

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    Re: Why are all of my photos soft?

    Quote Originally Posted by BertieWooster View Post
    Thanks - I've tried all sorts of different distances, but it never gives a sharp result. I think perhaps there's something wrong with it.
    I wouldn't assume there's something wrong with it. It looks very similar to the output from a number of Epsons I've used. The V700/750/800/850s are a bit better than this but not hugely. None of them are capable of pulling all the information from a sharp film image. Still a good compromise for many people though - especially in the larger formats. Question is though, if you're not going to use your scanner, how will you get your images from the film? I presume that the D800 shot that produced this detail was not a shot of the entire negative? Do you think you will do multi-shot digitisation and stitch? This can be pretty time consuming - especially without a good setup. Or do you have a darkroom? Despite what I said about the Epson V700 etc, many find that they are a good solution overall.

    Anyway, glad you found your answer and that you eliminated your camera/lens/technique as the problem. This is always heartening! I'd be interested to see a D800/5x4 comparison now that you have a better way to compare them.

  3. #23

    Re: Why are all of my photos soft?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonby View Post
    I wouldn't assume there's something wrong with it. It looks very similar to the output from a number of Epsons I've used. The V700/750/800/850s are a bit better than this but not hugely. None of them are capable of pulling all the information from a sharp film image. Still a good compromise for many people though - especially in the larger formats. Question is though, if you're not going to use your scanner, how will you get your images from the film? I presume that the D800 shot that produced this detail was not a shot of the entire negative? Do you think you will do multi-shot digitisation and stitch? This can be pretty time consuming - especially without a good setup. Or do you have a darkroom? Despite what I said about the Epson V700 etc, many find that they are a good solution overall.
    I've built a makeshift dslr scanning rig for now - it's fairly straight forward and should allow me to scan a sheet within a couple of minutes. I don't have any money unfortunately, so a better scanner is out of the question.

    Anyway, glad you found your answer and that you eliminated your camera/lens/technique as the problem. This is always heartening! I'd be interested to see a D800/5x4 comparison now that you have a better way to compare them.
    I attempted a quick comparison today, but I was a little hampered. I'll try and do something better tomorrow, but for now, there's this to chew on. A close-up from a tiny part of the frame, just off centre. On the left the D800 with a Nikon 28-80mm cheapo lens at f/8, and on the right my Sinar with S-K 135mm at f/16. Equivalent focal lengths approximately the same. I sized the digital photo up to match the size of my DLSR scan of the negative. I think it shows a substantial improvement in resolution - and that's with a not-very-good lens.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #24

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    Re: Why are all of my photos soft?

    Quote Originally Posted by BertieWooster View Post

    I attempted a quick comparison today, but I was a little hampered. I'll try and do something better tomorrow, but for now, there's this to chew on. A close-up from a tiny part of the frame, just off centre. On the left the D800 with a Nikon 28-80mm cheapo lens at f/8, and on the right my Sinar with S-K 135mm at f/16. Equivalent focal lengths approximately the same. I sized the digital photo up to match the size of my DLSR scan of the negative. I think it shows a substantial improvement in resolution - and that's with a not-very-good lens.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    And, unless that SK is a macro you still donít know how good it is.

  5. #25

    Re: Why are all of my photos soft?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon View Post
    And, unless that SK is a macro you still don’t know how good it is.
    The image wasn't a macro shot, though - that's just a very tiny part of the frame.

  6. #26

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    Jan 2020
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    Re: Why are all of my photos soft?

    Quote Originally Posted by BertieWooster View Post
    I've built a makeshift dslr scanning rig for now - it's fairly straight forward and should allow me to scan a sheet within a couple of minutes. I don't have any money unfortunately, so a better scanner is out of the question.



    I attempted a quick comparison today, but I was a little hampered. I'll try and do something better tomorrow, but for now, there's this to chew on. A close-up from a tiny part of the frame, just off centre. On the left the D800 with a Nikon 28-80mm cheapo lens at f/8, and on the right my Sinar with S-K 135mm at f/16. Equivalent focal lengths approximately the same. I sized the digital photo up to match the size of my DLSR scan of the negative. I think it shows a substantial improvement in resolution - and that's with a not-very-good lens.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Yes the film looks quite a bit nicer than the digital shot. A lot more refined. It will blow up to a large print a lot better IMO. The challenge will be to maintain this quality across the whole neg in a single image. Thanks for posting it.

  7. #27

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    Re: Why are all of my photos soft?

    Not sure why these attachments have loaded resized quite small, must be the forum software at work. Originals where in the 400KB - 500KB range and much more detailed, but anyway, I think it stills shows you can get decent scans of 4x5 on a Epsom V700. The last 2 were 'actual size' crops from the full image (image 1). Scanned at 2400dpi according to the file. Looking at the perspective of the background, looks I used my 210mm lens (210/5.6 Rodenstock Sironar-N) Can't remember the film, probably J&C 400 or maybe HP5.. would need to walk down to the other end of house to check.

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  8. #28

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    Re: Why are all of my photos soft?

    The simplest answer, although probably not the cheapest, is to buy a scanner designed to scan transparencies with direct light, not reflected. I have used a MIcrotek for over 10 years with great success. It scans printed matter on the glass, and transparencies on tray underneath with no glass intervening.

  9. #29
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Why are all of my photos soft?

    All film scanners scan with direct light. Most have glass to put the film on but those Microtek (and Agfa rebranded) scanners used tray systems - a neat trick but not the reason for better scans. I used to have an Agfa 2500 and it was a pretty good scanner.
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