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Thread: 4x5 & 5x7 Negatives - Camera Scanning with Nikon D800E

  1. #11

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    Re: 4x5 & 5x7 Negatives - Camera Scanning with Nikon D800E

    Using a very similar process, but a Nikon D750 (only 24MP), a Kaiser RS-1 copy stand (used it was cheap and reasonable), and Negative Supply's acrylic "glass" rather than anti-Newton ring glass (tried and it never seemed to be as newton ring free as it should have been), and similar settings for exposure. Haven't done wet scans for 4X5 although that'd be a step up. I've been using Negative Supply's holders for smaller formats (120 and 35mm) and find they do a great job. For my purposes, I'm waiting for Nikon to upgrade their mirrorless to give us stitching... so I can follow Sandy King's approach there. But I'm happy enough for now that 1 shot at 24mp does what I need. Upgrade will weigh between a Nikon Zx-something vs. outsourcing drum scans for the "best" images every now and then.

    Thanks for posting this! Great work and nice to see a similar set up. Everyone's "shares" here are a step ahead for all of us. THank you! and keep up the good work.

  2. #12

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    Re: 4x5 & 5x7 Negatives - Camera Scanning with Nikon D800E

    This thread is relevant to my interests! I've been attempting film scanning with my Nikon D800, and I've gotten very good results doing 1:1 of 35mm with a Minolta 100mm f/4 macro on a bellows, but I haven't found a satisfying lens for doing 4x5 or 6x9 as a single full frame shot. I'll keep an eye out for the Nikkor 60mm OP is using, because the example shot looks great.
    I've considered doing 1:1 in sections and stitching them together, but I've been too lazy to build an apparatus to do so reliably.

  3. #13

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    Re: 4x5 & 5x7 Negatives - Camera Scanning with Nikon D800E

    Wow, very interesting. I gather this H3 requirement for film is currently still the case? If so I find that very heartening to know that Gov bodies are mandating film.

    Also interesting because I'm currently building a DSLR scanning rig for 5x4" and 6x12cm negs. At this point it looks like I'll be doing 4x 20Mpx images of the 6x12 and 8 of the 5x4, but I'm still playing with the layout. There was a weird gotcha in the stitching that stumped me for a while.

    So far I have been very impressed with this approach, if you can see sharp grain across the entire neg you can't do much better. And I haven't had to buy a scanner. I struggle a bit with reversing the colour negs but I think I have that nailed now as well, I need to do a few more to be happy with my workflow.

  4. #14

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    Re: 4x5 & 5x7 Negatives - Camera Scanning with Nikon D800E

    Quote Originally Posted by roscoetuff-Skip Mersereau View Post
    Using a very similar process, but a Nikon D750 (only 24MP), a Kaiser RS-1 copy stand (used it was cheap and reasonable), and Negative Supply's acrylic "glass" rather than anti-Newton ring glass
    I use my Nikon D810 + 100mm macro on a Kaiser RS2XA copy stand. For lightsource I use a Kaiser Slimlite Plano LED lightpad. I have never been satisfied with using glass (including ANR glass) sandwiches, so I made my own glassless holder for the 4x5 sheets: it is a laser cut stainless steel frame with rubber feet on the underside. Glued to the steel is a layer of magnetised rubber with matching dimensions, with a second, removable matching layer of magnetised rubber on top of that. As they are magnetically aligned the two pieces of rubber frame will snap neatly together, and their dimensions are such that the sheet of film can be held by its extreme edges, allowing the entire exposed area of the film to be captured. This setup holds the 4x5 sheet securely, and remarkably flat. Forgoing the use of glass means the vast majority of surface dust can be eliminated too; a quick blast of either side with a rocket blower is all that is needed.

    With the film in the holder, I autofocus on the film grain/fine detail and take 9 x 5:4 cropped frames at about 1:2, then stitch them together. Doing this allows me to make ~ 90 megapixel digitisations from 4x5; enough to make 30 x 40" prints should I wish to. Even with the D810's 14-stop dynamic range at base ISO, for slide film I have found it best to use +/- 2EV bracketed frames (so 27 in total), then do an HDR stitch. This helps maintain shadow and especially highlight detail, and makes reproducing the appearence of the original much easier.

    I'm quite satisfied with the level of quality this method provides, but a single-capture approach with comparable or higher quality would obviously be preferable (and would be especially useful for medium format film). For this reason I would like to replace the D810 with a high resolution pixel shift capable camera at some point.

  5. #15
    schafphoto's Avatar
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    Re: 4x5 & 5x7 Negatives - Camera Scanning with Nikon D800E

    Interesting techniques. It looks like my notice/subscription to this thread got turned off so I haven't seen the last few posts until today when I posted a new thread on iPhone quick-scanning in a similar fashion.

    Cheers,
    -Schaf
    Last edited by schafphoto; 22-Dec-2021 at 15:11. Reason: typo
    `
    –Stephen Schafer HABS | HAER | HALS & Architectural Photography | Ventura, California | www.HABSPHOTO.com

  6. #16

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    Re: 4x5 & 5x7 Negatives - Camera Scanning with Nikon D800E

    For holding the negatives I have had the following holders work out great for me:

    16mm movie film: A modified double glass 6cm x 8.5cm hinged film holder. Brand is "HA-P1" made in Japan. It has a front locking tab that locks the glass in place over and under the film. Also works for 35mm and 120 film. I have never had a problem with Newton rings with this double glass film holder.

    35mm: A very heavy duty ZBE 30mm film negative carrier with the glass under the film strip. Emulsion side down. It is the only 35mm film carrier that is able to hold 50 year old very curled negatives flat.

    120: Carlwen sliding glassless film carriers. Very basic simple design that seems to tension the film flat. Quick and easy to use and no glass.

    4x5: A DURST Camneg 450 (glassless) with the film held by tape on all four sides tensioning the film flat. Slow to set up and use but just works great.


    My light source varies but is always isolated from my Nikon Multiphot. With the Multiphot, I can very precisely move the camera, lens, or the negative carrier up or down. My favorite light source is a Aristo 4x5 light source handled very gently so as not to accidentally break the tube inside it... can't imaging having to find a replacement tube for it.


    I shoot with a Nikon D850 tethered to a Macbook Pro. So much prefer looking at the monitor rather than looking through the camera.

  7. #17
    schafphoto's Avatar
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    Re: 4x5 & 5x7 Negatives - Camera Scanning with Nikon D800E

    I may not have mentioned at the start, that the trick with scanning my 4x5 and 5x7 HABS negatives (the ones that get submitted to the Library of Congress) is that the entire negative and rebate edge needs to be visible in the delivered scan and "digital contact print". One of the many pages of rules the National Park Service HDP department requires. It wasn't a problem a few years ago when I was making contact prints and delivering those instead of ink-jet prints, but now I need the entire negative in the scan with zero cropping.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Full frame of 5x7 negative D800e camera scan.

    That's why I use my little trick with the weighted paper clip wires in the 4 corners, then I just spot them out on the final print. My film is generally pretty flat so I would probably use my beseler 4x5 negative carrier from my 45MX enlarger, if I could crop the edges. I find that keeping the humidity around 50-60% and the temperature at 70º helps minimize static and keeps the film from curling. I switched the Lightbox under the copy stand from 4 CF bulbs to LED strips to minimize the flicker and the heat. I found the heat of the light source would cause the film to move if I took too long to expose.
    `
    –Stephen Schafer HABS | HAER | HALS & Architectural Photography | Ventura, California | www.HABSPHOTO.com

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