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Thread: How much does the scan take away from the Negative?

  1. #11

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    Re: How much does the scan take away from the Negative?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sirius Glass View Post
    A scan cannot cover the complete color gamut, only a small portion. Film covers the complete color gamut and more, therefore the use of Skylight 1A, Skylight 1B and Haze filters.

    Other than that scans cannot reproduce the resolution of the film grain molecules.

    So if color and resolution are not important to you, then scanning is the way to go.

    Steve
    Steve,

    Your post is argumentative and incorrect. You obviously don't know what a scan can and can not do. Further, there are other parts of the printing process, film is not the end result. The gamut of digital printing is more controllable and wider and longer than any darkroom paper - about double.

    Some people like the look and feel of darkroom papers, whether it be b&w or color. They should be free to use those and not be told it isn't very good. In the right hands its amazing.

    However, by the same token, those who have chosen to print digitally shouldn't be told that its less, because in the right hands it is also amazing.

    Personally, I can't imagine printing on silver paper - it offers so much less than what I have now. I might do platinum, carbon and or gravure again, but I certainly wouldn't go back to the darkroom, as the quality I look for ins't there. That's the key point - its very subjective.

    Telling me that the scan can't cover the complete gamut, however, is patently ridiculous... it covers far more than any traditional process can....

    Lenny
    EigerStudios
    Museum Quality Drum Scanning and Printing

  2. #12

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    Re: How much does the scan take away from the Negative?

    Personally, I love the fact that each step of the process leaves an impact on the result. Sometimes the result is better for it (maybe its just my photography?) I'm not one of those who insists that every grain in the neg has to be reproduced perfectly in the print. "happy accidents" are good!

  3. #13

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    Re: How much does the scan take away from the Negative?

    Incidentally, I currently have a 32x48" digital print of a mountain lion on exhibit at a local museum, a print that the public can walk up on nose-to-print. I knew I'd need a really good scan and sought Lenny out because the original is on Astia 100F-- in 35mm.

    There is texture in the tips of the fur down to the grain level; it's world's better than any of the other 3 scans I've had done (2 of them professional drum scans, one ostensibly at 10K dpi on a Tango that doesn't cut the mustard).

    Lenny Eiger knows whereof he speaks.

  4. #14
    Cordless Bungee Jumper Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    Re: How much does the scan take away from the Negative?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenny Eiger View Post
    The gamut of digital printing is more controllable and wider and longer than any darkroom paper - about double.
    Scanning has the resolution to get to the molecular level?
    Controllable? Maybe
    Large than chemical process? No
    Double? What are you smoking or snorting? Either send it to me or site your sources
    Scanning has the resolution to get to the molecular level? What are you smoking or snorting? Either send it to me or site your sources
    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  5. #15
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: How much does the scan take away from the Negative?

    Can optically made prints get to the molecular level?

    Both digital and optical, IME, can do a pretty good job of reproducing the spaces between grain clumps, the stuff that most people mean when they say "photographic grain". That's what we see as "grain" in a print.
    “You often feel tired, not because you've done too much, but because you've done too little of what sparks a light in you.”
    ― Alexander Den Heijer, Nothing you don't already know

  6. #16

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    Re: How much does the scan take away from the Negative?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sirius Glass View Post
    Scanning has the resolution to get to the molecular level?
    Controllable? Maybe
    Large than chemical process? No
    Double? What are you smoking or snorting? Either send it to me or site your sources
    Scanning has the resolution to get to the molecular level? What are you smoking or snorting? Either send it to me or site your sources
    Emotionally, I feel that bond you have with the analog film and all those original grains deposited at the onset of its creation. I also empathize with the sense of purity when one uses this original to attempt to present us with a real genuine photograph. However, already, the print has to lose a major part of the original because so many distortions must occur in the process by scattering of light. It certainly isn't a pure negative representation, molecule, for molecule!

    In the most careful hands, the scan is adjusted to the size of the grain. There's no reason why the scan shouldn't give us the most elegant representation possible. Also it is a fact that the print made digitally can present to us a far greater range of tones and with color, hues too.

    Asher

  7. #17

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    Re: How much does the scan take away from the Negative?

    This is LFF, not APUG. The ad hominem attack is uncalled for.

  8. #18

    Re: How much does the scan take away from the Negative?

    Ivan is correct - in both his posts.
    Every time image information is transferred there is some level of "generation loss". I learned this years ago when I first saw the studio master print of a motion picture, the one made directly from the master negative. What a difference compared to a theatre release made print from a sub-master, which is typically two generations or more down the chain.

    The idea is to minimize data loss when going through generations. Today a studio master negative is scanned and the master positives are made from that. This has dramatically increased the quality of theatre release prints.

    Similarly in still photography scanning of the very highest quality, a 16 bit wet drum scan performed by a master operator is the method that will extract the maximum amount of information from a negative. It might be possible to come close in resolution by making a wet gate print in an optical enlarger with the very highest quality lens, with the paper on a vacuum easel. I have not seen a large (>20x) optical print that will match a print from a masterful scan in resolution.

    Tonality and surface issues are more subjective, however with current wide gamut printers, and an amazing array of papers, a master printer can do remarkable things with a good digital file. I notice that even pretty diehard analogue enthusiasts are embracing digitally made C-prints which have fine structure, gamut and surface qualities which some find very appealing.

    So to answer your question in reverse, there is no other way than a great scan to get as much information as you can from a negative. To get a great scan - find a great scanner operator. The operator is MUCH more important than the the scanner model or technology.

    If your prefer the particular qualities of an optical print, then don't worry about the difference in generation loss and glory in these qualities you like. After all this is ART.

    Cheers,
    Bill Peters

  9. #19

    Re: How much does the scan take away from the Negative?

    Well said Bill and everyone else with a point of view. I did not intend nor mean for this to turn into a digital vs. analog type of affair. I should have included "optically" along with digitally when I posed the question since we have to get the negative onto paper through whatever process is out there.

    Maybe a better question would be followed by an example=Take an extremely dynamic scene, such as an intense array of colors from a spectacular sunset. Are there times when regardless of using the very best to get the negative into the print, the print is incapable of showing the true dynamicism of the sunset as the seen on the negative?

  10. #20

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    Re: How much does the scan take away from the Negative?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan J. Eberle View Post
    This is LFF, not APUG. The ad hominem attack is uncalled for.
    Ivan,

    Which is the post you refer to?

    Asher

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