Scanning Torture (or Learning to Love Your Digital Camera)

Minolta scanners, scanner support and replacement choices
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Dusty
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Re: Scanning Torture (or Learning to Love Your Digital Camer

Unread postby Dusty » Fri Jan 03, 2014 10:38 pm

I used to have an old Spiratone setup for duping slides that was similar to what Doc has. I was an accessory lens with a diffuser on it, and dedicated flash and a ribbon scale that told you how far away to put the flash according to ISO film used and magnification ratio. I wonder what I ever did with it.

If you used a good quality film that was made for duplicating, you got good results. Regular film gave you too much contrast.

I have a bunch of slides and negatives I need to scan - thousands, actually, but the price of even used scanners puts me off. My Epson v490? does a decent job on B/W and prints, haven't put a lot of negatives or slides thru it.

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Re: Scanning Torture (or Learning to Love Your Digital Camer

Unread postby Dr. Harout » Fri Jan 03, 2014 11:13 pm

No Henry, that's not the one. The one I have doesn't have an accessory lens. It is glassless, just a diffuser at the rear.
It's similar (even very similar) to this one: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Nikon-ES-E28-Slide-Copying-Adapter-/201012191323?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2ecd42a05b
As for the colors, you have to fix it either in Camera Raw or LR by reversing the curve, or by just doing the conversion in PS.
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Re: Scanning Torture (or Learning to Love Your Digital Camer

Unread postby bakubo » Sat Jan 04, 2014 12:36 am

Dusty wrote:I have a bunch of slides and negatives I need to scan - thousands, actually, but the price of even used scanners puts me off.


Dusty, if you only have slides then you can probably use something like what Doc is using and get reasonable results. A film scanner would be even better and you can probably find one on ebay for a reasonable price. It is a hell of a lot of work to do it well. Good luck.

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Re: Scanning Torture (or Learning to Love Your Digital Camer

Unread postby bakubo » Sat Jan 04, 2014 12:42 am

Dr. Harout wrote:No Henry, that's not the one. The one I have doesn't have an accessory lens. It is glassless, just a diffuser at the rear.
It's similar (even very similar) to this one: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Nikon-ES-E28-Slide-Copying-Adapter-/201012191323?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2ecd42a05b
As for the colors, you have to fix it either in Camera Raw or LR by reversing the curve, or by just doing the conversion in PS.


I can see how using that for slides could be very useful. There is info here about using that sort of device and others for slides and negatives:

Scanning thousands of old slides?

http://www.scantips.com/es-1.html

Down near the bottom where it talks about color negatives it says this:

Frankly, plan to use a film scanner for color negatives.

B&W negatives are easy with the camera, just invert them and you're done (at a menu like Image - Adjustments - Invert). But color negatives have the orange mask all over. This becomes deep blue when inverted to positive. It is a lot to deal with. Regular color printing removes it with an orange filter (Magenta and Yellow) on the enlarger light (analog). Film scanners remove it (in Color Negative Mode) by varying the exposure (time duration) of the three RGB channels (analog). The blue channel is exposed perhaps 4x longer (than red), and the green channel is exposed perhaps 2x longer (than red). This acts as an analog glass filter on the lens, and the longer exposure boosts the blue and green, leaving the orange complement behind. The important point is, this is done with analog light, which has no limits. But after the scanner or camera has digitized it, the 255 end is a hard limit. We cannot shift the data much, the data just falls off of the 255 end, and disappears (remains stuck at 255).
...
But slides are quite easy with the digital camera and a good macro lens.

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Re: Scanning Torture (or Learning to Love Your Digital Camer

Unread postby Greg Beetham » Sat Jan 04, 2014 3:48 am

I had a good look at the links Henry, thanks, I think the scanning widget I’ve tried is just a 5MP camera in a fixed position with its own light and diffuser, I have no idea what parameters it operates under, ISO, f-stop or if it has AF for each scan or is a fixed focus design (most likely). The instruction book says to clean the diffuser frequently with an alcohol swab to keep the system free of dust, I haven’t done that myself so it might pay to investigate the dust situation in the gizmo itself.
It also operates in real time continuous and that is handy for checking how well the image is lined up with the boarder or field stop in the machine itself. If you notice a black border you can nudge the holder in the corresponding direction (occasionally the detent doesn’t produce exact alignment) a little and the image displayed on the screen updates as you do. Once you get it lined up properly you click on the on-screen ‘snapshot’ button and then the ‘transfer’ button which puts that image file into the destination sub-directory. It does an auto exposure, colour balance sequence which can be manually adjusted with a little popup box of exposure and colour sliders before you do the ‘transfer’.
The auto exposure nearly always burns the sky out completely and has to be manually adjusted which in turn makes the foreground too dark, maybe it might be best to do one exposure for the sky and one for the foreground and try to combine them after.
It’s been a while since I used the V500 film scanner but if I remember correctly there are many more controls and choices available in its software program and you can get a pretty accurate idea from the pre-scan how the actual scan is going to turn out and of course it does negatives as well as positives.
The widget does either as well, but I haven’t had tried it with negatives as yet, the V500 is the only thing I have that can scan MF film size, the widget sure can’t.
The camera + macro lens + adaptor idea of Docs seems like a good idea too, you could probably knock something up for that purpose I guess, (when I get a minute that is haha).
Greg
Ps yeah the weather report for the US is cold, cold and more cold, boy winter sure hit with a bang over there, and apparently it gets pretty serious when the power supply goes down from ice too, it’s bad enough on the road from what I see on the news. Yep the LFL girls with the skimpy outfits would have a few goose-bumps. (I liked the photo of the 'frozen' guy :lol: )
Btw the pic of grandpas fishing truck also has home in the background, it was one of three government supplied for the technicians working at the radio station, dad was one of them, the area in those days was remote-ish and away from civilization and the roads that went in the direction of civilization were little more than dirt tracks, we had to do school by correspondence.

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Re: Scanning Torture (or Learning to Love Your Digital Camer

Unread postby bakubo » Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:25 pm

This morning I am scanning some 1984 California Kodachrome 64 slides. It is a just a bit jarring being reminded of how muted the colors are compared to my many Fujichrome 100, Fujichrome Sensia 100, and Ektachrome Elite 100 slides. I had forgotten. The greens of the trees are very subdued in the Kodachrome. Actually, not really inaccurate I suppose, but sure different than those E-6 films.

Boy, scanning slides is so much easier than scanning color negatives. I just spent about 3 weeks doing only negatives and I am back to scanning slides since yesterday. What a breeze and relatively easy compared to color negatives. The results are better too, but that comes much later when I go back to these huge raw scan files and start working on them.

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Re: Scanning Torture (or Learning to Love Your Digital Camer

Unread postby bakubo » Tue Jan 07, 2014 2:58 pm

I am scanning more E-6 slides (Fujichrome 100 from 1991 in Japan at the moment) and I am reminded again how much better the scans are from slides than color negatives. The ease and much reduced hassle of scanning also. Then yesterday I saw something somewhere about scanning and the internet "expert" was telling everyone to shoot color negatives because they scan better than color slides. Lower Dmax and other stuff. Probably never scanned himself though. :lol:

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Re: Scanning Torture (or Learning to Love Your Digital Camer

Unread postby bakubo » Tue Jan 07, 2014 9:42 pm

I read this article today. If you want to use a digital camera instead of a film scanner to digitize your color negatives then this looks like a good article.

How to Scan Color Film Negatives with a DSLR

http://petapixel.com/2012/05/18/how-to-scan-film-negatives-with-a-dslr/

Personally, for color negatives this seems like way, way too much tricky work. Just get a film scanner and use scanning software and get even better results.

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Re: Scanning Torture (or Learning to Love Your Digital Camer

Unread postby bakubo » Wed Jan 08, 2014 4:17 pm

This morning I am about to pack up the film scanner after 3.5 months of concentrated, tedious work. I am still shaking my head in sort of disbelief that I actually did all of this. :lol: It gave me something to do though during this period when we are taking care of some important business that can only be done while we are in Texas.

I scanned 6729 35mm slides and negatives during this 3.5 months and that is in addition to the approximately 3500 that I scanned from 1998 to this year. Over 10,000 in total. Unless I find another cache of my old photos hiding in a box somewhere then I think I won't be doing any more film scanning. Hurray! :) As I said earlier, of these 10,000+ scans I have only prepared about 1600 and that goes back all the way to 1998. I have about 435gb of raw 16-bit RGBI scan files (each file is 50-84mb). Since they are raw files they can't be used directly. Each one must be used as input to Vuescan which then can create a normal tiff file. I did it this way because it is much faster and flexible to scan to a raw output file instead of each scan creating a more or less ready to work on tiff output file. It means using lots of disk space though. A prepared 8-bit compressed tiff file is usually more like 15-20mb. When I prepare the file I just save it as an 8-bit tiff instead of 16-bit. In most cases, I think these scanned 35mm slides and negatives don't have enough useful data to warrant 16-bit. I still have the raw scan files so if I need to I can go back and create a 16-bit tiff file.

This exercise made me realize how from the early 1970s when I got my first SLR until my last roll of film in early 2002 I probably only shot 15,000 frames or less. On this scanning mission I loosened my criteria for what to scan much more than all the earlier times because I wanted to just be done with it. I scanned lots and lots of stuff that were just snapshots of old friends and family. Also, I scanned anything that was sort of documentary and nostalgic from years gone by. Many of those photos seem quite interesting now whereas 30 or 40 years ago they were just rather ordinary photos. I also discovered many very good photos that for some reason I had overlooked or chose not to scan on earlier scan sessions. In the last ~13 years of using digital I have shot about 58,000 photos. What a difference compared to the ~15,000 in the previous ~30 years.

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Re: Scanning Torture (or Learning to Love Your Digital Camer

Unread postby Eiffel » Wed Jan 08, 2014 6:29 pm

Bakubo,

Given that I have the same scanner as you do, and use the same software, let me know via PM if you're interested in the calibration profiles I've created for various types of slide films (basically the full set of coloraid.de + Kodachrome ITU targets).

The raw files target should be of most interest, although colour correctness may be impacted by your scanner exposure settings, number of passes, etc.
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Re: Scanning Torture (or Learning to Love Your Digital Camer

Unread postby bakubo » Fri Jan 10, 2014 8:08 pm

bakubo wrote:I scanned 6729 35mm slides and negatives during this 3.5 months and that is in addition to the approximately 3500 that I scanned from 1998 to this year. Over 10,000 in total. Unless I find another cache of my old photos hiding in a box somewhere then I think I won't be doing any more film scanning. Hurray! :) As I said earlier, of these 10,000+ scans I have only prepared about 1600 and that goes back all the way to 1998. I have about 435gb of raw 16-bit RGBI scan files (each file is 50-84mb).


Actually, it is 468gb, not 435gb. After all this work it would be horrifying to lose the files so I have backed up the 468gb to a 3tb external hard disk, a 2tb portable external hard disk, a 1.5tb portable external hard disk, and another 1.5tb portable external hard disk. :) I also tried to back it up to a 500gb portable external hard disk, but it turns out that the disk capacity is only 465gb for use so it wouldn't all fit.

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Re: Scanning Torture (or Learning to Love Your Digital Camer

Unread postby Rhtubbs » Sat Jan 11, 2014 12:31 am

bakubo wrote:
bakubo wrote:I scanned 6729 35mm slides and negatives during this 3.5 months and that is in addition to the approximately 3500 that I scanned from 1998 to this year. Over 10,000 in total. Unless I find another cache of my old photos hiding in a box somewhere then I think I won't be doing any more film scanning. Hurray! :) As I said earlier, of these 10,000+ scans I have only prepared about 1600 and that goes back all the way to 1998. I have about 435gb of raw 16-bit RGBI scan files (each file is 50-84mb).


Actually, it is 468gb, not 435gb. After all this work it would be horrifying to lose the files so I have backed up the 468gb to a 3tb external hard disk, a 2tb portable external hard disk, a 1.5tb portable external hard disk, and another 1.5tb portable external hard disk. :) I also tried to back it up to a 500gb portable external hard disk, but it turns out that the disk capacity is only 465gb for use so it wouldn't all fit.


So, I am sure it will be a secret. But I can imagine you storing 1 each of these drives in Hawaii, Japan, and Texas, with one for the carry on bag! :)
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Re: Scanning Torture (or Learning to Love Your Digital Camer

Unread postby bakubo » Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:00 pm

Rhtubbs wrote:So, I am sure it will be a secret. But I can imagine you storing 1 each of these drives in Hawaii, Japan, and Texas, with one for the carry on bag! :)


Yeah, I need to decide where to keep these backups. Definitely one will stay in Texas, maybe two in different Texas locations. My sister could keep one at her house. We just went on a weekend trip to Corpus Christi and I decided to take the 2tb phd with us. That way if the place had burned down while we were gone I would at least have a full backup of all my files (not just these recent scans) with me. At the moment I have all my backups right here. Maybe I should keep the 2tb in the car so at least one is in a different location until I have a chance to visit my sister. :)

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Re: Scanning Torture (or Learning to Love Your Digital Camer

Unread postby Dusty » Thu Feb 06, 2014 7:19 am

Okay, here it is! My kids have to do a report on Brazil, and having spent 2 years there, I went to dig out old photos. In the box marked Brazil Photos, I found a set of slides marked June '88, KM25. I take a peek and what do you know, it's some of my dupes made with that old Spiratone setup!

Now, you're supposed to use a special low contrast film, but I obviously used Kodachrome 25. What adds to the complexity is that I remember these slides were taken by my Uncle Claude before he left for WWII. On Kodachrome 8!

On top of all that, I've had to scan it on an Epson 3490 without the slide holder. The first go was soft, so I took several pieces of note paper and folded them over several times to hold the edges up to about the thickness of the slide holder. I scanned at 4800dpi, 48 bit to a tiff, and did no adjustments except downsize it and convert to jpeg.

So, here's my Grandpa and Grandma, circa 72 years ago, via a scan of a duped slide!
img002.jpg
img002.jpg (80.98 KiB) Viewed 3511 times


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Re: Scanning Torture (or Learning to Love Your Digital Camer

Unread postby Bob Janes » Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:21 pm

I've tried the route of shooting nagatives with a macro lens using a sheet of perspex and backlighting with flash - it is very quick (and is the only way I have of doing medium format negatives), but it can be very difficult to get a full tonal range - I find my Scan Dual II with VuScan gets more out of the hadows and highlights.


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