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Input/Output/Workflow Scanning, printing, color management, and discussing best practices for control and repeatability

BW Copy Neg vs. Scanning Test

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  #11  
Old 01-18-2003, 04:23 PM
Bob Walden's Avatar
Bob Walden Bob Walden is offline
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4x5 copy

Roger, are you saying to make a 4x5 copy neg then scan it on a flatbed and that will give you better quality then a paper scan?

Bob
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  #12  
Old 01-18-2003, 06:12 PM
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Bob - What I am saying is that when the original has problems on a scanner because of being dark, or heavy texture, or silvering; photographing the image with a copy set-up is a good alternative. Either film or digital could be used in the copy camera. If film is used (no matter what size of film) then the negative would be scanned rather than making a print and scanning the print.

And yes, I will add a photo of my copy set-up, but I first want to get all who want to join in, to inovate a easy way of doing it for what they have available.

Ed - After thinking about your comment about the lens, I think you bring up a good point, I should at this time discuss lenses and the other stuff than affect sharpness. I would hate to have someone run my sharpness test, find their lens isn't sharp, and give up without responding in this thread.

If you are using a digital camera:
- Use the highest quality setting
- If available compare b&w and color settings
- If available try all sharpness settings

If you are using film:
- Pick a slower speed film - around 100 ISO is good - which film is not critical since you can adjust the tonal range with curves to reverse any problems that a perticular film might have.

If your camera has interchangable lenses:
-Try all lenses that you can get to focus close
-If the lens is a zoom try mid-zoom and all the way zoomed (optical, no the additional digital zoom).
-If none of your lenses are sharp and you are using a 35mm the best lens to get is the fixed length macro, usually 50mm, but sometimes they come in longer focal lengths.
-If you are using medium format look to the manufacturers spec's
-For 4x5 an enlarging lens with superior sharpness is recommended, you can expect to pay $300 - $500 new. You do have to look through the manufacturers specs to be sure which lens will be the best. Jim Conways comments about a process lens (used in the graphics field to make seperations for printing) are also accurate, but is probably more expensive than neccessary. I picked the Rodenstock Rodagon 105mm 5.6 lens. Any 4x5 works as a copy camera, it is the lens that matters, and the lens does not need to have a shutter in it.

Also, do use the stock market newspaper to test. higher contrast subjects or subjects without fine detail are much harder to judge for sharpness.

Roger
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  #13  
Old 01-24-2003, 01:40 AM
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Test with digital camera

Hi, I did some tests

This one is shot with the Canon D60 digital camera, Polarizing filters used on the lights and the camera. Looks wonderful. Because the image is so dark we added 1 stop to the exposure. We used the only lens my friend has that can do macro, a Canon zoom (don't remember the range).
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  #14  
Old 01-24-2003, 02:05 AM
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Test with 35mm

Keep in mind the the original head size of the man in this test is about the size of this happy face . These are a little out of focus here, but I don't have a high end negative scanner, so the sharpness should not be judged (these were all scanned with an Agfa T1200). This was shot with an old Pentax manual body with a 50mm macro lens. The body does not have mirror lock up so there might also be a little bounce. I will make a quick Glossy in our darkroom when I get a chance, if it is sharper I will post it here as an update.

The point is that considering the image size, if you have a 35mm camera you can get at the least, pretty good results.

After running this test, I have to admit, I was wrong. Polarizing filters are not mandatory to do copy work. I have used them for 15+ years and havn't compaired them with and without in that amount of time. When you have a photo with heavy silvering or glossy, it makes alot of difference under the copy lights, but not otherwise.

The attached test is made up of 2 images from Kodak PlusX b&W film developed regularly like any lab would do it and 2 images taken with Fuji NPS color film with a 80A blue color correction filter. I did this with the idea of what would be easy and available for most who do not have thier own Black & white lab.

Each of the films is done twice, 1 with a polarizer and 1 without. There is a ruffness to the tones without the filter, but not nearly as much as I expected with this original.

Will post updates as I learn anything new...

Roger
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File Type: jpg combined-4up.jpg (80.5 KB, 42 views)
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  #15  
Old 01-25-2003, 02:17 AM
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Fuji Transparency Film

Adding Fuji 64T Transparency film to the mix, I thought there might be a couple of advantages to using transparency film: depending on the scanner software negatives can be harder to reverse, Fuji's 64T is a Tungsten film so if you are using photofloods you are pretty close on color without a correction filter, and shooting color allows for scanning in color with those differences in the color channels being available.

This sample is with polarizer on the left and no polarizer on the right.

I left it in color in case any were curious to compare the channels.

In my opinion this is all information that will come in handy to get you by if you want to use what camera equipment you may already have. By far, the simplest and the best quality is from shooting it with a digital camera.

If anyone would like me to go further with any testing, or would like help setting up to copy, please let me know. I have some ideas for setting up a home made horizontal system that should be pretty dirt cheap and easy.

Thanks, Roger
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File Type: jpg fuji-64t-combined.jpg (70.1 KB, 33 views)
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  #16  
Old 01-25-2003, 08:44 AM
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Bob Walden Bob Walden is offline
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I would be interseted in seeing a picture of your setup. Also where did you buy your polarizer filters? One more ? Are you shooting a neg and then scanning on a flatbed?

Bob
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  #17  
Old 01-25-2003, 12:46 PM
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Hi Bob

I will follow with a photo of my set-up when I get a chance, I don't own a digital camera yet, so it takes a little longer ...

I purchased my polarizing filters (I am assuming you are asking about the ones in front of the lights) from a supplier when I worked at a camera store 15+ years ago and I don't remember who. I just searched on the www.bhphotovideo.com web site, I think the best deal would probably be: Rosco 19"x20" #7300 for $39.95. Rosco makes products and filters for theatrical lighting so it should be able to stand the heat of any copy set-up. I would cut the filter in half, tape (or pin) each half over a square hole cut in a piece of foam-core to make frames to hold them.

The polarizer over the lens is a Hoya or Tiffen linear polarizer as opposed to a circular polarizer, I have always used linear and don't have a clue whether (or how) the circular would work...

On the scanning question, Yes, I am making negatives and scanning them on a flatbed, I have also made an 8x10 glossy and scanned that when I felt I "might" be picking up more grain from the negative. I have two flatbed scanners, an Agfa Douscan T1200 which has a internal tray for transparencies and negatives and an Epson Expression 1680 with a transparency lid. The tests posted here were scanned on the Agfa on because it is the one at home. I liked the Epson a lot better until I got the new Silverfast software for the Agfa, now I am not sure ... have not run any tests yet since the Agfa has been used for scanning to the web and the Epson for restoration work.

Thanks for the interest,
Roger
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  #18  
Old 01-25-2003, 06:11 PM
Mike Mike is offline
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Roger
You can use either a circular or linear polo filter, it makes no difference in my experiance.
Have you ever tried Kodaks Technical Pan film? Depending on the developer used one can get contrast from really flat to almost just black and white with about 1 shade of gray between the two! And grain so fine, a 35mm neg prints like a 4x5 neg. However you do have to be careful with it in the darkroom (very little latitude for time/temp variations) and for the best results there is a special devolper for it.
And I think that you are right, doing copy work with a digital camera is really the way to fly in a lot of situations, silvered photos being the best example. Especially if you can work tethered to the computer. My event photo program allows me to see the image on the screen in a few seconds so I use it for copying all the time. In fact this morning I did 23 orginals of different sizes in about 1 and 1/4 hour. Now I just have to get started on the PS work!
Nice thread
Mike
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  #19  
Old 01-25-2003, 11:17 PM
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roger_ele roger_ele is offline
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Mike,

Thanks for the info on polarizers.

I tried Tech Pan before I found 4x5 with Pro Copy, but it has been a loooong time ... the problem I had before Pro Copy was matching the detail and gradation in the highlights and shadows - Pro Copy increases the contrast in the highlights instead of flattening them. It is not just for high contrast originals (like a glossy of a model), so many old portraits that are low key with beautiful tones are wonderful when matched in the copy - so we developed a close relationship and I havn't strayed since ... ...

When I have a low contrast or dark original I just give a lot more exposure and it works wonderful for for that also ... also great to retouch on for when we used to do all of our restorations by hand ...

But, I admit, I am eager to get a good digital camera ...

Thanks, Roger
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