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  • Back peddling

    Well I finally took the plunge, backwards. I have a wish list about a mile long of things I need, or should I say want. I can't afford the digital camera that I want so I decided to get back into film. I also can't afford the F100 that Doug just bought so I bought a Canon AE-1 very similar to the one I sold back in 1980. My long range goal is to develop my own negatives and scan to digital to print. I wanted to ask Doug how his plans are comming because he said he was going to do close to the same thing.

    I like my Nikon CP 995 camera a lot. It just has problems with the auto-focus in low light conditions like many of the newer AF cameras do. It sometimes has color balance issues but that isn't a real problem. It does do fantastic macro work. I just want to see if I can take better pictures with an SLR without spending a whole lot of money. I'd love to buy one of the new 11 megapixel Nikon pro cameras but I don't have $8000.00 or so spare dollars right now.

    Now lets see if I still remember how to use this camera...

  • #2
    Kevin -- do you have a slide scanner yet? I thought about doing the same thing as you but haven't decided whether to buy a scanner or have the slides provided on disc from my local developer.

    I can't justify spending $500 on a scanner at this time, though and was toying with the idea of buying a 2400dpi scanner. Trying to decide between a dedicated film scanner, or flatbed scanner with transparency light lid -- also 2400dpi.

    I'd be interested in any comments from people who have gone either route.



    • #3
      Hi Scott, My current scanner is an Epson 2450. I am hoping that it will be sufficient until I am able to purchase the film scanner I want. I have had real good results with the negatives and slides I have done so far. But like you I will have to experiment and see what will be the best method, but at first I will have the Lab develope then and I will scan them to digital. I am going to look on eBay and see if I can buy some tanks, reels, and a black bag. I've never developed color film so I will have some learning to do as well. I used to do black & white about 25 or so years ago.

      Maybe we can get a good discussion going about this subject. maybe Doug will chime in. He hasn't posted in over two weeks.


      • #4
        Best of luck -- although I haven't tried it myself, my understanding is color processing is more difficult than b&w...

        I have some questions about your 2450:
        - Do you get sufficient detail in shadow areas with the 2450?
        - Is 2400dpi sufficient resolution

        I would love to see a representative scan if you would be interested in sending it to me.

        [email protected]


        • #5
          Kevin, I don't do much photography but I do occasionally like to work some into my artwork....and I use an Epson 2450 and a very old Canon AE1. I found that shooting color slides is the cheapest route and they scan much, much better than negatives....even with Silverfast. (Plus E-6 processing is pretty cheap!)

          I like digital for snapshots but I still prefer the look and feel of film...and the 2450 will produce great 8'x10' prints from 35mm.


          • #6
            Hi Scott, I hope to have all of those answers soon. So far all of my slide and negative scanning has been very old items most of which have faded badly or had a lot of grain. This will be my first test on new negatives or slides. I'll keep you informed. By the way if you are in the market for a new scanner the replacement for the 2450 is the 3200 and it has 3200 DPI native resolution and is supposed to be an improvement over the 2450.

            Hi Greg, thanks for the tip on the slide film. I might just try that first. I still may get cheap later and try to develop my own film but who knows I might not. I just bought my "new" 1976 AE-1 on eBay this past weekend and can't wait to get started. Will this make me a "cross-shooter"?


            • #7
              I want to second Greg's observation that slides scan much better than negatives!! Color balancing scans from slides is 100 times easier than those from negatives - even when I set the correct film type in Silverfast. Actually, I should mention that I get better color balance from negatives from Vuescan - I can't remember if Vuescan supports the 2450 though. I did a comparison of Vuescan and Silverfast on my slide scanner a while back and Vuescan came out way ahead. (I just have the free version of Silverfast that came with my scanner though - not the "Pro" version, which may make a difference.)



              • #8
                Thanks Jeanie. I am using Silverfast AI 6.0 with my 2450 and it does a good job on negatives as long as there isn't a very heavy color cast, that seems to trip it up a bit. I believe I will take the recommendations here and shoot slides.


                • #9
                  Thought I would post an update with my progress. I went on a photo shoot a couple of weeks ago to Hodges Gardens. I shot with both the Nikon digital and the Canon AE-1. I was handicaped on the Canon because the only lens I had at this time was the 50mm. The pictures from both cameras were great. The Nikon had an advantage with its 4x zoom and its macro capabilities.

                  This was a very sunny day and the digital was greatly effected by the bright sun. This bright sun problem effects most non-SLR digital cameras. I was able to test my new Photosolve "Extend-a-view" hood for the view screen. It worked very well in situations that would have been hopeless with out it. Of course the SLR didn't have any problems shooting in bright sun.

                  I had one roll of slide film developed and have scanned the slides into Photoshop. I am pleased with the results and consider the test a success. The only big problem is that I can't get local slide developing. All the places I tried had to send them off for a couple of weeks. This is not acceptable so I am going to learn how to develop my onw slides. Of course I will have to find a good book first
                  Last edited by KevinBE; 06-06-2003, 09:31 AM.


                  • #10

                    There is a local lab here in Fort Collins (CO) which works exclusively with slides (developing, printing & duping.) Professionals from all over the US send their film to him - and he gladly works with peons like me. He has a one-day turn around here locally and I'm sure it's the same for people who mail their slides because I've seen him rushing out the door at 4:30p to make the FedEx dropoff deadline. $8.25 to develop 1 roll of 36-exp 35mm. Here's his contact info:

                    Paul Nielson
                    Markham Lab
                    204 N Link Lane #5
                    Fort Collins, CO 80524

                    I have no affiliation with Paul except as a very happy customer. He's a really great guy who is an exceptional aerial photographer and contributes generously to the community.

                    Give him a call and he'll be happy to answer any questions you have. You can tell him I sent you if you want, but you'll get great service regardless!



                    • #11
                      I bought a bunch of gray-market slide film and an equal number of Kodak photo processing mailers from B&H. It takes the final total cost of a 36-exposure roll to about $7.

                      So far I'm very pleased with the scans (done on flatbed). It's slower than I expected, but not for technological reasons. I just can't seem to grab those little 2"x2" suckers off the glass when I'm done. And in doing so I smudge the daylights out of the glass, so I'm thinking on trying cotton gloves.

                      I haven't tried negative film yet, though I did purchase some at the same time.
                      Learn by teaching
                      Take responsibility for learning


                      • #12
                        Thanks Jeanie for the tips. I am going to do something different, two weeks is not what I had in mind. It's really culture shock for a digital shooter to have to wait one hour much less two weeks to see the results of the shoot. I want to begin developing my own slides but will have to learn how first. I have experience developing B&W film in a can and developing x-rays in a big vat developer. But those were easy monobath systems. I have no exeprience with color.

                        Hi Doug thanks for the info on B&H. What film are you using? Is the extra cost of the professional film worth the extra price? I also just bought some print film to see how negatives work. I have scanned negative film lately and Silverfast works great unless the film has faded real badly.

                        I think I am going to like this set up. I believe I have the best of both worlds. I have a choice of digital or film when I am shooting. Each has it's strong suit and it's weakness. By the way I couldn't resist a mint A-1 body earlier this week. Guess I will put the AE-1 on ebay, or not.


                        • #13
                          Follow-up to what's been going on with my plan. I have been much too busy the past 4 weeks with remodeling my Den and my ebay endeavors. I hope to get caught up soon. I'm getting behind on too many things.

                          Anyway I did get my first batch of slides in and am pleased with my work flow. There are two things that bother me though. One is it takes so long to scan the slides at max resolution. The second is the slides are grainy which really suprised me. I don't know who developed them, it only says Kodak on the packaging. I'm hoping that is was the combination of the film, Extachrome Extra 100 ASA, and the developing process. I am going to buy the Extrachrome Professional and also begin developing the film myself. Hopefully this will cure the grain problem. Neat Image does a great job but I thought I wouldn't have this problem at 100 ASA. I may have to go to 64 ASA.

                          There is nothing at all wrong with the quality of the scanned images though. I am confident that when I get the film problems behind me that I will be sucessful at my goals. I have the darkroom equipment in transit and hopefully the right book.


                          • #14
                            Although there can be other differences, the primary difference between pro and regular film is the color. Film ages, and amateur film is shipped a little "unripe" so that it will age to proper color. Pro film is shipped at the peak of accuracy and kept refridgerated to slow the aging.

                            As for myself, I just bought a ton of regular ISO100 Ektachrome, since I have a lot of shooting to do to remind me of the skills I used to take for granted

                            Processing can make a big difference, which is why it's one of the most-discussed film topics. My Kodak mailers ensure excellent processing, but also run the risk of sitting in a hot mailtruck.
                            Learn by teaching
                            Take responsibility for learning


                            • #15
                              Hi Doug. Thanks for the information. I was not aware of the real differences between the regular and the pro version. Guess it wouldn't be good to buy a lot of the pro film unless I was going to shoot it up soon. I have found it difficult to buy slide film locally. I guess I will have to buy mostly online. The film I shot was Extachrome Extra Color but it was all I could get at the time. I've been reading all I can find about the subject. I believe that my first experience with this slide film was not normal and I hope my future rolls are much better.


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