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  • Blow it Up

    Over the past two weeks I have been experimenting with a piece of equipment which, by all rights, should not do a very good job of enlarging tiny sections of photos, but has consistantly surprised me with the results. This all began in a quest to find a some what easy way to satisfy the customer who brings in a 2x3 photo and wants one face in it enlarged to impossible proportions. In my travels down the digital highway I came across a site which sells reconditioned and new microscopes plus an assortment of other optical stuff. There, sitting in the reconditioned section was a large copy stand complete with Monitor, panasonic CCTV camera with a fujiconzoom TV lens, light bars(2) and associated cables for a price less than a copy stand. I grabbed it. Upon arrival and set up, the fun began. Not only did it work perfectly the results fo the first test session are attached for your examination (these folks at this business are great to work with--All pros). I think that the use of video cameras as capture devices is worth looking into if you do a lot of black and white older photos which need to have areas enlarged. Color does not do nearly as well but since most of my work is with B/W that is not a real problem for me. This system is one than could be easily assembled from components at a modest cost. Here's the link to the site I found this little number at; http://www.microscopesfromnightingale.com/
    and here's the first test pics. As a side note, it has already come in handy (as in producing income). Thanks Tom

  • #2
    Very cool!

    I noticed some haloing...is that a raw image, or did you USM it? It would be interesting to compare that side-by-side with a flatbed scan at the highest optical resolution from the same section of the image.
    Learn by teaching
    Take responsibility for learning

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    • #3
      The haloing is from the USM , I usually slightly oversharpen as when I print on the matte paper it seems to disappear and if no halo is present the prints tend to come out a tad bit soft. So far I have not had real good results trying the flat bed scans, but as my scanner is getting old that may have something to do with it. I am seriously drooling over the Epson 1680 pro ..... Tom

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      • #4
        You and me both, brother, you and me both
        Learn by teaching
        Take responsibility for learning

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        • #5
          Tom,

          That's very interesting to say the least. How large was the original print?

          Ed

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          • #6
            Ed, nominal size was around 6x8 or so and the individuals were rather indistinct. The enlargements I have done for customers with this equipment have been of two types; (1) To bring out details of old Farm equipment for restoration of said equipment and (2) To capture some degree of recognizable image for family albums etc., where no other photos are known to exist. The beauty of this is that no-one expects formal portrait perfection from the print, they are very pleased to just get a recognizable image. From start to finish it takes around 15-20 minutes to produce a print with minimal retouching and even out here, no one has complained about price! I think this illustrates the flexability of this business and the importiance of not locking ones self into strictly one type of restore/copy work. Diversification is the key to survival business wise...Just my opinion though. Digital now seems to be where Silver based photography was around the 1860-1870 period...it is accepted by the public, there is a growing demand for it, but now it needs to be explored and experimented with to realize its true potential. Hows that for a bit of "behind the barn" philosophy? Tom

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            • #7
              Re: Blow it Up

              Along the same lines, I've used a Cannon Vizcam that can be found at:

              http://www.canondv.com/canonprojecto...ts/vizcam.html

              ...although we installed this piece of equipment in our showroom to make it easy for our clients to view their old negatives as positives on a 25" TV screen, it works well as another tool for copying objects that don't want to fit into any other type of a copy setup. I've tried it in a few cases for extreem enlargements but nothing of importance, just testing.

              Jim Conway
              Timemark Photo Conservators

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              • #8
                I think you've got it right Tom. Diversify! Would it be practical (or possible) for you to copy old home movie film frames? I'm talking about 8mm or super 8mm. Would you even be able to make an image suitable for viewing on a monitor?

                Ed

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                • #9
                  Ed, I'll do some checking and get back on that. I am sure there is equipment out there to do that type of work. It is an interesting idea...I know some film collections have been transfered from the nitrate based to plastic based supports to avoid the deterioration and fire hazards the older film presents.
                  Jim, thanks for the link. While not a solution for every enlarging challenge, the video cameras with proper lens assemblies and good output do add a nice little tool to the tool kit. Tom

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                  • #10
                    Ed, I put a link over in Input/Output which should help get you started. Good luck...Tom

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                    • #11
                      Tom,

                      Thanks for the link. But I probably didn't make myself clear. What I meant was that if somebody had a few *individual* frames to copy, would this be something beyond your capabilities? Or would you even be interested in providing a service such as that? Just thoughts on another possible way of expanding your services.

                      Ed

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                      • #12
                        Looks interesting Tom. I'll have to look into it more closely when I get more time. Thanks for the link.
                        DJ

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                        • #13
                          Ed, Sorry, I thought you ment transfering an entire role of 8mm to digital format. I suppose individual frames could be scanned if the scanner could support transparency function and if a special holder were avaliable to hold the film without damaging it. The Minolta I use can scan strips of 8mm or 16mm film, but,(and heres the problem), the film has to be cut in the proper length to fit the holder. Very ungood if preserving the role in one piece is desired. I think that some sort of transfer device to grab individual frames would fit the bill but will continue investigating. Tom

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                          • #14
                            It can be done because Marni's husband is into that kind of work as a videographer. I know he transfers film on to CD, Video etc and single frame also but he has very specialized equipment that costs quite a bit.
                            DJ

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                            • #15
                              I *might* have a few frames that I would like to have copied. Marni's husband was looking into a possible source for the service in my area. But it's been quite a while since I've heard anything from her. I guess he couldn't find anyone. I'm not even *sure* if I have any to copy, but reading Tom's post gave me the idea that it might be something else for him to add to his services.

                              Ed

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