Digitizing ULF Negatives

Discussion in 'APUG.ORG's "Gray" Area Subforum -NOW HYBRIDPHOTO.C' started by michael9793, Apr 3, 2006.

  1. michael9793

    michael9793 Member

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    Several months ago I came across a situation where I started shooting 8x20 negatives. The one thing I didn't figure was I would have to digitize the negatives. 2 months ago a gallery wanted me to send them my work on CD so they can review what I have been doing. The problem was all my new work is either 8x10 or 8x20. After asking on the different forums about what i can do, I tried them all. they were either not of good enough quality or too expensive for me.
    I now have come up with a system which works for me and is excellent quality.
    1st
    I have purchased a new Microtek Scanmaker 1000XL Pro. This scanner has a bed size of 12"x16" for negatives and 12"x17" for paper (still not big enough for my 8x20's but wait). It also has a Dmax of 4.0, better than most expensive scanners out there. It also comes with masks for 35mm to 4x5 and anything over that goes directly on the glass.
    2nd
    The scanner comes with lots of programs, the one I like is adobe Photoshop Elements 3. It has a section called Photomerge Panoramic. place you two halves of the scanned negative in the program and if the program doesn't match them automatically then you can do it by hand and walla you have a single 8x20 scanned negative.
    I will start posting images from this as soon as I catch up with CD's I have to do first.
    I just thought I would share what I found and what is working for me.
    regards
    michael andersen
     
  2. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    doh! the D word
     
  3. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Thanks for the report. I scan ULF negatives with the Microtek 9800XL, immediate predecessor to the 1000XL. I do this in two passes and merge the parts in Photoshop CS.

    Does the Photomerge Panoramic program in Photoshop Elements allow you to merge with 16-bit files?

    Sandy
     
  4. rogein

    rogein Member

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    I would doubt it since Photomerge in CS2 is limited to 8-bit files.
     
  5. donbga

    donbga Member

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    Panorama Factory

    The Panaorama Factory supports 16 bit image stitching and is reasonably priced. I've not used it yet but I'm currently ready the product documentation PDF. You can download a trial version from:

    http://www.panoramafactory.com/

    Unfortunately it appears to be a Windows only product.
     
  6. donbga

    donbga Member

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    BEETLEJUICE! BEETLEJUICE! BEETLEJUICE!
     
  7. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Oh well, that is a no go. I only use Mac for image stuff.

    PCs are good for typing, though. I use my IBM ThinkPad for most writing projects.

    Sandy
     
  8. michael9793

    michael9793 Member

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    Sandy,
    Last night was the first time I used the unit and it came with silverfast AI for the 1000XL. after scanning the 2 halves and saving them as RT and LF. I bring up the Adobe Elements 3.0 photomerge, pick the two files and away it goes and everything is perfect. I try to set up the first scan using the silverfast options and then leave them, so when I do the second scan they match perfect. I scan at 300 dpi. and mulitscan to pick up the line garbage and use 48 bit color. I have used windows for years so to change now or use another computer is a little much for me to do right now.

    I do have one question.
    I have some 8x20's developed in pyrocat and are over developed I say about 2 stops. Azo exposures are 1.5 mins. When I scan I can't seem to bring the image down. it is always very light after prescanning. Is there a way to change the setting to compensate for the density?
    thanks
    Mike.
     
  9. michael9793

    michael9793 Member

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    Sandy, it changes my 48 bit color to 8 bit then merges

    mike
     
  10. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Mike,

    I suspected as much. My preference is to keep the file in 16 bit while I work on it in Photoshp right up to the point where I print since this reduces the possibility of posterization.

    Sandy
     
  11. michael9793

    michael9793 Member

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    That is what I do with my 8x10's and 4x5's, I guess I'll take what I can get with the 8x20's. THis is so smooth now it is almost scary. Question! Do you have nay more 8x20 holders in stock at this time? I'm thinking of ordering two more. This would bring my total to 5.
     
  12. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Hi Michael

    Here is how I would try to scan a 8x20 inch negative.

    Set up the negative on a very good light box .
    Then with a Phase Back System on Hasselblad copy the negative.
    very simple , very controllable.

    If you want I would do one sample for your as we are equipped for this and see how the quality is compared for other methods.
    I know of a guy who has digitized all his negs, trans this way.
     
  13. donbga

    donbga Member

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    Right Bob, that's exactly what I do. Just pull out my PhaseOne PB 39 back and attach it to the Graplex back of my 4x5 camera!

    Yeah right ..... :smile:
     
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  15. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Hi Don

    As the internet is hard to judge whether one is critical, poking fun or making derogatory remarks , since I don't know you I will think you are just poking fun at my post.

    But actually here in my home town that is exactly how people are scanning odd size original.
    Having a phase back is totally not out of the ordinary in this market.
     
  16. donbga

    donbga Member

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    Bob,

    I was poking a little fun, hence the smiley face, no derogatory remarks were intended.

    I'm not an anti-digital APUG wing nut member (boy I'll probably catch H-E-Double Toothpics for that one). And in my local area, Atlanta, I'm sure that I could conger one either by begging (oops I mean borrowing) or renting. But as a practacle matter for most of us, obtaining and using a PO back is not likely, though I would love to at least use one.

    However, since the original poster of this thread mentioned that his need was to create a CD for distributing his images, I know that is not uncommon for ULF types to make digital captures of their printed work using a digital camera of one kind or another.

    Cheers,
     
  17. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Hi Don

    Thanks, I was hoping that was the case,
    Luckily we have a phase on site and our experience from the good old days of copying artwork from transparancie and now with a phase back kind of leads me to this option as the difference is astounding.
    Since this is the grey area I have no problem advising Michael to this possibility.
    I have continued to be a hard core traditional printer. 18 enlargers from 4x5 to 11x14, in fact I just bought a second plate burner 30x40inch for alternative printing. *I will be using a lazer lambda exposing unit to make dodged and burned , contrast masked negatives up to 30 x40 inch for all the altenative processes.
    What we are finding is a client base that had left us , now coming back in droves , as well new young clients who only have known digital, with needs for our hybrid services that bridge the gap between traditional and digital.
    This year alone I have produced over 10 large lambda fibre and lambda cibachrome shows along side a upswing in traditional fibre printing.
    I understand these backs are really expensive , but I believe they produce exceptional quality.

    Next on the plate is the new digital enlarger heads that fit on any chassis.*Deveere and Varichromat*

    Today I am meeting with the Sales and Marketing Manager of Harmon technoloy world wide *ILFORD*
    I am going to pitch him on making his rc digital b&W paper onto fibre. I think this matching of digital equipment with traditional papers and chemicals, will be a blessing for the Analogue Market as it will create a huge need for new and various silver emulsions to match the needs of the digital and traditional photographer.
    Much like the papers available for INK JET , this new hybrid technology will
    enforce a much larger buying audience for Ilford and other leaders in the Manufacturing of silver emulsions.
    Ironically , the heads of Kodak, may have missed the boat on this and by abandoning or positioning themselves away from silver halide they are bassically cutting their nuts off. George Eastman would roll over in his grave, and if in Kodak there are any *bright lights* they should reliaze this immense market only a couple of years away for silver based products.
     
  18. sanking

    sanking Member

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    What is the maximum pixel size at 8X20" file size that can be obtained with the Phase Back System on the Hasselblad?

    I am having a lot of difficulty in understanding how it is possible to downsize from a real space of 8"X20" to 2.25"X2.25" (optical size) and retain resoluton in lppm equivalent to that of the original negative.

    Sandy
     
  19. donbga

    donbga Member

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    Sandy,

    I can't answer your question directly, but my responce about using a digital camera or back was for creating web sized images for distribution on a CD for subsequent viewing by galleries. Typically I don't think high rez images are wanted for those purposes (non repro). Using a digital camera to capture a contact printed image for that kind of use is quite plausible. I know from my experiences of submitting work on CD for juried shows that there is usually a request that the images submitted be in JPG format not more than a few humdred pixels in the longest dimension at no greater than 360 dpi but usually less.

    IOW, this kind of capture wouldn't be suitable for use to make enlarged digital negatives and such.
     
  20. donbga

    donbga Member

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    BTW, I don't use a digital camera for submissions anyway, I just scan a print since I don't normally contact print larger than 8x10 , but if I did have a printed image larger than my flatbed scanner could handle I would use Dan Burkholders method described in one of his Tiny Tutorials, "Making a Web Photo Gallery" in which describes a method for making scans of a negative look like an alt process print, a faux method.

    I would rather submit actual prints for juried exhibits but that seems to becoming a thing of the past. On the plus side not submiting work on paper saves wear and tear on my prints. Anyway I could go on but I thing you get the point.
     
  21. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Bob,

    I must have misunderstood the context. For some reason I assumed that the scans were meant to provide files that would give equal quality to the original in a print at the same size.

    As for photographing the negative over a light box with a digital camera for the purpose of submitting work on CD or for distribution over the net, the phase back sounds like a simple procedure and a good solution.


    Sandy
     
  22. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Sandy

    As Don explained , I too was assuming that the purpose was for promotional distribution . I would print from the original negative 10 times out of 10.
    My experience with this sort of capture is from smaller negatives and transparancies that have been lit from behind with a strobe, the image positioned between the phase back and the light source. All flare precautions were taken .These new files then would be managed and printed on lambda or light jet.
    I have just found out that Ilford will be supplying me some new paper for lambda fibre printing to test out , and they have agreed to sample me some fp4 for my original intent on making enlarged negatives from the lambda for alternative printing. I should have samples of the new print material when you arrive here in May.
    I must apologize for not being ready with the enlarged negative as this conference has taken up any free time John and I have. I did buy the 30x40 flip top plate burner for this purpose and I have a very large auto fibre paper and film processor being made .
    As stated earlier the hybrid technology is here and now, good or bad I hope Sean keeps this sub forum alive and well , as the implications for analogue users is very well served with some of the new applications and materials coming down the pipeline over the next few years.
    By the way , I did meet Steven Brierley Sales Director for Ilford yesterday.
    It was with immense suprise and pleasure to find out that he and his management team are totally diehard photography nuts, dedicated to Black and White, and Photography in general.
    It floored me his breadth of knowlege and feelings for photography and our photographic community needs to know that these guys are the real deal and trying to find ways to reach out to our community and have seen APUG as one of the strongholds of the craft and are really listening.
     
  23. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Bob,

    Really forward to meeting you and discussing some of these issues in person.

    I also hope that Sean will keep this hybrid forum active, or even main-line it at some point in the future. As I have said before, hybrid techniques offer some of the best reasons for keeping end analog work alive. Many of us in the alternative arena know for certain that the ability to make digitally enlarged negatives has been a very important factor in the rapidly increasing popularity of alternative work that we have seen in recent years. And, I am also convinced that one of the best ways to keep silver printing alive in the future is via contact printing with digital negatives, with the corrections and tonal control already done with a program such as Photoshop.

    But I will say no more. This type of thinking has been hazardous to my health in the past.

    Sandy




     
  24. Joe Lipka

    Joe Lipka Member

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    You speak truth, brother. Life as is will be, not as some would like it to be. Full suport from me in this matter.
     
  25. philsweeney

    philsweeney Member

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    Hi Don,

    Just curious. Why wouldn't digital capture be suitable for digital negatives etc.?

    phil
     
  26. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    Can I add my 2p worth?
    With the size discussed there would not be enough information to make a large enough negative that carried the level of detail required. If you had a suitable sized digital capture of, say 1Gb or more, then there would be less of a problem.