New to 35mm Film - Horrible Images or Bad Scanning? Opinions Needed

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by dodphotography, Feb 8, 2014.

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  1. dodphotography

    dodphotography Member

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    These were shot on a Leica M6 35mm Zeiss Biogen shot on Agfa APX 100. Film was developed at Color Services in Needham, MA. I decided to forgo scanning services and complete myself on an Epson V600 scanned at 1200 DPI. They look pretty bad, am I just THAT bad of a photographer or am I scanning too low of a DPI. I am more of a MF shooter, 1200-2400 is just fine for 120 (6x6, 6x7 experience). OR, is this film not highly regarded.

    12390557823_37f473fe9b_c.jpg
     
  2. Ricardo Miranda

    Ricardo Miranda Member

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    Hello!
    Excuse me the question, what does scanning has to do with 35mm cameras?
    I fail to see the connection.

    Perhaps you would like to post your question to DPUG.
     
  3. dodphotography

    dodphotography Member

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    I haven't had the time to print these, so I scan for sharing online.

    This is the 1st roll out of my Leica M6 and 1st time using Agfa APX 100. When you view the image I attached, does the poor quality say "that's a poorly taken photograph" or "that's a poor quality scan". The bokeh is horrible.

    I can't say because I haven't made a print of anything off this roll.

    This is obviously an analog site, but we all scan to share work... right?
     
  4. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

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    Your posted image looks pretty good to me. What's the problem you see?

    >>The bokeh is horrible.<< What's 'bokeh'?


    BTW, it seems the 'purest' here prefer scanned prints :wink:



    ++++++++++++++

    OK, so I looked it up: 'Bokeh has been defined as "the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light".' That's way to 'artsy' for a photo engineer like me.
     
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  5. snapguy

    snapguy Member

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    bad

    You need to say what you think is "bad" about it? On my computer screen it looks plenty sharp but is focused a bit close and the depth of field is very narrow. I suggest you should take the negs back to the place where you got them developed and ask them what they think. They no doubt have plenty of experience at looking at negs of this type. You should also get some old fashioned silver halide prints to look at.
    Too many photograbbers today have a large orifice fixation. Using a fast lens wide open is for special circumstances and should be used sparingly, like laxatives. There is life below f1.4. (You did ask.) Stopping the lens down a little is not just for wimps.
     
  6. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    I can see what looks like dust or more likely small hairs in the scan which suggests that the scanner plate needs cleaning or is the hair embedded into the neg? If it is then you need to clean it and it should be fine but the neg as far as one can tell from a scan looks OK. I can see every reason to believe that a darkroom print from this neg will be fine.

    If you look at the neg through a loupe can you see anything wrong? If the neg looks OK and I expect it to, then translating that to a good scan is really a DPUG matter

    It might help us if you were to state what it is about this neg that makes it a horrible image.

    pentaxuser
     
  7. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    You guys slay me... that's what I was thinking... it's not a bad image (although I'd consider a bit of a change in framing) and its not a bad scan. The dust could be criticized and I almost mentioned the spots but found out that the spots were really coffee splatters on my monitor. I don't see much of a problem and would second the comment by snapguy on stopping down.
     
  8. dodphotography

    dodphotography Member

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    One of the challenges I am still getting over is getting away from 100 speed film, I like a slower emulsion but then I find myself at a party and 100 makes me shoot wide open because of a lack of light.

    I think I need to just make some prints of this, another problem is I am working on a 27 inch iMac so perhaps I am looking at them on a large screen and seeing some things I might now see in smaller formats.

    I think it's a bad image, the quality just doesn't feel right to me.
     
  9. ParkerSmithPhoto

    ParkerSmithPhoto Subscriber

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    Light is kind of flat on the face, and it looks like you used the in scanner sharpening, which is always awful. Try scanning without any sharpening, and then give it two or three very light sharpening passes (rather than one heavy one) using a high pass filter sharpening. Google that for the technique.
     
  10. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    if you are new to 35mm then be advised: your first roll of film sucks. No two ways about it.

    That shot looks fine for a first roll. Go take more. Have fun. Learn about lighting and composition.
     
  11. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    could it be that the white door frame on the right fooled the camera meter and causedunderexposure and poor midtone contrast?
     
  12. Hatchetman

    Hatchetman Subscriber

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    The scan job definitely isn't great. Look at all the "aliasing" clearly visible in the ceiling....that doesn't look like film grain at all. Have the lab do what they consider a quality scan of a few frames and see if there is a huge difference.
     
  13. momus

    momus Member

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    Looks perfectly fine to me. Maybe a little over sharpened, but what the hey.
     
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  15. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

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    You can't be too picky about image structure issues when you are looking at a JPG file.
     
  16. JW PHOTO

    JW PHOTO Subscriber

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    The Epson V600 is, I'm sure, a fine scanner, but it won't compare to a dedicate film scanner with 35mm. It's pushing it with 35mm, but for web/small prints use it will get you by fine. I have a Nikon Coolscan 8000ED and 35mm is at it's limit on it also. Now, if we're talking 6x6 or larger the Nikon is fantastic and it makes me wonder why I mess with 35mm at all. Your V600 should very nicely with medium format also. I personally think your image looks darn good for what you're working on, but if you want better you might think about moving up in format or dedicated film scanner might help.
     
  17. Truzi

    Truzi Subscriber

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    It looks fine to me too. The scanning artifacts are there, but the picture itself is ok. Now I'm sure I could NOT do better, I'm not good at taking pictures, but the exposure does look like it needs a little work. Still, it's not bad.
     
  18. Ricardo Miranda

    Ricardo Miranda Member

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    No, not everybody is a narcissist or a exhibitionist in need of praise. There's plenty of "Vivian Maier" photographers still around.

    BTW, you go to all the trouble to shoot film and then have it reduced to low quality pixels? There's no logic in that.
    For a scan, your image is fine.
     
  19. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    For an Epson flatbed scan of 35mm film this is not bad. I'm not sure you had anything very exciting in terms of good lighting or anything else like that, what exactly were you expecting that you don't see here?
     
  20. dodphotography

    dodphotography Member

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    I don't remember asking for praise... But other than that, sure. I'm a visual learner, as many are, so scans help people discuss strengths and weaknesses. Is that blasphemous?

    I shoot film and print for personal work.

    I digitize images for ease of replication. I shoot 365 projects, 52 week project, other thematic projects and I like to create books of this work. Like I said before I normally shoot MF and LF and for this purpose scans from this affordable machine look absolutely fine.





    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  21. thegman

    thegman Member

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    The photos looks OK to me, however I do think 1200dpi is pretty low to scan 35mm film at, my ancient old Canoscan did 4000dpi. For showing on the web, though, 1200dpi is fine fine.

    Bokeh is not an area of interest for me, but it looks fine to me.

    I do think though, that if you normally shoot medium format, I can't see 35mm ever really being good enough for you, unless you change your views on what's an acceptable level of technical quality. I went from 35mm to medium format, I've tried to get back into 35mm, but just can't seem to do it.
     
  22. JW PHOTO

    JW PHOTO Subscriber

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    Thegman is right and I would think 2000+ dpi would be about the lowest to go with 35mm. I also have a hard time going back to 35mm when it comes to scanning. I can take a good medium format shot and make it look much better than an excellent 35mm one. Size does matter! That said, I do use 35mm from time to time for "not-so-serious" stuff and it works. I also agree that your shot might be just a little "over sharpened" by the halo/dot look, but I don't know what your settings were.
     
  23. dodphotography

    dodphotography Member

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    Appreciate the advice, I'm used to 1200 to 2400 being enough with MF.

    It's a combination of portability and access that brought me to 35mm. The leica is subtle, light, and is always with me. I can't compare a negative from the RB67 but I just can't toss that in my bag real quick when leaving the door. 35 is more of an every day life format, if that makes sense.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  24. JW PHOTO

    JW PHOTO Subscriber

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    I know what you mean about portability and camera size. I've owned many excellent 35mm cameras and some were/are very small, while others were almost as big as medium format (weight and size). I still have a couple of Leica cameras and other odds and ends, but the ones I use the most are my Minox and Rollei 35's. I don't smoke anymore and the Minox fits the pocket where the smokes used to be. Truth is that for color work a Samsung NX100 has replaced my 35mm cameras and the little Minox holds B&W film. If I need different lenses I then see a real reason just to grab my Hasselblad 500C with waste level finder since it doesn't weigh much more than some better 35's and its size isn't bad either. Now, if I were to travel and want to take some serious pictures I'd take my Pentax 67 and army of lenses, but the little Minox 35mm would still be with me. So, I guess I'm like you in a way - serious is bigger format and casual is 35 pocket stuff. JohnW
     
  25. TooManyShots

    TooManyShots Member

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    Can you guys just tell him the truth? Yes, people do scan their negatives. :smile: We just have accept it. Then, we can move forward in the discussion. For one thing, your v600 is very limited in terms of the scan quality. Optically, the native ppi resolution is about 1500??? At this resolution, at 800 pixels, that's probably the most acceptable quality you will get. You can get good scan quality if scanning your negatives with a 35mm dedicated scanner. I used the Plustek 8100 with an optical native resolution of 3800 ppi.
     
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  26. lns

    lns Member

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    I think it's a great film, and a great lens. I use both myself. One might say that a 35mm lens is not ideal in general as a portrait lens for adult women, like myself, but it's nice if you want to show the environment. You probably only need to pay more attention to lighting and framing. If you had rotated her so the light illuminated her face, and so the background was less distracting, that same photo would be much more striking.

    If you look at this thread, the first photo is fantastic. While not taken with a 35mm camera, it is a great example of what one can do with a slightly more posed photo in a home environment, with careful framing and attention to natural light on the face. It's also not that much different in concept than the one you took.
     
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