scanner as densitometer

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by chuck94022, Mar 2, 2005.

  1. chuck94022

    chuck94022 Subscriber

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    I'm considering the purchase of a used densitometer. But I already have a decent flatbed scanner (Canon 9950F).

    Is it possible to use that as a densitometer? Has anyone tried doing this? I saw a reference on the web to Silverfast having some sort of online densitometer solution that uses the scanner as its input. Is this reasonable?

    Apologies if this has been asked and answered. I searched but didn't find anything relevant.

    -chuck
     
  2. kaiyen

    kaiyen Member

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    This has been asked a few times on photo.net.

    The basic answer is that it's possible to build a curve, but only if you can first get some kind of known value as a reference point. this is difficult with most software because of auto exposure, levels, etc. With something like VueScan, at least you can lock in exposure, but it's still difficult to get a good starting point. I've read that it's somewhat easy to build a curve relative to some quasi-arbitrarily fixed point, but it's hard to find a "real" fixed point.

    Pat Gainer posted at the bottom of this thread about making an assumption about pure white being zero density on the screen. That allows for some calculations, but is again symptomatic of the need to find some kind of fixed point to start off with.

    This thread is another interesting discussion on the topic.

    I am in the process of trying to figure out film speed and development times with my Nikon Coolscan IV myself.

    allan
     
  3. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    Another option is the densitometer mode of the enlarging meters from RH Designs, that measures relative density from the image projected by your enlarger. Whether that feature is sufficient for your densitometer odometer (YMMV) is an exercise left to the reader, of course. :wink:
     
  4. chuck94022

    chuck94022 Subscriber

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    Thanks Allen. Very useful pointers.

    -chuck
     
  5. chuck94022

    chuck94022 Subscriber

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    Thanks Ralph. I don't have one of those, but if I did I'd try it.

    -chuck