Slide or print film? for scanning.

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by ToddB, Apr 17, 2013.

  1. ToddB

    ToddB Member

    Messages:
    1,136
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2012
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Hey guys,

    I have a shoot this weekend and typically I gravitate toward Fuji Print 120 film for scanning. However.. I went to my local camera store and they are out of Fuji Print film or any other manufacturer of 120. However they had slide film from Fuji. Would I be OK scanning that as a back up roll?

    ToddB
     
  2. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,997
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I think other APUGers might have a different opinion. In general, color negative film has better latitude. You can over expose neg film by a stop and a half and you still get decent scans. If you over expose chrome film, you'll blow out your highlights. I think chrome film is a bit sharper.
     
  3. ToddB

    ToddB Member

    Messages:
    1,136
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2012
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Thats what I was thinking.. I'll conserve what I have or give them a call on friday to see if their supplies came in.

    ToddB
     
  4. thegman

    thegman Member

    Messages:
    623
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I find both can scan very well, print film tends to be incredibly forgiving of over exposure, slightly forgiving of underexposure. Slide film forgives neither. However I think if you get the exposure right, slide film can look amazing. For scanning, I've had good luck with both.
     
  5. AOCo

    AOCo Member

    Messages:
    69
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
    Location:
    Bretagne
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I find that negative film is very good for fine grain, high latitude, but I've never found a satisfying way to scan them, and get decent colors.
    There are tons of methods out there on the web, I tried many of them, but never was quite satisfied.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 17, 2013
  6. ntenny

    ntenny Member

    Messages:
    2,283
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2008
    Location:
    San Diego, C
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I think the exposure pickiness of slide film is a *little* exaggerated, perhaps because of specific films like Kodachrome and Velvia that are notorious for it. With lower-contrast E-6 films like Provia, the latitude is less than negative/print film, but it isn't outrageous---typical in-camera meters, in my experience, do just fine with it. I avoided shooting slides for a long time because of the fear that my exposure skills weren't up to it, and when I finally took the plunge I found that after all it wasn't a big deal in that respect.

    Scanning is theoretically off-topic, so let's suppose that you wanted to *project* your film. Onto a very small screen. With light sensors in it. :smile: I'm being a little silly, but that *is* basically what film scanning is...I find the convenience of having no orange mask, and not having to fiddle around with the color balance for different films, is a big win. It's obviously possible to use either type of film, finishing in the analog or d*g*t*l domains, for excellent results---people do all of these things all the time---but given my balance of time, skills, interests, and viewing criteria, I usually end up prioritizing convenience for the "finish" stages.

    (I'll invest any amount of time in the "front-end" shooting and developing stages, though. Hand-coated emulsion that has to be refined on the spot from unicorn tears and coated with a yeti-hair brush onto a technetium-iridium substrate hand-harvested from comets? I'm there! :smile:

    -NT
     
  7. AOCo

    AOCo Member

    Messages:
    69
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
    Location:
    Bretagne
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Just read Nathan's post. I guess that's a good point : orange mask gives a white point reference which is good. I just don't find the colors very saturated, or natural looking. Maybe I should try other films.

    I also confirm that films like Provia 400X can handle a fair amount of over-exposure (1,5 EV).
     
  8. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,997
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I think with Japanese color film and paper have that saturated "Japanesey" look which is saturated. I used to use Kodak EPP chrome for my client work which required neutral colors and Fuji RTP for personal work.
     
  9. Lionel1972

    Lionel1972 Member

    Messages:
    234
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Location:
    France
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Given the consumer type of scanners I can afford, I have never been really satisfied with what I get from mine with C41 negs. For E6, scanning is easier and the results are most of the time very pleasing (unless the slide is very underexposed). On the other hand I love the results I get with Portra when I let the local photostore process and scan them on Fuji Frontier minilabs. I wish I could afford my own Frontier SP2500 or SP3000 just for shooting Portra in 120. I'd like to try wet printing color negs on RA4 paper now. From what I've seen of it, the results are far more satisfying then scanning (or at least what I can achieve with my scanners).
     
  10. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

    Messages:
    2,933
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    Location:
    Misissauaga
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    My 2 cents - spend the bucks on ViewScan, if all you got was Epson Scan or a hobbled oem version of Silverfast with your scanner.

    Viewscan - in advanced mode takes a bit to learn, but it puts you, and not some automated wizard, in control of your scanners interpretation of the scanned output.

    It also has an automated mode that works well for most images.

    The up side of ViewScan is that it supports older scanners who had vendors that did not update their offering for the latest operating system requirements.

    Just a twain driver and you are away to the races with your old scanner off of the local craigslist or camera club listings - 'next to free boat anchor for those running older o/s people'.
     
  11. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,325
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Location:
    Rome, Italy
    Shooter:
    35mm
    That depends a lot on how you scan. Negative film "capture" a larger dynamic range but, on film, they are less contrasted than slides. Slides have a greater density range (from pure black to pure white) than negative film. Any scanner can capture all the information in a negative film frame, but not all desktop scanners can capture all the information in a slide film frame.

    That's probably why the exposure "pickness" of slide film tends to appear exaggerated when seeing scans of them.

    My experience is that with my desktop scanner I have no difficulty in capturing all the dynamic range of slide film I normally use (Astia, Sensia). That doesn't mean slides do not pose some challenges in high subject brightness range situations. That means they pose no more challenges when scanning than when projecting. If you get the exposure rights slide film is a joy to see. That is partially due to their comparatively limited dynamic range, so that there will be some "pure black" small details (recessed details). That will set a very dark "black point" in your brain and let you see the rest of the image brilliant and saturated. If there is no "pure black" in the image (if the black point is not very black) your brain sees the image as not well saturated, a bit "washed up".

    Actually, IF your subject brightness range is not extreme and IF your scanner has a very good dynamic range, slide film should be much easier to use than negative film, I mean it's much easier to get natural and pleasing colours, probably because of the above mentioned reason (and for some others as well).

    Be very careful in using slide film as a "back up". Slides want to be exposed for highlights. Negatives should better be exposed for shadows (and are generally speaking more forgiving as well). When you use slide film you have to be very "aware" that you are using slide film, any moment, when evaluating exposure. Overexposing a slide in a high subject brightness range situation normally results in a disaster.
     
  12. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

    Messages:
    4,267
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Location:
    Richmond/Geelong, AUS
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Expose slide film carefully with no blown highlights and no blocked shadows and it will scan beautifully. I rarely scan C41 unless I'm sending copies of snapshots to rellies. All fine art work though takes place on Velvia and is drum scanned. Bewdifully. :smile:
     
  13. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,210
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    Location:
    Connecticut,
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    I skimmed some of this but I didn't see anyone discuss palate with regard to skin tones, many slide film palates that still exist are not skin tone friendly. It's landscape film.

    So I wouldn't shoot people unless its Astia and POSSIBLY Provia100f if they don't have a bad fake tan :smile:

    There has to be some film somewhere you can use? Good luck!


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

    Messages:
    4,267
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Location:
    Richmond/Geelong, AUS
    Shooter:
    Multi Format


    Provia 100F is OK for skin tones.
     
  16. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,210
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    Location:
    Connecticut,
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Yea that's why I said avoid using it on recently tan women (pale only), or they look like they belong in a star trek episode :smile: haha


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  17. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,325
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Location:
    Rome, Italy
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I think you mean palette, although a skin tone can be very palatable as well :smile:

    Astia is as far as I know derived from Accurate Skin Tone, Ast... followed by the suffix "ia" which become the Fuji way to say "film" (actually meant to say "slide film" but then way "Superia" is a negative film? I don't understand that).
     
  18. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

    Messages:
    4,906
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2011
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    My two cents worth : learn to print color neg in the darkroom. Then you don't have to worry about all
    this scanner nonsense with half-baked results. Otherwise, farm it out to someone with a serious quality scanner. But heck, I did portrait commissions on Cibachrome, so yeah, slide film can be bent all kinds of directions. But portrait work is far easier using a color neg film like Portra and RA4 paper.
     
  19. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,963
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, V
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Since this discussion has shifted towards scanning aspects, I shall talk about scanning a bit..

    Flatbed scanners: Terrible resolution, terrible SNR (hence why shadows are poor on slides on them, even though technically within the range captured by the scanner).

    You can actually improve both resolution and SNR with software technique. SNR simply by stacking (dont use VueScan multipass, it doesn't align your images and blurs them even more) which greatly improves SNR if you wish to dig into shadows.. for resolution you have to go a bit further and use superresolution technique, but it requires more than a single sample of a scene, but luckily for us our scene doesn't change (the film).

    Superresolution legitimately overcomes deficiencies in an optical system, legitimately overcoming both resolving power and diffraction limits (or going around them perse).

    Here is a flatbed 3200 dpi scan crop from Velvia 50 (That I shot at 25 and pulled 1 stop as it was expired and I was worried a little).

    [​IMG]


    Here is the same shot, with multi-sample superresolution applied

    [​IMG]

    Similar area shown from some other scanners:

    [​IMG]

    There is more details how I did it at http://rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?p=2098918

    Only 2 passes are needed to achieve the results from some testing I've found.

    It's actually quite easy to do and takes seconds. People seem to resort to complex time consuming tasks though.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 19, 2013
  20. HTF III

    HTF III Member

    Messages:
    133
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2013
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Second that.
     
  21. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,210
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    Location:
    Connecticut,
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Astia isn't available any longer... Lol

    And you're right, I'm a horrible speller :wink:


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  22. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,393
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    Location:
    florida
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
  23. graubär

    graubär Member

    Messages:
    9
    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2011
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Slide film has a much higher dynamic range, which is also good for scanning-printing, because you can adjust the photo for print much better. That's why slide film used to be the reference material of pros in the old days. Exposure has to be precise, because the material can transfer precisely what you want and most light meters can do that. Negative film is less sensitive to exposure errors, which also means that it cannot transfer everything right. after scanning the colors come out perfect and saturated, because there is no conversion required. I use Provia 100 and that works great for my Nikon coolscan as well as for the reflecta MF5000. Adjustments one has to make depend on the paper you want to print on and not so much on the film. I will always prefer slide over negative. I have not much experience with high ISO films, but grain is mostly visible on the monitor and not so much on the print. I had scans (b&w), with strong moiree from the scanner, but there wasn't any visible on the print!
     
  24. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,997
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I respectfully disagree with your statement of slide film has much higher dynamic range. While I do love the sharpness of slides and how how they glow on your light box, color neg has higher dynamic range. When I shot for commercial clients, I don't know how many Polaroids I shot to make sure that I filled in shadows enough and gobo'd off the highlights to make sure that they aren't blown out. Pros shot chromes because art directors like to see positives for color balance and it's much easier to view without proofing. If you over expose highlights on color neg film, there's still data. Highlights are denser if you over expose them. If you over expose highlights on slide film, no data for scanning. Correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  25. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,325
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Location:
    Rome, Italy
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I respectfully disagree as well. For "dynamic range" it is normally meant that portion of subject brightness range that can be recorded on film, or the length of the "blanket" sufficient to cover both the highlights and the shadows without burning the former of blocking the latter. That's higher for negatives.

    What graubär means, probably, is that slide film itself - the product - has a higher density range than negative film. The higher dynamic range of the negative film is actually "compressed" in a shorter density range on film. That makes scanning easier (any scanner has a dynamic range sufficient to record the entire density range of a colour negative, not many scanners have the density range sufficient to record the entire density range of a slide frame) but than one must, so to speak, "uncompress" again this density range.

    Also, the nature of the scanning process is such that scanning of a negative frame shows the noise mostly in the highlight region (where it is more disturbing) while scanning of slides shows the noise mostly in the shadows region, where it is less disturbing. It is also my experience that scans of slides look much more natural and convincing than scans of negatives, on screen.

    White balancing of scans from slides is also much simpler than white balancing of scans from negatives. White balancing of a scan from a negative can be very (very) tricky if one doesn't use a proper colour-managed workflow. Negative film in theory should give higher colour precision but that is true only when a proper colour-managed workflow is used, both in an analogue workflow and in an hybrid workflow.
     
  26. pukalo

    pukalo Member

    Messages:
    121
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Unfortunately the original poster is no longer part of this thread, so for the sake of other readers Ill state my experience.
    1) slide film scans MUCH better than negative film in all respects - , far less grain, sharper, and better colors. Negative film is not even close in any of these respects
    2) if you have an in camera multisegment or matrix meter, metering is not an issue. Even a simple Olympus stylus epic point and shoot handles slide film perfectly.
    3) slide film captures less dynamic range in the scene, so in bad high contrast lighting when you should not be shooting anyways, it can have more issues than negative film.
    4)slide film captures less total scene dynamic range, but the resulting image on film has much higher dynamic range than negative film, so it generally looks better.
    5)be careful with flash on older cameras that don't have ttl flash metering if using slide film, until you know how your camera will react. Back to the stylus epic example, it doesn't have title flash, instead it measures distance at focus, sets flash output accordingly, and if subject moves closer after focus, the resulting flash shot will be over exposed. If no movement closer, still comes out perfect though....
    6)if you have never even tried slide film, you need to shoot it at least once, and be prepared to be impressed, no, blown away by the results shot in good lighting....