What kind of loupe needed to evaluate negatives?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by RattyMouse, May 17, 2013.

  1. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    I want to look closer at my negatives to see if they are sharper than the scans. What strength loupe should I get? I know nothing about this topic. Negatives are 6 x 4.5 cm.

    Thanks!
     
  2. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    What would be great is portable slide viewer. I have it for 35mm and it is great, with build in loupe and light that illuminate film. I don't know is there such thing for medium format thou.
     
  3. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    3x or 4x power loupe for 6x4.5 pr 8x for 35mm.
    High quality corrected glass loupes areca better investment than plastic designs.
     
  4. Henning Serger

    Henning Serger Member

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    For this application I recommend a slide loupe with an enlargement factor in the 10x - 15x range.
    I am using the Schneider 10x slide loupe for this (from Schneider-Kreuznach, Germany).
    I am very satisfied with this loupe for sharpness evaluation of slides and negatives.
    It should be possible to get one in Shanghai.
    If not, go here
    http://www.greiner-photo.com/

    Best regards,
    Henning
     
  5. Chris Lange

    Chris Lange Member

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    I use a Schneider 4x and 6x for medium format/35mm respectively. They are noticeably better than the cheapie 8x agfa knockoffs.
     
  6. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    A cheap and easy answer is to use a camera lens. The lens I use is a mechanically damaged, (Stuck Diaphragm) Olympus Zuiko 35mm f2.8. I view via the front with the negative close to the back and this gives me a lot more than just a vague idea what the negative is like.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 17, 2013
  7. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    I use a drapers glass.
     
  8. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    Yes, a camera lens is fine but a bit bulky for constant use.

    I use a regular magnifying glass (I unscrewed the handle and it's just a circle encased in plastic). Keep it very, very clean on both sides and put your eye right into it, close up. And this is what I also use to judge a negative image in the enlarger baseboard, down close. - David Lyga
     
  9. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    Interesting. I have a Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 lens. I didnt think to try that.
     
  10. chuck94022

    chuck94022 Subscriber

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    I'm using the Schneider 6x loupe (big one, for looking at 6x6 in all its glory). I also find I love it as my focusing loupe for my Chamonix 045N2. To me it is worth the investment, but it is pricey, at least in China. I got mine in Beijing at the Wukesong market, at the large format camera store.

    I also have a cheapo 10x loupe for when I want to look very closely. And if I really want to get close I have a 50x loupe style microscope... ;-)

    Oh, and one more thing: are your negatives sharper than your scans? Yes. Don't even need a loupe for that, I think I'd bet that whatever scanner you use, the negative will still be sharper.
     
  11. hoffy

    hoffy Member

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    Another vote for an old camera lens, but seriously, a 50 f1.2? I hope that is not just lying around!

    I use an old Minolta 50 F2
     
  12. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    I dont know how sharp my negatives are, that's why I want a loupe. I've never looked at them closely so can't tell. My eyes need a lot of help seeing detail so small.
     
  13. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    Yep, just lying around. I dont shoot digital much anymore so not much need for the Nikkor 50mm f/1.2. :laugh:
     
  14. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    If you already have a good light box/ table you can pretty much use anything your comfortable with an gives you enough eye relief that you want. If you like it close 8x and up are fine even the cheaply Agfa versions are sharp enough in the center. If you would like to evaluate the whole of the negative you need the 3x medium format loupes. Or you can get a large handheld magnifier they can be found anywhere. I bought at the discount store a fold out magnifier I think intended for thread counting or measuring, it sits on its own fold out case, but the glass is terrible especially towards the sides and is not that high of a magnification. I also use an interesting product called a magnabrite. It's a spherical style magnifier you place right against the negative and is quite nice. They make large versions too. I have a busted 50mm 1.4 lens that I used to use as well.

    Your 50mm 1.2 would probably be great, I have the same lens, but I wouldn't risk using it as a loupe with its huge rear element constantly exposed/ handled.
     
  15. brianmquinn

    brianmquinn Member

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    One of the dangers of looking at your negatives too closely is you will find all sorts of detail that does not show up in the print. Then you will try forever to get a print that looks as good as the negative. The range of a properly exposed and processed negative is almost always more then any scanner or wet print can show.
     
  16. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    I use a Carson MV-820 which is both an 8X loupe as well as a 40X microscope. The 40X will allow you to examine critical details that a Coolscan 4000dpi scan will deliver.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. LJSLATER

    LJSLATER Member

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    This is so true, even with 35mm film. I use an inexpensive Peak 15x, which isn't the best optic out there, but it still shows more detail than I'm usually able to get from a print or scan. I'm always amused when I find myself reading microscopic text that I inadvertently captured onto film, such as words on a distant sign, or the labels on food items.

    Regarding 50mm Nikkors, in my opinion the 1.8D makes a far better loupe than the 1.2. Same goes for macro.
     
  18. John Shriver

    John Shriver Member

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    I have the plastic Peak 8X, which works well. I also got a Pentax 5.5X multicoated glass one (for a song), which is a joy to use! But it's not the one to pick out details with.

    I also have an old 10X Hastings Triplet. Awkward to use (very close working distance), small field of view, but sharp.
     
  19. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    Well, if I see a bad scan, I need to know if the camera did a poor job making the negative or the scanner just whiffed. Right now I have no way to tell.
     
  20. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    Another alternative is a bellows setup. With the 50mm macro lens on my fully extended Pentax Bellows K is just a tad less magnification then the Carson MV-820 above.

    [​IMG]
     
  21. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    For a cheap lightbox search ePrey for a "Port-a-trace"
    I'ts a lightbox used by artists to trace stuff but is perfect for one page of Printfile with negs of your preferred format.

    I used a old screwmount pentax 50 1.7 lens but a decent dedicated loupe is much nicer.
    I found one branded by fuji one the for sale board here.