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  1. #1

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    Digitize black and white negs

    I hope this is the right place for this:

    I ran into a problem...my HP scanjet 3970 flatbed scanner with TMA is not up to the task of scanning black and white film. I just cannot get a decent scan from it. I get an image with a blood red mask and when I convert it to grayscale using the channel mixer... lets just say the scans are less then satisfactory. I am also starting to think that this scanner cannot handle the dynamic range of this stuff.

    My plan when I started to process my own film was to process the film and digitize the images I want and post them on line. Well, I can process the film but cannot show it off.

    I have thought about purchasing a Nikon Coolscan V ED but that has been out of stock for MONTHS for some reason and I am not sure if my work is good enough or if I shoot and process enough of my own film to justify the purchase of the 550 dollar scanner. Even then, would the scanner work with black and white film?

    What other options do I have? I live in an apartment. I could probably get an enlarger for dirt, there is no place I could work it.

    I have thought about taking the negs to my local 1hour lab which is equiped with a frontier and maybe spend 2 bucks and get them scanned to a CD, though I am sure the quality is not going to be very high since them things spit out JPGs (wish they would give you an option for TIFF files but I guess if you are going to get your film done at a one hour lab in a grocery store, most people are just gonna want photos and not tweeking them).

    I guess a photo CD would work, should give me a halfway decent image to look at and post on the web. If I really dig an image I guess then I can take the neg to a pro lab (if I can find one) and get a real print.

    Any other suggestions?
    Last edited by slitherjef; 06-01-2006 at 02:50 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: its almost 2 in the morning and I can't proof read

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by slitherjef
    I hope this is the right place for this:

    I ran into a problem...my HP scanjet 3970 flatbed scanner with TMA is not up to the task of scanning black and white film. I just cannot get a decent scan from it. I get an image with a blood red mask and when I convert it to grayscale using the channel mixer... lets just say the scans are less then satisfactory. I am also starting to think that this scanner cannot handle the dynamic range of this stuff.

    My plan when I started to process my own film was to process the film and digitize the images I want and post them on line. Well, I can process the film but cannot show it off.

    I have thought about purchasing a Nikon Coolscan V ED but that has been out of stock for MONTHS for some reason and I am not sure if my work is good enough or if I shoot and process enough of my own film to justify the purchase of the 550 dollar scanner. Even then, would the scanner work with black and white film?

    What other options do I have? I live in an apartment. I could probably get an enlarger for dirt, there is no place I could work it.

    I have thought about taking the negs to my local 1hour lab which is equiped with a frontier and maybe spend 2 bucks and get them scanned to a CD, though I am sure the quality is not going to be very high since them things spit out JPGs (wish they would give you an option for TIFF files but I guess if you are going to get your film done at a one hour lab in a grocery store, most people are just gonna want photos and not tweeking them).

    I guess a photo CD would work, should give me a halfway decent image to look at and post on the web. If I really dig an image I guess then I can take the neg to a pro lab (if I can find one) and get a real print.

    Any other suggestions?
    You best choice would be to keep your flatbed scanner, buy a dirt-cheap (but real) enlarger, make a temporary darkroom in your bathroom like some fellow APUGers do (and they do so well), and scan your 5x7" or 8x10" darkroom prints to post online.

    By the way almost of all the flatbed scanners don't work well for 35mm film strips. You need a dedicated 35mm film neg scanner to at least get the bottom-line result for your 35mm negs. But that's not a suggested topic here.

  3. #3
    Amund's Avatar
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    Flatbed scanners are mostly useless for anything but proofing 35mm negs if you can`t make contact prints. Btw, APUG isn`t the place for discussing scanners.
    Amund
    __________________________________________
    -Digital is nice but film is like having sex with light-

  4. #4

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    Try the Minolta

    I use the Minolta Dimage Scan Elite 5400II. Almost as good as the Nikon and a lot cheaper. Best bang for the buck.

  5. #5

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    Thanks all and sorry for bringing up the "D" word here. I am not sure if I can get away with an enlarger, there is like no room in my bathroom... or closet. I am sure an enlarger can be found for dirt.

    How big are enlargers weight and size wise? If I was to get one, I would probably be interested in up to 8x10 or 8x12 in size.

  6. #6
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Check out this thread for examples of darkrooms large and small (including my own small dark/bathroom)--

    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum43/10966-darkroom-portraits.html
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  7. #7

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    Forget film, go digital.

  8. #8
    donbga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RB67
    I use the Minolta Dimage Scan Elite 5400II. Almost as good as the Nikon and a lot cheaper. Best bang for the buck.
    What RB67 said. Your problem is the scanner not the negative. Here in civilization we can't buy anything for dirt though, instead we use money. In short, money is your answer.
    Don Bryant

  9. #9

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    I agree that a good option would be to get an enlarger and then just scan the print with your flatbed if your only concern is to post to the web since you dont need high resolution for that.

    If you decide to go part way digital work flow then do what I did. I shoot black and white film and scan with a Minolta Dimage 5400 version I using Silverfast software and print with an Epson R2400 printer. I am amazed at the results.

    You can buy a less expensive ($200)Minolta Dimage Scan Dual IV on Ebay which has lower resolution and no Digital Ice for cleaning up scratched negatives but Ice doesnt work on black and white anyways.

  10. #10

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    Got em scanned

    Well, I took the negatives down to my 1hour lab and had them scanned and burned to CD. They came out pretty good. A bit dusty but pretty good. Better then my scanner did. Here are a couple images from my 2nd roll of film I ever processed my self. Resizing and minor curves adjustment. A bit of cleaning and they should be pretty good

    Image 1:


    Image 2:


    Image 2 crop:


    The crop is a 100% selection from the full size image. Shot with my Elan 7n and canon 100mm f/2.8 USM macro lens. This is a nice chunk of glass. Manual focus even

    CDs only cost me 2 bucks each so that was not too bad. I processed the negs in DDX

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