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  1. #1

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    Contact Proof Printing vs Scan

    This is not a discussion of photo scan in general... This is also not a discussion of general contact printing.

    I shoot MF, from 6x4.5, 6x6 to 6x7. I always scan my film with my Epson V750 scanner (without processing). I save it to TIFF for archive, and convert to jpg/png if I want to upload online. I also have a make-shift darkroom and make large prints from my negatives.

    I did some contact proof prints from the negatives. But with the electronic scan, I'm not sure if I still need the contact proof scan. From the scans, I know exactly what photo I want to print. I think this is exactly contact proof is for.

    Please let me know if I'm missing something from the contact proof.

  2. #2
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    It's not easy to judge sharpness from a scan, unless you're very sure that the scanner is focused properly and there is no digital sharpening being introduced by the scanner software.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
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  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb View Post
    It's not easy to judge sharpness from a scan, unless you're very sure that the scanner is focused properly and there is no digital sharpening being introduced by the scanner software.
    Some sharpening is always required since the sampling in scanning is a low pass process. My apologies to those who hate all things digital.

  4. #4
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    And that's why I don't try to judge the actual sharpness of a neg from a scan.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
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  5. #5

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    When I scan film, I turn off all scan features. From my film scans, I found two frames that had some light leaks inside the camera.

    Some recommend contact proof for "maximum blackness". But again, that can also be subjective since you can over-expose the contact proof. The scanner would just scan with the default settings and would not over or under expose the proof intentionally.

  6. #6
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    This seems like more of a question of what happens downstream.

    If you have a hybrid workflow and process/print digitally, then your approach seems fine to me.

    BUT...contact prints are better, present a more authentic representation of the negative, and provide more guidance for picking negatives to print, particularly if you are making analog prints.

    JMHO.
    I shoot digital when I have to (most of those shots end up here) and film (occasionally one of those shots ends up here) when I want to.

  7. #7
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Maximum black for the paper, not for any specific contact print. You would typically find the maximum black point without film in the light path or with blank film or the clear edge of the film.

    Yes you can choose a different negative density point but once the contact print setup is known, it isn't varied.

    Once you have "fixed" your contacting setup, it becomes an objective measurement.

    By standardizing the contacting setup it allows you to see if your camera exposure is falling where you want it.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  8. #8
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    I would always contact print over scanning. You do not need an enlarger to expose the paper, just a dark room with chemicals and trays.
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  9. #9

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    if it is what you do, and you don't have trouble whats the point of changing
    so you can have an "authentic" contact print ?

    plenty of people do exactly as you do and the world hasn't ended yet

  10. #10
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    Since I have learnt how to scan properly, I envisage that I will not produce another contact print of my 6x6/6x7 negatives. I am using scanning to produce photographs from my negatives for 2 reasons - so I can look at the ones that I probably will never get around to printing and so I can get an idea of what I would like to do in the darkroom.

    I followed through with this for the first time not that long ago. I scanned and 'processed' a negative and then I tried to replicate it in the darkroom. It worked out exactly as I had hoped for. I think the thing is that I need to be disciplined electronically so I don't go over the top and produce images that are hard to replicate manually.

    If I want to check the objective sharpness of a negative before I either scan or print, I'll look at it through a loupe.

    I have stacks and stacks of contact prints that I have never really looked at - in the end, for my own process, I find it is becoming a waste of paper.

    But, this is totally subjective. What works for some won't work for others.

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