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antistatic
10-11-2008, 02:43
Since my return from digital I have shot exclusively B&W. I now want to shoot some colour then scan. In general does slide film scan better than print? If it makes little difference I will probably go with the convenience of the C41 film.

David

Svitantti
10-11-2008, 03:01
With flatbed scanners or lousier 35mm film scanners you will lose stuff from the shadows of a slide film. With C-41 you will get the tones scanned easier I'd say, if you dont expose it too much for a flatbed (then you might get awful amount of noise).

Still slides are "easier" to scan if you dont mind losing some shadow detail. Colours and contrast will need less adjustin - at least judging by my own expriences. Try both a roll or two and make your decision.

Tim Gray
10-11-2008, 10:21
I've not scanned any thing other than kodachrome for slides. Give me C-41 film any day. I find scanning B&W a breeze, especially with Vuescan. C-41 gives me some issues getting the right color. I find Nikon Scan gives me better colors than Vuescan out of the box, and also lets me use ICE. For kodachrome, I think I like vuescan more, but the shadows are a pain in the butt. Maybe E-6 is easier...

Svitantti
10-12-2008, 06:13
Kodachrome is quite contrasty, but so are many E-6 films. Astia or Sensia should be easier, Provia is a bit denser and Velvia even more - that for Fuji's.

I only use VueScan to scan RAW-images and that is the only way I scan. Needs work in Photoshop, but thats ok with my volumes.

Roger Hicks
10-12-2008, 06:19
Logically, economically, practically: neg every time.

Aesthetically I lean towards slide, but ever less so.

Cheers,

R.

gdi
10-12-2008, 07:10
Logically, economically, practically: neg every time.

Aesthetically I lean towards slide, but ever less so.

Cheers,

R.


You must be referring to the overall advantages for your use of Neg film. I can't see it being more economical or easier to scan negs vs. (well exposed) slides.

Generally, I prefer scanning slides - for me, its easier to ensure correct colors with a positive. But as previously stated, the advantage of negative DR can also be an advantage - very clear when I have a "problem" slide!

But I can't imagine giving either up.

Roger Hicks
10-12-2008, 07:29
You must be referring to the overall advantages for your use of Neg film. I can't see it being more economical or easier to scan negs vs. (well exposed) slides.

Generally, I prefer scanning slides - for me, its easier to ensure correct colors with a positive. But as previously stated, the advantage of negative DR can also be an advantage - very clear when I have a "problem" slide!

But I can't imagine giving either up.

Yes, I was referring to the whole process, which is how I read the question.

Slide film + processing cost more than neg film + processing = economically less desirable. Add in the cost of brackets and the argument is even stronger.

There are far more places you can buy neg film and have it processed = easier and (usually) quicker.

Exposure is less critical with neg film = easier.

Cheers,

Roger

gdi
10-12-2008, 09:01
Yes, I was referring to the whole process, which is how I read the question.

Slide film + processing cost more than neg film + processing = economically less desirable. Add in the cost of brackets and the argument is even stronger.

There are far more places you can buy neg film and have it processed = easier and (usually) quicker.

Exposure is less critical with neg film = easier.

Cheers,

Roger

No arguments there.

But if we consider E6 and you do your own developing, the cost differences are negligible (but it is harder for me to get motivated to process 35mm C-41, so it usually goes to the lab and is, therefore, more expensive!). And, Kodak is making it harder to find my flavor of C-41 developer; another complication.

I have used slide film for so long that I very rarely bracket, but I have been bitten a time or two :D.

dmr
10-12-2008, 10:40
For a gross overgeneralization, I would have to say that C41 negatives are easier to scan than slides, mainly as has been mentioned that slides tend to be more contrasty and are more tricky on levels and such.

Having said that, I recently scanned a roll each of Astia and Kodachrome and got good results with both.

Negative film can take a joke as far as exposure is concerned, and you can get an acceptable negative and scan while being off as much as two stops or so.

With slide film, you don't have this much leeway, and a poorly-exposed slide equals a poor scan!

amateriat
10-12-2008, 10:47
Well, I've said this before: one is Neat, the other, Keen.

On the positive side: when I got my first film scanner, I thought I'd struck gold in terms of dealing with slides. Before, there was the tedium, and, ultimately, dissatisfaction with creating internegs (PITA process in general, and the generational/detail loss inherent in adding an additional link in the print-making process). The only alternative was either Cibachrome/Ilfochrome (gorgeous when you got it right, too much contrast-craziness when things went wrong; until a lower-contrast Ilfochrome was made available, you had to create your own contrast masks to handle this), or Kodak's ill-fated (swear-to-Dog, I almost wrote "ill-faded", which indeed was part of the problem!) Type-R system that competed with Cibachrome. (There was also Kodak's shorter-lived "Instant" printing system, but we won't go there; somewhere in a box, Dorian Gray-like, sit several attempts at coming to grips with that system). That first scanner, together with my first photo-quality printer (Epson SP 1200), meant Good-Bye to All That.

With a proper (5000°K) light box, you'll know, without a doubt, what the scanned image should look like. Armed with a good loupe (or, failing that, slide projector), editing can be a tad easier, too.

Another interesting observation: at least with my film scanner (Minolta 5400, 1st-gen), slides scan somewhat faster than color negs, even with ICE engaged. I'd been told by someone, somewhere, that the extra bit of time it takes to scan a color neg is chalked up to the process of dealing with the orange mask.

On the (ahem) negative side: better handling of highlights, obviously. I tend not to be a big fan of constant bracketing, and while advanced camera metering technology over the years meant I was already bracketing less when shooting slides, I next to never felt the need to bracket shooting color neg, meaning less film unnecessarily burned up. Having a film scanner also meant having an easier time dealing with negs, too: at first, I still went for getting small prints and proofs done by the lab when getting my film processed; after a short while, I started turning out prints that were better than the best labs I'd been dealing with. Getting color-neg film souped was a good deal faster and easier than getting slide film done, and in more places (which is even more the case now), but by this time the photo agency where I was working had decided to take their color-neg processing in-house, putting me in charge. That was the last time I saw the inside of a photo lab for any C41 work for a number of years. I learned more about the process than I ultimately cared to know. ;)

Now, I can either take the film to a good pro lab (which I still do, depending on the project), or go down the block to the minilab in the local Rite-Aid and get the film done, often in under an hour, for about $2.50 a pop, uncut and sans prints (or scratches...maybe I'm just lucky). I cut the roll up into strips of six, and either lay the entire roll (or two...there's enough room) on the UMAX tabloid flatbed to make a digital contact sheet, or fire up the Minolta, load up several neg holders, and run a fast set of small scans for on-screen evaluation. A bit more involved than dealing with slides, but hardly enough to be irritating. I don't shoot a lot of slide film anymore, but then again, I shot nothing but slide film for the first handful of years I got serious about all this picture-taking stuff; if I never shot another roll of slide film again, I still have an avalanche of the stuff to scan. But color neg (when I'm not shooting black-and-white neg, that is) is where it's at.


- Barrett

(P.S. As usual, dmr can tell you the same thing, with greater, er, economy. :))

Roger Hicks
10-12-2008, 11:03
No arguments there.

But if we consider E6 and you do your own developing, the cost differences are negligible (but it is harder for me to get motivated to process 35mm C-41, so it usually goes to the lab and is, therefore, more expensive!). And, Kodak is making it harder to find my flavor of C-41 developer; another complication.

I have used slide film for so long that I very rarely bracket, but I have been bitten a time or two :D.

No argument there either!

Cheers,

R.

Svitantti
10-12-2008, 11:17
At our clubs darkroom, E-6 is cheaper than C-41 :-). We got 5 Liters of E-6 chemicals and have bought C-41 only a liter at once.

Exposure for a scanner (or maybe for Ilfochrome) is not so easy, but for a projector no problems with slides. Maybe this is why people talk about need of bracketing and how hard a slide film is to expose "correct" (whatever that is).

dmr
10-12-2008, 13:32
(P.S. As usual, dmr can tell you the same thing, with greater, er, economy. :))

Uh, economy?

As in economy of words?

LOL, I tend to be the biggest motormouth around here! :)

cosmonaut
10-12-2008, 13:55
I have never had any luck scanning a slide. Reala scans very well.

Svitantti
10-13-2008, 00:37
I don't think it is about "luck". I mean at least if you scan. Don't just hit a single button scan and hope for the best, but try to adjust the result.
Still, dark slides will be hard to scan well, if you want same tones that you see when you project the image.

antistatic
10-13-2008, 04:46
Thanks everyone for your thoughts. I will give colour negs a go.

PATB
10-13-2008, 08:52
I guess I am weird, but if cost is not a factor, I would shoot Provia 400X all the time as I find the slide scanning workflow much more efficient for me. I just look at the slides on a table, edit, then create a pile to be scanned. Inserting slides into a Nikon Coolscan V (I don't know about other scanners) is so much faster than mucking around with an FH-3 holder. I hate using the film strip thingy. I also get the colors right with minium photoshop using either the Nikon Scan or Vuescan. As for looks, I like the slide colors.

Problem is, 400 speed slide film is expensive and processing is twice the cost where I live.

So, I instead put up with Kodak 400UC. Now that it will be discontinued, I guess I have to get used to Portra 400VC :D

shadowfox
10-13-2008, 09:02
A well-exposed slide when scanned almost always wows me.

But a well exposed C-41 is cheaper and more convenient (you scan up to 6 at a time on my film scanner). And the results are no less gratifying, it's just different.

Svitantti
10-13-2008, 11:00
If I wouldn't print my own RA-4's, I would for sure shoot slides only. Provia 400F "second-hand" or something like that.

historicist
10-13-2008, 11:33
I pretty much just shoot slide and I don't find E6 more problematic to scan (on a Coolscan IV) than C41, apart from Kodachrome which can be pretty frustrating.

Sometimes I can see detail in the slide that comes up as too dark on the scan, though it's not really problematic and I guess this detail wouldn't be there in the first place on C41.

Svitantti
10-13-2008, 12:26
Second that... And it doesnt usually matter if all the shadow detail wont scan.