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Old 01-09-2017   #41
SaveKodak
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The first question people always ask is "does it scan full rolls?" The reason why I argue against needing that feature is because, what's the point in the end? When I had my XA scan full rolls I was less likely to rescan my culled images for better quality. So even though I could see all my images relatively quickly, the work suffered in the end. The Pakon is the same way, quick and easy, but you give up a lot for quick and easy. IMO it's just as easy to simply look at your negs in a print file, like we did in the old days. If you want to use 3-5 images from a given roll right away, you do some scanning. Easy!

I shoot film because it's not digital. I don't want to treat my rolls like a less convenient SD card. It's a personal workflow choice, and anyone can do whatever they want, that's fine. But people advocate for workflows all the time so that's all I'm doing here. I just treat scanning pretty much the same way I treated working in the darkroom. A slow, considered process, with an effort to produce the best quality 'enlargements (scans)' that I can make. It's the opposite of dropping my film off at the drug store and flipping thru 4x6 prints and saying, "good enough". I'm not trying to tell you what to do here or anything, it's just how I see it.

Last edited by SaveKodak : 01-09-2017 at 06:13. Reason: typo
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Old 01-09-2017   #42
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Originally Posted by nbagno View Post
Pakon is also awesome as a proofing scanner so you can really check out images in detail for higher resolution scanning.

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It's also great as a substitute for wet printing a contact sheet. Ten minutes and you have a list of everything that's worth printing in the darkroom.
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Old 01-09-2017   #43
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It's also great as a substitute for wet printing a contact sheet. Ten minutes and you have a list of everything that's worth printing in the darkroom.
If they were as cheap as they once were, I would agree. As it is now, they're a $7-800 dollar proofing machine. Just too much money for something that isn't capable of a fine-art scan.
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Old 01-09-2017   #44
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What exactly is a 'fine art scan?'

Why bother with scanning at all, if you have a darkroom and can print?
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Old 01-09-2017   #45
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Originally Posted by SaveKodak View Post
The first question people always ask is "does it scan full rolls?" The reason why I argue against needing that feature is because, what's the point in the end? When I had my XA scan full rolls I was less likely to rescan my culled images for better quality. So even though I could see all my images relatively quickly, the work suffered in the end. The Pakon is the same way, quick and easy, but you give up a lot for quick and easy. IMO it's just as easy to simply look at your negs in a print file, like we did in the old days. If you want to use 3-5 images from a given roll right away, you do some scanning. Easy!

I shoot film because it's not digital. I don't want to treat my rolls like a less convenient SD card. It's a personal workflow choice, and anyone can do whatever they want, that's fine. But people advocate for workflows all the time so that's all I'm doing here. I just treat scanning pretty much the same way I treated working in the darkroom. A slow, considered process, with an effort to produce the best quality 'enlargements (scans)' that I can make. It's the opposite of dropping my film off at the drug store and flipping thru 4x6 prints and saying, "good enough". I'm not trying to tell you what to do here or anything, it's just how I see it.
This has nothing to do with the hardware, it's just your personal choice, and there is nothing wrong with this choice at all. You can be just as slow and deliberate with the processing of Pakon scans, too. It's possible to skimp with any scanner, and say 'good enough.' This has nothing to do with hardware scanning speed.

Scanning the entire roll gives me a 'contact sheet' in far less time than it takes to do a contact sheet, and far less time than looking at negs with a loupe on a light table and imagining what they might look like as positives. And once they are scanned, they can be tweaked very quickly (which often isn't even required.)

To each his own!
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Old 01-09-2017   #46
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I'm a bit over the place when it comes down to scanning. Thinking about it, I haven't settled.

120 I do myself on a V550, which at 8EXP 6x9 doesn't become too tedious. I've got to get a better grasp at color because at times it can deviate quite a bit. I've gotten many nice straight scans though. In that case, 120 is often entretaining. I do occasionally hate it though.

35mm I send out to have scans while developed. The V550 is a PITA for HiRes scans of 135 (too little, too late; aka, tight on resolution and slow).

It's that "fine art thing", sometimes it is nice to feel like maximizing and getting the best out of gear.

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Originally Posted by SaveKodak View Post
When I look at Pakon, Noritsu, Frontier scans of 35mm now, I just see the surface noise that covers up all the grain. You get jaggy edges from the baked in sharpening, and it throws out detail in the highlights and shadows. Sure, maybe these lab scanners get reasonably close to decent color faster than a desktop unit, but for me the difference is night and day. I haven't had an issue color balancing my scans personally.

These are all from the Primefilm XA, set to batch scan full rolls (which I no longer do because I agree with Brennan, full roll scanning is workflow mistake when compared to just culling and doing a more hands-on scan of single images), with multi exposure. http://sperryphoto.com/an-american-mill The color was very close SooS, I did only basic edits in LR to get these right.
You got fantastic color in there.

The Pakon I have tested with a small batch I sent to a minilab/store who scanned with it. I'm not an extensive Kodak Ektar user but that roll I got scanned there had the seemingly most correct results. Even neutral in some conditions (early on people complained about the casts it can get).

Frontiers and Noritsus are down to lab/operator. I've gotten really nice results from the former and I used the latter for some 120 when I wanted "the look".
I switched lab (ironically to overseas and lower rates -- sorry, still in student budget) and there was something lackluster in the former compared to the newer one, which had more sparkle. It was the compression ratio, heavier files much better for grainy consumer C41.
Then Noritsu I've gotten more grainy due to sharpening results.

As a last Note, the prevailing airy look of 400 C41 can be nice in some situations such as the Mediterranean summer which suits a pastel palette. But, at first it kept me away of the new wave of labs. And indeed the highlights tend to border the whiteness, probably due to curving it up.

I'm looking forward to quejai's scanner concept. Drumscanner in a small box through tiling scan.

EDIT: As of the OP title question. Well, yes because of the classic issue of needing less magnification. My V550 supposedly resolves real 1600ppi which can be fair in 35mm but quite decent on 6x9.
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Old 01-09-2017   #47
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Originally Posted by splitimageview View Post
What exactly is a 'fine art scan?'

Why bother with scanning at all, if you have a darkroom and can print?
I don't have a darkroom, that's why I scan. I used to print a lot when I had access to various darkrooms. Not possible for me currently in NYC. Plus I think that with color film the right choice for me is scan to pigment print via an Epson. The R3000 is a really amazing printer and the papers we have now are much better than a standard RA-4 Endura or Fuji Crystal Archive.

A fine-art scan is a term I heard or more or less invented, so do with that what you will, but IMO it's a scan where you see the grain, not noise, and can access most of the latitude available in the film. The lab scanners are just noisy. This is somewhat hidden by the low resolution but once you look at them side by side it's night and day. When I scanned with a Coolscan, and now with my XA, my scans are super close to what I achieved in the color or B&W darkroom. Lab scanners (with 35mm) have never given me that detail that I know is there in the negative. The scanner just leaves a layer of noise that resembles grain but isn't quite what you would see if you printed it optically. A fine-art scan is simply the best possible reproduction that you can make.
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Old 01-09-2017   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prest_400 View Post
I'm a bit over the place when it comes down to scanning. Thinking about it, I haven't settled.

120 I do myself on a V550, which at 8EXP 6x9 doesn't become too tedious. I've got to get a better grasp at color because at times it can deviate quite a bit. I've gotten many nice straight scans though. In that case, 120 is often entretaining. I do occasionally hate it though.

35mm I send out to have scans while developed. The V550 is a PITA for HiRes scans of 135 (too little, too late; aka, tight on resolution and slow).

It's that "fine art thing", sometimes it is nice to feel like maximizing and getting the best out of gear.


You got fantastic color in there.

The Pakon I have tested with a small batch I sent to a minilab/store who scanned with it. I'm not an extensive Kodak Ektar user but that roll I got scanned there had the seemingly most correct results. Even neutral in some conditions (early on people complained about the casts it can get).

Frontiers and Noritsus are down to lab/operator. I've gotten really nice results from the former and I used the latter for some 120 when I wanted "the look".
I switched lab (ironically to overseas and lower rates -- sorry, still in student budget) and there was something lackluster in the former compared to the newer one, which had more sparkle. It was the compression ratio, heavier files much better for grainy consumer C41.
Then Noritsu I've gotten more grainy due to sharpening results.

As a last Note, the prevailing airy look of 400 C41 can be nice in some situations such as the Mediterranean summer which suits a pastel palette. But, at first it kept me away of the new wave of labs. And indeed the highlights tend to border the whiteness, probably due to curving it up.

I'm looking forward to quejai's scanner concept. Drumscanner in a small box through tiling scan.

EDIT: As of the OP title question. Well, yes because of the classic issue of needing less magnification. My V550 supposedly resolves real 1600ppi which can be fair in 35mm but quite decent on 6x9.

Yeah that light and airy look is everywhere. When working with clients and a lot of film I still use The FIND lab and their frontier scanners. That's all about volume. I'm just talking about home scanning where one can take their time.
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Old 01-09-2017   #49
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It's really all in the way the hardware and software is used. In the hands of someone that knows what they are doing, one can achieve quality scans in terms of latitude and grain/noise with a lab scanner or home scanner, doesn't matter. If the lab has a tech that isn't properly trained, then results are hit or miss (mostly miss.) if you want full control over the final image then you'll need to do it yourself, this is no different today than it was back in the darkroom days. That said, there are some specialty labs that have properly trained techs that can provide excellent results (although that result still might not match the shooter's creative preference.)
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Old 01-09-2017   #50
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Originally Posted by SaveKodak View Post
If they were as cheap as they once were, I would agree. As it is now, they're a $7-800 dollar proofing machine. Just too much money for something that isn't capable of a fine-art scan.
Nah...there are plus models on the Facebook group for about $600, so you should be able to pick up the non-plus for around $400 with a bit of patience.

Not sure what your definition of 'fine art' is, but I've made 12" prints from Pakon scans and they don't look a whole lot different from prints shot on medium format and pro scanned with a Fuji Frontier. Obviously, they do if you pixel peep or look at the print under a loupe, but under normal viewing conditions, hanging on a wall, they are very similar.
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Old 01-09-2017   #51
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I think I have some comparisons on my Mac at home, I'll try to post some to better illustrate what I'm talking about.
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Old 01-09-2017   #52
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Both of these were shot with Portra 160 +1 (beach daylight) or Fuji 160NS (cabin) in an M6 with the Zeiss 50mm C Sonnar (cabin) or 21mm Color-Skopar (beach)

Frontier:

Untitled by Mark A. Sperry, on Flickr

PIXA:

Untitled by Mark A. Sperry, on Flickr

Frontier:

Untitled by Mark A. Sperry, on Flickr

PIXA:
Untitled by Mark A. Sperry, on Flickr

Then here are two from Provia 100F where I don't have the Frontier scan. With chrome film the quality possible is just incredible.

PIXA - Leica M6 - Zeiss 35mm 1.4 Distagon

Untitled by Mark A. Sperry, on Flickr

PIXA - Leica M6 - Zeiss 28mm 2.8 Biogon

Untitled by Mark A. Sperry, on Flickr

It may be hard to tell on the web or on your monitor but I see cleaner detail, not just more detail. Low noise, more color depth, deeper blacks. The capability of this scanner is just incredible. So for me PERSONALLY, the idea of spending much more for the convenience of a full roll scan, and the expense of the kind of quality I'm seeing here, isn't worth it. I'd rather just cull on a light table, and do the best scan possible. Even if you do scan every frame, then pick a winning image...where do you go from there? If my exposure was off or something else needs to be changed I can do multi exposure and multi-sampling to create incredibly low-noise files even from a dense chrome. With the Pakon, it just is what it is save for what you can do in LR.
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Old 01-09-2017   #53
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A fair comparison would be a scans where the operator intimately knows both types of hardware and software. I'm assuming the Frontier scans above were done by someone other than yourself.

In the old days I was always frustrated shooting color negatives, because I'd take the film to the lab and the tech would either (a) not know what they were doing and just use the automatic settings which often washed out otherwise good negatives (for example) or (b) the tech, even a knowledgeable/skilled one, would have an entirely different vision of how the print should look, than what I envisioned when I shot the photo.

Either way resulted in disappointment, unless the entire roll was nothing but flash photos of people, for example. The auto settings generally got that correct.

As a result, the vast majority of the time I shot transparencies as that completely removed the outside variable. I either got the shot the way I wanted in the camera, or I didn't; and if it were the latter, it was entirely my fault, not some faceless lab tech at the photo shop.

This applied to the "pro labs" as much as it did to the "quick labs."

The beauty of the Pakon is that the vast majority of the time "it is what it is" is either exactly, or very close, to the desired result, so there is no need to "go from there."

It's not faultless, like all other scanners, of course. It's just a tool that requires some degree of knowledge to get the best results. It makes shooting film much more enjoyable. And if one wants to further tweak a particular frame that's always an option, like it is with any other scanner.

The argument that "the Pakon is fast therefore I am less likely to rescan my culled images for better quality" can hardly be a fault of the Pakon. If the PIXA were 3 times faster, would that be a bad thing?
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Old 01-09-2017   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaveKodak View Post
Both of these were shot with Portra 160 +1 (beach daylight) or Fuji 160NS (cabin) in an M6 with the Zeiss 50mm C Sonnar (cabin) or 21mm Color-Skopar (beach)

Frontier:

Untitled by Mark A. Sperry, on Flickr

PIXA:

Untitled by Mark A. Sperry, on Flickr

Frontier:

Untitled by Mark A. Sperry, on Flickr

PIXA:
Untitled by Mark A. Sperry, on Flickr

Then here are two from Provia 100F where I don't have the Frontier scan. With chrome film the quality possible is just incredible.

PIXA - Leica M6 - Zeiss 35mm 1.4 Distagon

Untitled by Mark A. Sperry, on Flickr

PIXA - Leica M6 - Zeiss 28mm 2.8 Biogon

Untitled by Mark A. Sperry, on Flickr

It may be hard to tell on the web or on your monitor but I see cleaner detail, not just more detail. Low noise, more color depth, deeper blacks. The capability of this scanner is just incredible. So for me PERSONALLY, the idea of spending much more for the convenience of a full roll scan, and the expense of the kind of quality I'm seeing here, isn't worth it. I'd rather just cull on a light table, and do the best scan possible. Even if you do scan every frame, then pick a winning image...where do you go from there? If my exposure was off or something else needs to be changed I can do multi exposure and multi-sampling to create incredibly low-noise files even from a dense chrome. With the Pakon, it just is what it is save for what you can do in LR.
I much prefer the Frontier scans. The examples that you have marked as being from the PIXA seem to have a significant magenta cast. You'd be unlikely to have that problem using a Pakon.
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Old 01-09-2017   #55
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significant magenta cast
I wasn't sure about this but have now viewed on multiple monitors and concur.
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Old 01-09-2017   #56
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I much prefer the Frontier scans. The examples that you have marked as being from the PIXA seem to have a significant magenta cast. You'd be unlikely to have that problem using a Pakon.
Well I balanced the chromes by referencing them on a light table, so they're extremely close to the film itself. As for the comparison images, to each their own I guess. The beach shot from the frontier has a tone that I like, but it still has too much noise at the detail level and the PIXA scan has much more color depth. As for the cabin image, there is very little that I like about the Frontier scan. It's cold, and way too much highlight information was thrown out. The PIXA pulled in way more cloud information, and far more of the subtle tones that were taking place in twilight. It's magenta cast is accurate to my memory of the scene, and also my preference generally.
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Old 01-09-2017   #57
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Again, the only way such as comparison is relevant is if the same operator did both sets and was trying to reach identical results, and, of course, knows the hardware and software of both systems equally well.

Who did the Frontier scans?

They are *all* good scans, of course. Color is an individual preference, it's not an absolute.
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Old 01-09-2017   #58
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A fair comparison would be a scans where the operator intimately knows both types of hardware and software. I'm assuming the Frontier scans above were done by someone other than yourself.

In the old days I was always frustrated shooting color negatives, because I'd take the film to the lab and the tech would either (a) not know what they were doing and just use the automatic settings which often washed out otherwise good negatives (for example) or (b) the tech, even a knowledgeable/skilled one, would have an entirely different vision of how the print should look, than what I envisioned when I shot the photo.

Either way resulted in disappointment, unless the entire roll was nothing but flash photos of people, for example. The auto settings generally got that correct.

As a result, the vast majority of the time I shot transparencies as that completely removed the outside variable. I either got the shot the way I wanted in the camera, or I didn't; and if it were the latter, it was entirely my fault, not some faceless lab tech at the photo shop.

This applied to the "pro labs" as much as it did to the "quick labs."

The beauty of the Pakon is that the vast majority of the time "it is what it is" is either exactly, or very close, to the desired result, so there is no need to "go from there."

It's not faultless, like all other scanners, of course. It's just a tool that requires some degree of knowledge to get the best results. It makes shooting film much more enjoyable. And if one wants to further tweak a particular frame that's always an option, like it is with any other scanner.

The argument that "the Pakon is fast therefore I am less likely to rescan my culled images for better quality" can hardly be a fault of the Pakon. If the PIXA were 3 times faster, would that be a bad thing?
The color differences are not what I'm trying to illustrate here. There is significantly more information available in the PIXA scans, which is visible in the highlights and shadows of each image. Also the lab scanners crop a fair amount, which is visible at the edges of the images. If I was using a frontier myself I would certainly scan the images to my personal taste, but it's not going to make up for the fact that it's upsampling after 8" and generating a ton of noise, while also missing a lot of information in the highlights and shadows. There is no multi-exposure, or multi-sampling. Plus IIRC the Pakon can't scan E6 natively.

It's not about how fast the scanner is, it's about how it forces you to approach the scan. And we're not living in a world where there is a 3x faster PIXA scanner, obviously faster is great. But faster at the expense of quality is not great. I owned a Pakon for a year, I know what it can do. It has decent color SooC, but so does my PIXA most of the time. I'm doing LR adjustments on both. You're overstating the advantage there, or just aren't picky enough about your images.
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Old 01-09-2017   #59
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I think I might more clearly illustrate the point I'm trying to make if I post 100% crops of both.

Now, some might call this pixel peeping. However, The PIXA outputs 30ish mp at 5000ppi. These translate to roughly a bit larger than 13x19, my largest print capability from home. I do print these images, so having a slightly higher than my available print size is advantage for me in terms of cropping or increasing the DPI of the print. I have a 5k iMac, so it previews the images in HiDPI, giving me a good approximation of what my print will look like. I'll try to put together some good examples tonight. If I'm feeling really ambitious I'll dig up an old Pakon scan and re-scan the neg on my PIXA to show the differences. Though my friend and user of this site brennanphotoguy also made this upgrade recently from a Pakon, and has been showing me his B&W scans. Again, we've seen a huge difference in quality.
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Old 01-09-2017   #60
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I'll find some 100% b/w crops later tonight if I find time.
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Old 01-09-2017   #61
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I'm sure some scanners can dig a lot more information out of a negative than the Pakon. It's bit depth and max density certainly aren't it's selling points. The thing is though...what the heck are you doing shooting 135 if your photography is all about creating the absolute finest detail in a print? A medium format negative scanned on a crappy 2nd hand flatbed will be more detailed than any 35mm negative, whatever you scan it with. It's like putting a scratched charity shop record on a 20,000 audiophile turntable: you may be extracting maximum detail, but it will still sound a bit cruddy.
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Old 01-09-2017   #62
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1. Frames per roll
2. Cost
3. Medium format cameras don't fit in my coat or lugging most of them around anyways sucks
4. I like the format
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Old 01-09-2017   #63
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Quote:
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1. Frames per roll
2. Cost
3. Medium format cameras don't fit in my coat or lugging most of them around anyways sucks
4. I like the format
Yep, all good points!
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Old 01-09-2017   #64
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I'm sure some scanners can dig a lot more information out of a negative than the Pakon. It's bit depth and max density certainly aren't it's selling points. The thing is though...what the heck are you doing shooting 135 if your photography is all about creating the absolute finest detail in a print? A medium format negative scanned on a crappy 2nd hand flatbed will be more detailed than any 35mm negative, whatever you scan it with. It's like putting a scratched charity shop record on a 20,000 audiophile turntable: you may be extracting maximum detail, but it will still sound a bit cruddy.
I love this question actually!

Yes, I just like 35mm sometimes. I have a Pentax 67 and a Rolleiflex AND a Pacific Image PF120 for those. But, for 35mm I have an F100 and a Leica M4. This is RFF, shooting with a Leica is a whole lot of fun. I can do things with an RF that I can't or wouldn't do with other cameras. Plus when traveling, shooting all chromes is a wonderful thing when you see them on a light table.

It's not about trying to get more out of 35mm than what it's capable of, it's about getting that which 35mm is actually capable. I hated scanning with my V700 because I knew that my images weren't soft and mushy. I have printed in B&W and color darkrooms and made sharp, detailed prints. I just want to replicate that experience with the hybrid workflow.
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Old 01-09-2017   #65
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BTW is this the scanner you're talking about? I can't find the XA list anywhere in Europe. Assume it's just a different name: https://reflecta.de/en/products/deta...4/RPS-10M.html
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Old 01-09-2017   #66
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BTW is this the scanner you're talking about? I can't find the XA list anywhere in Europe. Assume it's just a different name: https://reflecta.de/en/products/deta...4/RPS-10M.html
Yeah, in the US it's marketed as the Pacific Image XA. I don't totally understand the different brands for different markets thing. My 120 scanner is also sold as a Reflecta and a Braun. Same product though...
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Old 01-09-2017   #67
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I love this question actually!

Yes, I just like 35mm sometimes. I have a Pentax 67 and a Rolleiflex AND a Pacific Image PF120 for those. But, for 35mm I have an F100 and a Leica M4. This is RFF, shooting with a Leica is a whole lot of fun. I can do things with an RF that I can't or wouldn't do with other cameras. Plus when traveling, shooting all chromes is a wonderful thing when you see them on a light table.

It's not about trying to get more out of 35mm than what it's capable of, it's about getting that which 35mm is actually capable. I hated scanning with my V700 because I knew that my images weren't soft and mushy. I have printed in B&W and color darkrooms and made sharp, detailed prints. I just want to replicate that experience with the hybrid workflow.
You sound exactly like me. P67, Rolleiflex, Hasselblad...but I still love my M3 and M2. I think my problem is I find scanning utter tedium so speed wins over all else. I'd simply rather spend five hours in the darkroom on one print than two hours on Photoshop and an entire roll. This is what comes of working on the computer all day: it's the last thing you want to do in the evening (says me...while I type this in the evening on the iPad. Sigh.)

I'd still really like to see those detailed crops of the scans side by side if you have time to post them. I'll bet other people will find them useful too when they're searching for info on here.
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Old 01-09-2017   #68
SaveKodak
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I'll get to work tonight!

I think I don't mind the scannign so much because 1. I no longer have darkroom access, and just consider it 'part of the process'. And 2. For some scans, I do multi-exposure and multi-pass and dust/scratch removal, at 5k PPI. It's a process. I start it up and do something else. In the color darkroom, it'd be making countless color test strips and running each through the processor. It's own kind of weirdly satisfying PITA.
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Old 01-09-2017   #69
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The color differences are not what I'm trying to illustrate here. There is significantly more information available in the PIXA scans, which is visible in the highlights and shadows of each image. Also the lab scanners crop a fair amount, which is visible at the edges of the images. If I was using a frontier myself I would certainly scan the images to my personal taste, but it's not going to make up for the fact that it's upsampling after 8" and generating a ton of noise, while also missing a lot of information in the highlights and shadows. There is no multi-exposure, or multi-sampling. Plus IIRC the Pakon can't scan E6 natively.
It appears you're making a lot of assumptions here about the Frontier based on this particular output. There are many pro labs that differentiate themselves in the marketplace entirely based on their scanning services, and they use Frontiers (as well as high end Noritsus) and know all the ins and outs and capabilities of such equipment. If they were short in these areas (i.e., 'a ton of noise') they likely wouldn't be using them...

On the other hand, it *IS* fair to say that what you get from a generic lab might not be to one's creative preference, this is a great example of it; that is, after all, the entire point behind doing the work oneself. (In fact, many of the specialist scan labs will work with their clients to set up a repeatable 'look', so they do match the client's creative preference.)

Curious, what lab did these scans?


Quote:
It's not about how fast the scanner is, it's about how it forces you to approach the scan. And we're not living in a world where there is a 3x faster PIXA scanner, obviously faster is great. But faster at the expense of quality is not great. I owned a Pakon for a year, I know what it can do. It has decent color SooC, but so does my PIXA most of the time. I'm doing LR adjustments on both. You're overstating the advantage there, or just aren't picky enough about your images.
I'm not overstating anything, I'm just illustrating that your comments have nothing to do with speed; it is your choice that you "don't rescan for higher quality," that's a choice, not the fault of the Pakon, and it wouldn't be the fault of the PIXA either.
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Old 01-09-2017   #70
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I think my problem is I find scanning utter tedium so speed wins over all else. I'd simply rather spend five hours in the darkroom on one print than two hours on Photoshop and an entire roll. This is what comes of working on the computer all day: it's the last thing you want to do in the evening
Yes, and one will eventually reach the point of limited return, spending lots of additional time to eke out a very *slightly* better product.

Sure, it's possible to create an image from a scan that is superior (to the output of any particular scanner, once properly set up.) Doesn't matter what scanner one starts with, this can be done with ALL of them.

It's just a matter of time. If someone wants to spend that time, more power to them! If not, there are speedier options that can provide truly excellent quality.
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Old 01-09-2017   #71
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It appears you're making a lot of assumptions here about the Frontier based on this particular output. There are many pro labs that differentiate themselves in the marketplace entirely based on their scanning services, and they use Frontiers (as well as high end Noritsus) and know all the ins and outs and capabilities of such equipment. If they were short in these areas (i.e., 'a ton of noise') they likely wouldn't be using them...

On the other hand, it *IS* fair to say that what you get from a generic lab might not be to one's creative preference, this is a great example of it; that is, after all, the entire point behind doing the work oneself. (In fact, many of the specialist scan labs will work with their clients to set up a repeatable 'look', so they do match the client's creative preference.)

Curious, what lab did these scans?




I'm not overstating anything, I'm just illustrating that your comments have nothing to do with speed; it is your choice that you "don't rescan for higher quality," that's a choice, not the fault of the Pakon, and it wouldn't be the fault of the PIXA either.
These were from The FIND Lab, who I use for some of my client work when I do need speed. I'll have samples later to better explain myself.
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Old 01-09-2017   #72
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I've never personally operated a Frontier scanner but the Noritsu is a VERY capable scanner in the right hands. I think you will find that it easily outperforms most consumer and semi-professional scanners. I own a drum scanner and the Noritsu scans, while not quite as good, greatly impressed me nontheless.
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Old 01-09-2017   #73
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PIXA
Kayla by Brennan McKissick, on Flickr

Pakon
Kayla by Brennan McKissick, on Flickr

I'll upload some more in the morning. Yes, I know the PIXA scan is darker than the Pakon scan.
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Old 01-09-2017   #74
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Ok, Frontier and PIXA again. Literally just scanned the image tonight.

This is a challenging one because there is a lot of fine detail. The colors don't perfectly match but that's sort of challenging with two different scanners. I think they're both acceptable color pallets. I didn't really dust the PIXA image, since it's just a test.

PIXA

Untitled by Mark A. Sperry, on Flickr

Frontier

Untitled by Mark A. Sperry, on Flickr

Side by side at 100%

Untitled by Mark A. Sperry, on Flickr

Details

Untitled by Mark A. Sperry, on Flickr

Untitled by Mark A. Sperry, on Flickr

PIXA detail view

Untitled by Mark A. Sperry, on Flickr

It's pretty subtle! But I think on the PIXA images you're seeing more grain, much higher resolution generally, and most importantly, cleaner details. The Frontier images look smoothed out to me, they just have a "digital" look to them which I find unnatural to film. My advice would be to navigate through to flickr to see them at 100%.
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Old 01-09-2017   #75
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PIXA
Kayla by Brennan McKissick, on Flickr

Pakon
Kayla by Brennan McKissick, on Flickr

I'll upload some more in the morning. Yes, I know the PIXA scan is darker than the Pakon scan.
The Pakon is just throwing away tonal information by the bucket. Look at the taxi and the street. So many more midtones present in the PIXA image.
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Old 01-09-2017   #76
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It's own kind of weirdly satisfying PITA.
Film photography for me right there
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Old 01-09-2017   #77
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The Pakon is just throwing away tonal information by the bucket. Look at the taxi and the street. So many more midtones present in the PIXA image.
But if you choose a different tonal area, the dark coat for instance, you could say the opposite: that the PIXA is throwing information away by the bucket load. And honestly, to my eyes, the Pakon image just looks better straight out of the box. That's just personal taste though, but I guess it's one of the reasons the Pakon appeals to me, as do scans that come out of the Frontier.

You didn't mention the settings you use, but by default the Pakon settings are quite high contrast - I assume it's because the files would normally go straight to the RA4 printer and it's designed for those papers. You get much better scans if you tone the contrast right down and tweak as you see fit later. If my scan looked like the above, I'd certainly think I'd forgotten to turn the global contrast right down.

Having said that, I agree that the PIXA is pulling more information out than the Pakon, as you would expect from a scanner with over triple the resolution. It's certainly an impressive and capable machine.

Thanks for taking the time to post these here. I appreciate how long these things take.
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