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Old 11-10-2018   #39
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Location: Montreal, Quebec
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Originally Posted by Skiff View Post
The problem is not the film, it is the scanner:
Flatbed scanners are the worst technology for using film. They are the imaging chain with by far the lowest quality you get from film: Extremey low resolution, they cannot record higher Dmax (shadow detail lost), they cannot fully record the whole color gamut.
We should not forget that flatbed scanners were originally designed for office use: Scanning of papers and text. That has always been their main purpose. Not photography, not film scanning. That is only a "side business".

To get the best quality from film we should use instead the imaging chains with the highest quality. The quality ranks in the following order:
1. Slide projection with excellent projection lenses (and excellent slide loupes).
On the same first class level:
1. Optical enlarging (darkroom) with APO enlarging lenses.
Second best option:
2. Drum scanners.
Third best option:
3. Minilab scanners like Noritsu HS-1800 (by the way: The Noritsu is much better for scanning transparencies than the Fuji SP 3000).
Fourth best option:
4. Real film scanners for home use, like Nikon Coolscan 9000, Coolscan 5000, Coolscan V.
Fith best option:
5. Cheaper real film scanners like Plustek 8200 etc.
Worst option:
6. Flatbed scanners.

For the first step using slides I recommend using a good lightbox, e.g. from Kaiser
and an excellent loupe, e.g. for 35mm the Schneider-Kreuznach 4x, the Rodenstock 4x. the Leica 5x, the EMO 5x or the Peak Anastigmat 4x.
And in a second step slide projection:
Unsurpassed in resolution, color brilliance and 3D effect. And unsurpassed in its extremely low costs: You get the perfect quality almost for free, because even the best projectors and lenses are available at very low prices on the used market.
7. I haven't tried this but: what if you ask your lab to do a 5x7 print and then scan it on flatbed. This will probably improve dynamic range at the cost of sharpness
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