Holy Crap, Wet Scanning!
Old 05-06-2017   #1
SaveKodak
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Holy Crap, Wet Scanning!

I've been scanning with the Pacific Image PF120 Pro, which is a pretty under-rated unit IMO. My biggest critique would be the holders, which, like all stock holders...suck. So I started tinkering with the holder to see if it could hold a piece of glass in place, and it could. Then I started re-reading the benefits of wet scanning, and came upon the fact that Scan Science will make you a custom glass plate so you can wet scan in a dedicated film scanner. After a round of un-flat Ektar 6x7 negatives started driving me nuts, I bit the bullet.

Holy crap. The results I'm seeing are pretty night and day different if you know what to look for. First, my negs are perfectly flat. This is a big deal. I am definitely seeing more detail and possibly greater contrast which helps bring those details out. Second, lower noise, especially with color negative. My chrome scans are out of this world, I am eking out every bit of information that my scanner can produce. I would be quite comfortable printing them at 23x23 @ 300dpi. At 240dpi, you're closer to 30x30, and that's a pretty dang big enlargement for a 6x6 negative IMO. 6x6 is about 50mp, and 6x7 is about 60. Not really feeling the GAS for that GFX anymore...

But in the immortal words of Lavar Burton...don't take my word for it!


Provia 100F by Mark Sperry, on Flickr


Provia 100F by Mark Sperry, on Flickr


Provia 100F by Mark Sperry, on Flickr


Ektachrome E100G by Mark Sperry, on Flickr


Ektachrome E100G by Mark Sperry, on Flickr
100% Crop.

Now, all of this was shot with expired film...so these are not even the best they can be. You can definitely tell the Ektachrome in particular was expired, and combined with my Rollei 2.8E produced some pretty low contrast... but still... not bad for a 60 year old Planar wide open.

I developed these in my kitchen with a Jobo!

I'm having a tough time wet scanning the 35mm due to the curl, but hopefully I'll figure it out soon.
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Old 05-06-2017   #2
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Nice!

Which liquid are you using?
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Old 05-06-2017   #3
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Can anyone point me to a basic introduction on wet scanning?

(Not that I really want to try it ...)
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Old 05-06-2017   #4
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I'm using Lumina fluid and parts from Scan Science.

To DMR, there is a ton of info on the web right now. I ignored it for years which is really stupid. It's the way to go.
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Old 05-06-2017   #5
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I’m thinking about wet scanning my 4X5 negs. Does the scanning fluid have any impact on the negatives? Any kind of residue that remains on the negs?

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Old 05-06-2017   #6
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Originally Posted by Mackinaw View Post
Iím thinking about wet scanning my 4X5 negs. Does the scanning fluid have any impact on the negatives? Any kind of residue that remains on the negs?

Jim B.
The short answer is that it's not bad for your film. The Lumina fluid has been leaving some residue but it cleans right off with film cleaning solution or pads. All drum scanners require wet scans so people have been scanning this way for a long time. Now I honestly can say I'm not sure why it isn't just the default method. It makes me glad I didn't sell my V700, because wet mounting with that is even easier and that thing sings with larger formats.
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Old 05-06-2017   #7
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Now I'm going to have to try it. I have the V750 and some 4x5 chromes.
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Old 05-06-2017   #8
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Many of my customers have switched to fluid mounting with Gamsol which is easily obtainable in most cities around the world at art supply stores for a fraction of the cost of the stuff labeled as scanning fluid. This all came about after a group online started looking for an alternative and started checking the listings on the material data safety sheets. Gamsol and the Lumina fluid are extreeemely similar.

IF you want to pay for the stuff labeled as scanning fluid, Kami has been an industry standard. I put up a link to a supplier that was recommended to me with reasonable prices and shipping (which can be a killer due to it being a volatile fluid) on my page for how to economically assemble a fluid mounting kit (FYI, I do not have affiliation with that seller of Kami, just passing along a tip that has saved people money):

http://www.betterscanning.com/scanni...dmounting.html

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Old 05-06-2017   #9
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Seriously dood? These are terrible. Click on the link in flicker and you can see horizontal scan lines all over the images. Especially the first one. You honestly do not see that?

https://www.flickr.com/photos/146049...8/33677344533/

I'm getting much sharper more detailed scans in just seconds using my D750, a macro lens, a light pad and a copy stand. And no need to screw around with lousy software.
And not just that, but the camera's AF works perfectly in live view so I never have to even think about focus issues.


edit - I just checked reviews of this $1300 scanner and many people are complaining about the banding I mentioned that you can see in the images that SaveKodak posted. With the result they returned the machines as the mfg was unable to help.
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Old 05-06-2017   #10
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Sounds good Huss.
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Old 05-06-2017   #11
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I have a beater/cheap Canoscan 9000F and made up some DIY neg holders to hold the negs flat on the glass. Using regular hardware store naphtha for fluid and taping up the seam between the glass and the body of the scanner, it has made a huge difference in noise and color fidelity from 35mm half frame to 6x9. I haven't tried it with stitched LF scans but I highly recommend trying it.

It's still a cheap/low end flat bed scanner but if you're working on a budget but want to maximize your current setup, it's well worth it.
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Old 05-06-2017   #12
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Originally Posted by Huss View Post
Seriously dood? These are terrible. Click on the link in flicker and you can see horizontal scan lines all over the images. Especially the first one. You honestly do not see that?

https://www.flickr.com/photos/146049...8/33677344533/

I'm getting much sharper more detailed scans in just seconds using my D750, a macro lens, a light pad and a copy stand. And no need to screw around with lousy software.
And not just that, but the camera's AF works perfectly in live view so I never have to even think about focus issues.


edit - I just checked reviews of this $1300 scanner and many people are complaining about the banding I mentioned that you can see in the images that SaveKodak posted. With the result they returned the machines as the mfg was unable to help.
That particular frame is quite dense so yes there is some banding, but this can be eliminated through various methods. All CCD scanners occasionally have banding, even drum scanners.

I assure you, you're not getting batter scans from your D750. People who make DSLR dupes often tell themselves this but it's not true. You won't believe this because you're a world class RFF curmudgeon, but that's ok. I'm gonna keep doing what I do, and you can keep doing what you do.
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Old 05-06-2017   #13
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Originally Posted by xvvvz View Post
Many of my customers have switched to fluid mounting with Gamsol which is easily obtainable in most cities around the world at art supply stores for a fraction of the cost of the stuff labeled as scanning fluid. This all came about after a group online started looking for an alternative and started checking the listings on the material data safety sheets. Gamsol and the Lumina fluid are extreeemely similar.

IF you want to pay for the stuff labeled as scanning fluid, Kami has been an industry standard. I put up a link to a supplier that was recommended to me with reasonable prices and shipping (which can be a killer due to it being a volatile fluid) on my page for how to economically assemble a fluid mounting kit (FYI, I do not have affiliation with that seller of Kami, just passing along a tip that has saved people money):

http://www.betterscanning.com/scanni...dmounting.html

Doug

Yes I've also heard of gamsol as an alternative. I'll try it when I run out of Lumina. Great thing is tho, the fluid lasts for a longgg time.
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Old 05-06-2017   #14
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Originally Posted by Huss View Post
Seriously dood? These are terrible. Click on the link in flicker and you can see horizontal scan lines all over the images. Especially the first one. You honestly do not see that?

https://www.flickr.com/photos/146049...8/33677344533/

I'm getting much sharper more detailed scans in just seconds using my D750, a macro lens, a light pad and a copy stand. And no need to screw around with lousy software.
And not just that, but the camera's AF works perfectly in live view so I never have to even think about focus issues.


edit - I just checked reviews of this $1300 scanner and many people are complaining about the banding I mentioned that you can see in the images that SaveKodak posted. With the result they returned the machines as the mfg was unable to help.
While I happen to agree that these particular scans aren't great, let's not forget that photography is far more subjective than objective. He (and many others) may think your D750 "scans" are far too clinical and look "terrible".

Let's not slam each other on a forum that is meant to be positive and constructive.
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Old 05-07-2017   #15
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I'll also point out that there is only banding in one scan, the first one. I'm not sure what's so bad about these actually.... They are very accurate representations of the film on a light table, and sometimes improvements as a couple frames are under exposed. These are great scans and I have quite a bit of experience in scanning. You may be criticizing the performance of the expired film or the lens, but not the scan.
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Old 05-07-2017   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
Seriously dood? These are terrible. Click on the link in flicker and you can see horizontal scan lines all over the images. Especially the first one. You honestly do not see that?

https://www.flickr.com/photos/146049...8/33677344533/

I'm getting much sharper more detailed scans in just seconds using my D750, a macro lens, a light pad and a copy stand. And no need to screw around with lousy software.
And not just that, but the camera's AF works perfectly in live view so I never have to even think about focus issues.


edit - I just checked reviews of this $1300 scanner and many people are complaining about the banding I mentioned that you can see in the images that SaveKodak posted. With the result they returned the machines as the mfg was unable to help.
First is awful, yes. But rest seems to be OK here, just kind of glowing. Like gel on the lens effect.
I used to have less expensive scanner from same manufacturer. It was giving bars as well.
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Old 05-07-2017   #17
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Originally Posted by SaveKodak View Post
I'll also point out that there is only banding in one scan, the first one. I'm not sure what's so bad about these actually.... They are very accurate representations of the film on a light table, and sometimes improvements as a couple frames are under exposed. These are great scans and I have quite a bit of experience in scanning. You may be criticizing the performance of the expired film or the lens, but not the scan.
Second one has severe banding too. Easily seen on my iMac when I click on the large version of your flickr link.

It's interesting that you get so defensive when someone is in disagreement with you. You also did this on your other scanning thread. I guess you are just looking for cheerleaders when you post. I mention the banding that everyone can see, and your response is to call me a curmudgeon. Then admit there is banding.
The first two also look out of focus. Is that how the negative is, or scanner error?

Forums ideally should be places that impart useful advice and experiences. So we can learn from them. Claiming a product is good and/or denying anything wrong with it is not helpful to others who may be in the market for such a product.

Honestly I would return this scanner. It has a history of banding and unsatisfied customers. The thing cost $1300.

Anyway, I'm out of this one. If your happy with these results, more power to you.
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Old 05-07-2017   #18
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Originally Posted by Huss View Post
Second one has severe banding too. Easily seen on my iMac when I click on the large version of your flickr link.

It's interesting that you get so defensive when someone is in disagreement with you. You also did this on your other scanning thread. I guess you are just looking for cheerleaders when you post. I mention the banding that everyone can see, and your response is to call me a curmudgeon. Then admit there is banding.
The first two also look out of focus. Is that how the negative is, or scanner error?

Forums ideally should be places that impart useful advice and experiences. So we can learn from them. Claiming a product is good and/or denying anything wrong with it is not helpful to others who may be in the market for such a product.

Honestly I would return this scanner. It has a history of banding and unsatisfied customers. The thing cost $1300.

Anyway, I'm out of this one. If your happy with these results, more power to you.
Forums ideally are places where people like you don't post actually. I remember why I stopped posting on RFF now, this place is where joys goes to die.
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Old 05-07-2017   #19
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SaveKodak, you need not be so defensive. There is indeed obvious banding in the two first scans. I can't tell how much you have increased the exposure of the scan, but I'm guessing quite a lot? That would explain it. FYI you don't see this kind of banding with drumscanners, unless they are dying, because PMT's are much more sensitive than CCDs. Also, you don't need to wet mount on a drum scanner nessicarly, though it does, as you explain, improve image quality

Do you have a comparison between some wet mounted and dry mounted scans? Would be really interesting
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Old 05-07-2017   #20
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SaveKodak, I really feel I have to stick up for Huss, who I've found to be almost always good humoured and helpful, as well as generous in sharing information. He is the opposite of a curmudgeon.
You on the other hand, seem to have a really thin skin for someone who has dished out a fair amount of negativity and antagonism in the past, some of it pretty personal. RFF killjoy indeed.
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Old 05-07-2017   #21
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Look I'm sorry but if you come in here and say, these are "terrible" or "awful", I'm going to be defensive.

OTOH, if you come in and say,"Great film flatness and color, but I notice that there is still some banding present..." I'm going to have a different answer for you. Now lets imagine that Huss brought some basic tact with him...

Yes, there was some banding. Also loss of contrast at the edges because I'm still perfecting my mounting technique, but I'm getting better with every scan.

Now, onto the banding. Here is a fix that works quite well: http://filmadvance.com/2011/10/how-t...om-your-scans/ Banding happens with every kind of scanner, it just does. Some more often than others. I admit that maybe it happens more with the PF120, but there are fixes and the results are frankly worth it for the price. A Coolscan 9000 still has banding occasionally and the cost now is outrageous. When it's at it best the PF120 Pro is 95% of a CS9k. That's amazing.

However, I believe in the product I bought. I actually opened her up tonight, theoretically voiding my warranty, and noticed that there was indeed a hair from my dog on the slot where the scanner lens sits! I used a rocket blower and gave it a good run through. I'm making a scan now and oddly, my scanner actually sounds quieter than usual post-cleaning.

As for Ko.Fe, yes, there is certainly some glow-y-ness to my images. This is typical of my Rollei, and I like it for that reason. The old Planar is a little low contrast and tends to glow a bit wide-open. I find this quite charming. It's much sharper from 4.0 and down. The expired chrome didn't help, you really lose contrast and sensitivity fast.

Now, here are some images to show the benefits of a real scanner.

Provia 100F by Mark Sperry, on Flickr

Kodak E100G by Mark Sperry, on Flickr

Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 1.21.43 AM by Mark Sperry, on Flickr
100% crop from the corner.

Now this is what Portra 400 is supposed to look like. Not only is this P400, but it's pushed 1 stop. This is also a wet scan. Wet scanning HUGELY reduces the noise from negative scanning.

Kodak Portra 400 +1 by Mark Sperry, on Flickr

Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 1.24.55 AM by Mark Sperry, on Flickr
100% crop.

These are 50mp scans. They would print to 23x23. I'm actually glad Huss drove me nuts with his rude post, because it prompted me to clean my scanner lens. That stuff does matter and now my scans are even better. I will say that I still get banding with very dense film, but I'll use the method outline above to deal with that. Copy work with a DSLR is an attractive route to go, but it has a fatal flaw, and I still believe that even my "cheap" 120 deskop scanner is ultimately the way to go.
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Old 05-07-2017   #22
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I think I actually kind of failed with my 100% crops. I just screen captured my images at 100% in fullscreen LR, and uploaded the PNGs. These are not really representative of the detail present. Let me try again.
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Old 05-07-2017   #23
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Here we go, 100%

Portra 400 pushed +1
2017-05-05-0004-2 by Mark Sperry, on Flickr

Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 1.21.43 AM by Mark Sperry, on Flickr
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Old 05-07-2017   #24
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^^^^

Notice how fine-grained the P400 is, though a little softer in detail than the E100G chrome film. The current Vision 3 based color negative film is extremely good, and well suited to large prints. That slight glow comes from my Rollei lens, which I love. Imagine it as a 23x23, how far away you'd stand from it to view the print. From these crops I think it's easy to imagine how well they would stand up to enlargement. I look forward to getting better at wet scanning and getting many more years out of the PF120 Pro. Especially now that I know how to clean the interior!
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Old 05-07-2017   #25
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People never say they're getting better scans scanning C41 with their dslr. I'd be curious to know if it ever happens. Imo, I don't think this lens wide open, whatever it is, is the best thing to use to show scanner resolution.
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Old 05-08-2017   #26
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People never say they're getting better scans scanning C41 with their dslr. I'd be curious to know if it ever happens. Imo, I don't think this lens wide open, whatever it is, is the best thing to use to show scanner resolution.
Well the prints would be 23x23, so just shy of 2 feet by 2 feet. So, with that in mind you'd be standing back a bit to evaluate the image on the wall. With that in mind, this 1950s design holds up quite well I think. It's even sharper without the web compression. I'm not saying it's the sharpest lens you can get, but there are many reasons why people enjoy Rolleiflex Planars beyond sharpness. A Mamiya 6 frame would be technically better, but lack the charm I enjoy from older glass.
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Old 05-08-2017   #27
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Got me totally confused with these scans. Is this considered a good result, in comparison to "traditional" scanning? Would be interesting, then, to see the same negative scanned both ways. Otherwise it's kind of pointless.

I have a general question though. What is the reason is this day and age to shoot film? You cannot truly seriously say- to save Kodak, can you?
No, you shoot film because you like the wonderful tonal range and smoothness of it. At least I do. So, if so, why try to get a digital results out of film? In general film will not be as sharp and detailed as digital and it does not need to be. That's not, in my opinion, is where it excels...
P.S.
Hopefully, I brought enough tact in discussion?
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Old 05-08-2017   #28
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I have a general question though. What is the reason is this day and age to shoot film?

No, you shoot film because you like the wonderful tonal range and smoothness of it. At least I do. So, if so, why try to get a digital results out of film? In general film will not be as sharp and detailed as digital and it does not need to be. That's not, in my opinion, is where it excels...
P.S.
Hopefully, I brought enough tact in discussion?
I have no reason to use digital. I don't think it looks very good, and it's too limited in the DR you can take a picture of. It's just not much fun at all. Life's too short for that.

https://www.onlandscape.co.uk/2011/1...rs-commentary/

https://www.onlandscape.co.uk/2011/1...ra-comparison/
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Old 05-08-2017   #29
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So, if so, why try to get a digital results out of film? In general film will not be as sharp and detailed as digital and it does not need to be. That's not, in my opinion, is where it excels...
P.S.
Hopefully, I brought enough tact in discussion?
Wet mounting doesn't make the scan more "digital".

And it doesn't make that much of a difference. If there was another way to mount the film perfectly flat and without newton rings I really doubt anyone would do it.
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Old 05-08-2017   #30
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Wet mounting doesn't make the scan more "digital".

And it doesn't make that much of a difference. If there was another way to mount the film perfectly flat and without newton rings I really doubt anyone would do it.
Did you read my question or just answered first?
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Old 05-08-2017   #31
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it's too limited in the DR you can take a picture of.
That's a such an old tale I did not even think anybody uses this line any more...

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It's just not much fun at all.
That I can understand and have no argument or problem with. You like film- you shoot film. Period.
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Old 05-08-2017   #32
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Just because it's an old tale, that doesn't mean it isn't true, but nice try.

"Dynamic Range

The IQ180 has one of the highest dynamic ranges of any production digital camera and yet it is still a long way from matching the dynamic range offered by colour negative film, especially the film that has just been released by Kodak, Portra 400 and Portra 160. The truth is that in many situations, especially if you are working at sunrise and sunset, you will still occasionally have to use graduated filters or blend multiple exposures together. It is estimated that the IQ180 has about a theoretical 13.5 stops of dynamic range but in fact has about 10 stops of usable range. Portra 400 has a theoretical 19 stops of dynamic range and a usable 15 stops (see here) and although could arguably benefit from a graduated filter occasionally, most people don't use them and don't need to. I have accidentally left a lens aperture open on a Fuji 6x17 after using the ground glass to focus and only noticed after a minute. That was 10 stops of overexposure on the film that I had just loaded into the camera. I was stunned when there was still an image scannable on the developed film (albeit a little grainy)."


https://www.onlandscape.co.uk/2011/1...rs-commentary/
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Old 05-08-2017   #33
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Just because it's an old tale, that doesn't mean it isn't true, but nice try.

"Dynamic Range

The IQ180 has one of the highest dynamic ranges of any production digital camera and yet it is still a long way from matching the dynamic range offered by colour negative film, especially the film that has just been released by Kodak, Portra 400 and Portra 160. The truth is that in many situations, especially if you are working at sunrise and sunset, you will still occasionally have to use graduated filters or blend multiple exposures together. It is estimated that the IQ180 has about a theoretical 13.5 stops of dynamic range but in fact has about 10 stops of usable range. Portra 400 has a theoretical 19 stops of dynamic range and a usable 15 stops (see here) and although could arguably benefit from a graduated filter occasionally, most people don't use them and don't need to. I have accidentally left a lens aperture open on a Fuji 6x17 after using the ground glass to focus and only noticed after a minute. That was 10 stops of overexposure on the film that I had just loaded into the camera. I was stunned when there was still an image scannable on the developed film (albeit a little grainy)."


https://www.onlandscape.co.uk/2011/1...rs-commentary/
I guess, I did not even think of it in terms sunset/sunrise, ahm, landscapes.
Would not know much about landscapes. I am trying to take interesting pictures, my bad. Never had "dynamic range" stop me in that.

:-)
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Old 05-08-2017   #34
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Sure, sure.

Still, it does prove what you called 'such an old tale I did not even think anybody uses this line any more', doesn't it?

Go ahead and try -4 stops and +6 stops on digital next time you go outside.
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Old 05-08-2017   #35
MIkhail
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Sure, sure.

Still, it does prove what you called 'such an old tale I did not even think anybody uses this line any more', doesn't it?

Go ahead and try -4 stops and +6 stops on digital next time you go outside.
Why would I do such thing?
Why would anybody need this?
And while you at it, try it yourself on Kodak Ektar. :-)
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Old 05-08-2017   #36
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I suggested you do it so that then you know from experience, that film has a ton more dynamic range than digital.

Ektar sucks, I never even considered it.
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Old 05-08-2017   #37
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Did you read my question or just answered first?
I quoted what I was replying to. It's the usual and proper way to communicate in online forums.
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Old 05-08-2017   #38
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Beleive it or not, I did.
:-)





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Old 05-08-2017   #39
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And while you at it, try it yourself on Kodak Ektar. :-)
No C-41 will look good with -4, but Ektar will take as much overexposure as any other C-41 film.
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Old 05-08-2017   #40
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Well, then you know!
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