V750 vs DSLR scanning
Old 01-06-2019   #1
bjolester
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V750 vs DSLR scanning

I have a very nice Pentax 67ii system that I use in combination with 35mm film and a Pentax K-5iis dslr. Even though I love photographing with the large Pentax 67ii, I find film processing and scanning cumbersome and expensive. I shoot mostly Fuji Provia 100F and have to send my films to the ÚK for processing. I scan my medium format films on an Epson V750 flatbed, and besides being time consuming, the results from my V750 are not always satisfactory, especially with low light shots on slide film. Many times I wonder if I should just have photographed with the K-5iis instead...

I would appreciate some advice based on the images I include below. This image was shot with the Pentax 67ii and SMC 67 45mm f4 lens on Fuji Provia 100F scanned on an Epson V750 at 6400 ppi > reduce image size in photoshop with bicubic sharpen to 2400 ppi.

Do you think I would gain much by looking at a dedicated medium format scanner, like the Plustek 120, or by investing in a DSLR duping set-up?


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Old 01-06-2019   #2
Ko.Fe.
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I don't think it is scanner. It is scanner trying to deal with not ideal negatives.

And if you think what taking pictures of negatives with camera rig and reversing them in PP is not time consuming, play it again .
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Old 01-06-2019   #3
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I currently use a D810 and a film toaster to scan some film. It yields good results, especially with chromes and B&W film. Recent software has made C41 conversions much better too. It is certainly higher resolving than an Epson. Probably not as high as a dedicated film scanner like a Plustek, assuming the plustek isn't banding which I'm not sure if they fully resolved. However the D810 scans are close enough with single capture that I'm not going back. Full disclosure, I own a film lab and also scan with 2 Fuji Frontier SP-3000s. I think it says a lot that I'm quite pleased with the DSLR scans. What I like about DSLR scanning is that the capture device gets better as time goes on, where as with the Fuji Frontiers I'm constantly maintaining geriatric machines. I need them however, because in a volume environment they are unmatched.

I should also say that the crops you're showing are quite extreme enlargements. I can't stress enough that you should judge your scan at your desired print size, not simply it's 100% view in PS or LR. It's still pixel peeping, and it's a waste of time. If you find yourself still wanting more, you can order a drum scan of particular frames going to exhibition. For day to day scanning while you're working on a project, don't let perfect be the enemy of good.

Personally I'd advise film shooters to buy an Epson or similar pigment printer, and scan for that print size. I have a P6000, and I'm quite pleased with my scans that will print easily to it's maximum roll format. I don't think about how the file would look printed at 60", if i'm not printing to 60".
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Old 01-06-2019   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
I don't think it is scanner. It is scanner trying to deal with not ideal negatives.

And if you think what taking pictures of negatives with camera rig and reversing them in PP is not time consuming, play it again.
Its Fuji Provia, not negatives. So a lot of the PP work is not needed.
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Old 01-06-2019   #5
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The simplest thing for you to do is try a camera scan of the same negatives. The V750 is capable of getting better scans than you have here- some of the scanning bands indicate flaws in your settings.

But using a camera is SLOW. You'll most likely want to do multiple shots and then stitch them together, and 80 mb stitch jobs aren't one-second affairs.

My basic workflow is to do scans with my V700. I see this as proof prints. Then if I want to do better with an image I will do a camera scan.
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Old 01-06-2019   #6
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I’ve chosen a dedicated film scanner (Nikon 9000) over a flatbed or DSLR scanning for quality reasons; others have chosen DSLR scanning over dedicated film scanners and flatbeds for what appear to them are quality reasons, I assume. We all have our reasons, but either high quality film scanners or DSLR scanning will yield results which are better than any flatbed. That’s about the only thing everyone is likely to agree on. (Maybe not even that?)
Doing it well is time consuming, and possibly expensive, all things considered. Doing it really well requires some considerable skill, no matter how you do it. It’s never going to be a matter of just pushing a button, any button.
Is it worth it? I don’t know, I do it all the time, but it’s not for everyone.
Getting perfect scans requires a lot of familiarity with the intracicies of better scanning software, plus, tbh, a drum scanner. Just sucking it up and doing all your shooting with the Pentax K5 probably is more sensible. Doesn’t particularly appeal to me, but it’s more sensible.
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Old 01-06-2019   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Daniel View Post

My basic workflow is to do scans with my V700. I see this as proof prints. Then if I want to do better with an image I will do a camera scan.
That’s not a bad idea.
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Old 01-06-2019   #8
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Originally Posted by css9450 View Post
Its Fuji Provia, not negatives. So a lot of the PP work is not needed.
What explains it. I rarely get good quality from any Fuij film.
Just heck a lot of contamination of developer and huge amount of poop to the sink from every Fuji film I developed.
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Old 01-06-2019   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjolester View Post
I have a very nice Pentax 67ii system that I use in combination with 35mm film and a Pentax K-5iis dslr. Even though I love photographing with the large Pentax 67ii, I find film processing and scanning cumbersome and expensive. ...

...
Do you think I would gain much by looking at a dedicated medium format scanner, like the Plustek 120, or by investing in a DSLR duping set-up?
No matter how you cut it, making photographs with film takes more effort and energy than making photographs with digital capture. And costs more per frame. So at some level, you just have to find a way to convince yourself that the effort is worth it, and accept the costs.

With respect to digitizing medium format film, I owned a Nikon Super Coolscan 9000 ED for that purpose for several years. It produces FAR better results than any flatbed scanner I've tried, but is a large and cumbersome beast of a thing to set up and use. If I were planning to make 24" or 36" wide prints of my medium format photos, it is the least of what I'd want for that task ... but I never did and have no plans to in the future.

What I've found it that with at good copy setup using a FF or APS-C camera, I can get the same level of quality out of my 6x6, 6x7, and 6x9 cm negatives or transparencies for up to a 13x19 inch print I make at home, or for the occasional larger canvas print that I send out for. To do that, it takes:
  1. A very good negative or transparency (sharp, exposed properly, processed well, etc).
  2. A good copy stand that can hold the camera and lens rock steady.
  3. Consistent color-temperature controlled lighting for the negative or transparency.
  4. An appropriately high resolution camera and lens setup. **
  5. Copy exposure that is right on the mark.
  6. Well worked out image processing to render the capture to a final photo well.
** I've done this work with 5, 7.5, 10, 16, and now 24 megapixel cameras over the years, as the cost and availability of such cameras has come along. I did it with Pentax equipment in the middle to late '00s and got very good results. I've used plenty of other cameras as well; nowadays, I have been using the Leica CL body and a set of Leica R lenses to do the job. The quality of what I get now is as good as I can imagine needing ... It's better than what I normally need, as a matter of fact. So I'm done hunting for equipment and can concentrate on just making my photos.
As I said up top, this is not an effortless process. If you want far less effort and very good results up to this size range, I'd just stick with digital capture and work on your technique with that until you get what you want.

But there is a magical lure to using medium format film that I've never gotten away from, so I keep a couple of nice cameras around for when I want to expend the effort.

Good luck!
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Old 01-06-2019   #10
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There's definitely something wrong, if you want to see what you can achieve with an Epson V7xx and Fuji Provia 100F take a short look here.

https://www.flickr.com/search/?group...xt=6x7%20Epson

I used this combo many years for my MF stuff (scanned at 3600dpi) and the prints up to A3 were wonderful. A good dedicated MF scanner will provide better results, but imho you should first invest more time in your current workflow (including exposure if this was the main reason) to get it right and then think if you really need another scanner or DSLR setup, and this depends simply on your final output, means print (size).

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Old 01-06-2019   #11
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-- stupid post :-)
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Old 01-06-2019   #12
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Every combination of digital camera+in camera processing engine+RAW file processing software has its own, and different, color signature.
Every scanning software relies on algorithms which interpret color and tones differently. The notion that using either one of those approaches is just going to spit out exact digital copies of the film at hand is absurd on its face, all wishful thinking aside.

Whether you use a scanner or a DSLR to “scan” film, it’s the baked in digital processing algorithms which will be spitting out the result, and those algorithms can’t think, nor do they care what you want. If you want results which look exactly like Provia 100, the only way, not just the simplest way, but the only way, is to project it and be done with it.
Trying to match various film stocks with one size fits all workflow is time consuming at best, futile occasionally.

This isn’t to say that you cannot end up with a pleasing result, or sometimes even a result which is “better” in some artistic ways than the original slide, if you spend enough time futzing with the files, but it’s a long way around trying to get an image.

Scanned film, no matter how you do it, is almost a separate discipline from either film photography or digital photography, with its own arcane rules and pitfalls. It can be rewarding, but, like film photography and digital photography it has its own distinct learning curve. Maybe two learning curves is enough for most people.
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Old 01-06-2019   #13
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Thank you all for such interesting comments and advice! Highly appreciated!
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Old 01-06-2019   #14
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Another thing, get a good light table with daylight settings (5400K) and a good loupe if you shoot often MF-slides. Its a lot fun too look at and it helps to identify possible errors in the first 2 steps (exposure and development).

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Old 01-06-2019   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
I don't think it is scanner. It is scanner trying to deal with not ideal negatives.

And if you think what taking pictures of negatives with camera rig and reversing them in PP is not time consuming, play it again .
Agree, I have done it and lots of post.
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Old 01-06-2019   #16
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Which lab are you using in the UK?

Most I have used will do a scan, perhaps rather than speculate, see what results they produce from a scan to see if it is your scanner. I don't use slide film as a rule but I do develop my own C41 (rarely shoot it) and I've had more than acceptable results scanning via an Epson V800.

Incidentally, I'd love to shoot some film in Norway, it looks spectacular!
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Old 01-06-2019   #17
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Originally Posted by SaveKodak View Post
I currently use a D810 and a film toaster to scan some film. It yields good results, especially with chromes and B&W film. Recent software has made C41 conversions much better too. It is certainly higher resolving than an Epson. Probably not as high as a dedicated film scanner like a Plustek, assuming the plustek isn't banding which I'm not sure if they fully resolved. However the D810 scans are close enough with single capture that I'm not going back. Full disclosure, I own a film lab and also scan with 2 Fuji Frontier SP-3000s. I think it says a lot that I'm quite pleased with the DSLR scans. What I like about DSLR scanning is that the capture device gets better as time goes on, where as with the Fuji Frontiers I'm constantly maintaining geriatric machines. I need them however, because in a volume environment they are unmatched.

I should also say that the crops you're showing are quite extreme enlargements. I can't stress enough that you should judge your scan at your desired print size, not simply it's 100% view in PS or LR. It's still pixel peeping, and it's a waste of time. If you find yourself still wanting more, you can order a drum scan of particular frames going to exhibition. For day to day scanning while you're working on a project, don't let perfect be the enemy of good.

Personally I'd advise film shooters to buy an Epson or similar pigment printer, and scan for that print size. I have a P6000, and I'm quite pleased with my scans that will print easily to it's maximum roll format. I don't think about how the file would look printed at 60", if i'm not printing to 60".
It is interesting to learn about your experience with "scanning" film with the Nikon D810. I guess I would have to do stiching with my 16mp Pentax K-5 when duping medium format film to achieve similar results, but I need to research this option.

I am fortunate to own both versions of the Minolta Dimage Scan Elite 5400, and I am very satisfied with scans of 35mm film. In fact, my 35mm scans are much nicer than medium format scans from the V750. So even though I enjoy shooting medium format film, the scans from the V750 are "dry" or "flat" in comparison to the output of the Minoltas. And it is not primarily about resolution, it is more about tonality and "overall look". When studying my medium format films on a Kaiser light table with a very good 4x Peak loupe I can see what I am not getting from the V750.

Hm... maybe I should just look for a Mamiya Cabin 6x7 slide projector instead of struggling with scanning?
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Old 01-06-2019   #18
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Which lab are you using in the UK?

Most I have used will do a scan, perhaps rather than speculate, see what results they produce from a scan to see if it is your scanner. I don't use slide film as a rule but I do develop my own C41 (rarely shoot it) and I've had more than acceptable results scanning via an Epson V800.

Incidentally, I'd love to shoot some film in Norway, it looks spectacular!
I use the Darkroom lab for developing my films: https://www.the-darkroom.co.uk

I have in fact been planning to send some of my medium format negatives and slides to Tim Parkin in the UK to have them drum scanned. In this way I will be able to compare my V750 scanning with drum scans, probably very helpful.
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Old 01-06-2019   #19
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The simplest thing for you to do is try a camera scan of the same negatives. The V750 is capable of getting better scans than you have here- some of the scanning bands indicate flaws in your settings.

But using a camera is SLOW. You'll most likely want to do multiple shots and then stitch them together, and 80 mb stitch jobs aren't one-second affairs.

My basic workflow is to do scans with my V700. I see this as proof prints. Then if I want to do better with an image I will do a camera scan.
I have been using the V750 regularly since 2013, and scanned maybe 1000 medium format negatives and slides these five years. Deep dense shadows in slides are never successfully captured with the V750. When trying to bring out the shadows, noise and banding is always a side effect. I know because I have A-B compared scans from dense 35mm slides scanned with the V750 and the Minolta Dimage Scan Elite 5400 version 1, and there is a huge difference between these two scanners’ performance. The Minolta is superb.
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Old 01-06-2019   #20
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Deep dense shadows in slides are never successfully captured with the V750. When trying to bring out the shadows, noise and banding is always a side effect.
I happened to have a phase of pastel colored overexposed C41 film. Those results are rather easy with lab scanners and density correction but my V550 won't take overexposed (dense) color neg nicely.


I intend sometime in the future to upgrade my current m43 to an EM5II or such. That camera has a sensor shift HiRes mode that seems smart. Interestingly, I found a listing on ebay with the reason that its bit depth on that mode was insufficient for C41 (inversion) needs. Anyways, I intend to deviate towards B&W in darkroom this year, and not been thinking scanning at all.



I know the feeling, being a maximizing person. Feels that you throw a lot of what the format offers when you have subpar scanning. V550 is sufficient for 30x45 prints (6x9) but feels that the Neg has more holding there.
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Old 01-06-2019   #21
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Originally Posted by Prest_400 View Post
I happened to have a phase of pastel colored overexposed C41 film. Those results are rather easy with lab scanners and density correction but my V550 won't take overexposed (dense) color neg nicely.


I intend sometime in the future to upgrade my current m43 to an EM5II or such. That camera has a sensor shift HiRes mode that seems smart. Interestingly, I found a listing on ebay with the reason that its bit depth on that mode was insufficient for C41 (inversion) needs. Anyways, I intend to deviate towards B&W in darkroom this year, and not been thinking scanning at all.



I know the feeling, being a maximizing person. Feels that you throw a lot of what the format offers when you have subpar scanning. V550 is sufficient for 30x45 prints (6x9) but feels that the Neg has more holding there.
I have in a similar way been looking at the Pentax K-1 with its pixel-shift mode as a viable albeit expensive alternative to the V750 for medium format scanning. This idea has been in the back of my mind for quite some time, and also the motivation for starting this thread and ask for some input about medium format scanning. The Olympus EM5II seems like an equally interesting camera and "scanner".

I have an A3+ (32,9 x 48,3 cm) print of a rather spectacular Northern Lights display hanging in my house:Auroras in near total darkness with a wooden Jetty as foreground interest. This image was shot on 35mm Fuji Provia 400x and scanned on my Minolta Dimage Scan Elite 5400 version 1. I have also photographed the Northern Lights with my Pentax 67ii + SMC 67 45mm f4 combination, and attempted to scan these slides and negatives on the Epson V750 with no luck. The V750 is not at all able to scan slides and negatives of such kinds of night photography (at least my V750 is not able to perform such a task).
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Old 01-08-2019   #22
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Since starting this thread I have done some research and also rescanned the slide I am referring to. When I made this photograph in 2016 I realised that this scene represented very demanding light conditions for slide film. I most often use Lee GND filters with slide film, but I had only brought along a 0.6 hard edge GND, and I did not believe this would work, so I shot two Fuji Provia 100F films and one Kodak Ektar 100 film (and also some DSLR shots) without GND filters. The resulting slides have very dark and dense shadows but the highlights are preserved. Viewed on a light table there is plenty of detail in the shadows on both of the Provia 100F films, however when attempting to scan these slides on the V750, I had little success. Only when I pushed the gamma from default (1.0) to 2.0 in Epson Scan did I manage to bring out the details in the shadows. A side effect of this setting, I understand now, is a general deterioration of image quality and banding noise. Today I did several new scans of this slide on the V750, and amongst others, a linear scan, and I am gradually coming to the conclusion that this specific slide is too demanding for the V750.

Therefore I will start to research how to put together a DSLR scan rig, and see if this could be an alternative way to digitalize this specific slide.

The Epson V750 is a fine scanner, and for most kinds of 120 film scanning it does a very good job. It has not been my intention to speak negatively about the V750.

Thank you once again for sharing your experience and giving me advice. It has been most helpful!
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Old 01-08-2019   #23
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I have been using the V750 regularly since 2013, and scanned maybe 1000 medium format negatives and slides these five years. Deep dense shadows in slides are never successfully captured with the V750. When trying to bring out the shadows, noise and banding is always a side effect. I know because I have A-B compared scans from dense 35mm slides scanned with the V750 and the Minolta Dimage Scan Elite 5400 version 1, and there is a huge difference between these two scanners’ performance. The Minolta is superb.
Agreed, the Scan Elite 5400 Mk1 is a fantastic scanner that is capable of fully resolving film grain, which the V750 isn't. Having said that I'm satisfied with the V750 for scanning 6x9 negatives to print A3 size, however I only scan monochrome film not colour neg or tranny.
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Old 01-08-2019   #24
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While I am a huge propenent of digicam scanning :

https://www.rangefinderforum.com/for...=161028&page=9

a slide like yours needs a drum scan to fulfill its potential.
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Old 01-09-2019   #25
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a slide like yours needs a drum scan to fulfill its potential.
I am seriously considering sending the slide for a drum scan. Thank you for your advice!

I have been studying your thread about DSLR scanning with great interest for some time.
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Old 01-09-2019   #26
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Gosh , I sure hope it's a valuable slide , here in Vancouver , drum scans start at $300.00 Can. ! , it'll simply remain in the realm of a lottery winning . Peter
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Old 01-09-2019   #27
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Gosh , I sure hope it's a valuable slide , here in Vancouver , drum scans start at $300.00 Can. ! , it'll simply remain in the realm of a lottery winning . Peter
I am planning to send my medium format slide to Tim Parkin’s drum scanning service in Scotland. He charges £ 14 per 120 film scan:

http://www.drumscanning.co.uk
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I prefer my Epson V700
Old 01-09-2019   #28
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I prefer my Epson V700

While I love DSLR scanning (or mirrorless in my case), if you can dial in your V700 and your software, you can get some pretty usable and amazing results AND batch scan a whole bunch at a time.

My mirrorless setup consists of a Sony A7 with a macro lens + a negative carrier + a flash + a box and some white paper. The results I get are generally very good EXCEPT when their is a flare or light leak (I don't hold the macro lens flush to the negative). Then, once I have the RAW files, the issue arises as to how I turn it into a positive. I can rummage around with it in Lightroom or Photoshop but I found I could never quite nail it down and when I did, it didn't apply that way across all the frames so I'd have to edit each one individually just to get the correct color or shadow/highlight levels.
I've used VUESCAN as a way to convert the RAW files but that is sometimes not dialed in all that correct either.
PLUS the amount of physical time it takes me to scan all 36 or 72 frames is equivalent to me going out and shooting more frames...
In all, it took a LOT of my time to get my scans in and I had to dedicate much of my life to setup, take a shot of the negative, take down, color correct, edit edit edit.... Too much work.

So I turned back to my Epson V700. I played around with some of the settings in Silverfast and adjusted the holders. I also tried to make sure the negatives were not bending and remained flat.

I found the V700 results to be pretty darn good with the right amount of sharpening once dialed in and I get my life back.
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Old 01-09-2019   #29
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hey bjolester,

I can only recommend to try using your digital camera.
I also own a V700 for my 120 photos and the results are not always perfect, especially for the inversion of negative films.

I stumbled across negative lab pro a few months ago and constructed myself a DSLR/mirrorless-Scanning Rig out of a 2nd hand repro stand, a kaiser led light table, an older FD Macro lens and a Lomo 120 digitaliza (and some cardboard which I use as a mask).
so far I'm super impressed by the results, especially the speed. If you don't want to print big 1 or 2 shots per negative are good enough and super fast.
Sharpness is at least as good as from the epson, rather better.

the only main disadvantage I currently see compared to the V700 is the non-availability of D-ICE.
In contrast, the camera setup will likely improve over the next years if new tech (like e.g. Pixel Shifting) comes available.

I will do a proper comparison next month and then decide which system to keep for digitizing MF.
There's also a good Facebook group for digitizing film with a digital camera and another for the Negative Lab Pro Lightroom Plugin.
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Old 01-09-2019   #30
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as others have mentioned, you have to give negativelabpro.com a go for negative conversions from dslr scans.
it’s been a gamechanger for me. fantastic product.
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Old 01-09-2019   #31
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Gosh , I sure hope it's a valuable slide , here in Vancouver , drum scans start at $300.00 Can. ! , it'll simply remain in the realm of a lottery winning . Peter
$300 for 1 scan!!!!!!!

Who on earth would agree to that?!
Here in LA it is $20.
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Old 01-09-2019   #32
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Gosh , I sure hope it's a valuable slide , here in Vancouver , drum scans start at $300.00 Can. ! , it'll simply remain in the realm of a lottery winning. Peter
Have you looked into Vancouver Drum Scan?
Prices are reasonable...
Looks like a home based business for someones idle drum scanner in Coquitlam.
https://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=166646

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Old 01-10-2019   #33
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Thank you for sharing your experience with flatbed vs DSLR scanning dugrant153 and predicolous!
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Old 01-10-2019   #34
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as others have mentioned, you have to give negativelabpro.com a go for negative conversions from dslr scans.
it’s been a gamechanger for me. fantastic product.
I will have negativelabpro.com on my list when I get around to scanning with my DSLR.
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Old 01-10-2019   #35
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I will have negativelabpro.com on my list when I get around to scanning with my DSLR.
although OT: it's really great. When I discovered it (already tried Colorperfect, but that's WAY too complicated and other methods) I was like..
"O.k. let's try it. This just sounds too good, and yes the video is awesome. But hey that's the tutorial / advertising video. Some results will be good, some will be bad - just with any other option"

And then I tried it....

super convenient, fast, user-friendly, self-explanatory, outstanding results on every frame,... really, really great piece of software; worth every penny!

In addition, scanner-support is currently in Beta and should be included in the next release. Super stoked for this


[edit] I'm in no way affiliated with the Author - just really impressed !
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Old 01-10-2019   #36
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The Nikon 9000 film scanner is a very, very good scanner. Having said that, this is a 35mm negative scanned with an old $40 Epson 2450 flatbed scanner. You don't really need a lot of fancy equipment to make good scans (but having a properly exposed and developed neg along w/ Canon R 100 2 lens doesn't hurt things either). I printed this to 12x18 back before I went to a darkroom and it looks fine. The scanner captured plenty of sharp detail even though it had been made w/ the lens wide open and hand held on an SLR at 1/30. Tri-X in D76 at full strength, which is not a very sharp film/developer combination.

https://i.imgur.com/93A6GLu.jpg
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Old 01-11-2019   #37
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What stitching software for Mac do you recommend for DSLR scanned images?
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Old 01-13-2019   #38
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What stitching software for Mac do you recommend for DSLR scanned images?
Do you need to stitch? I guess it depends on what camera you use. I never stitched using a D750, and now D850. I went with the D850 (and now Z7) for the extra rez.
This is a straight single scan/shot of a pano image (Noblex 135Sport) using a D850, with a 1:1 crop from the edge showing the detail. And no need to stitch:



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Old 01-13-2019   #39
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And here is slide film (as you have used), scanned with my DSLR with no stitching:



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Old 01-13-2019   #40
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Do you need to stitch? I guess it depends on what camera you use.
I am planning to use my 16mp Pentax K-5iis together with the SMC Pentax A50mm f2.8 macro for scanning medium format film. I believe that I have to use stitching in order to get better results than I already am getting from the V750.
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