Scanning 4x5
Old 02-27-2018   #1
Timmyjoe
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Scanning 4x5

Been experimenting with sheet film, in 2.25 x 3.25 and 6.5 x 9cm sizes with a Medalist II. These are the largest size negatives that will fit into my Nikon Coolscan 9000 film scanner.

Really enjoying the "Ansel Adams-esque", experience of shooting sheet film, the Zone system, and the larger negatives, and am thinking about plunging into 4x5, but since I no longer have a wet darkroom, I wonder, how do folks handle 4x5 negatives?

If you shoot 4x5, and don't have a darkroom, what are you using to scan your negatives, or how are you creating prints?

Best,
-Tim
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Old 02-27-2018   #2
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I have an old Epson 4490 scanner which can scan medium format sizes. I scan my 4X5 negative twice (moving the negative over), and stitch the images together in Photoshop. Works quite well actually, but someday I do plan on buying a 4X5 scanner.

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Old 02-27-2018   #3
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Old 02-27-2018   #4
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Thanks Jim & Phil.

While searching around the web, I came across a number of folks recommending the Epson V800, V850 scanners. I did not realize those were film scanners, I thought they were flatbed scanners.

It does seem like there are good solutions.

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Old 02-27-2018   #5
Steve M.
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My old Epson 2450 flatbed was capable of really good 4X5 scans. Inexpensive scanner that will need an older OS in all probability. I had Win XP at the time and the drivers from the Epson website worked perfectly.

There are several low cost solutions for 4X5 scanning, but when you get into the printing end of it, well, that's different. You can tie up a lot of money in a printer, paper, and ink and still get prints that are nowhere near the equal of a good wet print, especially in terms of permanency. In fact, I gave up on this after seeing a neighbor's darkroom prints of his 4x5 negs on fiber paper. They looked wonderful. If it were me I would just find the best online print "labs" that suited my photos, and sub it out to them. B&W inkjet printing is something I will never go back to due to the cost and frustration that is built in to that process.
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Old 02-27-2018   #6
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Mine is an old Umax Powerlook 1000 scanner that has the negatives top. It can scan up to 8x10 and has an optical max resolution of 2400dpi, both vertical and horizontal. It has a FW400 connection.

I paid EUR 50 for it a few years back. Worth every cent.
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Last edited by johannielscom : 02-27-2018 at 14:35. Reason: corrected post
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Old 02-27-2018   #7
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cheaper than inkjet printing.... contact print onto Azo or Lodima.....lightbulb like Edward Weston used. you can do it in a closet or bathroom
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Old 02-27-2018   #8
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Thanks Steve and Johan.

Steve brings up a good point and would be my next question. After you find a way to scan your 4x5 negatives, how do you print them?

I've used an Epson Photo R3000 for a number of years, and even though I've gotten some really nice prints from it, the ink is really expensive and it really is kind of a pain in the backside to use.

Is there and online print "Lab" that anyone has found that does really nice work? And do they wet print from a digital file, or inkjet print from the digital file?

Thanks.

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-Tim
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Old 02-27-2018   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deardorff38 View Post
cheaper than inkjet printing.... contact print onto Azo or Lodima.....lightbulb like Edward Weston used. you can do it in a closet or bathroom
Yeah but you've spent more than the cost of a scanner after getting your exposure dialed in and finding the perfect amount of dodging and burning.
Then on to the next neg...

That is if you can get your hands on Lodima.

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Old 02-27-2018   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmyjoe View Post
I've used an Epson Photo R3000 for a number of years, and even though I've gotten some really nice prints from it, the ink is really expensive and it really is kind of a pain in the backside to use.
I use an Epson 3880 to print my digital images and the ink cost per print is no more than the cost of a sheet of photographic paper.
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Old 02-27-2018   #11
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I have a V500 which has a largest size scanning of about 2.5 inches. So I bought a piece of plastic that is just wide enough to butt up to the scanner sides and reach just into the scanning area. I then scan a 4x5 section of about 2/3s of 4 inches. Then I flip the negative to scan 2/3s of the other side. These two images are stitched with Microsoft ICE.

Here is one:

Arista EDU Ultra 400 Rodinal by John Carter, on Flickr
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Old 02-27-2018   #12
Larry Cloetta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmyjoe View Post
Thanks Jim & Phil.

While searching around the web, I came across a number of folks recommending the Epson V800, V850 scanners. I did not realize those were film scanners, I thought they were flatbed scanners.

It does seem like there are good solutions.

Best,
-Tim
Tim,

They are flatbed scanners, but they come with masks for 4x5 negatives and smaller formats as well, and a separate light source to transilluminate the negative from above (at least my epson 1640SU did).

Here is another option:
https://fstoppers.com/education/how-...gatives-137248

https://www.getdpi.com/forum/large-f...r-scanner.html

I am in the middle of trying to sort out the same thing. Have got a Coolscan 9000 which I strongly prefer to DSLR scanning for other negatives, for a variety of reasons I won't go into here.

But, will likely eventually go to DSLR scanning on a repro table, with stitching which seems necessary to give the resolution larger negatives are capable of. Can't afford or master a drum scanner myself.

The flatbed scanners won't fully reproduce the resolution inherent in a good 4x5 negative, but can be quite good. That leaves aside the question of how often anyone actually needs the full resolution inherent in a 4x5 or larger negative, but, if going to all the trouble of shooting 4x5, perhaps one has already answered that question for himself.
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Old 02-27-2018   #13
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Epson v700 (wet mounting) since I no longer have access to an Imacon Flextight. I miss that guy. I find that gives me more than enough detail for prints up to 24" - bigger than that, I'll outsource it (see below).

Client work is drum scanned by professionals.
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Old 02-27-2018   #14
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Hi Tim

I've used an Epson V700 for scanning B+W 4x5 with decent enough results .
I would send something out to Panda here in Seattle if I really wanted to print large.
The Epson v700/750/800/850 all come with a 4x5 holder and "software preset" in epson scan (professional).

I imagine Digital Camera scanning is a legit way to go these days also for smaller prints and web use.

This slightly front focussed handheld image was taken with a Crown Graphic and scanned with the V700. If you follow the link back, I think there is a 2500pix version up there.
Tombuktu by Adnan, on Flickr
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Old 02-27-2018   #15
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I'm using an Epson V850, and printing on a Canon Prograf 1000.

Results have been brilliant! I've only done B&W to date.
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Old 04-16-2018   #16
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I've been using an Epson V600 and scanning 4x5 and scan the same way Mackinaw does. I recently started shooting 5x7 so I have a V800 coming tomorrow. I print on an Epson P600.
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Old 04-16-2018   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil_F_NM View Post
Yeah but you've spent more than the cost of a scanner after getting your exposure dialed in and finding the perfect amount of dodging and burning.
Then on to the next neg...

That is if you can get your hands on Lodima.

Phil Forrest

Not sure how you figure this. No way that it'll cost anywhere near the cost of a scanner, printer, frofiling system for a decent monitor, inks and paper.

Lodima, no need for azo or lodima. And high quality fiber paper will work just fine. Matter of fact I prefer papers like Ilford nultigrade warmtone fiber or even better Bergger warmtone fiber. Contrast can be controlled with filters where azo and lodima are graded papers. Using a light with a reflector where a contrast filter can be mounted will give great flexibility. I've contacted printed this way for nearly sixty years.

Honestly you'd have to be a pretty bad darkroom technician to get the price of contacts to exceed the gear and cost of digital printing.

My recommendation, find a low cost 5x7 camera like a B&J Grover, Rembrandt, Ansco / Agfa, Korona or similar camera with a light tight bellows and a Tessar type lens made by Ilex or Wollensak. There are many of these excellent Tessar formulas at super cheap prices. Many are in ilex, betax and compound shutters and are excellent. For some reason people flock to Kodak Ektars, Schneider xenar and Zeiss Tessar lenses but over look Ilex paragon and Wollensak Raptar lenses that are identical to other Tessar lenses. Even Fuji made an L series that's a Tessar. I own a 420mm L and it's identicle to the Nikkor 450 M but half the price. Also look for Goerz Apo artar ( red dot) in a shutter. A 12" will nicely cover 5x7 with movements and is razor sharp. A 210 mm G Claron Schneider is an Apo wide field lens and extremely sharp with a huge image circle. I sold a barrel mount one for $35 recently and it covered 8x10 at infinity with some movements at f32. The G Claron direct fits in standard copal and compur shutters. The 210 fit in a #1 and my 150 fits in a #0 and covers 5x7. These are dirt cheap lenses until you get to 305 and 355mm which covers 12x20 negs.

You most certainly can get into wet printing contact prints much cheaper than inkjet and have amazing prints made the way they should be made.

PM if I can be of help.
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Old 04-16-2018   #18
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Quote:
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You most certainly can get into wet printing contact prints much cheaper than inkjet and have amazing prints made the way they should be made.
5x7 or 4x5: no kidding and the plus of the added shadow and highlight tones.
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Old 04-17-2018   #19
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I still use an old HP scanjet GP4050, which comes with a frame for scanning a 4x5 Negative.
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Old 07-27-2018   #20
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I wrote an article for Graflex Journal on my scanning technique for 4x5 here
http://www.graflex.org/journal/journal-2018-02.pdf
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Old 07-27-2018   #21
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I do actually have two 4x5 enlargers (and have never used them yet) but for 4x5 scans I use the Epson v750. I wish there was a dedicated 4x5 film scanner.

I have the 9000 too, again haven't used it. Haven't even opened the box yet. How's that for procrastination. Maybe that's what I'll do today.
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Old 08-03-2018   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmyjoe View Post
Been experimenting with sheet film, in 2.25 x 3.25 and 6.5 x 9cm sizes with a Medalist II. These are the largest size negatives that will fit into my Nikon Coolscan 9000 film scanner.

Really enjoying the "Ansel Adams-esque", experience of shooting sheet film, the Zone system, and the larger negatives, and am thinking about plunging into 4x5, but since I no longer have a wet darkroom, I wonder, how do folks handle 4x5 negatives?

If you shoot 4x5, and don't have a darkroom, what are you using to scan your negatives, or how are you creating prints?

Best,
-Tim
V850, bog standard holders.
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