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Category: New Questions

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Photography Question 
Peggy J. Maguire
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 10/23/2005
 

photo and negative scanners


I know nothing about the process of what happens when you scan negatives into the computer,I have lots of 35mm negs and would like to get prints from them so I can work on them.Need help..Also need a good scanner...

12/17/2007 11:20:01 AM

 
doug Nelson
DougNelsonPhoto.com

member since: 6/14/2001
  Search around on this site and on mine for information on Epson flatbed scanners. A flatbed designed for scanning negatives and slides can do several frames at the same time. They can clean up dust specks as well.

If you are a perfectionist, a dedicated 35mm film scanner returns a scan with more detail. However, if you learn how to use Unsharp Mask in Elements, you will get close to the detail a dedicated scanner can do using a good flatbed.

If you are interested in what a scanner does and how it does it, see www.scantips.com.

12/17/2007 1:42:26 PM

 
Richard Lynch
BetterPhoto Member
PhotoshopCS.com
Richard's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: Correcting and Enhancing Images
4-Week Short Course: Looking Good in Print and On the Web: Color Management
  I have tried using even sophisticated flatbed scanners for this purpose, and I have been disappointed by the results. Likely it is not an issue with the operator, I have worked prepress and a number of different scanner types. A dedicated film scanner is a better idea, but unless these have become significantly less than they were (which is likely, I haven't looked in a while) they will not be cheap. But their resolution and design should help make the most of scans. Flatbeds were more-or-less designed for prints, and even scanners with transparency adapters won't do a similar job.

It may make sense to have a service scan them for you. You can get scans at high resolution for $2 or so at a service, and you won't have to waste the time learning the equipment, purchasing, and running the job yourself. They will also, depending on the service, run the scans on excellent equipment which is another reason to use services...

Richard Lynch

12/17/2007 2:13:56 PM

 
Peggy J. Maguire
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 10/23/2005
  Doug and Richard ,thank you for your responses, I am looking into your infro.Richard I have about 800 negs and I think a service would be too expensive.also I looked at the Nikon super coolscan 5000ed and they want $899.00 For it, WHICH IS WAY TOO EXPENSIVE,,,I also am looking at the Epson 4490 but am getting mixed reviews on it,I'm in A quandry right now...Peggy

12/17/2007 4:43:36 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/17/2005
  Actually Peggy, no one knows what happens when you scan negatives into the computer. IMHO, it's witchcraft and black magic.

But for a flatbed I enthusiastically recommend the Epson V700. I comes with lots of easy to use software including a version of Photo Shop. I'm digitally impaired so I appreciate the plug and scan features. I had it up and scanning in about ten minutes. Cost about %80 from B&Hphotovideo.com.
The V700 seems to get excellent reviews from just about eveyone. The negative and transparency carriers it's supplied with are likewise easy to use and well suited to the purpose.

I don't do much, if any, actual printing of the scans but I'd think that should get special consideration for what you plan to do.

Take it light;>)
Mark

12/17/2007 5:26:52 PM

 
Peggy J. Maguire
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 10/23/2005
  Thank you Mark,I will look at the V700 NOW....Peggy

12/17/2007 5:38:29 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/21/2004
  hey peggy,
I will subject you to our age consideration peggy and assume your smarter than me by a million.
have your negatives made to prints and then scan the prints.most stored negatives curl,sorry.your not prepared for this.
film scanners are only a dissapoinment of the operator,thats not us.well it is us and richard.interest,training.i'm saying your right richard.
have those selected negatives printed and then scan the prints,flatbed.
now peggy if you have a few you think are worth a drum scan,make the call.
like asking bust size,how flat are your negatives?
the best lab produces prints from.

12/17/2007 10:54:41 PM

 
Peggy J. Maguire
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 10/23/2005
  Thank you Sam,lots to think about..Peggy

12/17/2007 11:30:12 PM

 
Richard Lynch
BetterPhoto Member
PhotoshopCS.com
Richard's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: Correcting and Enhancing Images
4-Week Short Course: Looking Good in Print and On the Web: Color Management
  Mark, you said: "Actually Peggy, no one knows what happens when you scan negatives into the computer. IMHO, it's witchcraft and black magic."

Seems very unlikely that "no one would know", as otherwise how would it work? Those building the devices would obviously have to know. Likely I can tell you, and I don't even design the things.

"It comes with lots of easy to use software including a version of Photo Shop."

Photoshop is 'easy to use'?

Again, flatbeds were not originally designed for doing negative scanning, and they may not be the best devices for it. Even those that claim to do negative scans that I have used do not make the kind of quality scan I would recommend. The Epson recommended has high resolution, great dynamic range, batch scanning, etc., but again, is not cheap, and you have to learn to use it -- which takes time, understanding of digital processing, and scanning technology (which Mark suggests that no one knows).

I see Samuel's points, but going from neg to print to scan is removing the result by a generation and should not make the best results (though it may prove easier to scan), and the 800 prints will cost how much? Add that to the price of the scanner and time you take learning to scan well. Conversion with high quality is simply not going to be terribly cheap, and will cost either in time or money for the best results.

Richard

12/18/2007 12:05:10 AM

 
Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member
cammphoto.com

member since: 7/17/2003
  I also disagree that generating prints will be costly and degrade image quality. A dedicated film scanner is your best option.
I scan slides almost exclusively but this scanner will produce high-quality scans of negatives as well. (See example)
It's important to note that negatives (and slides) have to be of high quality, properly exposed and tack-sharp to get decent digital equivalents.

12/18/2007 1:32:55 AM

 
Peggy J. Maguire
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 10/23/2005
  Richard and Bob,Thank you for all your knowledge,and taking the time to help educate me ....Peggy

12/18/2007 3:58:59 AM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/21/2004
  well to my darling peggy.that ps or ps2,3,is a help?debbie grossman's fix has no room in my world.
there is no room anymore to showing up to capture a scene,to be there,to look for the light,only to augment,color and change,what was there.these photographers will not revisit a scene more than once,they search out editors picks.so to add color or something on the next months entry?
quote yourself,not someone else.if your so right,your knowledge should stand a test of time.
silent night,and please respect yourselves,as all should,but to what end?

12/18/2007 9:03:06 PM

 
Richard Lynch
BetterPhoto Member
PhotoshopCS.com
Richard's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: Correcting and Enhancing Images
4-Week Short Course: Looking Good in Print and On the Web: Color Management
  "there is no room anymore to showing up to capture a scene,to be there,to look for the light,only to augment,color and change,what was there.these photographers will not revisit a scene more than once"

Samuel,
I don't know if I am misunderstanding...I appreciate your perspective, but must disagree. I often revisit something after I've done some editing which allows me to examine the results and see further into an image than I ever could in the field. Sometimes it is like taking a microscope to the scene...sometimes it is looking and finding more than you first saw considering different perspective, angles and composition, which you really cannot change in Photoshop alone. There is much to explore and enhance, and the digital darkroom can be an enhacement to your usual procedure -- not just simply a means of white-washing good practices and the artistic value of taking a shot.

Richard

12/19/2007 3:30:18 AM

 
Peggy J. Maguire
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 10/23/2005
  Thank you Richard...

12/19/2007 9:41:09 AM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/21/2004
  did you go back to where the photo was taken or was it a rework of a perspective.if you revisit your computer,which is like changing a crime scene.
though I interpret what your saying as to going back to your image and changing it again.add,adjust?
art is not white-washing,only different.if the outcome is acceptable to the artist,great.yet I believe you profess to change capture.
maybe a difference of opinion,outlook,old guy.i'm not sure.
discussion is the key,many thanks,and hopefully more.
sam

12/19/2007 9:08:00 PM

 
Christopher A. Walrath
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/25/2006
  Peggy, I shoot almost exclusively black and white film and I have made alot of digital contact sheets, so to speak. I have had great success with my plain jane, run-of-the-mill HP flatbed scanning B&W negs. I just put the negs in an archive sheet, scan, invert the colors in my HP software, drop the midtones and shadows to nothing, adjust the saturation to zero, crop and save. Color is trickier. As there are more layers in the emulsion the image comes out a bit on the low-contrast side with little detail and a lot of noise where there is little contrast in the neg to begin with. Reason for this is that more light gets reflected back on the scanner sensor with the thicker film.

12/20/2007 8:47:18 AM

 
Richard Lynch
BetterPhoto Member
PhotoshopCS.com
Richard's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: Correcting and Enhancing Images
4-Week Short Course: Looking Good in Print and On the Web: Color Management
  Samuel,
I have on many occassions gone to shoot something again, from another perspective, with another style, a change in lens, different light, etc. I actually shoot again, not just return to the image in Photoshop to massage it more. Sometimes it is EASIER to reshoot. Just because I use Photoshop does not mean I am limited to making changes there...and the program is not magic. I can't shoot the front of something and see the back any more than you can with a negative.

If the capture is a documentary shot, then it is a crime to change in certain ways...you can't put a murder weapon in a hand if it wasn't there before. Morally wrong. But I would rather take the original and enhance the feel of it like you would in the darkroom using Photoshop than I would want to build it from scratch -- as then it isn't a photo anyway.

Is saturating color changing a capture? Is enhancing the brightness? Contrast? Burning? Dodging? Sharpening? These are most of the things I do in Photoshop. Hardly crimes, or you'll have to arrest everyone who worked a darkroom in the last century. You might even do these same things to documentary photos and never be accused of doing something morally wrong. Enhancing the capture of a robbers face in the bank cameras might even solve the crime...

Like you take a lens and add it to your collection to augment what you do, or add lighting equipment or backgrounds, you might consider Photoshop as just another tool that you use in the process...Lenses weren't made to be reversed, but people do it, and it is a technique, not a crime. Isn't using a lens with good bokeh an alteration? Using filters on your lens? Adding light?

I'm not sure that it differs. There is art in capture and art in the darkroom -- whether it is digital or chemical. You don't suddenly become a worse photographer for having learned what Photoshop can do -- quite the opposite. It can help you see in a way you might not have before. And it isn't an insult to the skill of envisioning from the viewfinder any more than a magnifier or focusing screen are.

Richard Lynch

12/20/2007 9:24:43 AM

 
Peggy J. Maguire
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 10/23/2005
  Thank you Christopher..Peggy

12/20/2007 10:00:44 AM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/21/2004
  i don't matter peggy,i agree with chris if your negatives have been stored properly.
please don't quote me.i have chewed enough leather.yet you teach what?
this is not positive.i,myself assumed peggy did not have the expertise to scan her own negatives.may have been an insult to a fellow member.an insult to her learning.
richard,your images are pristine,not a capture.great photos,,yet real?so if peggy doesn't take your course what are her chances?she can?what?
give your answer to peggy,i just ramble.

12/20/2007 10:27:33 PM

 
Richard Lynch
BetterPhoto Member
PhotoshopCS.com
Richard's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: Correcting and Enhancing Images
4-Week Short Course: Looking Good in Print and On the Web: Color Management
  "richard,your images are pristine,not a capture.great photos,,yet real?"

Yes. In fact you'd probably be surprised how little work is actually done to most of them. for example, this image:
Random Annointment

...is exactly what we were discussing: a situation where my choice of lenses (a Helios 40-2 85mm on a short extension tube) lead to me taking some interesting images and returning probably 4-5 times to shoot the same thing. The time of day left an odd color cast in the background that starkly contrasted with the color of the flowers. The original exposure is a bit less saturated, but the composition and content is as captured. Admittedly it looks faked...it is not. I can show you the original capture.

I don't teach courses in scanning -- though I could. I never suggested she take a class at all. I suggested jobbing out the scanning, which I think is the responsible direction and advice unless she wants to become an expert at scanning in addition to equipment costs.

"if peggy doesn't take your course what are her chances?she can?what?"

If she doesn't take my courses, she has a good chance of making good digital images, if her originals are good. You don't make good images from horrible ones in Photoshop -- that isn't the point. And this thread has gotten way off on a tangent.

Richard

12/21/2007 4:09:58 AM

 

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