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Scanning Negatives

Posted 11/02/2016 - 21:31 Link
2nd posting, the first seems to have been swallowed up!

Anyway - SWMBO has tasked me with undertaking this exercise... has anyone done such before? If you did, what software did you use to turn the scanned negative into a positive for working on in LR etc?

There are also in excess of 3000 35mm slides to scan, but that'll be much more straightforward. I hope.
Posted 12/02/2016 - 07:51 Link
This is a HUGE topic which will yield many different opinions and will require many, many hours to do, so beware.

I use an Epson V500 and the included software to scan. I've never been happy with the results, they're very poor indeed in terms of sharpness and colours. Scanning is by far the most complex, difficult and frustrating part of a modern film/digital workflow.

There are better scanners available but they are much more expensive and generally even slower than the Epson flatbeds, so it all depends on how much time, effort and money you want to put into the endeavour.

If you can afford it then send all the scans to a reputable company to scan for you.
Pentax hybrid user - Digital K3, film 645 and 35mm SLR and Pentax (&other) lenses adapted to Fuji X and Panasonic L digital
Fan of DA limited and old manual lenses
Posted 12/02/2016 - 10:14 Link
I also had a V500 (had to sell it unfortunately) and its pretty good but to be honest find yourself someone who will scan then for you and its well worth it
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Posted 12/02/2016 - 11:17 Link
To digitize 35mm slides I bought an inexpensive LED light tablet (about 30.00 for an A4 size on Amazon), cut out a 35mm size hole in black paper to place over it, and used a right-angled card mount as a 'template' to place the slides over the hole. I then put a camera with a macro lens on a tripod pointing vertically down, and set the aperture to f11 and ISO 100. The exposure varied a lot so the speed was the variable. I found the colour temperature of 10,000K gave the best render but experiment with this, I used live view and a cable release to avoid any shake, and darkened the room to avoid any light on the front of the slide. I found that many of the slides had accumulated dust and a few had slipped in their mounts so it was a laborious process to get each one ready but had I sent them off to a commercial lab they wouldn't have received this attention. If your slides are in good clean condition then it should be a fairly quick process to drop each one in place and click the shutter but keep checking the focus. Results were ok considering the age of the slides and for many I was able to bring the colours back to life in Elements. Here's one from 1974 (sorry, Voightlander not Pentax):
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Posted 12/02/2016 - 19:33 Link
Thanks for the responses so far guys - it *is* going to be a task and a half.

I've got the 35mm slides covered - I've convinced SWMBO that she should view them all first and whittle out any that she does not want, which will save me a lot of time and might give her an inkling of how long it'll take.

My problem is turning the film negatives into positives - what do people use?
Posted 12/02/2016 - 19:53 Link
A film scanner will have a setting for negatives. Reasonable film scanners can be had for under 100 - I have a Summit PhotoFix SPS for quick use as well as my Nikon Coolscan V for more serious use. For the web, the cheaper scanner gives quick and reasonable results. It will also do negatives or slides in 35mm or 110 format.

The Cheaper scanner also has a small colour screen so the image can be quickly assessed before scanning.
Best regards, John
Edited by johnriley: 12/02/2016 - 19:55
Posted 13/02/2016 - 11:36 Link
Cheers John, your post made me look in a different direction! The scanner did come with some software but I wasn't given the disc. Having asked the question, said disc was produced. I'm now able to scan negatives and have them converted at the touch of a button!

Images are okay "as is" for web use, but any I see that might be worth working on will be taken into the office and put through LR!

Thanks everyone for your ideas and responses.

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