Digitizing medium format film with m4/3

siftu

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Hi

again I will offer to anyone who wants to compare their camera rig with my Epson flatbed scanner. I'll post them a negative 120 roll or 4x5 sheet if they promise to post it back even if they're too slack to get around to (or embarrased to get around to) publishing the photo results.
I would love to take you up on this.. Not to actually prove you right or wrong but to see if my scans come anywhere close to yours. I have a v600 for MF, and I made a rig to scan with my em5ii. The em5ii wins in details (high res mode), but maybe there is something up with my v600. I use vuescan and ensure it adjusts focus every time. I have used different holders and ANR glass.

I will also say I can "scan" a roll of 120 in about 2-3 mins with my em5ii, it takes a lot longer on my Epson v600.
 

Turbofrog

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I would love to take you up on this.. Not to actually prove you right or wrong but to see if my scans come anywhere close to yours. I have a v600 for MF, and I made a rig to scan with my em5ii. The em5ii wins in details (high res mode), but maybe there is something up with my v600. I use vuescan and ensure it adjusts focus every time. I have used different holders and ANR glass.

I will also say I can "scan" a roll of 120 in about 2-3 mins with my em5ii, it takes a lot longer on my Epson v600.
I think it's no surprise at all that High Res Mode would win against a scanner, given that it gives better-than-FF results for static scenes. This seems like a perfect application for that feature.
 

pellicle

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I would love to take you up on this.. Not.
I've just moved from Australia to Finland and my scanners are in boxes in transit, probably won't be here till late December at earliest. PM me if you want so send something to me.

I also sold my Nikon LS4000 as I'm really not expecting to do any more with it.

But as I have said the turnaround point is calculatable by taking digital camera output pixels and the inches you are effectively scanning with the camera.

Of course digital cameras will capture faster, but you may spend more time in post with stuff, and it's not unattended.
Then it gets worse when you are using negative.

Anyway it's not about right or wrong it's about learning what you can do and what can be done :)
 
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Hi Pellicle, I have read your posts about scanning vs macro-lens with much interest. Maybe all that was too long ago!
One of the things that caught my attention was the excellent quality of the sample photo of the Japanese building which I believe you said was shot on 35mm and scanned on LS4000. I've scanned a lot of pics using my LS4000 and have not been very impressed with the IQ lately. I have had the scanner professionally serviced and it's a little better. I am quite prepared to believe that the settings I use and less than optimal and I wanted to ask you what settings you used. I mainly scan 35mm slides mainly Fujichrome and Agfachrome but some Kodachrome too. Also some colour negs, mainly Fujicolor. I've seen a number of articles on various forums that have made quite pompous assertions about this scanner but I tend to regard such with much suspicion. You made an impression on my as someone who is very competent and I hope you don't mind me asking you about this. I have also cannibalised an ancient slide copier that fits onto your camera; I had bought it several decades ago to copy slides on my old Nikon SLR and it was maybe just about tolerable. Now I have removed the lens part and obtained a ring that screws into that and onto a filter step-up ring for my Oly 60mm macro lens and thence to my Lumix M43 cameras. The results were almost about the same as recent scans from the LS4000, so all that was a waste of time! I have also used Topaz Denoise AI and Sharpen AI to try and improve the scans from the Nikon but the software isn't very effective with the kind of noise we get from these scans, which is more likely grain than noise.
I'm posting publicly in case anyone else is interested although maybe this is a bit too specific.
 
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I have a Film Toaster, which is basically a fancy box with a light on the bottom. It comes with film holders for 35, 120 and 4x5, all of which I have. I've done a ton of 35mm so far, but only one 120 frame. Used the G9 in hi-res mode with the Lumix 30 macro. I previously had an Imacon X3, and this is as good, or better. The RAW file is so much easier to work with than the files from the Imacon, and if I should upgrade my camera, say to an S1R, I would be seriously upgrading the image quality. I won't, but its nice to know that it's there. The files from my G9 and the Imacon are roughly the same size with the G9 giving about 300 more pixels, and the sharpness across the frame is also very sharp with both. Using Negative Lab Pro makes the conversion from neg to pos very quick and very nicely balance with much more tonal range than the Imacon. Where there is no contest whatsoever is the capture time. Where the Imacon took many minutes, the G9 hi-res mode is less than 10 seconds. For me, using the G9 is a winner.
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From 35mm, the set up is even more impressive, giving me over 10,000 pixels on the long side...
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I agree @John King , as I have ICE on my Nikon LS4000. Looking at @Mike Peters large clear pictures shot through the Film Toaster and using the G9 Hi Res, there could have been a massive number of little tiny dots and specks to eliminate because the camera hasn't got our magical ICE. I was wondering if there's maybe there's some software that cleverly identifies and eliminates dust marks on scans. I'm interested mainly for 120 film scans done in camera. Thanks for the link to Wikipedia and that pointed me to SilverFast SRDx plugin for Photoshop, which I might well try out.
 

BDR-529

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using the G9 Hi Res, there could have been a massive number of little tiny dots and specks to eliminate because the camera hasn't got our magical ICE. I was wondering if there's maybe there's some software that cleverly identifies and eliminates dust marks on scans.
I have been planning to test this out but apparently I stored my 35mm slides and negatives so carefully that they don't have enough dust to justify the trouble.

Anyway, the way ICE works is real simple and you can replicate it with camera as well. Essentially scanner takes two images: one with white light and second with IR light source. IR image is used to create a mask which shows where dust specs and scratches are. This mask (or separate IR channel really) is then applied to original image for inpainting. Digital cameras have IR filter on sensors but enought near IR will pass through since all you need is a B&W image which shows the bright spots (dust).

All you need to do is to throw in IR filter between negative and light source (assuming it produces at least some amount of IR) or swap the original light with IR torch (Amazon will sell these for $10€). Maybe you could just switch off the white light and point IR torch sideways to negative surface?
 
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RAH

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I'll admit that I haven't read every post in this thread, but I did search for the word "wet" and got no hits. As I understand it, the absolute best way to scan negatives is using a method called "wet scanning." In fact, I had a lot of old 5" and 8" negatives to scan and was considering the purchase of a scanner that allowed large negatives to be scanned, but decided not to because the effort would have been so great (easier to use a camera). You cannot just lay negatives on a flatbed, because they need to be raised slightly (that's what those holders do). I guess maybe folks know this, but also, from what I have read, you should use "wet" scanning techniques. Here's one discussion about it:

https://petapixel.com/2017/02/14/wet-mount-scanning-get-highest-quality-film-scans-home/
 

RAH

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@RAH Rich, I think the difference between the V700 and V700 Photo is that the latter has a separate film scanner and film carrier holders in the lid (mine has). That is, it is not your usual flatbed scanner.

That, and the inclusion of the patented Kodak scanning software.
Yes, I agree that most scanners come with film holders, and the V700 comes with some larger ones. But I had SUCH large and odd-size negatives (from early 20th century and before) that they wouldn't have fit any holders. So I figured I'd get a scanner like the V700 that could do pretty large negatives and then just lay the negatives on the bed (in negative mode), and scan them like you would a piece of paper. Nope, you cannot do that - they have to be raised some or they will be out-of-focus (and you cannot focus the scanner). So I looked into it more and if you really want to do it right, you need to use that wet technique. Um, no thanks!! :)
 

BDR-529

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@RAH Hmmm, Rich. I've happily scanned some really weird early 1900s family negs on the platen of my V700 Photo. Focus seemed fine.
Every flatbed scanner obviously works just fine when documents or even photograps are placed directly on the glass, yet they do indeed come with negative holders which raise those slightly.

I've always assumed that they just have wide enough DOF to manage the 1-2mm difference and ICE technology uses IR light which actually requires different focus anyway.

On a related note, I have found that using -2, -1, 0, 1, 2 HDR photos on clearly under/overexposed slides brings out details which were lost when I scanned these with my Canon flatbed photo scanner. I did use electronic shutter and phone app to avoid any movement between shots.
 
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RAH

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@RAH Hmmm, Rich. I've happily scanned some really weird early 1900s family negs on the platen of my V700 Photo. Focus seemed fine.
Well, I have to admit, I never tried to lay large or odd-sized negatives on a scanner's flatbed. The thing was, back when I was going to scan these negatives, I was volunteering at a museum and had to decide whether to recommend buying an Epson V700 scanner (maybe it was V600 back then).

I cannot find the info I was looking at back then, but I got scared away by reading that your images done using such a technique would all be slightly out of focus because they were not raised correctly off the bed, and because it was impossible to focus a consumer-grade scanner. At that point I delved into it more and read that the right way to do the whole thing was to not just raise the negatives up, but use the wet technique. I knew I wouldn't want to do that, and since the scanner would have cost the museum something like $500, I backed off the whole operation and used a camera (probably a Canon 60D back then) instead.

Since this was a museum, I needed the results to be pretty good, money was tight, and my scanner expertise pretty low. So I went with the camera option. But regardless, if someone wants top quality scanned results, the wet technique is certainly the preferred method, from what I have read. Probably, like most operations, once you get things set up, it wouldn't be all that bad. It's the setup that takes all the time.
 
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I understand your situation, Rich.

However, I can assure you that flatbed scanners focus very well on items on the platen, be it text on a document, or an unmounted negative/positive.

For 35mm stuff, my Konica-Minolta is far superior, for all sorts of reasons.

The V700 Photo is a very flexible bit of kit with its twin scanning options, lid and platen.
 

RAH

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I understand your situation, Rich.

However, I can assure you that flatbed scanners focus very well on items on the platen, be it text on a document, or an unmounted negative/positive.

For 35mm stuff, my Konica-Minolta is far superior, for all sorts of reasons.

The V700 Photo is a very flexible bit of kit with its twin scanning options, lid and platen.
This is confusing. I agree that scanners focus on items that are layed on the bed, when you scan them with the regular scanning method - scanned from below as a positive. Of course, no one is saying you need to raise a piece of paper off the scan bed to scan it. So, sure, a negative could be scanned like that and it would work. I guess you could then reverse it in post-processing.

But, if you scan it using the slide/film scanning option, where the scan is done from above, the item has to be above the bed to achieve proper focus. It seems as though the entire operation is geared towards slide scanning, which are usually in the cardboard holders. So, a film negative has to be mounted in a holder simulating the regular slide cardboard to get the focus correct.

So, are you saying that you used normal, from-below scanning with your odd-sized negatives and then reversed them in post-process? I DO think that might work, focus-wise, and now am kind of wondering why I didn't just try that with a rgular ol' $159 scanner. In fact, I am now wondering why they bother with all those negative holders if you can just place the negative on the scan bed and use regular object scanning and then reverse the results. I think I figured that the exposure would be badly off, although you can adjust for that in the scanner. Total confusion...

Edit: OK, I have realized the problem here - it's a transparency vs a non-transparency. You need to use the above-the-bed scanner technique for transparencies like slides and negatives, whereas you use the regular below the bed scanner for pieces of paper, etc. So, you cannot scan a negative by just laying it on the bed and scanning it like a piece of paper and then reversing it in post. This is not to say that scanning a negative from above using the slide-scanner method will not work, but, as I've been saying, the scanner is expecting anything scanned with that method to be above the bed.
 
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BDR-529

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But, if you scan it using the slide/film scanning option, where the scan is done from above, the item has to be above the bed to achieve proper focus.
So there is a flatbed photo scanner that has a second moving CCD element on the lid?

I have only seen ones where you have an illuminated lid which is necessary for slide/negative scanning with the very same CCD element that is moving under the glass

Also the lid is nothing more than a white light source that is providing backlight for transparent items like negatives. It's running only in the middle of the scan area because the lens in the CCD module is usually not that sharp in the corners (this is why negative holders position everything in the middle)
 
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