Old 04-04-2007, 12:23 AM   #1
bnsf sammy
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Question Film Developing Question

Hi All-
This post is directed towards those photogs that use film. I am experimenting taking photos using a Nikon FM2, a film SLR, and I am wondering what size I should get the photos developed so when I scan them into my computer (to upload to RP.net etc.), my image quality does not become poor or compressed. Is the normal 3x5 or 5x7 okay? Thanks.
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Old 04-04-2007, 01:03 AM   #2
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well, its good to expirement with color negitives, but i would start out on slide film ASAP, its good to put a few rolls of print and see how it is, but slide film is where you want to be at.

I would venture a 4x6 is good for flatbed scanning. I did color neg. for 3 years and struggled, and then switched to slide film on a recomendation and have be blown away with the possiblities ever since.

Going from a digital camera to film is practically unheard of on this website, but dont be discouraged at first, just take your time, set up a digital and film next to each other on the same train, using the digital to meter and see where you at. Then as you get more aquanted with film you can loose the digi and go with your senses.

After that the skys the limit.

Happy to see your making this adventure.
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Old 04-04-2007, 01:04 AM   #3
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I use 3x5, but I'm not so sure if it's the size of the photo as much as how high quality of a scanner you use.
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Old 04-04-2007, 01:39 AM   #4
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I'm with Pat, try shooting slides. The problem with prints is that you're at the mercy of whatever the machine developing your prints thinks you want. If use a polarizer, it's likely the machine will compensate for what you were trying to accomplish and lighten the shot. This doesn't happen with slides.
Most modern flatbed scanners have a slide scanner built in that gives acceptable results.
If you cant shoot slides, then try scanning the negatives instead of prints.
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Old 04-04-2007, 03:16 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Save The Wave
If you cant shoot slides, then try scanning the negatives instead of prints.
I thought scanning print negatives was problematic because of the orange cast of the base film?
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Old 04-04-2007, 03:22 AM   #6
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When I look through literally boxes upon boxes of old 4X6s developed from print film, I want to kick myself for not shooting slides. Don't waste your time with print film, if you want my advice.


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Old 04-04-2007, 04:29 AM   #7
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Yeah, thats the biggest problem with negitives is that people wish they had shot slides insted. In a conversation with Steve Schmollinger i had a few years ago, he said that he has some nice material on cab forwards and old-old SP, when he was a kid he shot neg. and now its usless material to share with anyone, due to magazines restrictions and fading, etc..

He basically told me to shoot slides right now. And i did follow that, and i am happy i did, it is a lot of fun. My favorite part about shoot slides is getting 11x14 enlargemnt s back full of color, detail and richness. Its really nice.
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Old 04-04-2007, 04:43 AM   #8
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Thank you all very much for all this useful information. Clearly it seems that shooting slides are the best way to go. However, being that I am new to film, I need some clarification on what slides are, how they are used, where to get them, and how to I "develope" them? Do slides require you to put a new slide into the camera each time you take a new shot? Does one have to take each slide to a photo place to have it developed, or can you scan the slide directly into your computer? Thanks for answering my questions, still trying to get the hang of film.
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Old 04-04-2007, 06:46 AM   #9
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Slides are much like negitves in the form that its film, and it is shot on a roll.

However, a slide or transparency (as they are much refered to) is not a negitive, but a positive. Unlike negitve which you cannot see the color in till they are developed, slide film once developed is all you need. You do not need a projector or print to see what you got. Its all in color already, just look at it under a light table and your done. Typically the film is cut into each frame (which negitves are cut into 4frames) and the slide is then mounted in a cardboard frame which allows them to be transported or fitted into a projector. Slides dont scan well on flatbed scanners, they require either scanning by a the developer or you can purchase a slide scanner.

Slides develope using E6 processing, which is avalible usually where ever negitives can be developed.

Typically slide film is more expensive because it is usually 36 exposure rolls, but i can be done in 24 too.
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Old 04-04-2007, 09:07 AM   #10
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Since were on the topic of cost, E6 (slides) devopling cost are much less that C41 (standard prints).

I have to echo what everyone else has said, dont waste your time with prints.
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Old 04-05-2007, 01:08 AM   #11
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I used to shoot color neg film. I can kick myself for all of the early Conrail stuff I shot was on C41. I switched to Kodachrome in '79, and stuck with slides until I went digital. Slide film is less forgiving, your exposure needs to be spot on, but it will make you a much better photographer in the long run.
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Old 04-05-2007, 08:07 PM   #12
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I shot film from 1983-1998. (until I went digital)

I dont regret it.

I never had a slide proojector, so slides were useless to me.
today I have scanned most of my old negs, which I would have done anyway if they had been slides.

the main benefit to slides is they are more stable over time than negs.
(applies to Kodachrome only..Ektachrome and Fujichrome are no better than negs..Kodakchorme is a different process..)
anything will hold up well over time if its properly stored.

going back to the original question, if you shoot negs (print film) you dont want to scan prints, you want to scan the negs!
the negs are the "first generation" image, same as a slide, its the actual piece of film..a print is "2nd generation"..if you scan the print, you are on the 3rd generation..quality degrades with each step.

and prints are always far lower quality, in terms of detail and contrast range, than the negs they were printed from..scans from negs will give you MUCH better digital images than scans of prints..

99% of minilabs these days are "digital" anyway..which means the negative is scanned first, then the digital image is used to make the print. its a very easy step to simply burn that neg scan to a CD and get the disk along with your prints..virtually all labs do this.
dont scan prints if you have the negs!

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Old 04-05-2007, 08:22 PM   #13
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Scot, any tips regarding the scanning of negatives and the processing of the resulting digitals?
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Old 04-05-2007, 08:28 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bnsf sammy
Thank you all very much for all this useful information. Clearly it seems that shooting slides are the best way to go. However, being that I am new to film, I need some clarification on what slides are, how they are used, where to get them, and how to I "develope" them? Do slides require you to put a new slide into the camera each time you take a new shot? Does one have to take each slide to a photo place to have it developed, or can you scan the slide directly into your computer? Thanks for answering my questions, still trying to get the hang of film.
Sammy,
slides and "print film" go in your camera the exact same way..
in "rolls of film".
35mm rolls, in 12, 24 or 36 exposures.

When you are taking the pictures, there is no difference.
the difference is in the make-up of the film itself, and how it is processed.

When you drop off your roll of film at the camera store to be processed, the two kinds of film go through two different types of chemicals to be "delevoped"..

Print film goes through "C-41 chemistry", which developes the film and turns it into negatives. The negativeis the piece of film where everything is backwards, light is dark, dark is light, and all the colors are reversed, like this:

http://homepage.mac.com/ilyons/tutor...negative-1.jpg

Those negatives are then printed onto photopaper, resulting in prints.
you get back prints and negatives.
the negatives are the actual film that went through your camera.
the prints are made from the negatives.

Slide film goes through different chemistry.
Kodachrome has its own chemistry that is specific to Kodachrome only.
all other slide films are "E6 process" Ektachrome and Fujichrome are the most popular E6 slide films.
The developed slide is *positive*, not negative,
like this:
http://academic.emporia.edu/aberjame...bs/sl_film.jpg
The actual slide is the actual piece of film that was exposed in the camera!
(just like the negative is the actual piece of film that was exposed in the camera)
the long strip of slides is then cut into individual frames and mounted in cardboard or plastic slide mounts.
You get back a box of slides.

both slides and negatives can be scanned to get digital images.

Scot
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Old 04-05-2007, 08:37 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMDC
Scot, any tips regarding the scanning of negatives and the processing of the resulting digitals?
Most of the processing is already done for you..
thsi can be good or bad..
most of the time if you get a "photo CD" from the minilab along with your prints (from either Kodak or Fuji based systems) you are getting the "enhanced" scan, not the original "raw" scan..
Kodak and Fuji both have extensive systems to enhance print film, including "digital dodge and burn" where shadows are lightened and highlights are darkened, at the same time! (I worked on Kodak's system!
Those "enhanced" scans are then used to make your prints, and those scans get burned to the CD..

The only real potential problem with the CDs is the resolution they give you..
if they are only making 4X6 prints, they dont need a super-large high-res scan..lower resolution is fine..then you get a low-res scan on your CD that looks bad when blown up to a 1280 pixel wide image.
Thats a problem with the particular machine being used..if you have that problem, you need a new lab!
negs are slides are both capable of giving fabulous scans..its not the film that is susally the problem.

If you have a neg or slide scanner, you can control everything yourself..but if not, you need to pick a quality lab..Walmart sucks..drugstores and supermarkets usually suck..you need a good quality camera store that also has a lab..those are the people who know how to do it right.

Once the scan is made, it can be treated the same as any digital image from a digital camera, and 'processed" the same way you would enhance an image froma digital camera..if you get good enhanced scans to begin with, you shouldnt need to do much with them anyway..

Scot
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Old 04-05-2007, 08:46 PM   #16
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I wasn't very clear...

I am talking about old stuff - I know how to get a CD from something I take in today. So I am looking for tips on home-scanning. I've got relatively recent stuff that was scanned during developing but not to a high resolution (including a favorite slide whose scan was processsed and rejected at RP for not being sharp) and older stuff well before the digital age.

So I'm looking for tips in general. Also, I understand, perhaps falsely, that when doing processing on a scan of a negative, one has to deal with the color of the base film, which is orangey. Is that a problem in particular?
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Old 04-06-2007, 04:56 AM   #17
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If I scan in the negative (your talking about the negatives that you recieve when you develope prints) aren't they too small to be able to resize to 1024x768?
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Old 04-06-2007, 07:31 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bnsf sammy
If I scan in the negative (your talking about the negatives that you recieve when you develope prints) aren't they too small to be able to re-size to 1024x768?
The Nikon coolscan III I use to scan my slides produces an image approximately 3500 x 2300 pixels and when saved as a 24bit Tiff file weighs in at a little over 23Meg in size. The newer film scanners with higher optical resolutions will of course produce bigger files.

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Old 04-06-2007, 08:01 AM   #19
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I know this is a film thread, but let me ask...

What's a decent slide/negative scanner cost?

How much could you sell a film SLR on eBay for?

Not even counting the cost of film/slides, it seems like the money involved with the two items above would take a big chunk (if not the full price) out of the cost of a dSLR.

Just sayin'...
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Old 04-07-2007, 12:07 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
What's a decent slide/negative scanner cost?

How much could you sell a film SLR on eBay for?
Yes, I was also thinking of selling the camera. It was a gift to me and I thought that I would take a stab at trying to take film images. So I'll play around with film and if I don't like it then I'll sell it.

Thanks all for your help, I really appriciate it.
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Old 04-07-2007, 02:51 AM   #21
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The FM2 would probably be less than $200. For a decent slide scanner it wouldnt be worth it. Mine was more than a few hundred dollars.

But for an extra few dollars you can get the negitives or slides scanned to a CD at the photo finisher. So i would go that route if your just playing with the film.

Film photography isnt based of cost effectiveness, its based off a hobby. So yes, not all purchases will be cheap, but its meant to be a hobby. And as far as i know hobbies cost money no matter what.
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Old 04-12-2007, 04:51 PM   #22
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Well I had my first try with the camera over the weekend at the Grand Canyon, and I actually got a photo accepted using film!
Image © BNSF SAMMY
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Photograph © BNSF SAMMY
Thanks again everyone for your help.
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Old 04-12-2007, 06:48 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bnsf sammy
Well I had my first try with the camera over the weekend at the Grand Canyon, and I actually got a photo accepted using film!
Image © BNSF SAMMY
PhotoID: 183509
Photograph © BNSF SAMMY
Thanks again everyone for your help.
Nice work! This forum has helped me too, because I want to shoot film again.
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Old 04-12-2007, 07:13 PM   #24
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good work BNSF sammy, so what were you using (film wise) and what route did you take for scanning (cd -flatbed)? Looks very clear...
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Old 04-12-2007, 07:20 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat Lorenz
good work BNSF sammy, so what were you using (film wise) and what route did you take for scanning (cd -flatbed)? Looks very clear...
I used Fujifilm Fujicolor film at 400 ISO, 36 exposure roll. I got all the photos developed with prints at 4x6 and on a CD. The CD turned out to be crap, all the photos were grainy so I ended up scanning each print into my computer. I scanned that partucular photo in at 950 dpi and used Photo Shop to do photo size and some color work. I didn't record the F-stop/time exposure/etc. though.
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