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Scanning film


Emanuel
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5 hours ago, BTM_Pix said:

Whoah there, I thought it was only me that was assisting with this project.

Who the hell is this other character who was helping you ?

that would be the ceo, you report back too 😁

anyone one done anything with either 8mm film or 16mm. One of the guys at the mens shed has a lot of his own stuff from yesteryear and mentioned that he'd like to get it converted to digital. I dont have an issue with a roll of 35mm but hundreds of feet or more is a bit daunting.

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5 hours ago, leslie said:

anyone one done anything with either 8mm film or 16mm.

Yes.

 

6 hours ago, leslie said:

One of the guys at the mens shed has a lot of his own stuff from yesteryear and mentioned that he'd like to get it converted to digital. I dont have an issue with a roll of 35mm but hundreds of feet or more is a bit daunting.

That requires a telecine or film chain.  If it's serious work, best to bring the footage  to someone who has a decent set-up.

 

 

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I actually shoot 35mm film on the regular. It’s fun and the images look fantastic. I own a plustek 8100 film scanner, which I use vuescan to scan my images and a Lightroom app called Negative Lab Pro to convert. That said the process takes me 1.5 hours, so unless I have time to scan, I usually opt to have scans done by a lab for about $14. (Less if you give more rolls).

Many NLP users make their own scanner with a light table, macro lens and camera and the scanning process is much faster than my plustek. Film is very much still alive in 2020.

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The sad truth is that, in order to scan 35mm and medium format stills in best quality, you need dedicated high-end film scanners like the ones made by Nikon (Coolscan) and Hasselblad (Flextight). Nikon unfortunately stopped manufacturing the Coolscans many years ago. Today, they are sought-after items costing up to $2000 on Ebay, with many models needing SCSI or Firewire connections. Hasselblad scanners cost about $15,000.

All affordable solutions on the market, flatbed scanners (like the Epson Perfection series or the Reflecta budget film scanners) do not render the full quality of film. Solutions for digitizing film with a camera and a macro lens like the Nikon ES-2 lens adapter are rather flimsy.

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3 hours ago, rawshooter said:

The sad truth is that, in order to scan 35mm and medium format stills in best quality, you need dedicated high-end film scanners like the ones made by Nikon (Coolscan) and Hasselblad (Flextight). Nikon unfortunately stopped manufacturing the Coolscans many years ago. Today, they are sought-after items costing up to $2000 on Ebay, with many models needing SCSI or Firewire connections. Hasselblad scanners cost about $15,000.

All affordable solutions on the market, flatbed scanners (like the Epson Perfection series or the Reflecta budget film scanners) do not render the full quality of film. Solutions for digitizing film with a camera and a macro lens like the Nikon ES-2 lens adapter are rather flimsy.

Agreed. Even if you have loads of time, it is nearly impossible to get the same color and texture that you get with the high end scanners. 

This scanner is really good but only does 35mm. I’ve heard a lot of people swear by it. The output really simulates what a 35mm print should look like. Correct colors etc. 

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F202603055965

I personally would rather support a local lab and get my scans back in 2/3 days via email. I’m shooting 120 and 35 so the price for high end scanners would be too costly for it to make sense. 

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I have to say you guys should check out the Negative Lab Pro Facebook group, guys are using their mirror less and light setups and getting excellent results. Honestly I’ve used my plustek and gotten fantastic results that were as good as the lab, just takes time on the colors. 

I agree with @BenEricson unless you have 1-2 hours a roll to devote to scanning, support a lab! I use mail my film out in a prepaid mailer and use Old School Photo Lab but there are tons of labs. The darkroom is another popular one. My current 35mm setup is a Nikon FE2 with a 28mm, 50mm and 100mm e series primes. 

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  • 11 months later...

I bought a s/h Nikon Coolscan for around £350 from the bay, came with the manual and auto film holders (unfortunately the auto one doesn't work with my favoured scanning software, Silverfast - it needs a firmware update for which I'd need a 32bit WinXP or something awful). I have to say that the quality of the scans is excellent and definitely up to my needs, which top out at 16x20 prints.

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I have "scanned" quite a lot of film with a macro-lens. In my opinion, it works great resolution wise. My main problem has been getting the colours right. I start with inverting the colour curves in lightroom and setting white balance on the base film colour, but it still takes a lot of fiddling with the RGB channels to get it right. One problem is that since the film base colour is so red, the temperature in lightroom maxes out at 2000K while I believe it should go even lower to get it correct.

Anyone else has any tips on getting the colours right? Is there something like a "Portra 400 LUT" I could use which would correct the colours?

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I’ve started with my positive movie film scans first, using the X-T3.
I have a lot of negative too, will experiment with that next.

I found this to try, for negative video:

http://www.filmlabs.org/index.php/technical-tips/invertcolorneg/

This free plugin is for apps that support OpenFX, such as Resolve or the open-source Natron.

If you try it, let us know how well it works.

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On 2/20/2021 at 2:21 AM, odie said:

If you’re in Europe filming on 16mm or 35mm here is an Athens lab we used for a series of commercials

anmar.gr

they include everything and they’re great!

Good to know for anyone working in that area.  They have three scanners.  Thanks!

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 2/17/2021 at 4:08 AM, UncleBobsPhotography said:

I have "scanned" quite a lot of film with a macro-lens. In my opinion, it works great resolution wise. My main problem has been getting the colours right. I start with inverting the colour curves in lightroom and setting white balance on the base film colour, but it still takes a lot of fiddling with the RGB channels to get it right. One problem is that since the film base colour is so red, the temperature in lightroom maxes out at 2000K while I believe it should go even lower to get it correct.

Anyone else has any tips on getting the colours right? Is there something like a "Portra 400 LUT" I could use which would correct the colours?

Here are results from my 1st experimental 35mm full frame negative capture with an X-T3.

From my years of shooting Kodachrome long before digital, I had color filters for adjusting daylight film to tungsten, and vice versa. I had noticed that the orange color of negatives was similar to two stacked #85b filters.

85’s are used to adjust tungsten balanced reversal films to sunlight.

Therefore the logical correction for two 85’s would be two blue #80B filters stacked together, filters used for the opposite of 85’s - adjusting daylight balanced film for tungsten light.

First, here is an old Nikon CoolscanV capture of the negative for reference: a casual shot in a museum on a family trip years ago. I wanted to see how close the X-T3 with 80B filters could match it’s color…

1745331515_NikonNegScaninFCPX760.png.e3ee29b944cfd76209d7f054d31d6913.png

I shot the negative on a daylight 5000K LED Lightbox, with two 80B blue filters under the negative. The X-T3 had a 50mm Fuji enlarger lens on bellows.
White balance was at sunlight (5000K), ISO 200, 6K JPEG.

My main question was - would double 80b filtering remove the orange to the extent that grading would not need to be drastic?
 
(However I spent more time to get the settings in this camera for the best raw result for this particular negative for least amount of grading. I found that it needed a boost in contrast and color. I used Fuji’s Classic Chrome, color +4, dynamic range 100,  Highlight and shadow tones +2, and exposed +2/3 stop brighter so the whites don’t get clipped. But no color shifts.)

I reversed the negative to positive in GraphicConverter, and Imported into Final Cut Pro. 

I adjusted the color with curves, reduced red in the shadows and reduced blue in the highlights.
Here’s X-T3 capture after final grading in FCPX:

1851976538_X-T3captureinFCPX760.png.150ecc7a5a4bd4abc073965f7976436e.png

It doesn’t match the quality of the Nikon scanner, but better than I expected.

(I have a binder full of plastic pages full of color negatives and the orange color among them can vary quite a bit, so grading could vary quite a bit.)

The SOOC capture (JPEG) and inverse:

1428951821_beforeinversal500.jpg.8e1c674f74bfaae05db8867d62514d8b.jpg

1738931866_afterinversal500.jpg.c72b5e92dd94ff1cd04c26a6b41ad042.jpg

Grading In Final Cut:

607801341_curveadjustments.thumb.png.c4aa9e00a2df47bdada54dead947178f.png

 

My purpose for testing capturing negative is to prepare for digitizing my personal 16mm film, a frame at a time, using a Siemens projector being run off a geared down motor, similar to what I did with the Arri II for 35mm.
That’s why I graded in FCPX.
I can’t use the CoolscanV for that!

P.S.
I just looked online to see if other people are using blue filters.
I found one person who suggested particular Cingel filters of colors similar to double 80b, here:
https://photo.stackexchange.com/questions/70225/how-to-invert-color-negative-scan-via-dslr-without-clipping-the-red-channel

However most other posts are suggesting using RAW image color grading, with varying techniques of removing the massive amount of orange after it is in the shot.
I will be using JPEG files, RAW is not required if the orange is already filtered out.

 

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Further testing shows two 80b filters are not needed, one should be enough to reach a white balance
comfortably within reach of a digital camera.

Find a blank frame or unexposed section of a negative film strip, and auto-white balance the
orange out with with an 80A or 80B filter or gel between your light source and the film.

One blue filter under a blank orange 35mm frame brings my camera’s white balance to about 3800K on my light box. Two filters bring it up around 5600K, and it will vary between different film types.

After the orange is auto-balanced out, the actual color of the shot (emulsion) is left for grading.

I was so used to seeing color negatives on orange masks that the bluish X-T3 results looked wrong.
But I inverted a random bunch of photos to negative and found the overall bluish tone to be normal for my shots, orange areas show up only in deep blue areas such as blue skys.

 

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