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27 minutes ago, Chuck Nacke said:

Michael,

 

This has become an interesting discussion.  I did have problems with the FS 4000's, I have two just in case one goes down,  In the old days I did not use the USB connection, USB 2.0, I used a 16bit Adaptec PCMCIA adapter.  I also never use FARE (Canon's version for Auto retouching).  My experience has been that the CanoScan FS 4000 used the way I am using it, is sharper than the Nikon version and that is against the Nikon 9000.

 

Another important note: I have found that the best 35mm emulsion to scan from is the old Kodak EPP, I would put Kodak's PKL and PKR right behind EPP.  I have not done much B & W, but that is why I have been spending so much time with the scanner, I have a stack of really exclusive Tri-X that I would like to scan and get back out into the market.

 

Using modern ViewScan also makes a huge difference over the old Canon software.  I am still trying to master ViewScan.

 

Concerning your image: 2A8872A, On my calibrated 24' Dell Ultra Sharp monitor, I don't care for how your highlights look, just my opinion.  I think scans look better or as I would say more "Film Like" using a dedicated film scanner.  For everyone else: Flatbed scanners do not cut it, in my opinion.

 

Chuck  

 

I agree that  2A8872A is not great and I will delete it. I only tagged it a few days ago but I don't like it myself. As I said it was only an initial experiment to see what was acceptable in terms of noise really. The highlights are too yellow for sure (although it was shot in evening light) and the way it is displayed on Alamy does not help. In fact the version on Dropbox was a later version and is much better in terms of white balance if you would like to download it and open it in Photoshop (https://www.dropbox.com/s/7o2w0yjjvmnz6ha/BlackheadAug023.jpg?dl=0) . Viewing in a browser is not ideal

 

That one was Velvia 50 taken in 2002. I used to shoot Kodachrome 25 and 64 back in the 80s and should still have loads of them when I get around to digging them out but I generally preferred Fujichrome and shot Velvia 50 mostly from the the time it came out until I went digital.

 

If you are going to do a lot of black and white then the ES2 which Nikon brought out along with the D850 a few years ago has a film strip adapter so doesn't need mounted slides. Just saying 😀. That Canon scanner is not going to last forever. Flatbed scanners - I totally agree with you as well. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Chuck Nacke said:

For everyone else: Flatbed scanners do not cut it, in my opinion.

Just in case anyone gets the wrong idea I was referring to an article on an Ohnar slide duplicator that felt the results were not as good as a flatbed scanner - thus demonstrating just how bad those results were. The only flatbed scanners that cut the mustard were high end ones from Fuji and Creo, and they were fantastic.

 

I remember that you sold on your Bowens  Illumitran but that is actually the perfect solution, it just needs some adaptation. In your case, for Nikon full frame, a 6-element 105mm enlarging lens and a PK-13 extension tube plus 3 stop ND filters on the main light source and the contrast control unit if it has one. There's no point recommending that to anyone because they don't come up very often over here. However MDM's suggestion of the ES-1 or ES-2 plus Micro-Nikkor would produce results just as good.

Edited by Harry Harrison

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13 minutes ago, Harry Harrison said:

 

 

I remember that you sold on your Bowens  Illumitran but that is actually the perfect solution, it just needs some adaptation. In your case, for Nikon full frame, a 6-element 105mm enlarging lens and a PK-13 extension tube plus 3 stop ND filters on the main light source and the contrast control unit if it has one. There's no point recommending that to anyone because they don't come up very often over here. However MDM's suggestion of the ES-1 or ES-2 plus Micro-Nikkor would produce results just as good.

They come up about once a month on ebay, but  I think they might need heavy modification for a big DLSR as of course it was meant for film, so the standoff from the column to the optical axis is quite limited. I use a Sony A58 which is quite small.

Even though I have to set mine up each time, it only takes a few minutes- just screw the camera on, load slide, focus and away. It's convenient enough to do for just a couple of images if needed.

There's one up at the moment for £120 which is a bit steep in my book as it's missing the lens mounts.

Edited by spacecadet

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11 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

They come up about once a month on ebay, but  I think they might need heavy modification for a big DLSR as of course it was meant for film, so the standoff from the column to the optical axis is quite limited

Yes, my 5D MkII fits with about 1mm to spare and a Nikon D600 fits also as shown in this blog post here. However for larger cameras you can add 27-30mm of extension tube and use a 105mm lens and then the camera sits above the bellows rail, it works fine. In fact a Pk-13 on a Nikon (27.5mm) is a bit marginal so normal extension tubes might be better. As you say it's very quick and easy once setup and takes up very little room.

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6 hours ago, spacecadet said:

Very unlikely that a shop can deal with that sort of enquiry anymore.

 

 

 

No doubt that is true but if anybody knows somebody who runs a camera shop you might suggest that they could benefit from offering a service for people like me who would pay a premium to have access to personalised problem solving expertise. 

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7 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

 

 

No doubt that is true but if anybody knows somebody who runs a camera shop you might suggest that they could benefit from offering a service for people like me who would pay a premium to have access to personalised problem solving expertise. 

 

That was another era I'm afraid. That sort of knowledge only comes from experience. When I moved to Peterborough in 1999, there was a Jessops,  a Techno and an independent camera shop (I forget the name now). All had really knowledgeable staff - mostly middle aged men with one woman that I remember. Jessops took over the Techno, closed their original branch, got rid of the knowledgeable staff in the former Techno and employed lots of young people who did not have the knowledge or experience. The independent camera shop closed and then Jessops went bust. I had already started using WEX (then Warehouse Express) in Norwich anyway. The only camera shops in Peterborough since whenever it was that Jessops went bust are John Lewis and PC World as far as I am aware and the staff there are probably not going to be able to answer anything but the most basic queries unsurprisingly as they are not specialist camera shops. It is just modern life. 

 

WEX (including Fixation) still have knowledgeable staff though. I still find the WEX customer service guys know what they are talking about.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, MDM said:

 

 

 

WEX (including Fixation) still have knowledgeable staff though. I still find the WEX customer service guys know what they are talking about.

 

 

 

 

Yes, you mentioned them before - thanks for the reminder. Appreciated.

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5 hours ago, Klinger said:

I'm surprised that anyone recommends a flatbed over a single slide scanner. Years ago, that was the last choice. Times have changed.

No, they weren't recommending it, just saying that the results from the Ohnar duplicator weren't as good, best to steer clear of cheap duplicators, and flatbeds for 35mm.

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6 hours ago, MDM said:

 

Have you tried the Nikon ES1 with 55mm Nikkor with your D800. I am betting you have not. I have used the Canon FS4000 scanner you refer to as well as the Nikon LS4000 which came out around the same time back in 200 when I had the chance to try both the LS4000 and FS4000 and the Nikon was by far the better (as well as a lot more expensive). Scans from the FS4000 were oversharpened and with poor dynamic range as well as very noisy in comparison to the Nikon. I am not saying you can't get acceptable results from the Canon scanner but it would take a lot of work as is evident from what you describe.

 

However,  neither scanner comes anywhere close to the ES1 slide copier with 55mm Nikkor and extension ring with a D810. One very major advantage is you get a big, high quality NEF to work with which allows for far better noise control as well as amazing highlight and shadow recovery even from contrasty slides in Lightroom. Careful processing in Lightroom with spotting and a tweak or two in Photoshop should take no longer than 30 minutes. 

 

Speed, quality and cost - as I already had everything but the copier and extension ring the cost was about £200.

 

That is all my direct experience. 

 

 

Over the years I've used film scanners from Canon and Minolta but I find the quality I can now get from a DSLR with a decent lens, and lightbox is significantly better, and it’s so much quicker. I’ll bet I’d get even better results if I had a Nikon D810, although I find that the final quality I get is usually limited by the quality of my 35mm slides (depending on the film stock and lens I was using). The other advantage of DSLR setup is its possible to digitise medium and large format too. So far it’s only digitised versions of medium and large format that I have online.

 

Mark

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5 hours ago, M.Chapman said:

 

Over the years I've used film scanners from Canon and Minolta but I find the quality I can now get from a DSLR with a decent lens, and lightbox is significantly better, and it’s so much quicker. I’ll bet I’d get even better results if I had a Nikon D810, although I find that the final quality I get is usually limited by the quality of my 35mm slides (depending on the film stock and lens I was using). The other advantage of DSLR setup is its possible to digitise medium and large format too. So far it’s only digitised versions of medium and large format that I have online.

 

Mark

What size file did you get from a film scanner compared to a DSLR?  Is this where the more MP your camera has, the bigger your resulting image is of your “digitally scanned” negative?  So a 36 MP camera will give you a bigger file than a 24MP camera?

 

For stock, it might not matter that much, but for printing, I would assume you’d basically just get an enlargement from your negative, right? But then, finding anyone to print an enlargement from negatives might not be that easy.

 

I realize the closer you can get to the negative with your lens, filling the frame as much as possible, the larger your final result, because you won’t have to crop edges as much.

 

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7 hours ago, M.Chapman said:

 

Over the years I've used film scanners from Canon and Minolta but I find the quality I can now get from a DSLR with a decent lens, and lightbox is significantly better, and it’s so much quicker. I’ll bet I’d get even better results if I had a Nikon D810, although I find that the final quality I get is usually limited by the quality of my 35mm slides (depending on the film stock and lens I was using). The other advantage of DSLR setup is its possible to digitise medium and large format too. So far it’s only digitised versions of medium and large format that I have online.

 

Mark

Mark,

 Care to point me and us to an image illustrating your comment, "Over the years I've used film scanners from Canon and Minolta but I find the quality I can now get from a DSLR with a decent lens, and lightbox is significantly better, and it’s so much quicker."  Quicker maybe, but I have still not seen an example of "better."  I did post the image number of an image that I recently scanned from 35mm FUJI RDP,  Image ID: 2ANRDF9

 

2 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

What size file did you get from a film scanner compared to a DSLR?  Is this where the more MP your camera has, the bigger your resulting image is of your “digitally scanned” negative?  So a 36 MP camera will give you a bigger file than a 24MP camera?

 

For stock, it might not matter that much, but for printing, I would assume you’d basically just get an enlargement from your negative, right? But then, finding anyone to print an enlargement from negatives might not be that easy.

 

I realize the closer you can get to the negative with your lens, filling the frame as much as possible, the larger your final result, because you won’t have to crop edges as much.

 

Betty,

A 4000 dpi scanner is about equal to a 20MP+ DSLR in terms of Image size.  Another trick is to photograph the image in several sections and splicing or stitching the pieces together which can now be done easily in LR or PS. 

 

On another note, one approach I am looking at is making 11x 14  quality prints of B & W negs and photographing them with a 36MP DSLR.  I have done that with some success with one other rare image and it worked as well as the original print (the print was over 20 years old and not stored well.)

 

Chuck

Edited by Chuck Nacke
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2 hours ago, Chuck Nacke said:

 

Betty,

A 4000 dpi scanner is about equal to a 20MP+ DSLR in terms of Image size.  Another trick is to photograph the image in several sections and splicing or stitching the pieces together which can now be done easily in LR or PS. 

 

On another note, one approach I am looking at is making 11x 14  quality prints of B & W negs and photographing them with a 36MP DSLR.  I have done that with some success with one other rare image and it worked as well as the original print (the print was over 20 years old and not stored well.)

 

Chuck

Illuminating, Chuck. I assumed a scanner gave much bigger image size. Actually glad to hear a photo-scan can actually rival or beat a regular scanner.

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5 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

So a 36 MP camera will give you a bigger file than a 24MP camera?

Yes, though the other factor is whether the negative or slide that you are scanning contains detail that will be resolved at the highest resolution, I would think that 24MP is around the sweet spot for DSLR scanning though nothing wrong with having that extra margin with the Nikon's 36MP. Beyond that I suspect that files just get bigger with no extra detail captured.

 

Once resolution is sorted with the right camera and the right lens (or the right scanner) then the real enemy is actually contrast and dynamic range, and the same is true with film scanners of course. Although I'm a Canon user all the DxOMark tests that I've seen would suggest that Nikons have a greater dynamic range so should be great for this, and for slides with really dense shadows and high contrast (Velvia?) then one can try bracketing and HDR merge.

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57 minutes ago, Harry Harrison said:

Yes, though the other factor is whether the negative or slide that you are scanning contains detail that will be resolved at the highest resolution, I would think that 24MP is around the sweet spot for DSLR scanning though nothing wrong with having that extra margin with the Nikon's 36MP. Beyond that I suspect that files just get bigger with no extra detail captured.

 

Once resolution is sorted with the right camera and the right lens (or the right scanner) then the real enemy is actually contrast and dynamic range, and the same is true with film scanners of course. Although I'm a Canon user all the DxOMark tests that I've seen would suggest that Nikons have a greater dynamic range so should be great for this, and for slides with really dense shadows and high contrast (Velvia?) then one can try bracketing and HDR merge.

 

Without looking up the numbers, film is capable of very high resolutions depending of course on the equipment used in the original capture as well as the film itself. I used to use high quality prime lenses, usually with a tripod for my landscapes  and the images contain plenty of sharp detail (typically shot on Velvia 50 in the years before getting a digital camera). I believe that the limiting factor is in the digitisation which introduces noise (or maybe film grain?) and is going to lose detail by its very nature.

 

The 55mm Micro-Nikkor is more than capable of corner to corner sharpness on a 36MP camera so that is not an issue. The larger file size allows for downsizing which helps with noise and apparent sharpness. It is debatable whether a 24MP camera (D750 say) would produce a better image than a downsized one from a  36MP D810, all else being equal. I no longer have a 24MP camera so can't compare. 

 

The very high dynamic range of Nikon FF cameras starting with the D800 is definitely a major plus in recovering highlight and shadow detail in the copying process as long as one shoots raw and processses carefully. I am astonished by what is possible in fact just with a single shot. That example I posted is of a very contrasty slide and the copy has caught all the detail in shadows and highlights that I would want to see without going to HDR.

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What does the ES1 and ES2 actually do that makes it better than the alternatives?

 

Is there some 'magic' inside the mechanism? How does it work?

Edited by geogphotos

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8 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

What does the ES1 and ES2 actually do that makes it better than the alternatives?

It's just an elegant and simple solution, primitive almost. It doesn't achieve better results than any other properly set up DSLR copying system but it does it simply and is, at least for a Nikon user, the cheapest way to get top quality results.

 

It's simply a slide holder with a light diffuser, an extension ring and a sliding tube arrangement. Worth reading that link I posted above.

 

Edit:

The ES-2 is more expensive as it includes a negative strip holder and I think extra adapter rings for APS-C. Nikon also have a built in solution for colour negatives but I think it only works on jpegs and I haven't read good reports. Colour negatives are a bit of a problem with DSLR scanning, actual scanning software often handles it better.

Edited by Harry Harrison

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6 hours ago, Chuck Nacke said:

Mark,

 Care to point me and us to an image illustrating your comment, "Over the years I've used film scanners from Canon and Minolta but I find the quality I can now get from a DSLR with a decent lens, and lightbox is significantly better, and it’s so much quicker."  Quicker maybe, but I have still not seen an example of "better."  I did post the image number of an image that I recently scanned from 35mm FUJI RDP,  Image ID: 2ANRDF9

Hi Chuck,

 

Here's one. E9W7G0 - copied using a Panasonic Lumix G5 with 45mm macro lens from medium format (Velvia 50 I think).

 

E9W7G0.jpg

 

I've not uploaded any 35mm copies yet as most of my 35mm originals just aren't good enough (the film stock is OK but my lenses weren't so good). But I'm currently in process of going through them to find any that might be good enough for Alamy.

 

I've been trying to find a folder where I did some back to back comparisons between my scanner and DSLR copies, but it's proving elusive at the moment. I must have archived it onto another disk :wacko:. I'll do some more searching and post some 100% crops if I find the folder.

 

Mark

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23 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

What does the ES1 and ES2 actually do that makes it better than the alternatives?

 

Is there some 'magic' inside the mechanism? How does it work?

 

The magic is in the camera and lens combo. I already had the excellent D810 and 55mm Micro-Nikkor so all I had to buy was the ES1 and extension ring (around £200). It is simple, fast, cheap and the highest quality if you already have a suitable camera and lens. 

 

There are probably three options I guess: 

1. Buy a  55mm Micro-Nikkor, Canon adapter, extension ring and ES1 (probably £600) and use on Canon camera (means stop down metering)

2. Use the ES1 on a Canon macro lens with a stepping ring (ES1 has a 52mm filter thread as does the 55mm Micro-Nikkor and use on Canon camera

3. Buy a  secondhand 55mm Micro-Nikkor, Nikon camera,  extension ring and ES1 (probably £1200 min).

 

The big question is will it work on a Canon camera. Harry seems to say it will although it is not clear that he actually has an ES1 (Harry can enlighten perhaps). There are issues with focus distances on Nikon cameras anyway and it will only work with certain lenses. That is why you would need to check carefully if it will work with options 1 or 2. I can't advise on that which is why I suggested you make enquiries from knowledgeable people before spending money, 

 

 

Edited by MDM

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Q) Can I somehow use my Canon 5D Mk3 to scan colour slides with the ES2 - what lens and adapter would you recommend.

 

Grays of Westminster A) I don't see why you couldn't - the ES-1 might even do the trick if it's just mounted slides. You'll need a macro lens that can focus as close as about 3 inches, so that's the stipulation, and if it doesn't have a 52mm diameter you'll need a step-down ring for the front (the ES-2 comes with 62-52mm step-down ring in the box). Hope that helps!

Edited by geogphotos

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18 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

Q) Can I somehow use my Canon 5D Mk3 to scan colour slides with the ES2 - what lens and adapter would you recommend.

 

Grays of Westminster A) I don't see why you couldn't - the ES-1 might even do the trick if it's just mounted slides. You'll need a macro lens that can focus as close as about 3 inches, so that's the stipulation, and if it doesn't have a 52mm diameter you'll need a step-down ring for the front (the ES-2 comes with 62-52mm step-down ring in the box). Hope that helps!

 

Yes it is the close focus distance that is the critical thing. There was an article by somebody last year from Grays about lens compatibility and they said the Nikkor 105 is not suitable. They also say that there are only two Nikon lenses that work with it. That again is why I was advising caution. If you don't already have a macro lens for your Canon, then that could be expensive. WEX might be in a better position to advise as Grays are exclusively Nikon.

Edited by MDM

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Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM Lens 

The EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM Lens from Canon is the L-series version of Canon's popular 100mm Macro lens. As an L-series lens it offers the utmost in optical construction, including ultra-low dispersion lens elements and moisture and dustproof seal structure on the barrel. Its 100mm focal length is effective for portraiture and other telephoto applications and as a macro lens with 1:1 magnification and a 12" minimum focus distance, it is ideal for life-size close-up imaging.

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I see that WEX have a second hand ES-1 in out of box condition for £50. 

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Your best bet might be a trip to Norwich. Ring beforehand and ask them if you can try before you buy with a Canon macro lens and that secondhand ES1.You would need a stepdown ring as well from 67-52. If Grays are right then that lens won't focus close enough. 

 

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6 minutes ago, MDM said:

I see that WEX have a second hand ES-1 in out of box condition for £50. 

 

I think I might get the canon macro lens which will be an interesting one to have anyway and then get started. And see about the ES-1 at a later stage. 

 

There are cheaper equivalents and some of the old slides aren't super sharp but feel that paying the extra for an L lens is best.

 

I can spend a bit before the end of the tax year.

 

My reading of the Grays advice was that the 3 inches mentioned was the distance at the front between lens and slide, and the 12 ins of the Canon EF 100 description is measured from the focal plane so probably about right?

 

Yes, good advice will organise a day trip to Norwich before making any decisions.

Edited by geogphotos

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10 minutes ago, MDM said:

I see that WEX have a second hand ES-1 in out of box condition for £50. 

 

Lots of new ones on eBay for around £30-£35, although they are shipped from Japan, so I guess there might be import duty to pay. I could even be tempted to buy one to try on my Lumix G5 with 45mm Elmarit lens, but I'll need a 46-52mm step-up ring.

 

Mark

Edited by M.Chapman

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