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Thread: Question on scanned negatives

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    Question on scanned negatives

    Hi,

    I use 35 mm film; when I get it developed, is it possible to scan the negative and save it as a raw file or only jpg?

    Thanks, Greg
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 11th December 2009 at 09:09 PM.

  2. #2
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Question on scanned negatives

    Hi again Greg,

    I'll start off on this.

    Most decent scanners work in a different way to digital cameras, so the RAW format isn't available to them.

    Basically scanners physically move a strip scanning head (i.e. something that is one pixel deep but several thousand wide) across the negative (or paper) to make the picture (which is why it takes several seconds time), whereas a digital camera has a matrix of pixels say, 2848 x 2136 that can do it instantneously. That said, there are some cheap slide/negative scanners that work on the camera principle, but these do only produce jpgs and their sensors are usually around 3 - 5MP, so quality is going to be dire.

    Real scanners can usually be set to produce tif files of more than the 8 bits depth of jpg - and this is as near as you'll get to RAW from a scanner. It is perfectly adequate.

    Over to the members to fill the gaps in my explanation.

    Cheers,

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    Re: Question on scanned negatives

    RAW files? No, i don't think so...but you can get very, very good results from scanned negs or slides. It is time-consuming and takes some work. I've used both the Plustek 7200, and a (flatbed) Epson 4490 with film holder. The big problem is likely to be dust - I use a neg brush, and a rocket blower. And some nimble use of the D&S filters in Photoshop. The basic settings centre around the bit depth - on both of these I use 48-bit colour, or 16-bit for B&W. File sizes are going to be large; 35mm @ 6400 LPI, 16-bit/colour gives me c. 300Mb. Each.

    The quality is worth it though!

    HTH

    proseak

    A note on RAW files here - it involves a separate piece of software, called Vuescan (www.hamrick.com).

    Vuescan is pretty amazing - a bit like using ACR/Lightroom rather than the proprietary RAW software that ships with your camera...except even more so. One of the things it can do is create a Digital Negative, which opens with...ACR! (I assume Lightroom also, but can't check). Another thing it does is offer more than one pass, which really helps with NR. Lots of other options, also. A snip at $80!

    I hope that this proves useful to those out there who are still "hybrids" like me.

    proseak
    Last edited by proseak; 26th March 2010 at 10:25 AM.

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    Re: Question on scanned negatives

    I always have my negatives and slides scanned to CD. I accept the standard, medium quality offered by the shop for this. After reviewing the results, I take those which are worth the effort and cost back for a scan at high density. I find this works quite well and saves me money. Scanning to CD the first time costs about the same as getting 4x6 prints of each shot and it is much easier to cull.

    Pops

  5. #5
    Terry Tedor's Avatar
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    Re: Question on scanned negatives

    Are you doing the scanning yourself, or having a service do it for you?

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