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Thread: Scan OR Copy

  1. #1

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    Scan OR Copy

    Hi,

    Can anybody tell me what is the difference between SCANNING a film in film scanner and COPING the same film by a digital SLR camera, say 10MP?

    Thanks, in advance, for all your advice.

    Regards.
    mbose

  2. #2
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Scan OR Copy

    Hi Malay,

    I think you're asking when is it best to scan a film (slide/negative, maybe even a print), or photograph it using say, a DSLR camera?

    If we are talking about slides (transparencies) or negatives, I think the answer has to be always scan. Trying to photgraph such a small object with anything except a proper studio set up and flat field macro lens would produce very unsatisfactory results.

    However, if you're talking about an actual printed photographic image, I would scan if A4 or less and photograph if larger.

    Hope that helps,

  3. #3

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    Re: Scan OR Copy

    Hi Dave,

    Thank you for your advice.

    But let me elaborate on my quarry. Supposing i have a negative/slide which i want to scan.

    I can do one of the two things, (i) SCAN in a good negative scanne or (ii) use a macro lens in 1:1 mode and COPY the negative/slide into digital SLR.

    My question is, WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE technically.

    Regards.
    mbose

  4. #4
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Scan OR Copy

    In practical terms, one is MUCH easier than the other.

    Please bear in mind I have not tried either method as yet, I have only just got a scanner that can scan slides or negatives

    (i) Slap it in the scanner *, hit the button, get a tif file (* OK, it may need mounting in a holder first)

    (ii) Mount camera on tripod, mount slide in vice or similar, phaff around getting the two lined up to get the macro lenses incredibly thin DoF aligned with slide/negative (which we hope isn't bowed), light it somehow (very evenly) from the far side only, meter and exposure setting, take the picture, transfer to computer, now you have a RAW file (I hope not jpg) and you're at the same place you were with scanning 1/2 hour ago.

    Except if negative, when the RAW will be orange and need further PP to make usable - I am hoping the scanner software will take care of that for me, I'll let you know (or someone else can if they know)

    Cheers,

  5. #5
    Steaphany's Avatar
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    Re: Scan OR Copy

    You can buy transparency copying attachments that include a macro lens, film or slide mount, and the proper light diffuser. Just attach it to your camera, and snap through your collection of film. The image capture time of a dSLR is far faster than just about any scanner, so which way you go would depend on how much film you need to convert to digital.

    To find these, they are usually listed under slide duplicating equipment and here is the B&H Photo duplicators.

  6. #6
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    Re: Scan OR Copy

    Another route to explore if you want to shoot film and convert everything over for digital PP, check out LaserSoft Imaging and SilverFast. They provide a software / scanner combination that can achieve 64 bit HDRi RAW, multipass noise reduction, and if the scanner supports a IR channel, automatic scratch correction.

    This is on the top of my list for future equipment purchases.

  7. #7
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    Re: Scan OR Copy

    Very appropriate timing. I am at the start of a marathon slide copying project, involving more than 3000 slides. As noted by Steaphany copying is a lot faster. My Epson 4490 will scan 4 slides in about 12 minutes but I can use my camera and copy slides at the rate of about 4-5 per minute. That's 10-15 times faster. In a side by side comparison I have found the copy quality to be better using the camera too. The scanner does 4800 dpi and the camera, which has an APS-C sensor and 12 MP, does 4600 dpi [4288 x 2848 pixels in a 23.6 x 15.8 mm sensor].

    I am using a 150mm macro lens and a portion of an old disassembled slide duplicator to hold the slide. For the light source I am using an old flash unit which I fire using the in-camera flash and an optical slave. I built a jig to hold all the parts in the correct alignment. This "Mark I" jig was used to determine preliminary results and fine tuning. I am currently modifying the jig to improve stability of the components, yet allow for some fine adjustment. When I am done I plan to show photos of the "Mark II" in a new thread.

    You could just buy the copier referenced in the B&H link but one of them does not have good optical quality and the other requires a specific lens and extension tube combo.

    For copying prints I think the scanner is faster. My Epson, and I am sure all other current scanners, can scan multiple prints at one time and make a separate file from each print automatically. For copying color negatives the scanner takes care of the orange mask automatically - I would have to experiment photographing the negative and then removing the mask in PP. Plenty of time for that as a future project .

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    Re: Scan OR Copy

    "SCAN in a good negative scanne or (ii) use a macro lens in 1:1 mode and COPY the negative/slide into digital SLR.

    My question is, WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE technically"

    You say a good negative scanner, or a dslr. The main differences are in speed, and quality. The DSLR, once you have it all set up will be much faster but that's the only advantage - in terms of quality the scanner is much better. i use a Plustek 7200, which scans at...7200 lpi. This gives an output of c. 10,000 x 6,700 pixels. it's important to scan at 16-bit-per-channel.

    A very useful piece of software is Vuescan, which will drive almost any scanner and, if you want, even produce RAW files(I prefer 16-bit Tiffs). It's the Adobe Camera RAW of scanner software.

    So, DSLR, fast. Scanner slow, but much better quality.

  9. #9

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    Re: Scan OR Copy

    Dave, you made it sound difficult for anybody who wants to digitally copy negatives/slides with a DSLR. Little arrangements, slide copier, a known light source (say, an old flashgun) and some experiments may do the job, if you do not want to spend a fortune for a couple of negatives/slides.
    As for the orange cast in RAW there must be some software that can take care of that.
    Yes, of course, if you have to copy a lot of negatives/slides, a good scanner is a must.
    Thank you Steaphany for suggesting LaserSoft Imaging and SilverFast. I had been to their site, with your help of course, and found it very interesting.
    Ben & Peter, your threads were interesting and informative. But large price tag in good scanners matters to me.
    I am not sure of what to do except start coping in DSLR and see for myself the end result, till I come up with something interesting. Then i can share with you my experience.

  10. #10

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    Re: Scan OR Copy

    "As for the orange cast in RAW there must be some software that can take care of that." - something I ommitted to add. The scanner software will take care of that for you - it's also worth adding that every different film stock has different colour charecteristics - I don't know of any effective way to do this from a camera image. For negatives, the scanner is the way to go. For slides, it's easier - shooting RAW with a dslr, and then fixing the curves in editing software isn't too difficult.

    I'll stay with the scanner, though.
    Last edited by proseak; 30th July 2010 at 10:49 AM. Reason: Missed a bit

  11. #11

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    Re: Scan OR Copy

    Thank you, again, Peter for reminding me of the "every different film stock has different colour characteristics".

    But what about Black & White? I have large stock of old B&W negatives, from which i want to copy/scan some selective ones. What would be the consequence if i copy them in DSLR? I wander!

    Anybody tell me that

  12. #12
    Steaphany's Avatar
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    Re: Scan OR Copy

    Depending on the white balance, illuminate temperature, and possibly the film stock, whether scanned of dSLR copied, you can get a slight color cast. In post processing, just drop the saturation for a neutral B&W.
    Last edited by Steaphany; 3rd August 2010 at 12:58 PM. Reason: typo

  13. #13

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    Re: Scan OR Copy

    Thank you Steaphany, i've got the clue.

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    Re: Scan OR Copy

    There is a vast difference. A dedicated slide scanner will produce an exact digital image, not a copy. With a slide copier attached to a dslr you have to work hard at the lighting to get an exact reproduction and because slide film is high contrast the camera will intensify that contrast, so you have to do a lot of post production. I have scanned hundreds of 35mm slides in an HP S20 scanner bought 11 years ago and it still works well under Windows XP, though sadly it won't under Win7. I have produced A3 prints from a 35mm slide. I have seen reasonable results with a slide copier attached to a dslr but I doubt if you can produce much more than a 6x4 print unless you spend a lot of time in post processing. If you have a lot of slides to scan it may pay to buy a dedicated scanner. Try the second hand market, but make sure it works with your Operating System.
    Barry

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    Re: Scan OR Copy

    Quote Originally Posted by barrydoig View Post
    an HP S20 scanner bought 11 years ago and it still works well under Windows XP, though sadly it won't under Win7.
    Hi Barry,

    Slightly off-topic, but are you aware of Windows XP Mode? - it's a full Windows XP virtual machine that can be run under SOME versions of Windows 7, letting you run some of those important programs (like Internet Checkers!) that don't run under Windows 7.

  16. #16

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    Re: Scan OR Copy

    Hi Colin,

    Use this URL to learn how to use Windows XP mode in Windows 7.
    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-IN/w...e-in-windows-7.

    mbose

  17. #17

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    Re: Scan OR Copy

    Quote Originally Posted by mbose View Post
    Hi Colin,

    Use this URL to learn how to use Windows XP mode in Windows 7.
    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-IN/w...e-in-windows-7.

    mbose
    Ummm, thanks, but I've been using XP mode on multiple PCs ever since it first came out (including multiple VMs on my home PC)

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