8x10 on a lightbox

lharby

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Hey

In the absence of a scanner that will accommodate 8x10" sheet film I am going to try the lightbox method with a digital camera placed overhead.

The next batch of film to come back from the lab is E6 transparency, so it should be relatively easy to photograph.

I am wondering what happens once I send off negative film to the lab. Is there some preset that will handle converting the neg to a pos (thinking about the brown/orange of film).

TIA
 
Hey

In the absence of a scanner that will accommodate 8x10" sheet film I am going to try the lightbox method with a digital camera placed overhead.

The next batch of film to come back from the lab is E6 transparency, so it should be relatively easy to photograph.

I am wondering what happens once I send off negative film to the lab. Is there some preset that will handle converting the neg to a pos (thinking about the brown/orange of film).

TIA

I got a $15 USD LED light table from Amazon and lay that on top of the negative on a conventional flatbed scanner. I get surprisingly OK results this way, albeit with some fiddling in VueScan and GIMP.
 
That is certainly something I can try. Had not thought about it.
 
That is certainly something I can try. Had not thought about it.

It may be necessary to place the negative under a piece of glass to hold it flat. The light tables are typically large enough that they may not fit within the scanner's frame, depending on make and model.
 
Older Epson scanners like the V700 and earlier models (I think V450) are cheap second hand and quite capable of scanning 10x8 films, negative or positive, at high resolution, and the software converts C41 negatives perfectly.

Personally I wouldn't even think of going down the DSLR route. I have and use a V750, I want and need much higher resolution when digitising, with far greater control.

If you are using a lab most offer a reasonably priced scanning service.

Ian
 
I’ve often wondered about re-photographing large format film with a digital camera. Why not simply photograph the original scene digitally?
I’m assuming that I’m missing something here, so I’d really like to know.
 
David, it really depends on the purpose of the digitising and what the files are being used for. If it's simple display on websites then a DSLR scan will suffice. If Luke is shooting 10x8 colour negative film I assume he wants to output as prints as well.

My point though is if we go to the trouble of shooting Large Format then we need good control of the output quality in terms of tonal range and resolution. It's some years since I last shot LF E6, @Joanna Carter would be the best person on this Forum to advise Luke on LF colour output. My 10x8 B&W negative scans are typically over 900mb, the 5x4 around 250mb

You mention why not hoot shoot the scene with a digital camera. This is something I've done extensively for around 20 years, the results are like chalk & cheese, mostly down to the lenses, and particularly the focal length and the effects on DOF.

I'll post a couple of examples later.

Ian
 
Yes, I can see that. For the web or emails, I’d use my iPhone. It’s a remarkable instrument. I can see that you might want a low-ish resolution image where camera movements were also needed. A modest LF outfit would be cheaper and more versatile than the tilt/shift lenses made for digital cameras.
I have seen some very remarkable digital images produced by the better kind of digital back, albeit operated by a very experienced LF photographer.
 
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ians gladiator final-sm.jpg

5x4 Delta 100 @ 50EI. 1/30 f22 210mm Symmar S, negative scan for Platinum/Palladium digital inter-negative.

gladiator3.jpg

Crop of the DSLR image below 20mm f7 1/2500 400 ISO, not a full frame camera but at 20mm the lens is equivalent to approx a a 90mm lens on 5x4.

gladiator2.jpg

I was not trying to make the same image with the DSLR, this was an image I shot for a tourism book project. I'd been using the DSLR like a diary which meant I already had many suitable images when asked to re-write the text and provide new images. In the past I used a Leica M3 to do the same.

Many years ago I was accused on APUG/Photrio for poor technique, very uneven skies, the same person attacked me for a secind image.

1705160013184.jpeg

Tmax 100 50EI, 1/2sesconf f45 Pyrocat HD, I was suddenly lucky with the light, and the howling wind stopped for a few seconds lull. I waited about 15 minutes to get the shot.

levant.jpg

Levant mine with Pendeen light house in the background.

Ian
 
I should try and clarify.

I currently have an Epson 2450 scanner, which works perfectly for up to 4x5.

I have been looking at the V700 upwards, but they seem to be quite a bit more than I would like to fork out at the moment.

Similarly scanning via the lab, whilst not too expensive is an additional cost, but in the interim that might work for me.

I was involved in a crit group with some photographers, the one leading the group has shot LF for years and said he prefers using a DSLR reproduction, I can't remember his reasoning now, but it would seem logical to me that a scan would be superior, but maybe the question is about workflow.

I am in no way interested in the digital vs film debate. To me there is no comparison for 8x10 film. It's purely about distribution (a way to digitise the image so it can be used on websites, sharing, and to submit to open calls etc).
 
If you search the eBay Sold prices used V700 & V750 scanners are selling from around £250 to £450 used but around £350 seems to be more typical. It maybe worth posting a wanted advert, on one or two forums. I've often done well in terms of prices for lens and parts.

In real terms a good used V700/750 is less than 20 sheets of 10"x8" Fuji Provia, particularly when you add processing as well. Maybe short term you could find someone near you who could scan for you when needed, and make a simple light box and use a DSLR. I would use my bellows and an enlarger lens, probably a Componon S 80mm or 105mm, for copying a 10x8 transparency. Componon lenses are symmetrical so ideal, they are still sold as macro lenses.

Ian
 
I wasn’t trying to indulge in a film v digital debate. Both seem to have their place. Mine was a general enquiry, from simple curiosity.
One considerable advantage of using a digital camera to digitise sheet film is speed. The camera might take 1/60 of a second and the scanner six minutes (or more, depending on the settings.) There may be useful settings hidden inside the camera’s menus, but that depends on the specific model. I can imagine that exposure-stacking might prove useful, but there may be more.
 
Thanks @David M sorry I wasn't trying to be bombastic. I think there is a gap in my process currently, I wasn't very happy with the DSLR approach after I saw the shots, but I am lazy at best. Time is not really an issue, scanning would be optimal. I will have to save some pennies for a decent Epson.

I am quite drawn to the idea of placing a lightbox face down on the flatbed scanner and see what that yields as thronobulax mentions above. So I might try and line that up next.
 
The way a scanner works placing a light source on the scanner with the film in-between is not going to work. The software won't let you turn of the scanners tube.

What you could try is use a sheet of unexposed, fixed and washed, of B&W Glossy RC paper, E6 film emulsion side up on the scanner. paper emulsion above the film, Maybe a black card mount to hold them flat. and perhaps if needed a lamp with a daylight bulb to give a little bach lighting.

Ian
 
The way a scanner works placing a light source on the scanner with the film in-between is not going to work. The software won't let you turn of the scanners tube.

1. I don't understand why this would even be an issue. It just means that the scanner will do a full pass on the entire surface, which then has to be clipped away in post. It's also feasible to cut out masks for the various film sizes to make it easier to set white/black points for the scan.

What will not work is using a traditional fluorescent light box for this. The tubes do not provide even illumination for the scan, hence the recommendation of using one of the inexpensive LED artist's tracing light boxes.

2. I have certain proof that it does work as I have done this many times. It's certainly not as good as high end scanner, but it does provide useful scans if you're willing to tweak them in post.

The one caveat here is that you likely want to put a piece of clean glass on the negative to hold it flat since there is no film holder involved.
 
Test scan.jpg
I thought I'd give it a go.
Epson 850. 10x8 (transparency on the glass) selected. First time forgot to leave a clear patch at the beginning of the scan. My light panel is too long to fit inside the "well" around the glass, so it was sloping slightly. The scanner behaved just as it does normally.
This is a 5x4 transparency, still in its sleeve. I've reduced the resolution but the original scan was sharper. I don't hold it down with a sheet of glass.
Yes, it did scan, but... the colour is wildly wrong. Scanning has moved the season to autumn. The original image is very green all over and there is no red patch in the middle. It's brown. Having said that, I made no corrections or adjustments to the colour at all. Better colour may be possible.
Another scan follows
 
Test scan.jpg
This is the same transparency, with the same light panel, but scanned reflectively, as a document rather than a transparency. This time the sleeve has been removed and it's a naked transparency, placed directly on the glass and not masked.
 
I thought I'd give it a go.
...
Another scan follows

I should have been more clear. The only way I've used the light table-on-a-scanner approach has been with monochrome negatives. As you point out, the color temp of the light box is likely not correct for scanning chromes or C-41 negs.
 
I had suspected as much and now I've inadvertently demonstrated it. The tranny was the first thing that came to hand. This was only to test the principle. These are not good scans, but they are scans nevertheless. I leave it to the grown-ups to do it properly.
Actually, I rather like the autumnal colouring.
 
I had suspected as much and now I've inadvertently demonstrated it. The tranny was the first thing that came to hand. This was only to test the principle. These are not good scans, but they are scans nevertheless. I leave it to the grown-ups to do it properly.
Actually, I rather like the autumnal colouring.

When I get a moment, I will attempt to create "best possible" scan using this technique to see what's even possible. Mostly, I've used this to create digital contact sheets wherein high quality wasn't the goal. Now I'm curious.
 
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