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Subject: "Film scanning with a d7000" Previous topic | Next topic
rfc143 Silver Member Nikonian since 03rd Mar 2011Sat 23-Apr-11 10:17 PM
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"Film scanning with a d7000"


US
          

Just posted a request for advice on buying a negative scanner, and started reading about using a dslr to do it.

I have a zoom lens with macro that close focuses to about 6". Would this be possible with my D7000?

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Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: Film scanning with a d7000
Leonard62 Gold Member
23rd Apr 2011
1
Reply message RE: Film scanning with a d7000
rfc143 Silver Member
23rd Apr 2011
2
     Reply message RE: Film scanning with a d7000
luckyphoto Silver Member
24th Apr 2011
3
     Reply message RE: Film scanning with a d7000
Leonard62 Gold Member
24th Apr 2011
4
          Reply message RE: Film scanning with a d7000
luckyphoto Silver Member
24th Apr 2011
6
               Reply message RE: Film scanning with a d7000
Leonard62 Gold Member
24th Apr 2011
7
     Reply message RE: Film scanning with a d7000
Leonard62 Gold Member
24th Apr 2011
5
          Reply message RE: Film scanning with a d7000
luckyphoto Silver Member
24th Apr 2011
8
               Reply message RE: Film scanning with a d7000
rfc143 Silver Member
24th Apr 2011
9
                    Reply message RE: Film scanning with a d7000
Murseeker
25th Apr 2011
10
                         Reply message RE: Film scanning with a d7000
Leonard62 Gold Member
25th Apr 2011
11
                         Reply message RE: Film scanning with a d7000
luckyphoto Silver Member
25th Apr 2011
12
                              Reply message RE: Film scanning with a d7000
rfc143 Silver Member
27th Apr 2011
13
                                   Reply message RE: Film scanning with a d7000
luckyphoto Silver Member
27th Apr 2011
14
                                        Reply message RE: Film scanning with a d7000
rfc143 Silver Member
28th Apr 2011
15
                                             Reply message RE: Film scanning with a d7000
luckyphoto Silver Member
28th Apr 2011
16
                                                  Reply message RE: Film scanning with a d7000
rfc143 Silver Member
28th Apr 2011
17
                                                  Reply message RE: Film scanning with a d7000
luckyphoto Silver Member
28th Apr 2011
18
Reply message RE: Film scanning with a d7000...solved!
rfc143 Silver Member
29th Apr 2011
19

Leonard62 Gold Member Awarded for excellent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community, especially of Nikkor Lenses Nikonian since 15th Mar 2009Sat 23-Apr-11 11:25 PM
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#1. "RE: Film scanning with a d7000"
In response to Reply # 0
Sat 23-Apr-11 11:26 PM by Leonard62

Hatboro, Pa, US
          

>Just posted a request for advice on buying a negative
>scanner, and started reading about using a dslr to do it.
>
>I have a zoom lens with macro that close focuses to about
>6". Would this be possible with my D7000?

Anything is possible with the right setup, but I doubt you would be happy with the results. Are you talking about slides, color negatives or b&w negatives?

A standard setup would be with a bellows with a macro lens and a negative holder. Or a macro lens with the slide copier attachment.

The other problem if you plan on copying color negatives is the negatives contain a color mask which is difficult to remove. The dedicated film copiers have built in settings to remove the mask and reverse the image.

I have used everything above to copy slides but only my Coolscan 9000 and earlier Nikon film scanners for negatives.

Len

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rfc143 Silver Member Nikonian since 03rd Mar 2011Sat 23-Apr-11 11:55 PM
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#2. "RE: Film scanning with a d7000"
In response to Reply # 1


US
          

All color negs. Asa 100 and 200 kodacolor.

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luckyphoto Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Dec 2010Sun 24-Apr-11 12:11 AM
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#3. "RE: Film scanning with a d7000"
In response to Reply # 2


Port Charlotte, US
          

Depending on the negative size, Epson has some excellent low-cost scanners that also include software.

If you do it yourself you need to make sure your light source is uniform over the entire negative with no hot spots, that the color temperature of the light is appropriate and that you have a way to make the negative lay flat when you're taking the photograph.

The other thing with a camera operating as a scanner is the quality of the lens. Will the lens introduce unwanted vignetting, barrel distortion, soft spots in the scanned image, etc?

Larry

"Red is gray and yellow white, but we decide which is right
....and which is an illusion"

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Leonard62 Gold Member Awarded for excellent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community, especially of Nikkor Lenses Nikonian since 15th Mar 2009Sun 24-Apr-11 12:20 AM
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#4. "RE: Film scanning with a d7000"
In response to Reply # 3


Hatboro, Pa, US
          


>The other thing with a camera operating as a scanner is the
>quality of the lens. Will the lens introduce unwanted
>vignetting, barrel distortion, soft spots in the scanned
>image, etc?
>
This is why true macro lenses like the 55mm f2.8 and f3.5 are used. They have very flat fields.

Len


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luckyphoto Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Dec 2010Sun 24-Apr-11 12:32 AM
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#6. "RE: Film scanning with a d7000"
In response to Reply # 4


Port Charlotte, US
          

Len,
The OP mentioned a zoom macro. If it was a prime micro, no issue, but some of the zoom macro lenses can vary in quality because of the design compromises made.

Larry

"Red is gray and yellow white, but we decide which is right
....and which is an illusion"

Moody Blues - Nights in White Satin

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Leonard62 Gold Member Awarded for excellent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community, especially of Nikkor Lenses Nikonian since 15th Mar 2009Sun 24-Apr-11 12:54 AM
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#7. "RE: Film scanning with a d7000"
In response to Reply # 6


Hatboro, Pa, US
          

Larry,

I wouldn't recommend a zoom either. I guess everything depends on how many negatives need scanning versus how much of an investment is required.

Len

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Leonard62 Gold Member Awarded for excellent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community, especially of Nikkor Lenses Nikonian since 15th Mar 2009Sun 24-Apr-11 12:26 AM
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#5. "RE: Film scanning with a d7000"
In response to Reply # 2


Hatboro, Pa, US
          

The software that comes with film scanners or flat scanners with film holders can handle Kodacolor.

Len

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luckyphoto Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Dec 2010Sun 24-Apr-11 12:38 PM
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#8. "RE: Film scanning with a d7000"
In response to Reply # 5


Port Charlotte, US
          

Len,
You bring up another good point. If there are a lot of negatives to scan, the film holders on the flat-bed scanners can often hold 2, 3 or more negatives at a time which speeds up the process versus one at a time with a camera. My Epson scanned 4 slides at a time (6 if it was a 35mm strip of negatives). That significantly cut down on scanning time.

Larry

"Red is gray and yellow white, but we decide which is right
....and which is an illusion"

Moody Blues - Nights in White Satin

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rfc143 Silver Member Nikonian since 03rd Mar 2011Sun 24-Apr-11 10:05 PM
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#9. "RE: Film scanning with a d7000"
In response to Reply # 8


US
          

Thanks for all the ideas. I'm starting to have second doubts though. I've done the math on the time to do this, the potential investment in equipment etc. Compared to some of the service houses out there, I'm not so sure I have the time to do it.

First you have to capture the image, then invert it. I've looked at a "curves" plug in for aperture that will sort of do it, but you still need to mess with the image. Could I do an image a minute? Not likely. That's weeks and weeks (I'm a single dad with two kids AND a 50 hr/wk job!)

One place I looked at does their scanning in India, and lets you toss up to 20% of the images, paying only for the good ones. I may end up going that route.

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Murseeker Registered since 21st Dec 2010Mon 25-Apr-11 08:14 AM
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#10. "RE: Film scanning with a d7000"
In response to Reply # 9


Breitenbach, CH
          

I had the same problem as you describe it. Many slides to scan and no time. What I did might sound strange, but the result was quite good. I took my high quality Leica projector and a very bright Silver screen. Everything was installed in a very dark room. My DSLR (with a 35mm 1.8) was adjusted in front of the silver screen as close as possible to the axle of the projector. Then I captured the slides from the silver screen one after the other. Since the DSLR is much faster than any scanner I was able to do hundreds of slides per evening the the result in terms of quality is more than appropriate for my purpose and even better than most of the low and medium cost scanners. The only thing I had to do in post processing was a little cropping. But I learned that you have to do this also on a case by case mode for scanned slides.

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Leonard62 Gold Member Awarded for excellent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community, especially of Nikkor Lenses Nikonian since 15th Mar 2009Mon 25-Apr-11 12:35 PM
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#11. "RE: Film scanning with a d7000"
In response to Reply # 10


Hatboro, Pa, US
          

Slides are easy to copy, not so with color negatives. That is the problem.

Len

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luckyphoto Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Dec 2010Mon 25-Apr-11 02:01 PM
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#12. "RE: Film scanning with a d7000"
In response to Reply # 10


Port Charlotte, US
          

> even better than most of the low and medium
>cost scanners

It's great that you found a process that worked for you and that it fit your requirements. That's the important thing.

Technically though, I have to challenge your opinion that your method was better than low or medium cost scanners. The minimum focus distance of the 35mm f/1.8 is .98ft. (lets round it up to a foot) so that means that the light has to travel 2ft. to reach the sensor on the camera. That's compared to less than 1-inch on a flatbed scanner. Since light adheres to the inverse square law, your minimum 2-ft. distance between light source and camera cost you 75% of your original energy. The projector could be 4x more powerful than the scanner, but a more powerful light source could tend to "washed out" the image.

Then there's the loss of energy due to the screen absorbing some of the photons.

Don't forget you also have the photon scatter due to the rough reflective surface of the screen. That not only reduces reflected energy, but also softens the edges.

Finally, there is the parallax view of the camera as you described. I would estimate you had at least 15 degrees difference between camera and projector. As you move the screen further out, the parallax issue decreases, but you pay the price with more light loss. Parallax can be adjusted out somewhat in software, but then you have to include that in your workflow for each slide.

Hope I didn't bust your chops too much, but my $150 Epson scanner was crying out for someone to defend its reputation.

Larry

"Red is gray and yellow white, but we decide which is right
....and which is an illusion"

Moody Blues - Nights in White Satin

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rfc143 Silver Member Nikonian since 03rd Mar 2011Wed 27-Apr-11 12:57 PM
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#13. "RE: Film scanning with a d7000"
In response to Reply # 12


US
          

Well, this falls into the category of "What was I thinking?!"

I dug out my negatives...I discovered I have over 15 THOUSAND of them!

At even the most conservative estimate of time/negative to capture, process, etc. it would take me well over a year (given my schedule) to do it. Hundreds of hours.

Using a service saves the time, but even at the cheapest I've found (around $.22 each), that's over $3,000!

I'm totally depressed.

Would it be possible to come up with a "live view" system, whereby I can tether the D7000 (with some kind of appropriate macro lens), feed it into Aperature, or Nikon's software with the whole "curves" preset or whatever, so I can just look at and review the lot. My guess is I'd only be interested in 10% or so, because I tend to bracket a lot of exposures. If I can devise such a system, I could build a slotted feed system, to rapidly feed the strips through, marking what I want digitized.

Any ideas on this approach?

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luckyphoto Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Dec 2010Wed 27-Apr-11 01:58 PM
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#14. "RE: Film scanning with a d7000"
In response to Reply # 13


Port Charlotte, US
          

Here's the approach I would take if I had 15,000 negatives.

1. I would buy a Epson V700 flatbed scanner. It costs around $500 - $600 approximately, but it can scan 24 35mm film strip negatives at a time. The software that comes with the scanner will turn the negative into a positive that can be adjusted for color, contrast, etc.

2. Scan all the 15,000 negatives at a low resolution (much faster) and build a database of images with file names that can be marked and identified on the individual negative strips. Then go through the images and select the ones you want to do a high resolution scan and scan those images.

3. Once you're done with all your scanning, you can sell the scanner on ebay and get back 70% of your investment so total out of pocket would be about $200 or so.

That's kind of what I did with about 7,000 slides, photos, B&W negs and color negs.

Larry

"Red is gray and yellow white, but we decide which is right
....and which is an illusion"

Moody Blues - Nights in White Satin

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rfc143 Silver Member Nikonian since 03rd Mar 2011Thu 28-Apr-11 01:41 PM
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#15. "RE: Film scanning with a d7000"
In response to Reply # 14


US
          


>
>2. Scan all the 15,000 negatives at a low resolution (much
>faster)

That sounds like it might actually work for me. I'd be happy with contact sheets to start with and I could pick from there.

At low res, can you estimate the cycle time to load and scan a batch of 24 negatives?

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luckyphoto Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Dec 2010Thu 28-Apr-11 02:07 PM
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#16. "RE: Film scanning with a d7000"
In response to Reply # 15


Port Charlotte, US
          

I'm making the assumption that the negatives are in 6-photo strips. If so I would estimate a total cycle time of 2 - 3 minutes to load the 4 strips into the negative holder, scan them and remove them for the next batch. There would also be a few mouse clicks to store them in your folders, etc.

The beauty of the scanner method is the software. It will automatically add and index file names for you, convert your negative into a positive, etc. All of that would probably be manual using the D7000.

Call the Epson store at 800 873-7766 to verify my estimates and the software. I did my slides, negatives and photos a couple of years ago and the software has probably changed a bit.

Larry

"Red is gray and yellow white, but we decide which is right
....and which is an illusion"

Moody Blues - Nights in White Satin

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rfc143 Silver Member Nikonian since 03rd Mar 2011Thu 28-Apr-11 02:15 PM
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#17. "RE: Film scanning with a d7000"
In response to Reply # 16


US
          

Mine are almost all 6 strips of 4 images per 24 shot roll, so my throughput will be lower, but I'll do the math for 15k. I've looked at the film holders for the Epson, and it is clearly meant for 4 strips of 6. Perhaps I can kludge something. Thanks!

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luckyphoto Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Dec 2010Thu 28-Apr-11 02:24 PM
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#18. "RE: Film scanning with a d7000"
In response to Reply # 17


Port Charlotte, US
          

I don't think you will. The scanner appears to know if a negative is in the position or not. If not, you don't get a blank file. Again, verify this with Epson. I don't want to mis-lead you.

Larry

"Red is gray and yellow white, but we decide which is right
....and which is an illusion"

Moody Blues - Nights in White Satin

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rfc143 Silver Member Nikonian since 03rd Mar 2011Fri 29-Apr-11 01:41 PM
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#19. "RE: Film scanning with a d7000...solved!"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

It took a while, but the ideas here, combined with one from my kid on inverting my Mac screen, solved the problem!

Here's what I did:
I grabbed an old firewire webcam I had for my mac, rigged it up with an arm over an old fashioned light table (remember them?). I fed it into my Mac, and on the advice of my 16 yr. old mac guru, pressed control-option-command-8 to invert the video.

Now I have a "microfiche machine on steroids" that inverts the video on the fly. I can preview entire rolls right through the plastic sleeves on first pass; anything I might want to scan, I can remove the negs from the sleeves for a closer look. Then scan or buy scans of the final selections.

My guess is that of the 15k images, I'd probably end up with a fifth of them for scanning.

I've attached a pic of the output. It's a crappy old camera; I'll bet if I bought a hi-def thing (like the Microsoft Studio cam, which I think will do 1080), as long as it's got close focus, I should be able to make the preview images way better than this.

For this test setup, I just used Mac's "web cam monitor" app, which has basic controls for saturation, color balance etc. Everything's in reverse, of course, but it looks like it might work.

I think I'm on my way to getting this problem under control.



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