flatbed film scan...greater resolution

Discussion in 'Scanning and Scanners' started by jtk, Sep 8, 2018.

  1. jtk

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    http://betterscanning.com/

    Each level of betterscanning film holder results in higher detail resolution. I bought all of them and tested.

    The "adjusting" carrier is best, but requires some work to squeeze the best from it. The least expensive betterscanning carrier improves resolution over Epson's standard carrier.

    I'm not convinced that that the anti-newton contributes if 120 film is reasonably flat.

    Isn't nearly as good with 35mm as my Nikon but is as detailed as very good optical enlargement.
     
  2. Eric Rose

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    I have heard good things about the Betterscanning film holders and almost bought one. Before I did I did a bunch of testing with my Epson holders that came with my 750 Pro scanner first. I found that the Epson film holders were dead on much to my amazement, and relief. Money saved!
     
  3. jim10219

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    My Epson 4990 works best directly on the glass, so I sold off my film holders and switched to a wet scanning method. On my previous scanner, I simply shimmed the standard film holders with tape. They worked great after that.

    A simple way to find out how high your lens is focused is to get a bunch of business cards with text or designs near the edges, stagger and stack them, and scan them. Then in the software, check to see which one is the sharpest. Measure the stack below it, or just use it as a ruler to check the height of your film holder against.
     
  4. TheFlyingCamera

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    I went with the Betterscanning holders and the anti-newton glass because while 120 should in theory be flat, it rarely is, and the anti-newton glass helps a LOT with that.
     
  5. Lachlan Young

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    Not in the real world of high end CCD, PMT drum & Rodagon-G's it isn't. In comparison it's as soft as cotton wool with a similarly awful Dmax when used on actual negatives as opposed to test charts.

    At the price point it's not bad, but a great deal better is easily within reach.
     
  6. Alan Edward Klein

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    Are you scanning as a negative? How do you see the text?? Isn't everything black in silhouette? If you scan as a print, the focal point is set differently, I believe, against the glass.
     
  7. OP
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    jtk

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    I've compared vs Nikon and Rodagon enlarging lenses...and that was with ancient Epson 3200.

    I posted re Better scanning because I suspect few on Photrio ever print beyond 16x20 ...the size at which I've compared...and I'm guessing that few commonly pay some high end service to drum scan.

    I've never wet mounted but my impression is that it can contribute with flatbeds. Along that line, Photoshop works wonders finding true conventional potential of flatbed scans...and not just sharpness and contrast.
     
  8. Bob Carnie

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    I have owned an epson16 x20 scanner and it is good for what it is intended , simple decent quality scans but soft by comparison to others I own.
    I have a Flextight and Creo Eversmart Supreme and both these units can give exceptional quality scans that in my lab have proven to be much superior than the Epson lineup- other peoples experiences will vary
    but I have all three. I do regularly print large...in inkjet and silver and for this I go to the Creo for final sharpness that I believe equals putting the same neg in an enlarger and printing. Done both many times and can
    speak from my personal experience.

    Actually doing high rez scans of 8 x10 and 4 x5 film today for future printing using both scanners .
     
  9. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member
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    I've often wondered how much of an improvement I would get using special holders or wet mounting on my Epsons compared to my Coolscans.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. jim10219

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    Good point. Mine doesn’t have a separate lens for negatives, hence why I didn’t need to scan as a negative. So I just scanned as reflective. You could do the same with something transparent, like negatives, or just trial and error using different layers of tape using your existing holder if your scanner has a separate lens for film.

    One thing I’ve noticed is the depth of field of scanners is small, but it’s not razor thin. You have a little bit of room to play with, so if you get the holder adjusted properly, the film doesn’t have to be perfectly flat. Though if it’s sagging too much, there will be issues. You’ve probably got around the thickness of a penny to play with and remain in focus.
     
  11. OP
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    jtk

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    Les...how about summarizing your interpretations of what you've posted?
     
  12. OP
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    jtk

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    I think that if you had actually scanned negs or transparencies with Epson (or Canon) scanners you would have found that depth of focus (not depth of field) is in fact razor thing when scanning film, where flatness is critical: explore difference between corners/edges,middle. Again, my test was 16X10 prints, not just little prints or my opinions.
     
  13. Les Sarile

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    I arranged a 4 X 4 arrangement of ISO12233 res charts printed on 11X17 sheets of paper to fill the vertical view of 35mm SLR.
    [​IMG]
    I then setup the camera using ideal conditions (MLU, timer, tripod, lighting for high shutter speed, various apertures, various lenses, optically magnified viewfinder manual focus) to take many shots using many types of films. I then scan the results with no pre or post enhancements and post the center area at 100% crop with minimal JPEG compression so that JPEG artifacting does not degrade the capture.

    Just to be sure, even the 4000dpi resolution of the Coolscans (5000 & 9000) cannot fully resolve details captured on high quality 35mm films. The example below I used 35mm Kodak Techpan shot at ISO25 as above and scanned using my Coolscans and a couple of DSLRs.

    [​IMG]

    I then optically magnified the center area using my DSLR+macro+bellows and clearly there is much more real detail captured on film not resolved by these methods. The 14.6MP Pentax K20D is less then the Coolscan 4000dpi which is very similar to the 36MP Nikon D800.
     
  14. OP
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    jtk

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    Thanks Les...yours is the most credible comparison I've read. I do think it's likely that nikon scans of more commonly used film (eg Acros) would suffer vs recent DSLRs with the break point of that elderly Pentax, one of which I still use occasionally with primes. The Samsung I've been grumbling about does whup K20d and Canon APSC, especially with primes.
     
  15. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member
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    Acros is commonly used? I am not sure how it would suffer?
    I've tested Kodak TMAX 100 and it is right up there with the Techpan and Fuji RVP in terms of resolution. I have yet to take the time to fully qualify Kodak Ektar 100 but the negative conversion of DSLR capture is holding me back. I will have to try the Nikon D850 since it has color negative to positive conversion built-in.
     
  16. Alan Edward Klein

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    Curious if there's been some measurement and ratings of tones for various BW film? I really like film that shows gradients of tones well especially for landscapes. Harsher more grainy film is OK for street shots.
     
  17. Lachlan Young

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    If you can't see the major shortcomings of the Epson at 16x20 let alone 2x, there's something fundamentally out of kilter with your darkroom setup or lenses. Same with Flextight/ high end CCD/ PMT drum vs the Epson. And that's compared to the 10000xl, which has an actual focusing system (& about the same optical performance as the smaller V-series scanners).

    The difference is about as subtle as a piano being dropped on to concrete from height and no amount of photoshoppery will ever hide awful MTF performance.
     
  18. OP
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    jtk

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    Obviously various high end scanners are better than Epson consumer-grade scanners, but yours is not really a significant or interesting observation. The issue I've addressed, for me , and maybe for most on Photrio, has to do with producing worthy prints at commonly shown sizes, perhaps at 16X20 from MF. I think most would be happy to equal or exceed what they can do with common enlargers, such as Beseler/Omega/Durst.

    I doubt that many here care about measures of "MTF performance" ...but I'm glad you've been able to try to make your point to somebody.
     
  19. Patrick Robert James

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    Well jtk, you can wishful think all you want, but it don't make it true.

    I've done the tests. Comparing a neg scanned with a Nikon 4000 that is incredibly well maintained (i.e. super clean) and a print in the darkroom. A few years ago I tested a bunch of enlarging lenses. All of them were about the same which was a surprise and no surprise really. I'll pass that info along one of these days. The tests were done on the center of the lens with my Saunders 4550 maxed out, glass carrier, laser aligned, blah blah blah. IIRC it is about a 28 to 32 inch print on the long side. I'd have to double check that, but the point is, a direct comparison was easily made with the Nikon Scanner by simply taking a couple minutes and scanning the neg.

    Here is the image that I used. Not a great image, but it was sharp, the neg was fairly thin and it had detail in the center. This is Neopan 400 developed in Pyrocat shot with a Konica Hexar RF. Not sure on the lens. Probably either a Zeiss 35mm Biogon or a Pentax 50 1.4 converted to Leica M. But the film is not the finest grained film. And this is 35mm, not 120.

    2016-003-22a+.jpg

    And here was the comparison taken from the area of the snout of the fish. The scan is on the left. I took a picture, handheld, of the print, which is on the right. What you are seeing is a screen cap from Lightroom. You can easily see the pixelization of the left image to the point of the squaring off of the groups when the right image is still tack sharp. The neg scan is falling apart, and that is a 4000 dpi scan. I left the little dust specs in the right image so you know I didn't retouch it.

    Untitled.jpg

    Now imagine if you are using finer grained film, like Acros.

    When scanners arrive at a point where I can get a result like the righthand image, I'll switch to scanning everything. Until then, no contest.
     
  20. Frank53

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    The grain on the left is not sharp. I never used Nikon scanners, but it should be able to do a better job. I used to have a Minolta 5400, which definitely showed a much sharper grain, even too sharp to my taste. The old Imacon Flextight I’m using now imho looks like your picture on the right, well not the scanner, but the scans of course. Your picture on the left looks like a scan from an Epson flatbed (I use a V700 next to my Imacon)
    Having said that, I prefer a print from the wet darkroom above a print from a scan. So we agree on that. But for me that has nothing to do with quality, but with the fact that I like the whole process a lot better.
    Regards,
    Frank
     
  21. jnanian

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    eric
    i almost got better scans too for my 4870 but came to the same conclusion
    im kind of looking forward to my scanner stopping and not working cause
    id like to get something from this decade eventually LOL
    my scan-box works ok, i just care about scanning and making big files
    and to be honest i don't really give a hoot about sharpness so ...
    all the chatter either by film people or scanner people about uber-sharpness, and how it so important to be able
    to take a magnifying glass and walk up to a print and count the eyelashes on a 1 month old baby ..
    patrick and les >> while i appreciate the effort it took to do the tests and understand it all
    its beyond my pay grade ...
    to me it is like claiming the superiority of a porsche targa over a 73 flat windshield bug.
    i guess its superior, but i don't drive over 40mph.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018
  22. Lachlan Young

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    I'd generally agree about the Flextight scans (especially those off an X5 or 949 at 8000ppi) - though the 50mm Rodagon-G definitely pulls ahead of them somewhere in the low 20x range - to the extent that people socially conditioned to accept rather soft grain in big optical prints have a tendency to believe Rodagon-G prints must be from scans. I'd be intrigued to see how a Scanmate 11000 holds up in comparison.

    At the end of all this, all I want is a lens or scanner that can reasonably honestly represent what is on the film, enabling me to interpret the negative at the printing stage as I wish without introducing unwanted aberrations.
     
  23. Mainecoonmaniac

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    I ordered a Better Scanning film carrier for my old Epson V-700. They're way sharper than the the holders that came with my scanner. A word of warning, you will have to spend time in fiddling with it to get the correct height of the holder. Also, they're a lot more work in mounting the film because you'll have to tape yor film down on the AN glass. Other than that, it's an excellent film holder. I think you can fluid mount your film too. From the test result, more work to get marginal improvement using the film holder dry.
     
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