LPL Color Enlarger versus OptikFilm Scanner

Discussion in 'Scanning and Scanners' started by Robin Guymer, Mar 23, 2018.

  1. Robin Guymer

    Robin Guymer Subscriber

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    Yer I know, that title is a bit deceiving. But I thought I could use my enlarger as a light box for scanning negatives so I could see if the results were better than using the old OpticFilm 7400 scanner that cost me a $100. Well now that I have sorted out how to reverse the negs to positive without having PhotoShop, I am fairly happy with the results.

    I used a 16mp Sony Nex 3N with a macro extension on a Nikkor 35-135. I set the lens to F11 and the Nex to ISO 200 Auto WB and 10 second delay timer. For focus I used the yellow focus peaking so it hit the negative spot on and F11 helped I guess. It was possible to lower the bellows down over the Nikkor to block out the light so I did this with the lights in the room still on. The macro was still not big enough as I still had to digital zoom a bit on the Nex.

    Once I had the negative image I opened it in Gimp 2.8. First I inverted then used Colours/Auto/White Balance followed by Colours/Auto/Normalize. I then overwrited the image/exported as JBG. The end result was a 12.5mb image where as the OpticFilm scan was 1.5mb. Bit of a process with the Enlarger setup but once started it would be a lot quicker to photograph all the film strips than it is with the scanner. However the Gimp inversion correction is a bit slow but maybe this can be made quicker via the Mac Automator program. I am dead set trying to not have to buy PhotoShop, but maybe it is quicker than Gimp.

    Anyway what do you think of the method and the results? Don't be put off by the size difference of the scans of Rafa as it was difficult resizing down from 12.5mb to under 1mb. Camera was a Nikon F2 + Nikkor 35-135 with FP4 125 @ 250ASA.
    Robin

    The Setup
    setup2.JPG setup1.JPG
    Enlarger / Sony Nex Method
    Enlarger_method.JPG RafaNeg.JPG
    OpticFilm 7400 Scanner
    Rafa resting 1.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2018
  2. NJH

    NJH Member

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    I don't know why more people don't scan like this, you can also get a camera copy adapter for that enlarger as an alternative approach. I have one for mine, it fairly quickly turns the thing into a pretty solid copy stand.
     
  3. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    Are you using a zoom lens?
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Robin Guymer

    Robin Guymer Subscriber

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    Yes Les, it is a Nikkor 35-135 attached to a Nikon macro adapter then a Nex/Nikon adapter. This got about 2/3rds of the image onto the sensor then I had to use the Nex zoom feature to fill the sensor. The old lenses work well as they fit up inside the bellows so room lights don't affect the picture. I have some macro tubes for a Leitz lens so will experiment with these to see if I could get closer to the negative to fill the APS-C sensor.
     
  5. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    If it is strictly for the purposes of blocking ambient light then a black shroud would be easy. I don't know how your zoom lens performs, but I would bet that any prime would provide much more resolution then that zoom.
     
  6. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    I have used this process as well. I would recommend not using a zoom lens if at all possible. In many cases it will loose some contrast and will not be as sharp as a prime or macro lens. Personally I use a Nikkor 60mm macro lens on both Nikon DSLR's and Panasonic m4/3 cameras. The results are much better than I can get from a Epson V750 pro scanner. I have also used a colour corrected light table as a light source.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Robin Guymer

    Robin Guymer Subscriber

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  8. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    You'll notice that the stitched together roof is crooked. This is also pointed out in the comments. Stitching is great with images that don't have straight lines so watch out for that.
     
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