Century Graphic for digital view camera

Started Jun 6, 2002 | Discussions thread
OP prophotog New Member • Posts: 21
Century Graphic & digital B/W

I have tried scanning prints with a flatbed but small prints don't yield the qualityI would like on 13x19 quad-tones and even large prints seem to lack the edge sharpness and dynamic range of a directly scanned original neg.

I haven't tried the Minolta yet. Does GEM software work with black and white negs?


Ken Phillips wrote:
The GEM software with the Minolta works wonders ... turning a raw
grainy scan into a thing of beauty ... at the expense of several
minutes per frame, on a fast PC. Overall much faster than making
11,000 small prints!

tom jacobson wrote:
A suggestion that works: make small RC prints from the negs, and
then scan on a nice flatbed like the Espon Expression. Works
better than scanning film on the low end scanners. Problem with
silver BW is the grain gets clumpy and rather ugly. Scanning
prints is the best way to go. TJ

Ken Phillips wrote:
My father was an Army photography during WWII, and I've inherited
thousands of medium and large format negatives. I have been using a
Minolta DiMage Scan Multi II to archive the 6 x whatevers, with
very good results. It took a while to get the settings correct ...
grain reduction, etc. My unit scans the center section at 2850dpi
and does interpolation from 1420 for the outside edges. (Don't ask
me why!) The newest Minolta unit does 4000dpi across the board, but
my unit has a slide stacker attachment, which holds 50+ slides, and
can be 'stoked' on the fly for all-day scanning.

prophotog wrote:

For years I have used a Sinar 4x5 view camera for architectural
photography in various states in the US. The equipment took up two
or three bulky cases and was a real pain to get into and out of
airports even before 9/11.

A real (re)discovery for me was the 2x3 Century Graphic. I have
been able to carry the camera body, 5 excellent lenses. two 120
roll film holders etc. in a shoulder case that is the size of a
medium 35mm outfit. It is much lighter than the Horseman, Linhof or
other similar outfit and for the type of photography I do in the
field, it has proven to be ideal. (architectural, travel, scenic).

Here’s the rub. I have been shifting more and more to digital
printing. For the money, convenience and archival issues etc. I
still believe that film is the way to go. I bought a Nikon 8000
scanner and had beautiful scanned results with transparency film
for producing color digital prints as well as black and white
conversions for quad tone printing. Not so with black and white
film. Black and white seemed to have a tendency to posterize no
matter how the scan was made and I ended up selling the scanner.
(Note: some of the negs were from the 1930’s and were quite dense
and/or thin).

Since then I have had access off and on to the latest high end
Imacon scanner. The results with color were great but scanning
black and white film was simply incredible. Sharp down to the grain
of the film with full range of tones!

So ... my ideal would be to continue to use the Century outfit but
be able to personally own a scanner that works well for black and
white film (and is affordable). Has anyone who shoots a lot of high
quality black and white had good luck with scanning black and white
negatives on any of the current mid-range scanners? (c. $3000.00).

If so, I would love to hear from you.



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