Options for Scanning 120 films ???

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
peripheralfocus Veteran Member • Posts: 4,556
how I balance these considerations

Tomm111 wrote:

I get really nice results from my Leica CL, really better than the scanner. Just started doing 120, well returning to 120. I am using my CL on an old Besselar slide copier, with 35 I can use the bellows, and an 80mm Scheider Componon, with 120 I have a copy stand and use the base of the duplicator, first tests were with a 40mm Makro Kilar, will have to try my 105 micro Nikkor too.

I have a decent copying set up, too -- also a 24-megapixel APS-C sensor (probably the same one as in your CL), and I use a Minolta 50mm f3.5 macro lens, which is quite sharp and very consistent across the frame.

I've found that, in order to beat my V700, I have to shoot at high enough magnification that I can't fit a whole 6x7 neg into a single frame. To get a whole 6x7 frame in one shot, I have to back off to about .25X (i.e. 1:4) magnification, and that won't beat my V700, overall.

On the other hand, if I shoot the negative at about .85X (i.e. 1:1.18) magnification, I can resolve detail on very fine grain film (Ilford Pan-F+) that my V700 can't see. But I'd have to shoot 12 separate images, allowing 20% overlap for stitching, to capture an entire 6x7 negative at that magnification. Where exactly my camera scans begin to surpass the V700 is different from film to film, but it will usually take at least 3 images stitched together to beat the V700, and more like 5+ to make a meaningful difference.

If I intended to make a huge print that I also wanted people to inspect very closely, I'd go to that trouble, but that's vanishingly rare in the way that I do and enjoy photography.

And on the films I actually use 90% of the time (TMAX 400 and TRI-X), there is less tiny detail for the V700 to miss, so the advantage of the camera is even a little smaller. One big caveat is that the camera renders grain noticeably better than the V700, even in films that aren't that sharp. But again, that's only visible in very large prints inspected at shorter than normal viewing distances, which is not the use case I'm shooting for.

Now, there's tons of variables here, in addition to those already mentioned. A FF digital camera would require less image stitching than my APS-C camera, for example. So there's lots of levers one could pull to change the equation this way or that.

But anyway, that's how I balance these things out. For now, it's more practical for me to scan medium format with the V700.

For 35mm, camera scanning, even with a single shot, easily beats what I can do with my V700.

Yes set up my copy stand, illumination base, my wife understands but it can't stay up too long.

I got rid of the wife decades ago, but, alas, my apartment is too small to leave a copy stand set up all the time. You win on one end and lose on the other.

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