Need tips on "scanning" B&W film with 30mm macro

Started 1 month ago | Discussions thread
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scphoto Senior Member • Posts: 1,728
Need tips on "scanning" B&W film with 30mm macro

Thanks to all who helped me with finding a economical setup for using my Panny GX9 with the Oly 30mm macro lens. This was my original post on this forum asking for advice:

In all honesty I was expecting sharper results. I'm scanning old photos that may not have been in perfect focus ... or ... maybe they are in perfect focus but my digitizing setup/technique needs improvement?

I watched a few YouTube videos on this and they say "focus on the grain", not on the film image. I don't really see the grain with my setup. Maybe I need a stronger macro lens or I'm doing something wrong? That's why I need some tips from you.

IMPORTANT CAVEAT: This is the first time I've "worked" with film. I used to shoot a roll and then take it to my local camera shop for developing & printing. I never looked closely at the negatives until now and therefore I really don't know what to look for in a "good" negative.

My digitizing setup: GX9 + 30mm macro with light table

Here's my setup. See photo above:

1. GX9+30mm macro mounted on a tripod.

2. My GX9 is set to 3:2 aspect ratio, monochrome, aperture priority at 8.0, auto white balance, "multiple metering" (i.e., not center weighted), manual focus with max focus assist window, high peaking, mechanical shutter, shutter delay 8 seconds after press.

3. A light table (about $40 USD) from amazon, set on full brightness and a film holder (borrowed from my cheapy amazon $70 USD scanner.

4. Film shiny side up (facing lens).

5. Working distance between lens and slide is about 2.5 in (3.5 cm) in order to capture the full frame of the negative.

6. All of the above leveled with my 6" level.

Here's a 100% crop of my best effort with the GX9 + 30mm macro:

100% crop with GX9 + 30mm macro

Here's a 100% crop from my cheapy $70 scanner:

100% crop with my cheapy ($75 USD) scanner

My setup is definitely better than my cheapy scanner, but I was expecting sharper results from my setup, but maybe these are good?

Maybe I should have a better macro lens (expensive?) or I should get an extension tube for my 14-140mm zoom?

Your option/tips would be much appreciated.


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- Simon

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Olympus Tough TG-4 Sony RX100 VI Nikon D300 Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9
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