Options for Scanning 120 films ???

Started 3 months ago | Discussions
Tomm111 Contributing Member • Posts: 852
Re: Epson vs. other options

peripheralfocus wrote:

Tomm111 wrote:

... I also use the Epson software, in Professional mode,

Yep, me too, and get good results with it. I spent a fair bit of time testing other scanning software and could not improve on what Epson Scan does, when used properly.

If you are going for a scanner an Epson V800 with the Better Scanning 120 holder would be the way to go, you can also wait for the Plustek.

I am not sure why you don't want to photograph the negatives, works well and I think it is sharper than a scanner with a digital camera and a good macro lens, even a 2nd hand one.

I think you may have conflated me with the OP, but I agree with you that the V800 with a Better Scanning holder is a good solution. Can't speak for the Plustek, having never come near one.

It was the OP who didn't want to do camera scanning.

I myself don't currently do it with medium format film because I have to really jump through hoops to surpass my V700. I have to shoot at least 3 separate 24-megapixel images of a 6x6 or 6x7 negative and stitch them together. That's a pain. I also don't have room to leave the rig set up all the time, so I have to assemble and re-align etc. every time I want to use it. Also a pain.

But, as I said, if had the space and money to dedicate a high-resolution camera with multi-shot capability (a Panasonic S1R, for example) to the job, along with a permanent copy stand set up, things would be different. Then I could beat my V700 with a single shot instead of stitching, and I wouldn't have a lot of set up and teardown work every time I wanted to scan. In that case, I would switch to camera scanning.

Tried to put too much in my post, meant for everyone.

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

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peripheralfocus Veteran Member • Posts: 4,557
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.

alex_virt Senior Member • Posts: 1,937
Re: Options for Scanning 120 films ???

Here is an example scanned with Epson V700 and Silverfast SE.

Mamiya 645, 150mm f3.5, Kodak Ektar.

moimoi
OP moimoi Veteran Member • Posts: 5,526
Re: Options for Scanning 120 films ???

alex_virt wrote:

Here is an example scanned with Epson V700 and Silverfast SE.

Thanks for sharing this Alex.  Not bad at all.   I suspect the image output from the V600 vs v700 should be very similar, right?

Cheers,

Max

Mamiya 645, 150mm f3.5, Kodak Ektar.

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alex_virt Senior Member • Posts: 1,937
Re: Options for Scanning 120 films ???

moimoi wrote:

alex_virt wrote:

Here is an example scanned with Epson V700 and Silverfast SE.

Thanks for sharing this Alex. Not bad at all. I suspect the image output from the V600 vs v700 should be very similar, right?

You're welcome I've never tried the V600. The true optical resolution of the V700 is about 2500 dpi, so you can get 18 MP from a 645 frame. The Epson film holders aren't very good. The Betterscan (?) holders are supposed to be better. I wanted to buy them but eventually switched to 35mm and lab scanning.

sybersitizen Forum Pro • Posts: 18,053
Re: Options for Scanning 120 films ???

moimoi wrote:

I suspect the image output from the V600 vs v700 should be very similar, right?

In a basic sense, the output of all Epsons from the 5xx line through the 8xx line will be similar. In more specific terms (DMAX, light source, and perhaps effective resolution*), the 600 is closer to the 500 than it is to the 700.

* The effective resolution of 'good' consumer-level flatbeds is typically in the ballpark of 2000 ppi, give or take. Testing has indicated that the 7xx/8xx models are slightly above that figure rather than below it.

Steven Seven
Steven Seven Regular Member • Posts: 362
Plustek OpticFilm 120 Pro

Agreed! Plustek has OpticFilm 120 which has been disappointing (you can google for reviews) and they have announced its successor, "OpticFilm 120 Pro" about two years ago. It even won some kind of award. But it never showed up for purchase.

Just recently they published a blog post and a YouTube video , apologizing for the delay and promising that it's about to come out.

I sent an email to their support department, they agreed it's coming "soon" but did not commit to any date.

Myself, I have been disappointed by my Epson V600 and I've been scanning with a digital camera (excellent results, but annoying workflow), so I'm quite excited to try this new scanner when it finally (any day now?) becomes available.

Barry Twycross Veteran Member • Posts: 3,273
Re: Options for Scanning 120 films ???
2

I only have a few rolls of 120, that's our wedding photos. I got a V550, which was a total bargain at $160. I'm quite happy with the results.

I usually use a Minolta Scan Elite 5400 for 35mm negs, the V550 isn't bad, maybe 80% of the quality I could get from the Minolta, if I scan a 35mm new with it. For a 6x7 neg I get a reasonable 60Mpix image out of.

Here's my example photo:

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Steven Seven
Steven Seven Regular Member • Posts: 362
Re: Options for Scanning 120 films ???

Have you tried experimenting with film holders? The image you posted is out of focus (I'd estimate it to have maybe effective 3MP, not 80).

sybersitizen Forum Pro • Posts: 18,053
Re: Options for Scanning 120 films ???

Steven Seven wrote:

Have you tried experimenting with film holders? The image you posted is out of focus (I'd estimate it to have maybe effective 3MP, not 80).

I agree with your general point, but I think your 3MP estimate is off. Also, the posted example is a roughly 60MP image rather than 80MP.

I downsampled that photo to 3MP and again to 7MP, then upsampled both results back to the original resolution for on-screen comparisons.

Original on left compared to 3MP variant on right

Original on left compared to 7MP variant on right

Based on that, I think there's more like 7MP of usable resolution in the original scan. Still very poor for a file that contains 60MP.

Barry Twycross Veteran Member • Posts: 3,273
Re: Options for Scanning 120 films ???
1

sybersitizen wrote:

Steven Seven wrote:

Have you tried experimenting with film holders? The image you posted is out of focus (I'd estimate it to have maybe effective 3MP, not 80).

I agree with your general point, but I think your 3MP estimate is off. Also, the posted example is a roughly 60MP image rather than 80MP.

I downsampled that photo to 3MP and again to 7MP, then upsampled both results back to the original resolution for on-screen comparisons.

Original on left compared to 3MP variant on right

Original on left compared to 7MP variant on right

Based on that, I think there's more like 7MP of usable resolution in the original scan. Still very poor for a file that contains 60MP.

I've never looked at this one that closely. This one may not be that sharp in camera, there are other shots where I can see a definite difference between a 15MP and 30MP version (using sybersitizen's method).

I'm going to have to revisit the scanning here. I have heard that focus on these scanners is an issue, but I've never worried about it, there's more than enough resolution for my purposes.

I wouldn't expect to get any more than 30MP or so out of one of these, given the photographer used 400ASA film (in 1994).

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moimoi
OP moimoi Veteran Member • Posts: 5,526
Re: Options for Scanning 120 films ???

Barry Twycross wrote:

I only have a few rolls of 120, that's our wedding photos. I got a V550, which was a total bargain at $160. I'm quite happy with the results.

I usually use a Minolta Scan Elite 5400 for 35mm negs, the V550 isn't bad, maybe 80% of the quality I could get from the Minolta, if I scan a 35mm new with it. For a 6x7 neg I get a reasonable 60Mpix image out of.

It looks very soft!   Something is funky here!

Here's my example photo:

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mamallama
mamallama Forum Pro • Posts: 58,679
Re: Options for Scanning 120 films ???

moimoi wrote:

Barry Twycross wrote:

I only have a few rolls of 120, that's our wedding photos. I got a V550, which was a total bargain at $160. I'm quite happy with the results.

I usually use a Minolta Scan Elite 5400 for 35mm negs, the V550 isn't bad, maybe 80% of the quality I could get from the Minolta, if I scan a 35mm new with it. For a 6x7 neg I get a reasonable 60Mpix image out of.

It looks very soft! Something is funky here!

The image went through several steps, each one could have contributed to the softness. It's not only the scanning that could have been the problem.

Here's my example photo:

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Barry Twycross Veteran Member • Posts: 3,273
Re: Options for Scanning 120 films ???

mamallama wrote:

moimoi wrote:

Barry Twycross wrote:

I only have a few rolls of 120, that's our wedding photos. I got a V550, which was a total bargain at $160. I'm quite happy with the results.

I usually use a Minolta Scan Elite 5400 for 35mm negs, the V550 isn't bad, maybe 80% of the quality I could get from the Minolta, if I scan a 35mm new with it. For a 6x7 neg I get a reasonable 60Mpix image out of.

It looks very soft! Something is funky here!

The image went through several steps, each one could have contributed to the softness. It's not only the scanning that could have been the problem.

And now I can't remember what I did, so I'm going to do it again. I've got much better noise reduction these days.

Here's my example photo:

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The Davinator
The Davinator Forum Pro • Posts: 24,233
Re: Options for Scanning 120 films ???
3

Barry Twycross wrote:

sybersitizen wrote:

Steven Seven wrote:

Have you tried experimenting with film holders? The image you posted is out of focus (I'd estimate it to have maybe effective 3MP, not 80).

I agree with your general point, but I think your 3MP estimate is off. Also, the posted example is a roughly 60MP image rather than 80MP.

I downsampled that photo to 3MP and again to 7MP, then upsampled both results back to the original resolution for on-screen comparisons.

Original on left compared to 3MP variant on right

Original on left compared to 7MP variant on right

Based on that, I think there's more like 7MP of usable resolution in the original scan. Still very poor for a file that contains 60MP.

I've never looked at this one that closely. This one may not be that sharp in camera, there are other shots where I can see a definite difference between a 15MP and 30MP version (using sybersitizen's method).

I'm going to have to revisit the scanning here. I have heard that focus on these scanners is an issue, but I've never worried about it, there's more than enough resolution for my purposes.

I wouldn't expect to get any more than 30MP or so out of one of these, given the photographer used 400ASA film (in 1994).

There is a fair bit of detail there.  Flatbeds benefit a great deal from enhancing acutance and texture.  Playing for a minute in Lr on my iPad from your original, shows a fair bit of detail...much more than 3mp or 7mp.  
I have found my V700 with the Betterscan holder and Kami fluid can pull a fair bit out for a large print.  When I need more, I have access to an Imacon 646.

This shows a fair bit more detail and acutance than the rather blurry comparisons previously mentioned.  I would play with adjusting the height of the film holder as the original scan was scanned slightly out of focus.

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Barry Twycross Veteran Member • Posts: 3,273
Re: Options for Scanning 120 films ???

Barry Twycross wrote:

sybersitizen wrote:

Steven Seven wrote:

Have you tried experimenting with film holders? The image you posted is out of focus (I'd estimate it to have maybe effective 3MP, not 80).

I agree with your general point, but I think your 3MP estimate is off. Also, the posted example is a roughly 60MP image rather than 80MP.

I downsampled that photo to 3MP and again to 7MP, then upsampled both results back to the original resolution for on-screen comparisons.

Original on left compared to 3MP variant on right

Original on left compared to 7MP variant on right

Based on that, I think there's more like 7MP of usable resolution in the original scan. Still very poor for a file that contains 60MP.

I've never looked at this one that closely. This one may not be that sharp in camera, there are other shots where I can see a definite difference between a 15MP and 30MP version (using sybersitizen's method).

I'm going to have to revisit the scanning here. I have heard that focus on these scanners is an issue, but I've never worried about it, there's more than enough resolution for my purposes.

I wouldn't expect to get any more than 30MP or so out of one of these, given the photographer used 400ASA film (in 1994).

Here's a couple of crops from a better neg. This is 8MP cropped from the 60MP. The first one is straight off the scanner, the other is lightly processed.

You can see some of the grain of the image, which is when I think it's good enough. This is the difference between the flatbed and the film scanner, the film scanner will clearly image the grain.

I'm still not expecting much more than 16MP out of one of these negs, and there's somewhere between 15 and 30MP. I think it'd make a good 40" print, possibly a reasonable 70".

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sybersitizen Forum Pro • Posts: 18,053
Re: Options for Scanning 120 films ???

Barry Twycross wrote:

Here's a couple of crops from a better neg. This is 8MP cropped from the 60MP. The first one is straight off the scanner, the other is lightly processed.

Yep ... you and The Davinator are right that examining detail straight from the scan without further processing doesn't really tell the story. Both examples clean up much better in PP.

peripheralfocus Veteran Member • Posts: 4,557
agreed

The Davinator wrote:

There is a fair bit of detail there. Flatbeds benefit a great deal from enhancing acutance and texture.

Yes. Flatbed scans, even perfectly focused ones, need more sharpening than a camera scan, or a scan from a top-notch dedicated film scanner. But they can tolerate more before the image degrades.

When I optimize scans from my V700 vs. Imacon or high-magnification camera scans, I invariably use significantly more sharpening on the V700 scans. But if I apply that heavy sharpening to the camera scan, it gets too crunchy.

There's no doubt that my high-magnification camera scans are better than my V700 scans, but the gap is noticeably smaller than it appears if you compare unoptimized raw scans with no sharpening or other post-processing. For many real-world purposes, especially with medium format or larger film, the gap is inconsequential or even invisible.

I find something similar with dynamic range. An Imacon or camera scan definitely does have more potential dynamic range than my V700 -- especially evident in deep shadows of contrasty scenes -- but if I do the V700 scan right, the practical difference is not as large as quick, non-optimized scans would lead you to believe.

celestialemissary
celestialemissary Contributing Member • Posts: 768
Re: Options for Scanning 120 films ???

This is what I got with V600
Film is portra 400
Camera is Fuji GW680III
Sharpen with photoshop

For me this is good

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The Davinator
The Davinator Forum Pro • Posts: 24,233
Re: Options for Scanning 120 films ???

celestialemissary wrote:

This is what I got with V600
Film is portra 400
Camera is Fuji GW680III
Sharpen with photoshop

For me this is good

Very nice!

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