Film to digital?

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by Torus34, Aug 12, 2006.

  1. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    My Lady and I are both reasonably skilled in 35mm photography. We have a complete system of many bodies, a bevy of lenses and all of the trimmings. However, the lure of digital in providing the ability to create picture 'programs' is almost irresistable -- we have a delightfully photogenic 3 year old grand-daughter. 'Nuff said.

    But to go digital 'from scratch' at a level which would provide results of comparable quality to our present 35mm's? Well, we're talking quite a few thousands of dollars. At the least, it would require a couple of Canon 20D's or 30D's and a mess of primes and zooms, including macros. We'll need two of each lens here, you see. That adds up. Big time. I should note en passant that our 35mm lenses are not transferrable to any modern DSLR.

    Let me add one more thing. We're from a generation which does not expect instant results. Waiting a week or two to see the results of a shoot doesn't send us into a frenzy. Again, we do know film reasonably well and pretty much know what the final print will be, more or less. Being able to see the shot 'Polaroid[TM]'-fashion is not important to us.

    So, a bit of looking around uncovered the Pacific Image 3610AFL scanner [3600dpi, 3.2 dyn., 48 bit color, 16 bit gray scale].

    We can happily work in 35mm slide or print film and use the scanner to convert the slides or negatives to digital. This will allow us to send images by 'net and also create picture programs. And we'll be ahead by about $US10K or so.

    What's wrong with this picture?
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I don't see anything wrong with that. One of the biggest advantages of digital is the fast turn around...but as you said, you don't mind the wait.

    With a good film scanner, you can easily get digital images that are superior to what many many digital cameras are capable of.

    Before I purchase a DSLR, I had all my film scanned at the time of development. In most cases, the quality of the scan was not very good...and I do get much better results from my DSLR...but if you scan the negatives yourself, with a good film scanner...then you should get good results.
     
  3. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    I used to scan my film for quite a while before getting a digital body. I think you would be perfectly happy as long as you got the right scanner. One of the things I found to be a pain was only being able to do 5 or 6 negs at a time. The one you mentioned will do whole rolls, up to 40 images (in case you bulk load). That's nice! At 3600 dpi, it will give you an scan of around 5400x3600 pixels, or almost 19.5 megapixels. It's hard to make comparisons against a digital camera sensor, but it does blow away what you would get at most photo shops.

    I don't know what the quality is like. I had a cheap Pacific Image flatbed that I was happy with.
     
  4. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    The only potential issues I see are:

    time of turn around: you said it really doesn't matter to you

    availability of good film processing service: I wanted to wait to get into digital until I could get something like a 20D for well under $1000, but I found that the older film gurus at my local full service labs were leaving, and the new digital whiz kids kept mishandling my 120. After a few light struck rolls I bought a DSLR out of frustration. I'm not willing to mail film. I do my own BW film processing, but unless a new, color film processing business starts up in town, I'm pretty much done with color film.
     
  5. fotogenik

    fotogenik TPF Noob!

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    also you may not need a full double set of lenses as the chances are unlikely you will both need to be using the exact same lens at the exact same time.

    Primes and general purpose zooms yes you may need 2, macro's and long tele's doubtful you would both need the same one at the same time.

    Just food for thought. Unless of course you get too different makes of cameras that the lenses would not be interchangable with...dumber things have been done tho so I have to mention it.
     
  6. Scruge

    Scruge TPF Noob!

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    You might check this out.
    http://www.rjpi.com/slide2dig/slide2dig.htm
    I wasn't able to find anything that scanned fast and in bulk, so I built this.

    Be sure to view the video.
    Its a bit of a Rube Goldberg, but it gets the job done.:mrgreen:

    It processes up to 600 slides per hour and for me the results are more than acceptable.
    Click the girl's photo on the web page to see the results for yourself. btw.. that was a 30+ year old slide that hasn't been retouched.

    I'm in the process of building one to process my 1000 rolls of negatives I've accumulated over the years.
     
  7. PNA

    PNA TPF Noob!

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    I have been debating this exact issue...See the Decisions, Decisions thread and follow along. I am not in the business, strictly an amateur.

    MY advice....if you're in the photography business, the cost of upgrading to new technology will be repaid over time. The learning curve may seem initially difficult, but once learned and applied the results will carry for many years to come and you will be the winners. There's a lot of competition out there and to survive one must keep up with new technology. digital photography is here to stay and has, repeat, has become the choice medium.

    LOL
     

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