Negatives

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Soul Rebel, Feb 16, 2006.

  1. Soul Rebel

    Soul Rebel TPF Noob!

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    I am looking at getting a scanner that allows me to scan negatives but I have one question remaining. How exactly do they get the negatives? Do they pull the film straight out of the roll and can I do this? Or is there some other process?

    I dont have the cash to buy a nice digital camera but I do have a decent film camera. I am trying to find ways to make this cost effective, especially being a college student. If I can spend 80 bucks on a film scanner this would save a lot of money.
     
  2. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    Films need to be developed before they can be scanned. So, you have a choice - either get the film developed only (usually very cheap) by a lab, or you dev it yourself. It is a pretty straightforward process, but you'll probably find that (IMO) colour will be better done by a lab and B&W will be cheaper and easier to do yourself.

    Once the film is developed, you make a decision whether you want the negatives cut or not. Some scanners can feed an entire film, but these will be out of your price range. The rest, whether dedicated or a flatbed with an adaptor, generally do about five at a time.

    Rob
     
  3. Soul Rebel

    Soul Rebel TPF Noob!

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    The scanner says it has an adapter. Whether I can scan an entire roll or 5 at a time really does not bother me.

    Developing it on my own would be interesting but I am not sure I have the time, space or cash to make this possible. The only area that I have where I can lock the door and keep the kids out is a small little office.

    I guess I have more to consider.
     
  4. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    If it has an adaptor the chances are it's a little light box with a mirror in it which holds a strip of about five negatives and then you run the scanning program. They are not especially high quality scans (IMO).

    Perhaps an easier option is to get a film developed and scanned onto CD at your local lab with no prints. This is a no effort option and yields slightly better results - it was the method I mainly used for the last year or so before I went digital. I never really found home development worked for me (for colour) and B&W, although fun and rewarding, was just too much time and effort compared to a good printer and Photoshop.

    However, there are loads of people who much prefer doing everything themselves - there's a greater sense of achievement and you have a finished product which is very rewarding.

    Rob
     
  5. PlasticSpanner

    PlasticSpanner TPF Noob!

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    If you're interested in photography beyond just taking pictures then developing your own film is a very interesting process.

    Colour isn't as easy as B&W since it takes a little more room for the water bath to heat the chemicals but all you're doing is a chemistry experiment following instructions! :thumbup:

    I'd say it's definately worth having a go anyway especially with B&W even if you only do a dozen or so rolls.
     
  6. Soul Rebel

    Soul Rebel TPF Noob!

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    Im going to have to look into developing at home. My aunt talks about it all the time and it seems like a real fun process. Hopefully I can find some time to at least experiment with it.

    Thanks for the advice. I think for now, until I find some time and money to experiment with developing, I am going to continue taking the film to Wal-Mart and put it on a cd. This seems like the best option for now.
     
  7. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    I've heard that b&w is only cheaper to develop at home if you do large quantities. I'd do the math to see if it will be cheaper based on what you will be doing.

    As far as scanning goes, I used to tell the labs "develop only" and used a film scanner for quite a while. I used an Acer Scanwit 2720S, which I think you can pick up for not too much money now. One thing I ran into was that some of the labs would cut the stips one neg too long for the neg holder, so I would tell them not to cut the negs and I would cut the roll myself at home.

    I wasn't happy with the few times I had a lab digitize my negs for me when I had them developed. They had too much contrast and lost some of the fine detail I could have gotten if I had done them myself. I only had them do it because I had a number of rolls from a wedding and didn't have time to go through each one and do it myself. Like finding a good lab for prints, you might have to search around for one that does good scans.
     

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