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Digitizing 4x5 negatives.

Grandpa Ron

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I have worked out most of the kinks when it comes to shooting 4x5 negatives on my View camera. It was a steep learning curve.

The issue I have now is digitizing the negatives. I have tries two methods.
1. Shooting them on a light table with my DSLR.
2. Scanning them on my standard desk top scanner with an external light source.

Both of these produce a reasonable photo....Until I try to crop. Then the scanner's scan lines show up, and the camera's resolution seems to loses detail. The negative's detail looks fine when viewed under a loupe.

I believe the desk top scanner is good, but simply not suited for the task, and I can crop the negative with the DSLR on the light table.

The question is, Short of buying a high dollar photo scanner, is there a way to digitize 4x5 the negatives?
 
I was surprised to read that the camera shot had resolution loss of detail ... I would have thought for such a large neg it would be a problem ... though I have not tried to take a digital image of one of my large format negs, so I could be mistaken??
 
I am using the 1909 Seneca camera shown in my avatar. I restored it about three years ago. The lenses I use are a 127 mm Wollensak and a 165 mm Wollensak. Both serial numbers indicate mid 1950's production.

I am using Arista EDU 400 film, developed in HC-110 developer. My DSLR is a Canon T6 Rebel. I am shooting the highest resolution JPG.

I am going to try RAW but the Canon processing program is not user friendly or intuitive so it may take a while to figure it out.
 
Hmm, maybe shoot in RAW with software like Darktable or other one which I don't remember ... rawtherapee? ... and possibly not focused, use manual focus , better lens? You got focus peaking or magifier?
 
The light table to the camera lens distance is near the limit for auto-focus, so I usually manual focus. Full auto will usually set the lens at f 5.6.

I usually choose aperture priority, set the aperture to f 8 for more depth of field and let the camera choose the shutter speed. I use a remote release to avoid any camera shake. The negative is held flat, under a piece of glass.

The reason I am experimenting with the DSLR, is when I used the zoom lens to crop to the center of the negative, as you can see in the attachment, the flag poles and other details are fairly sharp.

final NMLRA house #2.jpg
 
Ron, I use a 46 mp nikon d850 for my scans for 35 mm, 645, 6x6 and 67. I use a rolling camera stand which will go as high as 6'. I use a zeiss 100 m makro planar macro lens that is razor sharp. I use f/8 which gives more dof and scan tethered into light room where I can adjust the histogram exposure for each neg manually adjusting shutter speed from LR. I had all that gear so only had to find a film holder, a valoi that allows me to scan the uncut rolls by simply pushing it to the next frame, centering, adjusting exposure and firing without touching the camera from lightroom tether. I t keeps all my film flat.
 
I have worked out most of the kinks when it comes to shooting 4x5 negatives on my View camera. It was a steep learning curve.

The issue I have now is digitizing the negatives. I have tries two methods.
1. Shooting them on a light table with my DSLR.
2. Scanning them on my standard desk top scanner with an external light source.

Both of these produce a reasonable photo....Until I try to crop. Then the scanner's scan lines show up, and the camera's resolution seems to loses detail. The negative's detail looks fine when viewed under a loupe.

I believe the desk top scanner is good, but simply not suited for the task, and I can crop the negative with the DSLR on the light table.

The question is, Short of buying a high dollar photo scanner, is there a way to digitize 4x5 the negatives?
What lens are you using to copy the negative? And I would expect a light box to be more practical than a light table, though I suppose the latter would work. Or are we talking about the same thing, but different terminology?
 
For a light source, I have a 4x6 photo led light used for portraiture. I plece it in the thin top desk drawer, pull a large piece of translucent plexi over it, place the holder taped to a piece of mat board with an appropriate size window for the film holder and have the film holders diffuser also inserted. It made scanning relatively in expensive as already had the plexi and led light. I'm saving $20+ per roll developing and scanning my self and no 3 week turnaround, 3 hours.
 

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