editing scanned film


TPF Noob!
Mar 25, 2006
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Sydney, Australia
hey, sorry if this is covered elsewhere, but...

I was wondering about editing film that i want to get scanned (ill take it to a shop somewhere). i've never developed film myself so i dont know anything about your options in the dark room. what can u do, say in photoshop, that you also have the freedom to do when developing film traditionally. i assume brightness is ok. but can u controll contrast and other things like that with traditional methods? and hence should i be changing that stuff in photoshop???

hope this makes sense, i dunno how to word it :S
i think what you're asking is what can you do in photoshop that isn't considered 'cheating' to film shooters who only use the darkroom. Well I've only developed/printed black and white film, but I have studied a tad bit of printing color, and the abilities you have (besides color of course) is basically the same as in black and white.

basically everything in photoshop is derived from actions in the darkroom, it's just that some things are more time consuming in the darkroom (take solarization for instance). Therefore, you shouldn't worry about only doing things that you could do in the darkroom. I'm sure there are some things that were created in photoshop just for digital, but the basic stuff is used extensively in both film and digital printing/processing. here's a list of examples, but there is much much more:

color hue
sharpness (unsharp masking was invented by uelsmann i believe)
burning and dodging
quite a few PS actions (such as solarization and gaussian blur)
masking and layers
etc. etc. etc.

like I said, most of the stuff you can do in photoshop was taken from darkroom processes, so i wouldnt worry about what you should or shouldnt use in photoshop. It's a tool that is only as good as its user, just like the darkroom. Its not a magic wand that you can simply wave to make your photos perfect.
ok cool :) how interesting, especially about all that bluring and other effects. i never would have guessed. anyone else have any opinions or expert comments :)

also, do anyone of u get negatives scanned at a photo lab? if so if there anything i need to know before i start to do it? or do all u pro's own scanners:x

thanks again this forum is great
no problem joel, glad i could help :)

i've had slides scanned at a lab before, but the quality usually isn't that great unless you go to a pro lab (which I ended up doing) that has nice scanners. I don't know about negatives, or how they even can scan those (?)...i think they might just scan the prints when you develop them (at least at small photo processing centers they do), which isn't good. I'd say go ahead and just try it, as there really isnt anything to lose. if it works out good, then great! if not, consider trying another place or better yet, shoot slide film :)
the lady at the place i initially took the negatives to get developed said that she can scan negatives for me. i went to a Rabbit Lab, and also a Kodak shop. i thought these 2 would be pretty decent labs.

when i do get them scanned ill be sure to post the results

Edit: just thought of another question, can slide film or and other less common film be used in any camera? my camera is a Pentax MZ-50. if you dont know anything about this camera thats cool... but is there a general answer to this question?
yeah, those sound like fine labs. post up the results, i'm curious.

to answer your questions about film, yes. any 35mm camera can take any type of 35mm negatives or slides (bw or color). if you'd like to try some slides (if you do any landscapes or commercial stuff, try fuji velvia ISO 50 slides - you'll never turn back), here is a website to check out: http://www.photo.net/equipment/film
lol this is really gettin off topic now but what the hell :)

what sort of film will you notice the grains... this is sometimes desirable right? cause i recon it looks cool... would some normal (eg) kodac 100 be very grainy?
no, that would hardly look grainy at all. films that tend to look real grainy are 800 speed films and above (although sometimes 400 can look pretty grainy). sometimes people dont like color film grain, but it depends on what you like. im not a huge fan of color grain, but in black and white stuff it can look really cool.
yeh i just realised what a stupid question that was. 1stly, i was thinking that lower speeds had larger grains. 2ndly, i got an answer to my question within 5 mins of searchin on the net. perhaps ill just do a bit of reading before posting simply questions next time! thanks for your patients

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