Film Scanning: Resolution

WhaleDaughter

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I love shooting film, but I'm trying to find a better way to handle processing and printing. I get my film processed at a lab (at Precision Camera & Video mostly) and have been going the traditional route of processing and printing 4"x6".

And before I go on, I want to make it clear that doing my own processing and printing in a darkroom is not an option at this point in my life.

However, I do a lot of learning and experimenting and getting the failures printed up is kind of a waste (not a total waste because there is learning since I track my exposures, but still it's wasteful). Precision offers film scanning and I'm thinking about having that done instead of printing and then working the images in Affinity.

They offer 3 options for scan quality, and I'm wondering what the best balance of resolution and fiscal gain would be. Here's a link to the page with resolution and cost.

Photo Lab - Film Processing - Film Scans - Precision Camera Store

If I get the medium resolution scans it's less expensive by several dollars than printing. If I get the high resolution scans it's cheaper for 36 exposure rolls but not 24 exposure rolls. The ultra-high resolution scan is too much more expensive so isn't an option right now.

I suppose I could also get the medium resolution scans of the whole roll and then if there is a frame that turned out particularly well I could have it individually scanned in at high or ultra-high resolution. I'm not clear on how resolution relates to printing size (I do understand that higher resolution = bigger possible prints, but I don't know the specifics, like how big could I reasonably print a medium resolution scan). My preferred printing size for shots I'm really proud of is 16"x20".
 

Ysarex

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The lab you linked -- their high res scan is close to an 8 megapixel camera. The medium res scan is only good for posting to the internet. Curiously they list proportions that do not match a 35mm aspect ratio. What they list is an 8 x 10 print aspect ratio. Do they crop your scans? If you print one of the high res scans to 16 x 20 your input PPI from the scan will be 150 PPI which is pretty marginal. I'd feel better keeping the res closer to 200 PPI, but you'll have to try one and see what you think.

Joe
 

denada

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you have access to what you have access to, but those prices are not good. my vendor develops and scans a 36 frame roll (including the extra frames i squeeze in) of negative for $6 usd (including tax) with full frame, about 3,000 or 4,000px wide scans. for higher res than that, it's less than a dollar per individual frame. this vendor is local, but you might look into others you can access for developing and scanning.

everyone has their taste and opinion, but i am neither happy with my results with v-series scans nor the amount of time they take. or i'm happy with the results until i compare to a lab scan. same thing happens when i compare a lab scan to the projected slide. that said, most of what you see is a v-series scan and people do create awesome results with them.

if you're only scanning 35mm, some people say the dedicated consumer scanners work better than flatbed.
 
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JonA_CT

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you have access to what you have access to, but those prices are not good. my vendor develops and scans a 36 frame roll (including the extra frames i squeeze in) of negative for $6 usd (including tax) with full frame, about 3,000 or 4,000px wide scans. for higher res than that, it's less than a dollar per individual frame. this vendor is local, but you might look into others you can access for developing and scanning.

everyone has their taste and opinion, but i am neither happy with my results with v-series scans nor the amount of time they take. or i'm happy with the results until i compare to a lab scan. same thing happens when i compare a lab scan to the projected slide. that said, most of what you see is a v-series scan and people do create awesome results with them.

if you're only scanning 35mm, some people say the dedicated consumer scanners work better than flatbed.


Want to share your vendor? That's a pretty solid price. I pay about $14 a roll for shipping, processing, and scanning that size.

I mention this because I was going to say that the OP's pricing for developing and scanning is pretty fair, imo.
 

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I love shooting film, but I'm trying to find a better way to handle processing and printing. I get my film processed at a lab (at Precision Camera & Video mostly) and have been going the traditional route of processing and printing 4"x6".

And before I go on, I want to make it clear that doing my own processing and printing in a darkroom is not an option at this point in my life.

However, I do a lot of learning and experimenting and getting the failures printed up is kind of a waste (not a total waste because there is learning since I track my exposures, but still it's wasteful). Precision offers film scanning and I'm thinking about having that done instead of printing and then working the images in Affinity.

They offer 3 options for scan quality, and I'm wondering what the best balance of resolution and fiscal gain would be. Here's a link to the page with resolution and cost.

Photo Lab - Film Processing - Film Scans - Precision Camera Store

If I get the medium resolution scans it's less expensive by several dollars than printing. If I get the high resolution scans it's cheaper for 36 exposure rolls but not 24 exposure rolls. The ultra-high resolution scan is too much more expensive so isn't an option right now.

I suppose I could also get the medium resolution scans of the whole roll and then if there is a frame that turned out particularly well I could have it individually scanned in at high or ultra-high resolution. I'm not clear on how resolution relates to printing size (I do understand that higher resolution = bigger possible prints, but I don't know the specifics, like how big could I reasonably print a medium resolution scan). My preferred printing size for shots I'm really proud of is 16"x20".

I would get the high-res scans and only print what you want to print. To get it rescanned, you'd have to do it locally or send the negative back to the lab for them to rescan and then print. Not a huge deal, but kind of a PITA. If, however, you already have the high-res scans, then you can just use the digital file to print at whatever printing service you like.

Also, if you do any kind of editing, it will be more useful to have the higher resolution.

If you ultimately get your own scanner, you will have more options. I've always used a Canon flatbed and it has always suited my purposes. Recently, my bf and I split the cost for a used Plustek dedicated film scanner. It only does 35mm. We found it makes a significant difference for color film but not so much for black and white. We still use the flatbed, then for black and white 35mm and for medium-format.
 

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I arrived at this total
Film Develop and Scan Price.jpg
cost: $5.49 for the B&W or C-41 color negative development, then $11.99 for the roll at their highest resolution scan size.
 

webestang64

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Here at the lab I work at Home - we use this scanner..... http://www.noritsu.com/pdf/Flyer_HS-1800-Scanner-Flyer.pdf

4492 x 6774 35mm scan is about a 85mb file. I've printed 40x60's with a Epson 9900 and the prints look great from this scanner.

Cost

C-41 dev $6.00 w/cd $4.95 2048 x 3072 (18mb per frame). Large scan above $15.00 per roll.
 

denada

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picked up rolls today, so correcting and specifying my numbers. $6 not including tax for development and 3000 x 2000 scans. but those files are only 2 - 3 mb big. you have to pay $20 a year to get that pricing. and go to the store.
 

Derrel

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My Plustek 35mm scanner does a better job than my V850 scanner. For me, 120mm is a minimum size negative for a flatbed.

I agree...35mm film is best handled with a dedicated film scanner. I have an old Minolta ScanDual that does my 35mm slides and negs; my EPSON flatbed does "just okay" with 35mm sized images, but is better with my 645,120 square, and 4x5 sheet film images.

The one thing I have found the flatbed useful for with 35mm sized film images is scanning an entire long strip of negatives, in one pass, as a sort of quick, set-it-to-scan-then-go-make-a-sandwich, 6-frame-long index scan, so I can later open the scan, and look at the images. This method of scanning 35mm strips compacts an entire roll in just a few scanned images, which are made shall we say, "casually".

I have a massive backlog of B&W negs that I just do not have the time to scan one frame at a time with the dedicated film scanner. I think the time versus dollars part of the equation is where having high-resolution lab scans might be worth the time to a busy shooter who has more money than time.
 
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WhaleDaughter

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The lab you linked -- their high res scan is close to an 8 megapixel camera. The medium res scan is only good for posting to the internet. Curiously they list proportions that do not match a 35mm aspect ratio. What they list is an 8 x 10 print aspect ratio. Do they crop your scans? If you print one of the high res scans to 16 x 20 your input PPI from the scan will be 150 PPI which is pretty marginal. I'd feel better keeping the res closer to 200 PPI, but you'll have to try one and see what you think.

Joe

I'm used to working with dpi. I won't scan anything at less than 300, usually I want 600 dpi for a scan. I'm going to see what the other photo lab that is local to me offers for scanning.

Thanks for helping explain this.


"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." ~Aristotle
 
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WhaleDaughter

WhaleDaughter

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you have access to what you have access to, but those prices are not good. my vendor develops and scans a 36 frame roll (including the extra frames i squeeze in) of negative for $6 usd (including tax) with full frame, about 3,000 or 4,000px wide scans. for higher res than that, it's less than a dollar per individual frame. this vendor is local, but you might look into others you can access for developing and scanning.

everyone has their taste and opinion, but i am neither happy with my results with v-series scans nor the amount of time they take. or i'm happy with the results until i compare to a lab scan. same thing happens when i compare a lab scan to the projected slide. that said, most of what you see is a v-series scan and people do create awesome results with them.

if you're only scanning 35mm, some people say the dedicated consumer scanners work better than flatbed.

I'll shop around, see what I can find.


"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." ~Aristotle
 

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