Lack of contrast while shooting 4x5 negatives digitally.

Grandpa Ron

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While I do enjoy working in the dark room, the fact remains that it is time consuming, mostly because I do not have a dedicated darkroom.

Like many, I develop my 4x5 sheet film in a daylight tank, then shoot the 4x5 negatives on a light table with tripod and a Canon digital. I can zoom the negative to fill the view finder and use a remote release. This allows me to select the negatives I want to print.

I down load the digital negatives into GIMP, or Adobe and sometimes Picasa to convert to a positive print. The problem is when converting the negatives to digital and downloading them, they seem to loose contrast. I have varied the light table intensity, shot the negative on the Monochrome setting but the result always requires some degree of digital post-processing.

So my question is, "Is this loss of contrast normal"? The same subject taken digitally on the monochrome camera setting shoots looks very good.

Any suggestions.
 

Rickbb

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Edit;

Take all that back, I use Negative Lab Pro and for BnW you do NOT use the film base as the WB point. You only do that with color negs.

But it still makes a better conversion than what I was able to do in LR alone.
 
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John 2

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While I do enjoy working in the dark room, the fact remains that it is time consuming, mostly because I do not have a dedicated darkroom.

Like many, I develop my 4x5 sheet film in a daylight tank, then shoot the 4x5 negatives on a light table with tripod and a Canon digital. I can zoom the negative to fill the view finder and use a remote release. This allows me to select the negatives I want to print.

I down load the digital negatives into GIMP, or Adobe and sometimes Picasa to convert to a positive print. The problem is when converting the negatives to digital and downloading them, they seem to loose contrast. I have varied the light table intensity, shot the negative on the Monochrome setting but the result always requires some degree of digital post-processing.

So my question is, "Is this loss of contrast normal"? The same subject taken digitally on the monochrome camera setting shoots looks very good.

Any suggestions.
I have always converted my negs after scanning them and know that masking them to prevent light bleed around the sides tends to improve the results.. The reason for this is I believe, that any light reflected from the front surface of the neg will reduce contrast. Masking might be the answer or/and using a polarising filter might make a difference. I would be interested in the result if you do experiment along these lines.
 

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