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Re: filmscanners: Filmscanning vs. Flatbedding

On Fri, 18 May 2001 10:22:38 -0400 (EDT)  Lynn Allen (lalle@email.com) 

> I'm starting to think, "Hey, this
> filmscanning stuff might just catch on!"

Yes. I recently did some shots, informal contre-jour portraits of a guy 
during an interview. He was indoors, back to the window, sunny day 
outside. I shot on Fuji200 colour neg. I scanned to 16 bit in 
Vuescan using a Polaroid 4000, did the usual levels and saturation 
and colour correction adjustments for the foreground (midtones and 
shadows) and saved it. This was fine except all the bright stuff was 
either blown or headed that way. I reverted to the original, masked off 
all but the bright bits and went through the same only adjusting the 
levels etc to get them right. A quick cut and paste to a new layer over 
the first, and the result was just astonishing. 

Every single part of the insane tonal range was captured and represented 
as it looked to the eye in the original scene. This would have been murder 
to attempt to print in the darkroom, and likely impossible without 
unsharp masks, but was trivially easy in PS. Machine printing would have 
thrown much of the range away. And the real comparison is anyway with the 
colour tranny I would have had to use a few years back, which would have 
lost most of it, or compelled high-power fill in flash with a brolly.

This is exactly why I got into scanning, to expand the range of 
possibilities. Filmscanners and software are now powerful enough tools to 
easily surpass what conventional darkrooms can achieve in most respects. 
There remain problem areas, especially colour correction, and more 
resolution would conquer aliasing. But most of the hassle now is after 
scanning - inept or self-interested repro houses bent on sabotage, clients 
who believe a scan by their repro house is the same thing (I use scanning 
as part of the  photographic realisation, an interpretive tool not just 
straight reproduction), and my total frustration with Epsons (which I 
don't want to talk about here:). And of course, hardest of the lot, taking 
a decent photo in the first place;)


Tony Sleep
http://www.halftone.co.uk - Online portfolio & exhibit; + film scanner 
info & comparisons


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