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[filmscanners] Re: Film types and scanning

  • To: lexa@lexa.ru
  • Subject: [filmscanners] Re: Film types and scanning
  • From: "Rob Geraghty" <robg@wordweb.com>
  • Date: Wed, 11 Dec 2002 13:16:06 +1100
  • References: <3DEE430600281A6F@mta2.wss.scd.yahoo.com> (added by postmaster@mail.san.yahoo.com)
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Julian Robinson <jrobinso@pcug.org.au> wrote:
>With slides you are losing the shadows when they get more than 5 or 6 or 7
>stops darker than your highlights.
>With negs you still have shadow detail even when they are 12 stops darker
>than your highlights.

Excellent explanation, Julian.

>The price you pay for the fabulous range you get with negs is:
>a) because the brightnesses have been compressed on to the neg film, when
>you scan and "reconstitute" the image to look like the original scene, you
>will have to "re-expand" the image.  Doing this will also expand the
>visibility of grain / dye clouds / noise / film imperfections / scratches
>etc so the result is a grainier, less smooth image.

I for one have always found the graininess of scanned negs annoying compared
to the clarity of scanned slides.  I'll never forget the first roll of
Provia 100F - where the grain magically disappeared.  Plus I have found that
the grain in neg scans can cause problems when manipulating the image later.
But slides suck for scanning when they are underexposed or high contrast.

>c) same reason, you will have to manipulate the image heavily if you want
>to use ALL that range, because if you printed it straight it would look
>very flat and low contrast.  This is because you simply cannot reproduce 12
>stops of brightness on a screen or a piece of paper.

Another excellent point, because before printing a neg scan I usually end up
throwing away a significant amount of shadow detail anyway BUT the resulting
print still has FAR more information in it than a photographic print from a
wet lab.

>>the resolution of both, for today's films, is nearly identical
>Yes, the actual measured resolution, although apparent resolution on negs
>is not quite as subjectively good to me, because of the noise.

I agree absolutely here, because I have never seen a 35mm neg that comes
anywhere near Provia 100F for resolution in a scan.

>...and I didn't venture into the Tomb of the Forbidden Topic even once!

I'll bear that in mind. ;)


PS I tried a low contrast slide film in Japan but at this stage I'm not sure
which one it is because all the slides are mounted.  Fuji Trebi might be
worth a try for a film which is lower contrast than normal ektachrome.  Most
of the slides I shot in Japan were Fuji 100F and the print film almost all
Superia 100 or 400.

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