Saturday, 29 October 2016

Home Scanning Medium Format Negatives

I have an ongoing battle with my Contax 645, which is currently away being assessed for repair.  A part of me is on the verge of selling the whole caboodle, and sticking with digital. I had some films developed and scanned locally, and the output was so poor it almost tipped me over the edge - but I have persisted.

When last working away I spend a little time watching videos on line setting out how to digitize film.  Now that I am home I needed to give it a go, and the results are good enough for me to want to carry on with the Contax 645 experiment.

The method for digitizing the negatives is fairly straightforward, and I was lucky to have most of the kit needed.  The only new buys were a couple of sheets of perspex, one clear and one opaque, from amazon.  A picture paints a thousand words, and there are some pictures here, but in short;
  • Line a small cardboard box with foil to bounce light (I have no idea if this is necessary)
  • Cut a couple of holes in the base of the box for speedlights - I used two, one at each end
  • Tripod mount a camera over the box.
  • Fit a macro lense - I'm using the Canon 100mm macro and extender tube
  • Link the camera to your laptop for tethered shooting
  • Put opaque perspex over the box, negative on the perspex, clear perspex over that.
  • Use whatever tether software you use to frame focus and shoot
  • If seeking very high resolution, shoot multiple frames per negative exposure and merge in PS later
  • Using LR or PS, convert from negative view to positives
  • Print, post, store... or whatever your favoured outcome is
I did not experiment a great deal with camera settings.  I set flash to 1/4 power, ISO50, Shutter Speed 1/200 to kill ambient light, and f9 - f11 to make sure I got the focus.  These are not the best scans ever.  They are not going to compete with well done professional scanning services.  But they are better than I can get with my flatbed scanner, and better than I get from my local lab.  While they may not stand professional scrutiny if they are good enough for social media and a decent sized print (they are) then I will be happy.

The next step is home development of film, which we will try out next weekend when No 1 Daughter is home from school.

Some more output from the Contax here - this is a mix of my own scans, and scans from the lab which I was not happy with;

The images below were digitized using my camera at home;

It is not that I have a thing for drag acts... although these guys were brilliant...  it is more that I was pleased with the output, shooting hand held, without flash;

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Norfolk Holiday

Home from traveling, at least for a while.  We went to the sea side...  It was good to go away with the family to a place with few distractions and no crowds. 

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Racing at Huntingdon 06 April 2015

We had a great day out at Huntingdon Racecourse on the 6th of April;  
More photographs here:  Huntingdon


Alison Lane, Performing at The Horseshoe Pub and Restaurant, Offord Darcy, 04 APR 2015;

More Photographs here:  Alison Lane

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Boxing Day Meet

Had a nice morning out with the Cambridgeshire Hunt and Enfield Chace - a very welcoming lot of supporters and followers.

Home for Christmas

Family Portraits...

Suitably bizarre from Emily...


Monday, 3 November 2014

Huntingdon Races

It has been a Hunting sort of week, following an introduction by a friend to the local hunt.  Sunday, though, we went racing.  I tried to capture some of the dynamics of it, with a slower shutter speed, to blur movement.  That kind of worked.  Here though are two favorite photographs of the day, one developed using NIKs Silver Efex Pro 2, and the other with Color Efex Pro 4.   I think we came out of the betting about even, which is as much as you could wish for.  A few more photographs here.