Cheaply proofing negatives????

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Adam Barker, Oct 19, 2003.

  1. Adam Barker

    Adam Barker Guest

    I am on a tight college budget and looking to save some money while still
    shooting a fair bit. So I would like to get the local developer to do his
    $1.50 negative developing and then view the negatives to pick out which ones
    to have printed. (I have been keeping 3-8 shots out of a roll of 24.)

    So far the ideas I have come up with are:

    Get my old flatbed scanner to working, (600dpi) and scan the negatives then
    invert colors and view them. (this will take a bit of work since the scanner
    isn't made anymore and I will have to reinstall Windows 95 or 98 on another
    hard drive since I can't find the drivers for 2000.)


    Buy a cheap webcam and replace the lens with a good objective lens I have,
    in conjuction with a magnifying eyepiece looking at the film, to view them.

    Any ideas? Looking for something under 20-30 bucks. I can fabricate a
    light source easily enough to backlight the negatives.

    Adam Barker, Oct 19, 2003
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  2. Adam Barker

    Deathwalker Guest

    I tried this and found it doesn't work. I would do black and white neg
    developing myself. Using film from a bulk loader 30metres of film = 30
    rolls of 24frames. 30 metres ilford fp4 = £30. Prices may have changed.
    Then do a contact print. Don't need a proper enlarger for this but you must
    have facilities at college.
    Deathwalker, Oct 19, 2003
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  3. A couple problems with this. The primary one is, flatbed scanners are
    reflective, film scanners are tranmittive - the light needs to be behind
    them. Some scanners, like my old Mustek 600 III EP Plus, make it very easy
    to move the light source above the negatives, but you'll need a custom-cut
    piece of glass to lay the negatives on, or some other holder for them
    (focus is optimized for the glass surface - that's all).

    The second is, you may have to do some wicked adjustments to get the
    images anywhere's near what they should look like - not only inverting, but
    removing the orange cast, and this is different for every film type, and
    often different between 'versions' of film too, so negatives of the same
    film a couple years apart might have different base colorings. I modified
    my old flatbed to scan medium-format negatives, and this is the factor I'm
    struggling with right now.

    Finally, 600 dpi may not tell you much, most especially about
    critical sharpness, and certainly won't produce a useful image file if you
    wanted to do anything digitally.

    By the way, the Mustek installed just ducky on an XP machine, even
    though it predates XP by a few years.

    Perhaps. Might be more trouble than it's worth. A few years back, a
    friend picked up a digital microscope for kids, priced that time at about
    $40, and it did a passable job of proofing slides when I tried it. See

    Probably, the best you could do would be to get used to viewing
    negatives. A 50mm lens held face-first against the film makes a pretty good
    loupe at about 6x magnification, which may not tell you critical sharpness
    but will give you a good idea. I use a 10x loupe and it tells sharpness
    just fine. Color rendition is almost a grab-bag - even minilabs can shift
    color pretty significantly while 'correcting' either the negative color
    base or the perceived color shifts from indoor lighting or age.

    Good luck!

    - Al.
    Al Denelsbeck, Oct 19, 2003
  4. Adam Barker

    Gordon Moat Guest

    How about a garage sale slide projector. You could probably hack it enough to
    hold the film in the projecting area, and see the image on the wall.


    Gordon Moat
    Alliance Graphique Studio
    Gordon Moat, Oct 19, 2003
  5. Adam Barker

    Leicaddict Guest

    It sounds as if you're doing color negative. If so, why not just get a CD
    with developing? Then with an inexpensive six color printer(check Epson's
    site for refurbisned units >$100) you could also print out what you want. I
    bet it wouldn't take too long for all of this to pay for itself. I pay under
    $8 for developing and CD. If your guy isn't set up for this, most Kodak labs
    are, and your can probably find better deals on the internet.
    Leicaddict, Oct 19, 2003
  6. Adam Barker

    Hickster0711 Guest

    The guy around here gets 0.50 per shot toput on CD plus $2.00 for the disc.
    Save up 20 or 30 keepers and fill the CD. Bob Hickey
    Hickster0711, Oct 20, 2003
  7. Adam Barker

    Adam Barker Guest

    These are just beginner learning shots, mostly portrait stuff of my wife.
    So I am looking to learn from my mistakes more than I am to mount pictures
    on the wall at the moment. (Plus several of the shots are borderline risque
    for mounting on the wall). I can always send them off and risk Walmart
    trashing more negatives for $4something a roll, but I was looking to be even
    cheaper. (pretty sorry, huh?) :) Oh well, it was a nice thought. But then
    again how many beginers before me have gone looking for that "good and
    cheap" lab and came up empty handed... I know Clark color is really cheap,
    and I've heard of their questionable quality, but I wonder if they would
    even print shots that left a little much uncovered up top.

    Thanks for everybody's advice on my hairbrained ideas.

    Adam Barker, Oct 20, 2003
  8. Adam Barker

    Uncle Fester Guest

    spend about $100 on a film scanner.
    I think blood sells for $20 an ounce
    Uncle Fester, Oct 22, 2003
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