film scanners

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by laran, Oct 8, 2009.

  1. laran

    laran Guest

    Am looking to buy a film scanner to make contact prints mainly. Needs
    to be inexpensive, run on linux and also do slides to a reasonable
    quality. Ideas?????

    laran, Oct 8, 2009
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  2. laran

    James Guest

    Canon 8800F, 5600F or 700F

    James, Oct 8, 2009
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  3. Now why in the world would someone be using a film scanner in the darkroom? prints are created by keeping the negatives in contact, as it
    were, with the photo sensitive paper. How does the film scanner come into
    play during this process? Care to explain?
    Lawrence Akutagawa, Oct 8, 2009
  4. laran

    Lloydat Guest

    October 8, 2009, from Lloyd Erlick,

    I think it's fair to say I've replaced my
    contact sheets with scans of my negatives. I
    call them contact sheets or contacts, but
    they don't exist on paper.

    I was always lazy about making contacts of my
    processed films. Years would go by before I
    got a look at lots of the things I did. The
    dread of hours of darkroom labor to make the
    piles of contacts I had yet to do kept me
    from even starting.

    A big part of it was that the size of the
    contact prevented me from really seeing what
    was there, even if I did make the damn

    So when I finally got a scanner with a light
    in the lid, I could just slap my negs down on
    the glass still in their expensive PrintFile
    plastic sleeve. A whole roll of 35 mm or 120
    format could be scanned at one go, and the
    resulting file was big enough that each frame
    could be enlarged on screen (sorry, wrong
    lingo, they could be ZOOMED!). This way I
    find it very easy to judge a portrait in
    terms of facial expression and desired
    cropping of the image. These are two very
    important factors for me, neither of which
    was ever properly satisfied by a paper
    contact print.

    So I find a scanner an essential darkroom
    efficiency improvement tool. I can go into my
    darkroom knowing exactly which frame I'm
    going to work on (expression and overall look
    are settled), and very close to knowing
    exactly how to crop it. Much less time wasted
    while darkroom is standing ready.

    For someone like me who attempts to do
    business by selling people pictures of
    themselves (really dopey thing to do, eh??),
    the scanner also lets me send them very good
    "proofs" cost free (well, as cost free as
    email...). This way, with a bit of luck, the
    scanner again gets me a reason to go to the

    I produce very few dud prints now. The
    scanner improves my darkroom productivity.

    Lloyd Erlick Portraits, Toronto.
    telephone: 416-686-0326
    Lloydat, Oct 8, 2009
  5. Interesting discussion, but no explanation of how the scanner is used in the
    process of creating contact sheets in the darkroom...the darkroom, I do
    believe, is the context of this newsgroup. Alternate processes such as that
    forwarded by Lloyd's response here can well be discussed in other more
    appropriate newsgroups, such as they are. So how exactly is the scanner
    used in the darkroom to create those paper contact sheets? Just curious.
    Lawrence Akutagawa, Oct 8, 2009
  6. Methinks you're being a bit overly pendantic here. If the OP were to say
    that they wanted to use a film scanner as part of their darkroom
    *workflow*, that would be fine by me.

    By the way, Lloyd: why do you write messages with such short lines?
    Makes your posts unnecessarily long.
    David Nebenzahl, Oct 8, 2009
  7. laran

    laran Guest

    Canon does not support linux; stupid on their behalf....
    laran, Oct 8, 2009
  8. laran

    laran Guest

    sometimes wording is an issue. I want to make contact like prints
    (thumbnails in a sequential order) so I can choose which ones go to the
    laran, Oct 8, 2009
  9. laran

    laran Guest

    this is a pre-darkroom accessory and I want to do the same as Lloyd...
    And forgive me for talking non-darkroom in a darkroom newsgroup:
    hopefully Ilford, God of Chemistry won't try to fix me....
    laran, Oct 8, 2009
  10. OK...maybe you can explain how one uses a scanner to make contact prints -
    in or out of the darkroom. Not digital prints, mind you - contact prints.
    You know, the kind of prints made with the negative flush against that
    photosensitive paper. That, I do believe, is the definition of contact
    prints, is it not? After all, OP did not say he wanted to use a film
    scanner to create digital prints, did he? And OP did not say he wanted to
    use a film scanner as part of his darkroom "workflow," did he? The use of a
    film scanner as part of the darkroom "workflow" was - I thought - rather
    well covered by Lloyd's explanation. But Lloyd's explanation did not
    address at all the creation of these contact prints using a scanner.
    Perhaps you can elucidate. I'm all ears.
    Lawrence Akutagawa, Oct 8, 2009
  11. Well, as someone else explained up yonder, it's a matter of terminology.
    Would you settle for "contact sheet" instead? This is something that's
    generally understood to mean "a sheet of thumbnail prints of a roll of
    film". It's true that in the Old Days(tm), such sheets were always made
    by putting film in contact with photo paper and exposing it.

    Works for me, anyhow, and I'm usually a fairly crusty strict
    constructionist, as others around here can attest.
    David Nebenzahl, Oct 8, 2009
  12. OP did not say "a sheet of thumbnail prints of a roll of film." OP said
    "contact prints." Remember the old dictum - "Say what you mean and mean
    what you say?"

    Besides which, contact prints come in a multitude of different image sizes,
    each defined by the size of the respective negative. Indeed, many of Edward
    Weston's images were no greater than 4x5 contact prints. These are not
    "thumbnail prints." Visit the exhibits of his original images and see for
    yourself. Or read a description of his "darkroom" and see if you can find
    any reference to an enlarger.

    And I daresay your description is of digital prints and of not contact
    prints, as defined on the net this very day: print print

    So allow me to again ask, insofar as you have not answered to the point:

    "OK...maybe you can explain how one uses a scanner to make contact prints -
    in or out of the darkroom. Not digital prints, mind you - contact prints."
    Lawrence Akutagawa, Oct 9, 2009
  13. I haven't done it this way, but here's a suggestion.
    Take a piece of photo-sensitive paper and make a sandwich with your
    negative or sheet of negatives, and the glass platen of a flatbed
    scanner. Set on "reflective", if you have a choice.
    Run the scanner, which will shine light through the negative onto the paper.

    Now remove and process the paper as usual.

    If the paper is underexposed, do the same thing but scan twice before
    removing the paper. or more.

    Overexposed? uh, do something to reduce the sensitivity of the paper?

    Anyway, you can use the scanner to simulate a contact-printing box.

    Next question?

    Richard Fateman, Oct 10, 2009
  14. While I appreciate the innate snarkiness of the suggestion (as a way of
    settling this stupid semantic argument), this would only work if the
    light output of the scanner is somewhere in the right range to expose
    the paper. It might be, but if not, remember that one has no control
    over the brightness (at least not without modifying the scanner's
    electronics somehow). Unless, of course, the brightness is, say, exactly
    half what it should be, in which case one can simply make two passes
    over the paper.

    If it did work, it would make a very evenly exposed print.
    David Nebenzahl, Oct 10, 2009
  15. Interesting! Exactly what E. Weston did, except he used a dangling light
    bulb. And that light bulb, I daresay, is a heck of a lot more inexpensive
    than a scanner. But the scanner should work. In the overexposure case, the
    simple solution is to place sheets of plain, non-watermarked paper directly
    on the scanner glass. The number of sheets of paper needed can be
    determined by trial and error.
    Lawrence Akutagawa, Oct 10, 2009
  16. Im most scanners the speed of scanning varies a good bit with changing
    of resolution, so there is quite some control. And if this fails one can
    use a sheet of ND foil...
    Maciej Zielenkieiwcz, Oct 10, 2009
  17. I think it's high time someone tries this and reports back here.
    David Nebenzahl, Oct 10, 2009
  18. I guess no snark gets unrewarded :) a good substitute for a contact
    printing box is a contact printing frame -- essentially a nice piece of
    glass hinged on one edge, to keep the paper and negative in contact(!)
    while being exposed under an enlarger light.

    The only advantage a scanner might have is edge-to-edge uniformity which
    might be better than an enlarger. But I'm not sure there aren't some
    other things going on under the cover of the scanner, like warming up
    Richard Fateman, Oct 10, 2009
  19. laran

    Andrew Price Guest

    On Thu, 8 Oct 2009 20:27:49 -0700, "Lawrence Akutagawa"

    You forgot one link:

    Most definitely not. You've been tiresome enough as it is. Off to
    the kill-file with you.
    Andrew Price, Oct 10, 2009
  20. laran

    Lloydat Guest

    October 11, 2009, from Lloyd Erlick,

    Well, call it a darkroom adjunct. I never
    create paper contact sheets any more.

    My scanner usage would not interest anyone in
    a scanner newsgroup. It doesn't even interest
    me very much. I'm only interested in making
    my darkroom activity more pleasant, and the
    scanner does help in this regard.

    Lloyd Erlick Portraits, Toronto.
    telephone: 416-686-0326
    Lloydat, Oct 11, 2009
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