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More Fun with Large Format Film Images!

JimCollum

Member
a challenging (but rewarding) setup to use in the field).. all with the Betterlight. I've been using one in the field since 2001,and haven't had a single problem with it (and there's still not much that comes close to it for pure image quality)








 

Francois_A

New member
Beautiful images Jim even though the web can not do justice to their details and subtleties.
I visited your website (www.jcollum.com), and was quite touched by the delicacy of the colour and the richness of the B&W of your coloured palladium images. Strong compositions that leaves a feeling of uneasiness about our impact on the planet, as well as our evanescence.

Having just read the book Digital Negatives by Reeder and Hinkel, this is a technique I would love to try with the QuadTone RIP.

Rob, thanks again for all the info regarding proper lighting for the scanning back, as well as the importance of profiling software. You mentioned that people had good results digitizing their film with those backs, and this is big plus for me! Regarding the Schneider 80 mm macro, it covers 120 mm at magnification 2:1, 160 mm at 1:1. Since I don't plan on using it for any magnification under 2:1, it should work in theory. The beauty is that at 1:3 magnification for scanning 35 mm film, I would only need 320 mm of bellow extension. This would yield a 6000 ppi scan with the 6000-HS. There would be a four stop loss, and the question is how to light it so that it is scanned relatively quickly at a low ISO to minimize noise?
BTW, I had the chance to visit your web site (www.roboutlawphotography.com); your pictures are superb! I am especially moved by the ones in b&w in your personal work section!

Regarding the different scanning backs, I understand that the 6000E-HS is a refurbished model, that the 6000-HS has twice the sensitivity, and the Super 6K-HS has a mode where real resolution is increased by 50% in one dimension and is increased by 50% using interpolation in the other. Is there any other differences that I am missing? What would be the biggest "bang for the buck" for someone with limited fund ?

Thanks, and all the best to everyone.

Francois
 

JimCollum

Member
Beautiful images Jim even though the web can not do justice to their details and subtleties.
I visited your website (www.jcollum.com), and was quite touched by the delicacy of the colour and the richness of the B&W of your coloured palladium images. Strong compositions that leaves a feeling of uneasiness about our impact on the planet, as well as our evanescence

Francois
I have a solo show in Santa Cruz at the Dead Cow Gallery (ya have to live in Santa Cruz to really understand.. it's at the old Tannery). I have about 20 Industrial Platinum over Pigment prints hanging there for January

If i were to rank the importances of models.. i'd say

#1: usb model

#2: high speed (base iso will be iso 200)

#3: Super 6k res upgrade

#1 will give you 30 second scans in good light (almost all the time if doing IR)
#2 will give you better IQ in low light (noticeably better)
#3 will give you 12,000x9000.. which is very nice.. but the 8000x6000 that comes out of the base 6000 model will give you excellent 30x40" prints
 

routlaw

New member
There would be a four stop loss, and the question is how to light it so that it is scanned relatively quickly at a low ISO to minimize noise?

BTW, I had the chance to visit your web site your pictures are superb! I am especially moved by the ones in b&w in your personal work section!

Regarding the different scanning backs, I understand that the 6000E-HS is a refurbished model, that the 6000-HS has twice the sensitivity, and the Super 6K-HS has a mode where real resolution is increased by 50% in one dimension and is increased by 50% using interpolation in the other. Is there any other differences that I am missing? What would be the biggest "bang for the buck" for someone with limited fund ?

Francois
Francois,

Thanks so much for the nice compliments about my work. And I agree Jim has some very nice work up there as well, pretty interesting images indeed!

I would like to add some other comments to what Jim has stated. In discussing these issues with Mike Collette many times he informed me that studio photographers appreciate the upgraded chip the most with double the sensitivity and I would agree with this premise. The newer chip seems to image better than the one stop increase would indicate and produces far less noise than the older chip in the E models. Mike also went on to say that location/landscape photographers tend to appreciate the USB capabilities the most. To the point the 6000-HS is to my way of thinking the best bang for the buck. I have yet to use the additional resolution on my Super 6K-HS, for on the thing the resolution on this thing is already so "sick and twisted" as is without interpolating up half of the res.

So in effect if you are planning on using a scan back with emphasis in the studio I would flip Jims #1 & #2 in order of importance. With scan backs in the studio you can never have enough light. Forget about shooting at ISO 200 with a 120 sec line time, never going to happen with continuous lighting... well unless the lights are within inches of the subject and even then it will be pushing it. However the bright side is that what noise you do have can easily be dealt with.

One last note about the 6000-HS, the supply of these chips as I understand are getting low and Kodak has discontinued making them. In other words if you are committed to doing one of these don't hesitate to do so.

Rob

Rob
 

JimCollum

Member
yes.. i'd agree with that flop... i was posting from the perspective of a field photographer, rather than studio..where lightweight is more important to me.... not so much of an issue in the studio

Francois,



So in effect if you are planning on using a scan back with emphasis in the studio I would flip Jims #1 & #2 in order of importance. With scan backs in the studio you can never have enough light. Forget about shooting at ISO 200 with a 120 sec line time, never going to happen with continuous lighting... well unless the lights are within inches of the subject and even then it will be pushing it. However the bright side is that what noise you do have can easily be dealt with.

Rob
 

bensonga

Active member
Gary and i must be channeling the same muse.
Yes, I think we must be....but you're doing a MUCH better job of it!

Terrific images from everyone here. I really enjoy seeing these....and learning more about the Betterlight backs.

I hope that once the weather warms up a bit here in Alaska (which may not be until Spring arrives in April), I'll get outside with my 4x5 again and take some new photos to share.

Gary Benson
Eagle River, Alaska
 

routlaw

New member
Jim

A couple of questions when you get the time. What lenses with the BL have you found to be the most useful in the field? And what lenses would you not suggest using? The reason I ask the second question, is recently I picked up a copy of the Schneider 210 APO MC but have found it has noticeable axial aberration, meaning the red channel is soft when the blue and green are in sharp focus.

Also how much post production work are you doing to clean up the RGB bleeding that often occurs with scan backs in the field with moving objects?

Thanks

Rob

and some more
 

shakeshuck

New member
One last note about the 6000-HS, the supply of these chips as I understand are getting low and Kodak has discontinued making them. In other words if you are committed to doing one of these don't hesitate to do so.

Rob
Rob, do you mean Kodak is dropping the 6000-pixel CCD only?
If they drop the higher ones as well, I guess that would ruin future plans to upgrade?


Would it be possible for someone here to post a link to a full-size betterlight file? I'm still sitting on the fence on this one, and it may help me choose a direction :)

Graham
 

routlaw

New member
Rob, do you mean Kodak is dropping the 6000-pixel CCD only? If they drop the higher ones as well, I guess that would ruin future plans to upgrade?

Would it be possible for someone here to post a link to a full-size betterlight file? I'm still sitting on the fence on this one, and it may help me choose a direction :)

Graham
As far as I know its only the Super 6K-2 chip that goes into the Super 6000-HS they has been discontinued, but if you are serious about one of these I would get in touch with Mike Collette and ask just to be sure. Mike reported this on the Betterlight forums awhile back and bought up the remainder of the stock on hand from what I remember. Regardless he is the best one to inform you of the situation.

Rob
 

shakeshuck

New member
As far as I know its only the Super 6K-2 chip that goes into the Super 6000-HS they has been discontinued
Rob
Thanks, Rob.

For forum users' info:

Kodak has discontinued the 6K and the 10K chips, but Betterlight have stocks to keep manufacturing until the end of the year + a two year warranty on all units.

The only model they have sold out of is the 6000-HS (whether or not that means they won't be making any more, I am unsure).
 

routlaw

New member
My first effort using the Betterlight for landscapes from yesterday.

Rob

Madison River Road

Schneider APO Super Symar HM 120 lens @ F16 1/120 sec line time ISO 800
 
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Francois_A

New member
Beautiful tonality Rob!

That exposure ended up being around 67 seconds if my calculations are right, which is quite reasonable in the field.
At iso 800, can you get a noise free 16x20" enlargement ?

Thanks,

Francois
 

routlaw

New member
Beautiful tonality Rob!

That exposure ended up being around 67 seconds if my calculations are right, which is quite reasonable in the field.
At iso 800, can you get a noise free 16x20" enlargement ?

Thanks,

Francois
Thanks Francois. You just about nailed it, 1 minute, 6 seconds to be exact. When I set this up I only had about 30-40 minutes before the sun went down behind mountain range over my left shoulder but it gave me just enough time to run several iterations of this image along with one other point of view.

On one image at ISO 200 with a 1/30th second line time & F16 the exposure was just a tad over 4 minutes. I was a bit worried about this one due to the light breeze that started just after setting up the shot (murphy always seems to be along for the ride) but the tones in that image are buttery smooth and eliminating any movement in the foreground grasses was not too difficult.

I also ran at least one capture with an ISO of over 2000 and much to my surprise noise level was really not that bad... I would say far less than what film grain would have conveyed with 4x5 sheet film. Most of it was in the upper left hand corner of the sky where my polarizer was kicking in. Anticipating this might happen I also ran a few images sans polarizing filter with a much cleaner sky.

Of special note too I setup a couple images with my Nikon D3/24-70 lens combo and even scanning at 50% resolution with the BL to equal the D3 file size (both were around 35mb), the D3 image looked a bit pathetic and dysfunctional by comparison though the D3 colors were very nice.

So yes to answer your question producing a 16x20 print from these files would be a walk in the park and I would have no reservations about going much larger.

Rob
 

routlaw

New member
Here an image taken in Causse Mejan , South of France .
ARCA-SWISS 4x5 F-LINE METRIC , RODENSTOCK APO SIRONAR 5,6/135mm , ILFORD DELTA 400 (exposed as 250) , ID11 1+1
Nice work, looks like a great place to visit. Also have the same rody lens, probably all around my best LF lens. Very sharp!

Rob
 

jotloob

Subscriber Member
Rob

To get to that place I had to walk about 4km on very narrow footpaths .
The gras in the foreground moved softly in the wind , like very soft waves of an ocean .
I have been in this area for about 7 hours and did not meet a single human being . My ears got so sensitive , that I could hear the slightest noise .
That was a day of great , great happyness for me . Being in nature just with my own .
Sorry , I have no names for these three "rock monsters" .

Jürgen
 
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