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Thread: Leica M6 film to digital

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    Senior Member johnnygoesdigital's Avatar
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    Leica M6 film to digital

    I would like to transfer images taken with a Leica M6 w/50mm Summicron, to a digital equivalent, to import to LR3, phocus etc. What is the best method for the best quality? I know drum scans produce good results, but if the negs are scanned would that produce acceptable results?

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    Senior Member JimCollum's Avatar
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    Re: Leica M6 film to digital

    i scan with an Eversmart Pro flatbed , and can equal an M9 in capture resolution on FP4+, same lens, taken with an M4-P & developed in Rodinal.



    I've scanned the neg with a Nikon 5000ED, and while not as good as the Eversmart, still gives excellent results (definitely better than an M8 capture)

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    Senior Member johnnygoesdigital's Avatar
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    Re: Leica M6 film to digital

    James,

    Thank you, I sent a message through your website. This process makes it feel like art...again.

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    Senior Member mediumcool's Avatar
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    Re: Leica M6 film to digital

    How do you get rid of those holes, and all them little numbers?

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    Workshop Member Woody Campbell's Avatar
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    Re: Leica M6 film to digital

    Hasselblad Flextight is the high end. Hasselblad link. Not much in the way of new technology here so look for a deal on a discontinued model or a used model (mine is a 343). They are very robust. I had an issue with mine, sent it to Hasselblad and had it back within a week. It uses proprietary software, FlexColor, which is very flexible, but has an odd interface so the learning curve is quite steep. I have some question as to Hasselblad's long-term commitment to this product, as this is a shrinking market. They were very slow coming out with a version that works correctly under the latest version of OSX (or maybe OSX was fixed to accommodate legacy stuff - I forget at this point). One plus with this system is that it handles MF (or 4x5 if you buy one of the larger machines that handles 4x5), so you would be in business with a Mamaya 7 II, which you can buy for the cost of a Leica lens shade.

    If you have thousands of rolls of legacy film the Flextight is slow. You set up a strip of five frames in the flexible negative carrier and feed it into the machine, make whatever adjustments are needed in terms of image quality and it then grinds out the scans.

    For volume work you might consider a flat bed. I believe that the Epson V750 is still viewed as an outstanding quality/price point. The software of choice for it is Silverfast. The pro model of the V750 comes with a holder that permits fluid mounting - this results in a dramatic decrease in grain and makes most dust and scratches disappear. You need to buy fluid mounting medium and cover sheets separately. The pro holder is not very robust - it is made of a plastic that tends to disintigrate around stress points. I haven't seen much reference to this online, which makes me think that not many people are actually using the fluid mount.

    The dark side of scanning is dust and scratches. You need to work very clean and even so you end up doing a lot (and I mean a lot) of hand spotting in PS. The cost of "art" is mind-numbing tedium. The Nikon scanner that Jim uses has hadware and software that recognize dust, but I had only so-so experience with it and ended up selling it to buy the Flextight - I'd be interested in his experience on this. Hasselblad offers "Flex Touch" software which supposedly deals with dust, but its a $400 add on and I haven't bought it because I'm frankly skeptical about any software only solution to this surface (the Nikon scanner separately scans the surface of the film looking for dust) and there's no evidence of ongoing support for it on the Hasselblad site.
    Last edited by Woody Campbell; 6th January 2011 at 06:40.

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    Senior Member johnnygoesdigital's Avatar
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    Re: Leica M6 film to digital

    Woody,

    Thanks, I looked into the Hasselblad models, but price is factor. I'm trying to decide whether I should just go with an M9 because of the ease and flow, bit this M6 I found at a local store is in perfect condition w/50mm Summicron f/2 for $1000, so it's tempting. I would spend about $15 to $17 dollars to get 36 exposures to digital.

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    Senior Member johnnygoesdigital's Avatar
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    Re: Leica M6 film to digital

    Also, I could save a little with bulk scanning. Obviously, more money is spent on the M9, but it too is so tempting. Perhaps, I should buy both and have a analog B/U.

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    Re: Leica M6 film to digital

    here is a scan, M7, 50 lux (i think) T-max, developed i HC-110, scanned with a Minolta 5400 and silverfast, reduced for web

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    Re: Leica M6 film to digital

    If you can pick up a Nikon 9000ED scanner with the glass carrier for medium format it is a great option. I've used the Nikon scanners extensively for ten years and they give great results as long as you get the film flat. I use Vuescan, which is a good programme and very flexible but has a weird interface by most peoples standards.
    Honestly though, and I'm a die hard film fan, I think most current full frame digitals give a comparable if not subjectively better result than scanned AND PRINTED 35mm film these days. If you were to be printing optically or going medium format film as a cost effective alternative to digital then it would be a different story IMO. I'd skip the M6 and get a Mamiya 7ii and lens, the Nikon scanner with glass carrier and then you'd be in business!
    Also, again IMHO, I'd skip the Epson flatbeds. I have one alongside my Nikons and the results from the Epson are frankly bad by comparison. I use the Epson for proofing images to A4 size only. My experience is based on scanning E6 film only, where the 4.0 D-Max rating of the scanner is shown to be very questionable. Flare off the scanner surface has also been a real problem for me. They're great flatbeds for what they are and the price but I wouldn't use them for serious scans.

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    Re: Leica M6 film to digital

    Quote Originally Posted by JimCollum View Post
    i scan with an Eversmart Pro flatbed , and can equal an M9 in capture resolution on FP4+, same lens, taken with an M4-P & developed in Rodinal.



    I've scanned the neg with a Nikon 5000ED, and while not as good as the Eversmart, still gives excellent results (definitely better than an M8 capture)
    How does the Eversmart Pro work for mounting film? Is it a wet mount? I've never seen one before but have heard a lot about them online.

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    Senior Member JimCollum's Avatar
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    Re: Leica M6 film to digital

    Quote Originally Posted by tjv View Post
    How does the Eversmart Pro work for mounting film? Is it a wet mount? I've never seen one before but have heard a lot about them online.
    you can wet mount (they have a wet mount station you can buy for it). I have thin opaque cardboard templates i use for putting in strips of 35mm, 4x5 or 8x10 film (will even do 11x14 film at 3175 optical res.... a lot of bits)

    SCSI interface, Mac, OS9 software (the newer versions of the scanner. Eversmart Pro II, will run under OSX .. but they're a lot more expensive). I found the scanner and Mac workstation on ebay for $1k (pickup is necessary.. the scanner is 200lbs). Has worked with no problems for the last few years (as long as i've had it)

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    Re: Leica M6 film to digital

    Johnny,

    This presents an interesting perspective....

    http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2011/0...kael-tornwall/


    Bob

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    Re: Leica M6 film to digital

    Quote Originally Posted by docmoore View Post
    Johnny,

    This presents an interesting perspective....

    http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2011/0...kael-tornwall/


    Bob
    Well, I can makeup scenarios that will make the Leica M9 much more expensive . He assumes too much in that blog

    If you make your living with a Leica by shooting events, than it is cheaper to get the M9. Other than that I really doubt his calculations. Just look at how much you shoot and you can easily find out.

    One note: when shooting film, people tend to be more careful with their shooting style and not just machine gun like they do with digital (myself included).

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    Re: Leica M6 film to digital

    Quote Originally Posted by Valentin View Post
    Well, I can makeup scenarios that will make the Leica M9 much more expensive . He assumes too much in that blog

    If you make your living with a Leica by shooting events, than it is cheaper to get the M9. Other than that I really doubt his calculations. Just look at how much you shoot and you can easily find out.

    One note: when shooting film, people tend to be more careful with their shooting style and not just machine gun like they do with digital (myself included).
    Of course, assumes at least 350 rolls at $20 per roll if you have a cheaper scanner.

    I was raised on film....still shoot a couple of shots to bracket at a time...my 2 year old H3D II 39 has some 2200 exposures on it.

    So for me the M9 is more expensive...until you factor in time to process, scan and postscan process...at this point it is much cheaper. Not to mention stress costs...I would rather process LR or CS5 time than sit and watch the scanner s.....c......a..........n the film.

    All I said was interesting perspective...not that I agreed with it.

    Bob

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