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Thread: Negatives witha digital back?

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    Negatives witha digital back?

    Hi!

    Anyone in here that uses a digital back to photograph their negatives?

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    Re: Negatives witha digital back?

    I've done it a few times with large format negs to see how it works and it worked very well. I used a hasselblad V body / cfv39 back with Zeiss 120 macro planar. Negs were on a Fuji light box and masked off to reduce scattered light.

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    Re: Negatives witha digital back?

    How to do it i know

    But how did you whitebalance set curves and so on?

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    Re: Negatives witha digital back?

    I recently did this using a demo Leaf aptus2-12/ DF / 120 macro and the results were outstanding. Not quite as good as on my Heidelberg Tango drum scanner, but pretty durn close and it took a lot less time to setup/ cleanup.
    I used a Macbeth 10 inch light box and cut some black paper to mask. With some 35mm trannies and some 6x6 and 4x5 b/w negs, I first established exposure by test shooting until my white point was exactly 255/255/255, then backed off exposure to make it 250/250/250. I then used an old IT8 target to produce a contrast/color curve profile using data color spydercheck software (just to get me in the ballpark)
    With the camera tethered and set up down facing in copy setup.
    The results were great, but oil mounting has certain advantages on the drum, especially when it comes to dust, scratches, and moire issues. Not that there is any reason why I couldn't oil mount and sandwich these negs for the copy camera, it was just that I was looking for an easier non-invasive procedure to use on old WW2 negs that may not survive the usual oil mounting process and would be quick to cleanup.

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    Re: Negatives witha digital back?

    Quote Originally Posted by geronimo13 View Post
    How to do it i know

    But how did you whitebalance set curves and so on?
    Shoot RAW and set those in post. If you are talking color negs, you may find filtering the light table to a high color temperature to compensate for the integral mask--the orange thing. But your might find that the AWB takes care of it.

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    Re: Negatives witha digital back?

    Our Division of Cultural Heritage has a lot of experience in using digital backs to rapidly capture film (rapid relative to film scanners).





    In answer to your question about white balance and curves, the most common approach applied to the Cultural Heritage market (Museums, Libraries, Archives, Institutes, Schools etc) is, wherever possible, to shoot a known-test-target using the medium in question (whatever camera+emulsion+developer your items are). This of course has it's limitations (you have to have access to the camera+emulsion+developer, it cannot take into account any changes due to aging in less stable films, etc). Another approach is to use an accepted final-print or other tangible object as your goal.

    In the case that a test target is possible to capture on the same medium there are dedicated software packages that analyze the target and can create the proper set of curve and white balance adjustments.

    Forgoing those more sophisticated institutionally targeted tools you can use in Capture One (assuming you are using Phase or Leaf) the levels tool can be used to invert the color channels. Just go into each color and drag the 0 black-level slider to 255, and and 255 white-level slider to 0. By further using the RGB levels, and curves you can generally get pretty close.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
    Dealer for: Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Eizo, Profoto
    Office: 877.367.8537. Cell: 740.707.2183

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    Re: Negatives witha digital back?

    Thank you!

    Doug, you mean that i shoot a color checker card with the film I will later "scan"?

    As this is only my own work and I process my film at the same place this wont be a problem. What kind of software package? I shoot iq140. I know how to invert but its getting the right wb/curves that is hard.

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    Re: Negatives witha digital back?

    Quote Originally Posted by geronimo13 View Post
    Thank you!

    Doug, you mean that i shoot a color checker card with the film I will later "scan"?

    As this is only my own work and I process my film at the same place this wont be a problem. What kind of software package? I shoot iq140. I know how to invert but its getting the right wb/curves that is hard.
    Indeed. There are some software packages for this, but they are all quite expensive (>$3k) as they are designed for institutional use. The exception is the Color Checker Passport tie-in with Adobe products. I've never tried this with a color negative; you'd have to see if it allows such a radical color inversion as part of it's calibration limits. I suspect not.

    So unless you're prepared for $3k pricing for software for this project my suggestion would be to shoot the color checker with the film camera, shoot the film with the digital back, bring the raw up on a well-calibrated monitor and compare it (by eye) to the actual color checker illuminated by something near daylite lite, and use Capture One's levels, curves, and color editor to create a style that gets the colors right manually. Use the color pickers if numerical accuracy is important; otherwise just adjust my eye.

    This will be much easier (and more comprehensive) than adjusting to a single image.

    Unfortunately you may find larger-than-expected variations between various batches of the film, various exposures, and various color temperatures. They may not vary the end-resulting color (with your style adjustment) in a linear/expected way. And of course this will only apply (well) to a specific emulsion.

    Let us know the results of your adventures!
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
    Dealer for: Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Eizo, Profoto
    Office: 877.367.8537. Cell: 740.707.2183

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    Re: Negatives witha digital back?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpeterson View Post
    Our Division of Cultural Heritage has a lot of experience in using digital backs to rapidly capture film (rapid relative to film scanners).





    ...
    Do you have a source for these negative holding fixtures? I've been doing this with my home-made fixtures, would love to get something a bit sturdier like these.

    thanks
    Godfrey

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    Re: Negatives witha digital back?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    Do you have a source for these negative holding fixtures? I've been doing this with my home-made fixtures, would love to get something a bit sturdier like these.

    thanks
    Godfrey
    We (Digital Transitions) are the OEM for the camera body, repo graphics stand, and pattern-holder in those images. They are available exclusively from us.

    They are not intended for casual use (nor priced that way). We made them after some of our institutional clients complained the plastic-made ones they had leftover from their scanner days were failing (bowing, breaking, bending, discoloring) after "only" a few dozen thousand captures. These are intended to last indefinitely even under constant heavy use.

    But that said, if budget is not a big concern and you'd like the very best film holder made (for scanning with a camera) please email me your contact info to [email protected] and we'll send you a quote.

    DT Film Scanning Kit
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
    Dealer for: Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Eizo, Profoto
    Office: 877.367.8537. Cell: 740.707.2183

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    Re: Negatives witha digital back?

    Doug,
    I'd also be interested in those film holders.
    Eric

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    Re: Negatives witha digital back?

    I have some 6 x 6 trannies I would love to get onto digital and cannot afford to get scanned. Would it be best to use a 'standard' lens - ie 80mm? And could I adapt an old enlarger to hold the camera over the trannies, do you think?
    Odille

    H2 | P20 | HC 50-110 | HC 150 f3.2 | HC 210 f4 ~ My Website

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    Re: Negatives witha digital back?

    Quote Originally Posted by Analog6 View Post
    I have some 6 x 6 trannies I would love to get onto digital and cannot afford to get scanned. Would it be best to use a 'standard' lens - ie 80mm? And could I adapt an old enlarger to hold the camera over the trannies, do you think?
    I would get a macro = better corner sharpness and you can get closer to achieve maximum resolution.

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    Re: Negatives witha digital back?

    Some recent tests with a Leaf Aptus2-12/120Macro vs Heidelberg Tango Drum Scanner (pretty much the finest drumscanner on the planet)
    Leaf Captures on Left, Tango Drumscans on Right
    The contest is NOT FAIR in that the drumscans were oil mounted on an icc profiled system, vs a DF/120Macro looking down onto a slide suspended above a lightbox. Totally "ghetto" but effective copy setup.
    Dont read much into this, but thought it interesting how much better the drumscan is PMT vs CCD, and how good ole film still can rock.

    http://www.eprepservices.com/public/Leaf_vs_Tango_1.jpg
    http://www.eprepservices.com/public/Leaf_vs_Tango_2.jpg
    http://www.eprepservices.com/public/Leaf_vs_Tango_3.jpg
    Likes 4 Member(s) liked this post

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    Re: Negatives witha digital back?

    Very impressive! The Digital back wins in speed though and with acceptable quality that is the winner for me.

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    Re: Negatives witha digital back?

    Quote Originally Posted by Egor View Post
    Some recent tests with a Leaf Aptus2-12/120Macro vs Heidelberg Tango Drum Scanner (pretty much the finest drumscanner on the planet)
    Leaf Captures on Left, Tango Drumscans on Right
    The contest is NOT FAIR in that the drumscans were oil mounted on an icc profiled system, vs a DF/120Macro looking down onto a slide suspended above a lightbox. Totally "ghetto" but effective copy setup.
    Dont read much into this, but thought it interesting how much better the drumscan is PMT vs CCD, and how good ole film still can rock.
    I have macro systems which I will soon use for 66 transparencies.

    I have a Hasselblad transparency copy holder (came with the bellows a few decades ago).

    I could also use my Bessler enlarger as copy holder and for illumination.

    I think MFDSLR "macro" lenses are less than ideal as, at 1:1 they are right at the end of their "optimal" range.

    ...better to use a purpose built "macro only" lens optimised for around 1:1 and not created for the convenience of compactness.

    I have a Sinoran 120 macro, optimised for 2:1 magnification to 1:5 and an SK macro 120... OK for about 3:1 up to A4 or A3. (I also have a set of Zeiss Luminar macro lenses for up to 40:1).

    I can use the Sinar rail as an optical bench, so I do not need a stand. The subject to sensor dimension for 2:1 for the Sinaron is, I think over 500mm!

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    Re: Negatives witha digital back?

    Quote Originally Posted by geronimo13 View Post
    Very impressive! The Digital back wins in speed though and with acceptable quality that is the winner for me.
    I know, right?
    Start to finished file time with Drumscanner: 1-hour (includes mounting and cleaning tranny)
    Start to finished file time with Leaf Capture: 1 minute ( took 30 sec to focus)
    From that perspective, the Leaf Capture is pretty durn close, eh?

    Dick: I do not believe the difference you are looking at is a lens issue. I think its a refractive index issue and pmt vs ccd issue! And never forget that the Drumscanner does not interpolate color, doesn't even know how ...I think I could have gotten closer to the drum quality if I had oil mounted and built a proper shield around stray light from the soft box. Also, a proper profile or curve for the setup would have improved things, as would perhaps more time spent processing in C1. The drum can also scan up to 50 of these 35mm trannies per drum unattended ( after major setup time). I have three drums. Back in "the day" I would do over 100 scans a day, now down to about that per year, but holding onto ole "Heidi.." hoping hipsters get some money and start a film comeback!

    Your tranny holder idea should work great, wish I had one, or had saved any of my old 4x5 enlarger stuff from those days! No substitute for oil mount though.
    Last edited by Egor; 25th June 2012 at 05:51.

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    Re: Negatives witha digital back?

    what interests me is the backlight used in the dt package- how do you get smooth tone with no trace of detail, meaning, so often I have seen with epson scanners in sky areas you can see the texture of the backlight diffuser patterned subtly on areas of continuous tone. Is the backlight sufficiently behind the neg/pos to be very out of focus? In 35mm the problem is gross enlargement of the diffuser pattern, in 8x10 the problem is often it is in focus at the same distance, so it needs to move farther behind to be out of focus. Or that in the 8x10 scan the light is just not even enough.

    I've often thought of taking a colour enlarger and turning it sideways as a neg holder/light source, plus you can dial in the mask colour on the colour controls.

    anyone done this?

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    Re: Negatives witha digital back?

    Robert, I used a standard softbox setup that is tested even illumination (+/- .1-stop) across a 2ft square area. Then on top of that I placed a hard plexi diffusion panel that is bead-blasted for absolute smooth matte finish (exact same thing I shoot product on, just smaller. You see one of the big guys in the background I think).
    If I had seen the backlight texture of that, I would then put a sheet of optically clear glass about 2inches above that and shot at F8 or less to make sure no texture would be focused upon.
    I will be testing this with medium and large format negs and expect similar results, but who knows?
    The drum scanner, of course, has no such issues because it is a tuning-fork set up that travels vertically on either side of a rotating drum made of optically clear acrylic (each drum is $$$thousands). It transmits a point light source (almost a laser) focused on a very small sample area thru the transparency to the receiving PMT on the other side of the tuning fork.
    Flatbed scanners and CCD/CMOS sensors can not operate this way.

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    Re: Negatives witha digital back?

    Quote Originally Posted by Egor View Post
    Dick: I do not believe the difference you are looking at is a lens issue. I think its a refractive index issue and pmt vs ccd issue! And never forget that the Drumscanner does not interpolate color, doesn't even know how
    If interpolation is the problem, I can use my Sinar digital back in 22Mpx or 88Mpx multi-shot mode.
    I think I could have gotten closer to the drum quality if I had oil mounted and built a proper shield around stray light from the soft box.
    I have a Sinar bellows mask 2, which has 4 "roller blind" screens. and this should help eliminate stray light... but stray light would mostly just desaturate the dark areas.
    Also, a proper profile or curve for the setup would have improved things, as would perhaps more time spent processing in C1. The drum can also scan up to 50 of these 35mm trannies per drum unattended ( after major setup time). I have three drums. Back in "the day" I would do over 100 scans a day, now down to about that per year, but holding onto ole "Heidi.." hoping hipsters get some money and start a film comeback!

    Your tranny holder idea should work great, wish I had one, or had saved any of my old 4x5 enlarger stuff from those days! No substitute for oil mount though.
    Newton's rings are a potential problem, but they would be obvious as coloured lines - oil reduces the number of air/glass interfaces, and a glassless negative carried like the one in my Bessler enlarger might help.

    If resolution is the problem - can you see the film grain? it was clearly resolved with my polaroid Sprint scan scanner at 4000 lines per inch (80 Mpx file) and scanning at lower res would be one way of getting rid of the grain. ¿Is there not a function in Photoshop to reduce grain?

    If you cannot see the grain, I think your lens is a limiting factor.

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    Re: Negatives witha digital back?

    Interpolation "may" be an issue, I dont really know. MS backs "may" be better at that sort of thing, but in my tests here using a H4D-200MS in ms mode, I really didnt see any difference. However, there is a seeable difference between the color sensitivity of the drum scanner vs ...anything else....period.

    I think that stray light causes a lowering of contrast in general and that includes the shadows in highlight detail as well. Basically across the board, so it appears "softer"
    Oil mount eliminates this glare and stray light issue, as well as equalizes refractive index for peaks and valleys in the emulsion (common referred to as scratches and dust), so the image is sharper, more contrasty, better color...blahblahblah..moire and newton rings are also solved, but not the main reason for oil mount.
    The grain of film IS what we focus on and IS what we are scanning. I do not try to eliminate it, if I want smaller grain, I guess I tell the shooter to shoot larger format film?
    I guess my lens may be off in that it appears soft, I will check against some other shots, but my gut says this is contrast problem. I was wrong once
    I think your setup will work great and please post or let me know what you find out.
    Last edited by Egor; 25th June 2012 at 18:49.

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    Re: Negatives witha digital back?

    Quote Originally Posted by Egor View Post
    ...in my tests here using a H4D-200MS in ms mode, I really didnt see any difference. However, there is a seeable difference between the color sensitivity of the drum scanner vs ...anything else....period.
    The attitude of many pros with high-end scanners is usually that trying to photograph transparencies is amateurs playing with toys, but I think that there is no more picture detail in an MF 120 slide than there is in a good 22Mpx MS digital capture, and, if we can solve the colour sensitivity issue, it should be cost-effective and productive.

    As you have mentioned, this might be solvable with profiling - have you read the Hasselblad guide to fine art repro that they told me about yesterday?
    I think that stray light causes a lowering of contrast in general and that includes the shadows in highlight detail as well. Basically across the board, so it appears "softer"
    What does your histogram tell you about the contrast?

    "dark field" lighting of transparencies would make the highlights appear black, but what are the differences in results produced with condenser or diffuser lighting? ...it would seem to me that soft, flat lighting would be best to not produce any modelling effect on the lumps of grain?
    Oil mount eliminates this glare and stray light issue, as well as equalizes refractive index for peaks and valleys in the emulsion (common referred to as scratches and dust), so the image is sharper, more contrasty, better color...blahblahblah..moire and newton rings are also solved, but not the main reason for oil mount.
    Oil mounting for MFD capture would, to some extent, negate any productivity advantages, but might be an interesting test? Oil would obviously be a great help with scratched or mouldy transparencies.
    The grain of film IS what we focus on and IS what we are scanning. I do not try to eliminate it, if I want smaller grain, I guess I tell the shooter to shoot larger format film?
    Do you not get jobs where the photo is not re-shootable (like my cat that succumbed to cancer a few years ago) and you have to do what you can with what is available?
    I guess my lens may be off in that it appears soft, I will check against some other shots, but my gut says this is contrast problem. I was wrong once
    If you can see the grain to focus on, then I would think that the res of your lens is not the problem.
    Are you using ground glass MFDSLR focusing?
    Could you check it with tethered focusing?
    Can you see the grain in the digital photos?
    Does the clarity function help the micro-contrast?

    I will try to capture the grain and then reduce it in post processing - downsampling or scanning / photographing at lower res could eliminate grain, but getting the optimum picture detail without the grain could be a life's work!
    I think your setup will work great and please post or let me know what you find out.
    I am looking forward to having the time and energy to try it - we are busy with a concert my wife is putting on on the 8th, and they will be trying to get my heart to beat in sync on the 12th. ...In the mean time, if I can benefit from the somebody else's experience and experimentation...

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    Re: Negatives witha digital back?

    The attitude of many pros with high-end scanners is usually that trying to photograph transparencies is amateurs playing with toys, but I think that there is no more picture detail in an MF 120 slide than there is in a good 22Mpx MS digital capture, and, if we can solve the colour sensitivity issue, it should be cost-effective and productive.
    NO, I really want this to work! Technically, I need a non-invasive procedure for capturing negs and transparencies. These are not toys (mfd) to me and my studio. The age of drum scanners ended long ago, and soon the gear will start breaking down and be un-repairable. I will need a solution to offer my clients. I have been doing this for years with 35mm DSLR's like the Canon 1Ds and 5D2 to provide fast inexpensive captures of slide pages for organization and filing purposes. The potential has always been there for quality scanning using the new tech sensors.
    Keep in mind that the image I show in my example is 35mm Fuji Velvia transparency. In my tests and experience, 35mm film has resolution of 20mp sensor, medium format film has the resolution of 60mp sensor and 4x5 film has the resolution of 200mp sensor. I have scanned 8x10 film for numerous magazine covers over the years and it's resolution is unparalleled by any sensor I have access to.
    Essentially film grain is about 1/20000-in but scientists at Kodak could give a more accurate figure. The advantages of direct digital capture has many advantages other than resolution issues, as we all know

    Do you not get jobs where the photo is not re-shootable (like my cat that succumbed to cancer a few years ago) and you have to do what you can with what is available?
    Yes, but I do not attempt to eliminate film grain. I actually celebrate it.
    The only time I try to eliminate the building blocks of an image is when I am doing a "re-screen" scan of a previously printed piece that the client needs new plates for or simply has lost all files related to the printed piece. In those cases, I have the ability to do copy-dot scanning of original film, or rescreen scanning of 4-color offset pieces. This technique eliminates the moire and rosettes of standard offset lithography only, not the same as film grain.

    In any case, all very interesting stuff, but off topic for simple thread question about using MFD to shoot negs, I gather?
    Last edited by Egor; 26th June 2012 at 06:42.

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    Re: Negatives witha digital back?

    Very useful thread. Doug and Egor, very valuable contributions, thanks for sharing!

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    Re: Negatives witha digital back?

    Egor,
    Thanks for the sample images. I've been 'scanning' my 6x6 and 4x5 negatives now with both the AFi-ii 12 and also a CF-528 microstep back. I sometimes use a light table and other times my bowens illumitran (check ebay - about $125). With either back, I'm doing better than what you have with your Aptus, and while I read you focused carefully, I wonder if it was really well focused? I find I have to use the live view function connected to a computer to really know if i'm focused or not. Also I use different lenses - 90mm Rollei APO macro - which is quite amazing and also a 80mm schneider makkro-symmar industrial lens. Good lenses make a difference here. I find the multishot back is crisper but of course the AFi-ii 12 is much faster.
    The issue I have with both backs is getting the right color for color work, however I need to try the color filter suggested earlier in the thread. Mostly I shoot black and white so I haven't bothered to much.

    Eric

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    Re: Negatives witha digital back?

    Quote Originally Posted by EH21 View Post
    Egor,
    I find I have to use the live view function connected to a computer to really know if i'm focused or not. Also I use different lenses - 90mm Rollei APO macro - which is quite amazing and also a 80mm schneider makkro-symmar industrial lens. Good lenses make a difference here. I find the multishot back is crisper but of course the AFi-ii 12 is much faster.
    Yes, I think this is what is needed for ultimate quality:

    Live view focusing
    "proper" macro lenses optimised ONLY for the magnification range you are using
    Multishot
    The issue I have with both backs is getting the right color for color work, however I need to try the color filter suggested earlier in the thread. Mostly I shoot black and white so I haven't bothered to much.

    Eric
    I think the secret might be to use the right colour temperature light source...
    ¿transparencies were made for viewing with a tungsten-lit projector?
    ¿Normal florescent light has no green?
    ¿Proper photo macro LEDs start at £1K?
    ¿Standard LED flood light might work, but might need filtering?
    I have a special daylight luminary, but I do not know if it would be the right light source?
    I know you can filter in post with digital, but why not get it right in camera?
    Filtering the light source would be better than filtering between the slide and the lens?
    Using a colour enlarger as the light source would let you use any colour you wanted?

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    Re: Negatives witha digital back?

    Eric, yes, maybe so. I will check focus again as I have found live view on mfd to be practically useless. I had the lens focused on the tranny, but have noticed out of focus problems elsewhere as well. Not sure what's goin on there, perhaps lens like Dick suggested, but the Mamiya 120mm AF seems pretty sharp at other times.
    I like that Bowens illumitran. That's a good call!

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    Re: Negatives witha digital back?

    Quote Originally Posted by Egor View Post
    ...perhaps lens like Dick suggested, but the Mamiya 120mm AF seems pretty sharp at other times.
    I like that Bowens illumitran. That's a good call!
    Does the lens ever look sharp at around 1:1 or higher magnification?

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    Re: Negatives witha digital back?

    Dick, not sure, it's 5am here and once I get in the studio and take care of the profit making portion of my day, I will start checking such things. I haven't done much 1:1 work with it other than this copy project. Other uses are large art repro, and some tabletop with "hit/miss results; and yesterday it shot one 48x36 that was blurry for no apparent reason, then I locked mirror up and tried again 1sec F 11 exp) and it appeared pretty good. With the trannies I am using strobes so shutter speed is a comfortable 1/125, so that shouldn't be an issue. Really wish I had live view like on the Canons, this wouldn't be an issue.

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    Senior Member EH21's Avatar
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    Re: Negatives witha digital back?

    The live view on the Leaf AFi-ii 12 is quite good - certainly fine for focusing. Live view with the Hasselblad CF 528 is not as good, but also plenty fine for focusing. You really only have to do it once per session with something like the illumitran as it's not moving.

    I also use a Kaiser exe.cutive:HF copy stand... weird name but it has a lighted base that has some kind of high frequency 40k hz ballast that cycles so fast that digital capture devices don't see the flicker. I found mine on ebay for $300 and it's what I use most. I set up a box on top of it and put another sheet of thick white plexi to have a double layer diffusion. I am using this more now since I can also do the contact sheet sets. The microstep and mulitshots work fine with the light.

    Probably the mamiya 120 is good enough and careful focus will get you closer to the drum scan. I would really like to see. But a good lens for this would be a rodenstock apo rodagon enlarging lens or really any good enlarging lens if you have one handy and have a way to fit this to your camera. Since I use Rollei this is a no brainer - they made a behind the lens shutter adapter with m39 threads. It's a leaf shutter inside a helicoid thread mount. Perfect for this application and gets me very close to the right magnification for 6x6 or 35mm 'scan' work.

    I am using an aperture of about f/13 mostly on the AFi-ii 12, and I'll go a bit further to f/16 with the CF 528 since it is less affected by diffraction.

    I guess the only issues I have really are getting back to the film look with black and white by finding the right curves.

    Color is a separate issue way beyond just finding the contrast curves. Really haven't gotten there yet. Can't just invert the file and go....

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    Re: Negatives witha digital back?

    Quote Originally Posted by Egor View Post
    Dick, not sure, it's 5am here and once I get in the studio and take care of the profit making portion of my day, I will start checking such things. I haven't done much 1:1 work with it other than this copy project. Other uses are large art repro, and some tabletop with "hit/miss results; and yesterday it shot one 48x36 that was blurry for no apparent reason, then I locked mirror up and tried again 1sec F 11 exp) and it appeared pretty good. With the trannies I am using strobes so shutter speed is a comfortable 1/125, so that shouldn't be an issue. Really wish I had live view like on the Canons, this wouldn't be an issue.
    1:1 with a Phase One 120 is as good or better than any of the 120 macro lenses in medium format (to be clear, the Contax Zeiss, Hassy Zeiss, and Hassy H 120 lenses are all very good). However, no lens performs perfectly at it's stated limit, and 1:1 is the stated limit.

    Also, it's VERY easy at this magnification (as most on this thread understand) to have insufficient DOF (even for a "flat" object), insufficient planarity (having the back slightly swung or tilted relative to the subject), or lose quality to shutter bounce, subject movement, mis-focus, insufficient flash duration to stop any bounce or subject movement, or to hit significant diffraction.

    Quote Originally Posted by EH21 View Post
    I am using an aperture of about f/13 mostly on the AFi-ii 12, and I'll go a bit further to f/16 with the CF 528 since it is less affected by diffraction.
    At 1:1 an aperture of f/13 is fairly highly diffracted because the "effective" aperture is higher than the "stated" aperture. (read more)

    That said, I'm well aware of how hard DOF and focusing are at 1:1, so if you have to accept some diffraction in order to get consistent reasonable-effort-level results then that's what you have to do.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
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    Re: Negatives witha digital back?

    Hi, Doug...

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpeterson View Post
    1:1 with a Phase One 120 is as good or better than any of the 120 macro lenses in medium format (to be clear, the Contax Zeiss, Hassy Zeiss, and Hassy H 120 lenses are all very good). However, no lens performs perfectly at it's stated limit, and 1:1 is the stated limit.
    I think you are talking about MFDSLR lenses that are "optimised" (or compromised) to perform from 1:1 to infinity? (I had wondered how good the new Hassy 120macro was, but for table-top work, in the middle of the magnification range).

    I am talking about digital View camera lenses optimised for about 1:3 to 3:1, (like the Sinaron or SK apo-digitar) which, I hope, are a whole different ball game? On the Sinaron, at 2:1 magnification, the subject to sensor distance is 860mm... they do not compromise quality to for compactness or convenience.

    I have about 2m of Sinar rail, and I can use my 600mm P2 and P bellows in the middle of a P3, with two P2 to P3 converter bellows, for magnifications up to 40:1 using Zeiss Luminar lenses.

    Also, it's VERY easy at this magnification (as most on this thread understand) to have insufficient DOF (even for a "flat" object), insufficient planarity (having the back slightly swung or tilted relative to the subject), or lose quality to shutter bounce, subject movement, mis-focus, insufficient flash duration to stop any bounce or subject movement, or to hit significant diffraction.

    At 1:1 an aperture of f/13 is fairly highly diffracted because the "effective" aperture is higher than the "stated" aperture. (read more)

    That said, I'm well aware of how hard DOF and focusing are at 1:1, so if you have to accept some diffraction in order to get consistent reasonable-effort-level results then that's what you have to do.
    Productivity seems to be the main motivation for MF slide copying, but there is nothing to stop one DOF stacking, even if only as a trial to see if it helps?

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    Re: Negatives witha digital back?

    Quote Originally Posted by dick View Post
    Hi, Doug...


    I think you are talking about MFDSLR lenses that are "optimised" (or compromised) to perform from 1:1 to infinity? (I had wondered how good the new Hassy 120macro was, but for table-top work, in the middle of the magnification range).

    I am talking about digital View camera lenses optimised for about 1:3 to 3:1, (like the Sinaron or SK apo-digitar) which, I hope, are a whole different ball game? On the Sinaron, at 2:1 magnification, the subject to sensor distance is 860mm... they do not compromise quality to for compactness or convenience.

    I have about 2m of Sinar rail, and I can use my 600mm P2 and P bellows in the middle of a P3, with two P2 to P3 converter bellows, for magnifications up to 40:1 using Zeiss Luminar lenses.

    Productivity seems to be the main motivation for MF slide copying, but there is nothing to stop one DOF stacking, even if only as a trial to see if it helps?
    In my experience the Schneider 120 Macro Digitar large format lens is in a league by itself (I've not compared to Rodenstocks). This is the lens we use most often for this application in the Cultural Heritage market (e.g. Harvard, Getty, Library of Congress). However this is the difference between A+ and A++.

    Generally speaking anytime I see someone complain about the quality of the Phase One 120 macro lens I think first, second and third of technique.

    This of course only applies to it's stated range (up to 1:1). Above that other speciality lenses will far out perform it. I have a certain love of Leica Photar microscope lenses - it could be that they are just so stinking small :-).
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
    Dealer for: Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Eizo, Profoto
    Office: 877.367.8537. Cell: 740.707.2183

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    Re: Negatives witha digital back?

    Thanks, Doug...

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpeterson View Post
    In my experience the Schneider 120 Macro Digitar large format lens is in a league by itself.
    I have been collecting view camera kit on eBay for about a decade, and I was luck enough to pick one up.
    (up to 1:1). Above that other speciality lenses will far out perform it. I have a certain love of Leica Photar microscope lenses - it could be that they are just so stinking small :-).
    ¿Do these (or which) microscope lenses work by themselves (screwed in the front of a shutter) or do they need to be part of a "whole microscope" system, with a tube lens and a photo-eyepiece?

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    Re: Negatives witha digital back?

    Doug,
    Trying to understand your comment - guessing the mamiya 120 needs extension to get to 1::1? If you have to add extension then yes, effective aperture does change.

    btw -The schneider makro-symmar lens I use does not have f/stops marked so i'm only guessing at what I have it set at.

    I think multishot backs are great for negatives....

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    Re: Negatives witha digital back?

    Quote Originally Posted by EH21 View Post
    Doug,
    Trying to understand your comment - guessing the mamiya 120 needs extension to get to 1::1? If you have to add extension then yes, effective aperture does change.
    The long focus throw alone gets it to 1:1. Which is the same as adding extension to a lesser-throw 120mm lens.

    Ray

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    Re: Negatives witha digital back?

    Extension is extension.

    With most SLR lenses the longest extension is not enough to worry about the change in "effective aperture".

    At 1:1 you lose about 1 stop worth of light and diffraction kicks in about 1 stop earlier. So use of f/16 at 1:1 is more akin (diffraction wise) to f/22 which will cause considerable diffraction on an 80mp system.

    More complete explanation (along with the math) here.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
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    Re: Negatives witha digital back?

    Quote Originally Posted by dick View Post
    ¿Do these (or which) microscope lenses work by themselves (screwed in the front of a shutter) or do they need to be part of a "whole microscope" system, with a tube lens and a photo-eyepiece?
    Glass is glass. All you need is a shutter of some sort and a way to position the lens the correct distance from the body.

    In my case I used a Mamiya body with the Mamiya Macro Extension Bellows. The Mamiya body has a focal plane shutter, and the bellows have a thread which, when used with the proper step down filters meant a no-gaffe-tape mounting solution :-).



    That's one reason why I love bodies with built in shutters. VERY flexible the optics you can put in front of them.

    But a shutter is not 100% necessary (though it makes things MUCH easier). I also used a view camera using light as the "shutter" - I shot at night in a dark room with all the lights out (including computer monitor) started the back's exposure, triggered the strobe, then ended the back's exposure before turning the lights back on.

    Eventually I learned (through trial and error) that because the sensor was behind a lens with an effective aperture of around f/16 that the room just had to be very dim - not black. That greatly increased the working speed of the system as I did not have to turn the lights back on to make minor adjustments.

    This gave me access to even higher levels of magnification.

    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
    Dealer for: Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Eizo, Profoto
    Office: 877.367.8537. Cell: 740.707.2183

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    Re: Negatives witha digital back?

    I think of it like this - with extension the image is bigger and the diffraction is just magnified by the same ratio making it effectively more noticeable. It's perhaps one reason why some people fit diopters to the front of the lens such as Leica's Elpro, or reverse lenses. I just try to use a focal length that gets me close to what I want to start with.

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