View Full Version : scanning versus photographically copying

12-15-2008, 07:14 AM
g'day all

what would one expect to be the difference in quality, speed, availability and versatility between scanning 35mm/MF negatives as opposed to photographically copying them with close-up/macro equpiment on a 10Mp digital SLR?

12-16-2008, 11:44 AM
I did not try this, so these are my "expectations" :

Photographing a 24x36 slide with a 10Mpix camera should be equivalent (in pixel density) with a scan at 2400ppi. For medium format, this figure would even be less. Given this, photographing color slides should be OK, if the macro outfit is good. But when photographing color negatives, there may be a serious issue of color balance and color dynamic range, because of the orange screen that has to be heavily corrected together with inverting the colors ; film scanners are good at it, because they have to consider the case, but digital camera are not built for this.


06-23-2009, 02:53 AM
Hello Ray,

Years ago I digitized color negative film negatives with a digital camera before I could afford a good film scanner. A few samples can be seen here (http://www.pbase.com/rujeker/japan_june_96). I used a Nikon C990 camera with a slide film adapter. The Nikon CP 990 is a 3 MP camera but has very good optics and very good macro abilities. The main trick to get good results is the light source. I made a blue filter, inkjet printout on transparency, to compensate the orange color cast of the CN negatives. As light source I used a standard soft bulb. Between the light source and the negative was a piece of white plexiglass to homogenize the light distribution. If you have an enlarger with a color head you can use the light source of the color head and the integrated filters. This works very well. But I wanted to have something simpler and cheaper. The rest was routine, slight tonality and color adjustments with levels and curves and USM output sharpening.