Mark D Segal

Mark D Segal

Toronto, ON

Mark has been making photographs for the past six decades and started adopting a digital workflow in 1999 first with scanning film, then going fully digital in 2004. He has worked with a considerable range of software, equipment, materials and techni...
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Digitizing Negatives with a Camera – Revisited

Digitizing Negatives with a Camera – Revisited

Digitizing Negatives with a Camera: Revisited Introduction: My previous article about this subject co-authored with Todd Shaner and published on Luminous-Landscape.com, explored alternative techniques for processing colour negatives photographed with a camera (mirrorless or DSLR). This article delves more into the technical...

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  • Mark D Segal
    Mark D Segal
    Silver Member
    Posts: 560
    Digitizing Negatives With A Camera
    on: January 25, 2022 at 2:43 pm

    Hi Dominique,

    Thanks for all that – very useful information and insights. Re the 1x magnification of the Thorlabs target – I had done that and it renders about the same results as the supposed 2x magnification, though one needs higher display magnification to see it comparatively.

    I agree there is a subjective element in the interpretation of results obtained in this manner, which I did mention in the article, using the word “judgment” rather than “subjective” – same idea. So looking at my Figure 12, your judgment tends closer to the 181 cluster while I’m thinking in the range of 144-161. Any of this definitely exceeds the resolution of the films I’m photographing so I’m fine whatever in that whole range. The reason I shy away from 181 is that it does show indistinctness particularly in the vertical portion of the element. I also agree with your comments on the difficulty of relating the results of digital resolution targets to the character of film media made-up of dye-clouds of varying sizes, so yes you are correct, these resolution readings are of indicative value and useful above the threshold at which “noise” over-takes detail in the analog media.

    I agree with you that edge and corner sharpness is what separates the men from the boys in the imaging systems, and that is why I put so much emphasis on media flatness, parallelism between sensor and media, and the fitness for purpose of the lens.

    I can readily buy-in to your observation from your own experience that your HXY set-up exceeds the resolving power of your drum scanner, in additional to which, with a Phase-1 151MP back, I can’t for the life of me think of ANY advantage that a drum scanner would have over such a digital back paired with the right kind of lens. In fact, I’m tempted to suggest a contest with a couple of well-chosen negatives between your drum scanner and my Sony a7r iv set-up looking at not only resolution but also quality of tonal gradation, dynamic range and indeed any other photographic properties that matter. I’ve heard that drum scans can have a “grain”-smoothing effect whereas the camera sensor reproduces those dye clouds with brutal fidelity. Other than that, I have a sense that the Sony would win, or at worst it would be a toss-up.

    Ivan Danes and I have had an exchange of emails. I sent him a few questions about the SR1 and am awaiting his response, after which I shall likely buy and test with one of those. It looks just like what I have been trying to find for the longest time and haven’t – till you pointed it out. Many thanks.

    Mark

    Mark D Segal Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8, SilverFast HDR, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop". Please check the PhotoPXL Store for availability.

    Mark D Segal
    Mark D Segal
    Silver Member
    Posts: 560
    Re: Digitizing Negatives with a Camera – Revisited
    Reply #1 on: January 25, 2022 at 12:57 pm

    You are welcome, and thank you for doing so. I’ll be interested to learn whether the information provided there still works for you with version 9; I strongly suspect it will, but would be good to confirm.

    Mark D Segal Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8, SilverFast HDR, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop". Please check the PhotoPXL Store for availability.

    Mark D Segal
    Mark D Segal
    Silver Member
    Posts: 560
    Re: Digitizing Negatives with a Camera – Revisited
    Reply #2 on: January 25, 2022 at 12:43 pm

    Oliver,

    My book has not disappeared. It is still available but not on the SilverFast website. It is available on this website, here: https://photopxl.com/product/scanning-workflows-with-silverfast-8-silverfast-hdr/

    While this is for version 8, and I do not own a license for version 9, from what I’ve heard not all that much changed between 8 and 9 regarding the basic processing functions. Because the book refers to the previous version, we knocked 10 dollars off the price. It’s now USD 29.95.

    Mark D Segal Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8, SilverFast HDR, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop". Please check the PhotoPXL Store for availability.

    Mark D Segal
    Mark D Segal
    Silver Member
    Posts: 560
    Re: Digitizing Negatives with a Camera – Revisited
    Reply #3 on: January 25, 2022 at 11:25 am

    Hi Oliver,

    I just downloaded Silkypix Developer Pro 10 for Mac and tested the same colorful negative shown in Figure 1 of my article. The initial conversion it makes is poor and the adjustments it provides are both slow/clunky to take effect and inadequate to perform a first-class quality editing job on the converted negative. As well, it is limited to ARGB(98) colour space. It does not begin to compete with the abilities and usability of the NLP/Lr combination. So I shall now proceed to uninstall it. Thank you for bringing it to our attention. Always worthwhile trying different stuff even if we discover it isn’t as good as what we are using.

    SilverFast’s Negafix, if you have the Ai Studio version of the application, will provide for very refined adjustments of all aspects of negative inversion, e.g. mask removal, tone and colour, particularly using the Advanced features which are available in the Ai Studio version. I describe all that in great detail in my SilverFast ebook available in the Shop section of this website, for SilverFast 8.

    Mark D Segal Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8, SilverFast HDR, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop". Please check the PhotoPXL Store for availability.

    Mark D Segal
    Mark D Segal
    Silver Member
    Posts: 560
    Re: Digitizing Negatives With A Camera
    Reply #4 on: January 24, 2022 at 4:28 pm

    Yup, true. And all the more so when comparing film media with sensor imagery – huge differences in how the structure of the image is put together, and that cuts across a lot of the numbers we can crunch for the one or the other. So much to say the numbers are useful for addressing one parameter of complex processes – necessary but not sufficient.

    Mark D Segal Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8, SilverFast HDR, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop". Please check the PhotoPXL Store for availability.

    • This reply was modified 1 day, 21 hours ago by Mark D Segal.