Scanner technology has improved a lot in the ten years since I bought my old Epson Perfection 3200 Photo machine. It was quite good in its day as far as flat bed scanners with transparency hoods were concerned.
I often wonder, though, whether it's working to spec given the inevitable bumping and shoogling it's had as it was moved from house to house and room to room. When I scan 6x6 negs I'm always amazed at how sharp the results are - much, much sharper than 35mm. Obviously, the bigger negative plays a large part in that but there are occasions when I look at 35mm scans and worry if the negs were actually sharp to begin with.
No doubt the 120 negs are sharper because, although all my scans are losing resolution, they just suffer less. But how much resolution can you stand to lose from a 35mm neg scan anyway before you start questioning your lenses?
|The big Durst right at the back almost out of sight is out of commission|
but the Leitz V35 and 1C are now workable propositions.
I was in the dark room yesterday trying to tidy it up to make it look less like the Black Hole of Calcutta and more like a usable room as far as prospective house buyers are concerned. When I'd finished, it didn't look too bad at all. It's in a state now where some printing can actually take place again so I might manage a few sessions after all over the next few weeks.
|The full size pic of the bins from an earlier post.|
Since my Leica negatives, almost all taken with the 50mm rigid Summicron, have only ever been scanned I couldn't resist popping one in the V35 carrier to see how it looked. I was struck by how much sharper it appeared on the baseboard than on my computer screen. Scanning is known to lose a bit of sharpness but some carefully applied unsharp masking should manage to recover most of the lost detail - or, rather, restore the impression of sharpness.
In an effort to show you what I mean, I pressed the camera on my iPhone 4 against the eyepiece of the Scoponet focus magnifier on the baseboard and took a couple of snaps. That's all they were, quick iPhone pics holding the phone in one hand and the the Scoponet steady with the other. Resized in Lightroom and posted here. The GW letters belong to "DOG WASTE" on the graphic just below the word "LITTER" on the left hand bin.
|Crop from neg scan|
That's quite a difference, isn't it? I'm not pretending this is the most scientific comparison ever (could it even be the least scientific ever?) but I think it does show how much more detail there is on the negative than in the scan of the neg. Hardly a revelation, you might say, but I didn't think there would be this much difference between the two.
And as for the sharpness of the Summicron? I don't think I need have any doubts on that score. Below is another iPhone pic of the rivet or screw holding the letters spelling "LITTER" onto the bin. Bear in mind that this is an iPhone pic of the negative reflected in the Scoponet's mirror. The film was Tmax 400 developed in Firstcall Superfine - imagine what Tmax 100 or Delta 100 might have achieved in a suitable developer.
Not too shabby at all, really.