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Old 20-08-2010, 20:58   #1 (permalink)
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Film to Digital - How?

Dear all,

I have managed to come across a Canon A1 and 50mm f1.8 lens in great condition. Haven't used a film camera since the 80's when I had a Minolta X700. I won't be doing any processing myself and would like some advice as to how to get the 35mm film digitized.

I could be barking up wrong trees here, but I guess my options would be:
1. Get the films developed and then scan the prints.
2. Use slide film, get developed and then scan the mounted slides (if possible)

Other questions:
1. Can slide film be developed in high street stores like Jessops, Snappy Snaps etc. or does it need to be sent away.
2. Recommendations of a scanner?
3. Any other kit required to enable me to do what I would like to do.

I'm very keen to try my hand at this so any advice or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Ian
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Old 20-08-2010, 22:22   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Film to Digital - How?

You can scan negatives too. My flatbed scanner has a slide/neg attachment that has its own light for film scanning. You can also get dedicated film scanners or get the film scanned by the processing lab - although you loose control of the scanning process.

Be aware that scanning is a bit of a can of worms though .

You can also get slide/negative copiers that fit onto your digital camera rather like a lens and you can then copy your slides or negs directly onto a memory card in camera.
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Old 21-08-2010, 10:48   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Film to Digital - How?

Thanks Graham,

The idea is to cherry pick the best of the images and scan those to high res. Having spoken to a few high street developers (don't want to send films away as have "lost" films in the past) and the resolution of the digital file is poor.

Have read various reviews on film and flatbed scanners and as this is my first foray into this medium don't want to spend a massive amount on something that I may or may not pursue further. The two that have caught my eye are the Summit Photofix SP5 and the Epson Perfection V300.
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Old 21-08-2010, 11:01   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Film to Digital - How?

One of these is going to be cheaper than the V300 and you can then use your normal workflow.
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Old 21-08-2010, 13:11   #5 (permalink)

PLEASE NOTE

I TYPE USING CAPITALS DUE TO A DISABILTY

THANKS FOR YOUR UNDERSTANDING
 
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Re: Film to Digital - How?

I STILL HAVE A CANON 8600F, FOR SALE IF YOU ARE INTERESTED, IT IS A FLAT BED SCANNER, WITH NEG COPYING CARRIAGE.

40 BUT TO LARGE FOR ME TO POST
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Old 21-08-2010, 23:01   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Film to Digital - How?

You may wish to consider the fact that slide film has poor dynamic range 5-6 stops whereas negative film is much better at around 9 stops. During the last 5 years or so that I used film, I almost exclusively used colour negative film and scanned using a film scanner and this was fine for both colour and B&W. You can even have a conventional film slides made from a digital file. While I owned my own scanner there are services which will scan a film for you.

At one time (around ten years ago) Kodak would scan individual frames from a film which allowed you to just choose the best frames but I have no idea if anyone offers such a service now.
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Old 25-08-2010, 21:12   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Film to Digital - How?

Thanks again for your replies and advice. Do you have any recommendations for sending b&w film away for processing. I've done a search and come across Ilford Labs, Fujifilm, The Darkroom Ltd and Lab35, but would value some first hand experience.

Many thanks,

Ian
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Old 25-08-2010, 21:37   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Film to Digital - How?

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Originally Posted by JAG View Post
Thanks again for your replies and advice. Do you have any recommendations for sending b&w film away for processing. I've done a search and come across Ilford Labs, Fujifilm, The Darkroom Ltd and Lab35, but would value some first hand experience.

Many thanks,

Ian
Here is your chance to DIY as it is so easy. All you need is a developing tank and a changing bag, some developer, fixer and a dash of fairy liquid, some string and a clothes peg and away you go.
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Old 25-08-2010, 22:55   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Film to Digital - How?

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Originally Posted by Dabhand16 View Post
Here is your chance to DIY as it is so easy. All you need is a developing tank and a changing bag, some developer, fixer and a dash of fairy liquid, some string and a clothes peg and away you go.
Really, it's easy? I always thought it was difficult time consuming process. Showing my ignorance no doubt but don't you need a dark room with red lights and clothes line and pegs etc.. My brother took over the bathroom for ours when I was a kid to do his :-)

Can you recommend any websites for newbies like me?

Cheers Graham!
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Old 26-08-2010, 17:44   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Film to Digital - How?

Film is straightforward if you process in a tank. You do not need a darkroom to develop film. For B&W, if you use a chromogenic film like Ilford XP2, it is processed as C41 which is the same as colour negative film. C41 processing is more widely available.

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Old 26-08-2010, 18:08   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Film to Digital - How?

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Can you recommend any websites for newbies like me?

Cheers Graham!
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As Dave has said, for film processing no darkroom is needed.

The developing tank needs to be mastered with a little practice as you have to load it and assemble it in total darkness. The film has to be wound onto a spiral and the tank assembled by touch. I've done it at night, under the bedclothes with the curtains drawn, but far easier is to use a changing bag as you can do it while watching TV - or anything else. Once the film is in the tank and the tank assembled, all further operations can be done in the light.

The stages are: Adding the developer after diluting and agitation (turning the tank over). The developer instructions will give details and times. This stage will only take a few minutes. Rinse and fixer. Again, dilutions and times will be on the product. It is important not to overdo the fixer stage time. Another rinse and finally a couple of drips of Fairy Liquid in the final rinse and pull the film through two fingers to act like a squeegee, then hang to dry in a dust free room like the bathroom.

Cut into strips and job done. Probably can be completed in about 30-40 mins in total.
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Old 26-08-2010, 18:29   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Film to Digital - How?

Ilfod FP4 is a nice fogiving film that's easy to home process. You can use many different developers but Microphen is old 'one shot' developer that easy to use.
Follow the instructions, the crucial things are not to over agitate or it goes grainy and carefully control the temperature to 20Degc and time it carefully.
It realy isn't that dificult, even I can do it. If you have a scanner and a printer you can save having a darkroom and enlarger.
Best of luck.
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