A BASIC TUTORIAL ON HOW TO SCAN KODAK PORTRA 400 FILM WITH SILVERFAST 8 AND PHOTOSHOP
"NORMS - West Hollywood" is a night photograph I took a couple of weeks ago with my Hasselblad 500 and a Carl Zeiss 50mm Distagon f/4 lens of the famous NORMS restaurant. This will be part of a series of images focusing on the architecture of restaurants and shops in greater Los Angeles. In this short tutorial I will show you how to make a good looking scan in just a few simple steps in SilverFast 8 and Photoshop.
The aesthetics I try to achieve are similar to scans that my lab is doing with a Fuji Frontier mini-lab scanner. While the Epson V700 uses a significantly different technique, I am still able to re-scan some frames, especially if I need them at a higher resolution, that look similar or close to the rendition of the aforementioned scanner. Read More
How to get the most out of your Epson V700, V750, V800 or V850
Have you ever wondered what would be the best settings for your scans with an Epson flatbed scanner? Well, there are two ways of getting those values and one of them is a s simple as reading this blog post. I did some testing with an USAF 1951 resolution target and I will share my findings with you. These settings work great on my scanner, with my mounting solution and chances are that they work for your flatbed scanner as well. Of course the optimal way of doing it, is investing some time and money and do your own tests. In this blog post I will explain what is required to do the tests and provide you with the link to some more detailed explanations. So it is totally up to you if you want to do your own tests or play around with my settings and see if they work for you. Read More
This is going to be a short post. In order to use SilverFast HDR Studio as an archival workflow solution as well as for a optimized FineArt workflow I find the idea of creating linear scans fascinating. What we basically do is splitting the workflow into two parts. First is the scanning process and second the post-processing that is required for every scan. During the scanning we make sure that we capture all relevant data from film. In order to do so, we do not alter the data in any way and we save the file as a linear 16bit Tiff file. Read More
This will be a short video, that shows how quick and easy a workflow for scanning color negative film can be. Read More
Just recently I published an Epson Scan tutorial. In addition to this tutorial I recorded a short screencast to supplement this tutorial and elaborate some further details. Unfortunately I only have German copy of Epson scan so please bear with me that I used this version for the screencast. In the mentioned tutorial you can find screencasts from the English version of Epson Scan in order to follow along the tutorial.
Hope you enjoy the video... Read More
Epson´s consumer scanners all come with "Epson Scan", a scanning software for all needs. Many scanner operators however tend to use third party software for their scanning tasks. Today I will show you how to get good results from Epson Scan, but I will also try to elaborate the drawback of Epson Scan and why Silverfast will give you even better results in the end. Read More
My Mounting Solution for a flatbed Scanner
I have tried many mounting solutions for my Epson flatbed scanner and I was never happy with the results. Some solutions use additional glass and all of them reduce sharpness by a certain level. They deal with curled film quite nicely, but the loss of sharpness is not acceptable in my opinion. This is why I continued to use the original holders for quite a while. I still think they are the cheapest solution for good results. Handling can be a bit difficult though. By coincident I stumbled upon the Digitaliza 120 film mask and as I used a 35mm Digitaliza before I thought I would give it a try. After some experimentation I discovered that I can increase scan sharpness by increasing the distance between the scanner glass and the film. I made a 2mm thick rubber support for the Digitaliza and my scans immediately looked much better. It took me several test scans to find the optimum height. The 120 Film Mask is now my go to solution for mounting 120 film on a flatbed scanner. Read More
After my video tutorial in the last post, I thought a short follow up post with a detailed example would be helpful. So, no video today, but some further explanations on how I scanned the photograph below. But just in case you have missed the video, I highly recommend going back and watch it. It will give you a good overview of all the tasks required during the scanning process. Read More
The Digital "Master-Print-File"
In the previous part of this installment we have discussed how we get a flat scan from black and white film in Silverfast 8.8. In the second part of this series we concentrate on the creative process of taking a flat and lifeless scan to a wonderful black & white master print. While we should normally never constrain our creative freedom, I still suggest we try to maintain a believable plausibility, which means we want to maintain the characteristic of the medium. A photograph should be identified as one and as we have already made the effort of shooting film, we want to maintain the beauty of this medium in the final master file. The easiest way of doing this is by replicating the tools a darkroom printer uses when creating a print. Of course we use these techniques digitally. Good care needs to be taken to avoid digital artifacts and a digital look. This is not as easy as it sounds, as digital tools can easily make their marks. We do our best to avoid these marks. Read More
From a negative to a black & white "Master-Print-File"
Black and White printing has always been a mastery that requires many years of learning, knowledge and dedication. Nothing will ever compete with a carefully printed black and white print. However acquiring these skills, maintaining a darkroom and finding the time to print regularly exceeds the possibilities of most people. Digital made things easier, but still it can be regarded a mastery to skillfully make a digital master print file from an analog negative. This tutorial will show you in detail how to scan black and white medium format negatives and than process them in Adobe Lightroom like the old masters did it in the darkroom. Read More
In my last post I talked about how to prepare Silverfast for negative scanning. Today I aill show you how I mount my medium format film into an Epson V700 film holder. Therefore I have prepared a short video showing how I do the mounting. Let me just tell you real quick why I use the conventional Epson holders and not any kind of third party holders which get good critiques. Well, I have used them, literally every mounting solution availbale for the Epson V-series, and I must say in the end they are not worth the effort. I find the conventional standrad Epson film holder do their job very well. Maybe I am lucky and my scanner is manufactured the way it should be, but I was able to get better sharpness and grain from the Epson holders than from any other holder I was using. Read More
When I started scanning film, I thought it would be an easy process. I severely underestimated the learning curve required to become a good scanner operator. I intentionally use this term, as it precisely describes what you do when scanning film. Beyond the basic operation of the scanner and software, you need to make basic artistic decision when scanning, similar to those made by master printers in the traditional darkroom. Read More