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lcodacci
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Posted Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:33AM

Hi all,


i'm wondering how far could go my decision to use a hybrid system in my stock photography: film or slides for taking shots, pro scans and then Lightroom/PS post processing.


After spending many years in digital stuff, i'm not happy with images captured by a digital camera and i just sold a Nikon D3 for that reason.


As you aleady know, colors have a plastic or "non 3D" feeling, dynamic range in the overall image is not quite the same of "old" slides or negatives.


Since i don't take pictures of sport actions or use so much stuff like AF or VR (therefore no high ISO images), i'm asking you a feedback on that strategy to use only analog on behalf of digital for taking shots.


From now on, i'd like to use my Nikon FM3a with very good lens such as Zeiss Distagon 25 f2.8 or Zeiss Planar 85 f1.4, use Velvia 50 or 400 (slides) or b/n negatives such as t-max 400 , then scan them with a pro scanner such as Reflecta Proscan 7200 and, obviously, after retouch my images with Photoshop to suite my final results.


Do you think i could obtain some valid results for stock photography this way?
gipi23
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Posted Sat Dec 15, 2012 8:37AM
Absolutely!
esp_imaging
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Posted Sat Dec 15, 2012 8:54AM
There is a chance that you won't like the results form your scans either. Or (being realistic), there's a chance that no one would be able to tell the difference between digital and analogue captures.
kbwills
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Posted Sat Dec 15, 2012 11:15AM

I am sure you will be able to get accepted images for stock with your method. (although I have never used any of my old Tmax400 for iStock, as I didnt think the scanned results were up to scratch - could have been my darkroom technique of course...).  Whether the results will justify the (probably) more complex (and costly??) workflow, is a moot point too. 


An interesting discussion is here


Good Luck & Regards
Willowpix
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Posted Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:51PM
Posted By esp_imaging:
There is a chance that you won't like the results form your scans either. Or (being realistic), there's a chance that no one would be able to tell the difference between digital and analogue captures.

Especially after they download it as a digital file.
mlwinphotoCLOSED
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Posted Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:57PM

Unless you are shooting negative film the dynamic range of most digital cameras is better than that of film, particularly that of Velvia.  Resolution with the higher MP cameras should exceed that of film also, particularly when you throw in the intermediate step of scanning.  I also am not sure what you are seeing with your digital files that is giving a plastic or 'non-3D' appearance....?  I find the colors of digital files when properly processed are more 'true' than alot of films I used to use, again particularly Velvia.  Perhaps something in your processing was giving you those results.


I used the D2X and D3s before settling, currently, on the D800.  All have given me files that are comparable, and often better, than what I was getting with film. 


I am also scanning my 'old' Velvia MF and LF trannies with an Epson V700 scanner and getting good results.  However, when it comes to processing a RAW file or scanning film and cleaning that up I would much rather deal with the RAW file as I have more control over the end result.


 
ClarkandCompany
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Posted Sat Dec 15, 2012 11:31PM

Good luck with filmscans. I have a few film scanned images from an Imacon scanner but I don't scan film anymore. You will get longer inspections times and have endless problems with dust and scratches etc.


Maybe concentrate on the content rather than the process.
Whiteway
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Posted Sun Dec 16, 2012 2:50AM
If your main output is to be on film, then how will you use this output? If the end result is to be digital then you are just making difficulties for yourself.
AlbertoSimonetti
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Posted Sun Dec 16, 2012 3:23AM

I'm not sure customers will notice the difference, and even if they did, I'm not sure they would care. We photographers strive for perfection and expression to an extent that often greatly exceeds the customer's demand - said by a guy who manually creates every HDR image in Photoshop to minimize noise and other imperfections although he knows it doesn't make sense, so I can actually feel your point down in my gut.


Second, digital is moving ahead, film is not, which means your results will get worse as time goes by. It'll probably take 50 years before they look 'vintage'.


In short, I wouldn't do it, but then who am I to judge?


 
vandervelden
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Posted Sun Dec 16, 2012 4:03AM
I've just taken some photos of a rescue hen (what?!? why?!? for before and after shots of course!). Nearly 300 photos - their heads jerk around like lightning - to get half a dozen I really liked, and that were in focus. No way could I do that with film.
kelvinjay
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Posted Sun Dec 16, 2012 5:05AM
I'm sure the work flow outlined in the OP could produce perfectly acceptable results as far as iStock inspections go.

But I don't see any real issue with digital image quality at all. I think there is a valid argument that images have a different look when shot on film and then printed by having a light shone through it onto light sensitive paper. But as soon as you start scanning and digitising the image, I just don't see the point.

(Edited on 2012-12-16 05:06:19 by kelvinjay)
keithferrisphoto
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Posted Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:10PM
If you have the time to deal with that tedious workflow, then more power to you. I love film, I really do. I just don't have time for it anymore.
MikeyLPT
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Posted Fri Dec 21, 2012 1:50PM
In my opinion, people who stare at hundreds of images daily, ie photo editors, can generally spot the difference between film and digital.  I disagree that they look the same..  Even scanned film still has that classic feel and grain. 
ClarkandCompany
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Posted Sun Dec 23, 2012 6:04AM
Go on then pick  my film images.
slobo
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Posted Sun Dec 23, 2012 9:18AM
Posted By MikeyLPT:
In my opinion, people who stare at hundreds of images daily, ie photo editors, can generally spot the difference between film and digital.  I disagree that they look the same..  Even scanned film still has that classic feel and grain. 

chances are that iStock will reject such images (grain=artifacts, classic feel=over filtered).
gipi23
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Posted Sun Dec 23, 2012 1:15PM
Or they just might put them in to Agency collection [lot of it goes well with the definition of 'over-filtered']
kelvinjay
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Posted Sun Dec 23, 2012 5:05PM
There's an interesting article here on why you shouldn't use a scanner to digitise film images. 


http://www.petapixel.com/2012/12/23/why-you-should-digitize-your-film-using-a-camera-instead-of-a-scanner/

(Edited on 2012-12-23 17:07:07 by kelvinjay)
Fertnig
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Posted Wed Dec 26, 2012 6:51AM

Unfortunately the days of film are over for me - commercially that is.  The only scans worth doing IMHO are medium format or large format negs. Scanned 35mm looks awful compared to modern DSLR files - unless you want a retro low-fi look.  I do love the look of film but once it goes through the scanner and LR, PS, etc it doesn't look that much different anymore to digital files.  


Where I do think film still far outshines digital is in medium and large format black and white silver gelatin prints.  I recently saw some of my old art prints in a house I was visting and I was amazed at the quality and look of these 15-20 year old framed prints.  They still glowed and the days it took me to process and print them in my tiny darkroom all seemed worth it.  I have yet to enjoy looking at a digital print - and I have seen some really high-end prints over the past few years.  


I might shoot film again but the whole process will be analogue with no digitisation at all.  
ClarkandCompany
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Posted Wed Dec 26, 2012 10:52AM
/
/Nicely put ^ I have a lot of silver gelatin prints and show them sometimes and the responses are totally different to injet prints. Silver prints just glow in a way I have yet to master with inkjet. But I guess I need to experiment more with some different inkjet papers that mimic silver gelatin prints.


 I always laugh a certain sections of the "Fine Art" photographers who strive to maintain their integrity with their "non digital" workflow and it turns out their prints are digitized to be printed. Really winds me up....


 If I scan anything now it is large format negs and slides. Modern DSLR's have made huge strides to match the shadow and hi-light detail that previously could only be captured by large format digital backs.

(Edited on 2012-12-26 10:55:01 by ClarkandCompany)
RyersonClark
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Posted Wed Dec 26, 2012 2:36PM
Yeah, can't see why you would take the trouble to shoot negs then digitize them.  Not for stock at least, no one will see any difference.  I can't see going back to the darkroom as much as I enjoyed it.  I can say however, that I do like colour prints made with pigment inks from an inkjet set up for this.  Thye do have a certain glow and depth to them that remind me of the old fiber based papers (B&W).  I have a few that are 7 or 8 years old that still make me think I should do more of this.  These are printed on fine art papers, not the usual "photo" papers and aren't really cost effective one off.  If you did print a batch of 20 or so and knew you would be able to sell most, it would be a great way to do it.
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