Sunday, August 5, 2012

Reflexive scan

A good photo scanner is expensive and still slow. I already explained here how I transformed a normal scanner to scan negatives by transparency, but it is only for B&W film suitable.

The negatives on film are good for making prints with conventional optical enlargers, but not for the digital lab where you may choose, nowadays, between scanning and making macros of the negative. More confortable are the slide and negative copier adaptors for DSLR cameras, costing around 50 euro, for instance at ebay. A good negative scanner costs much more, but you may count with more than 200 euro. The cheaper scanners that I already know are very slow at a good resolution like 2400 dpi or higher. Photos for the internet, I only scan at 600 dpi; it would be very annoying if I would scan at more than this resolution. Since I have the scanner, I am using it, but I will try making macros again with a better camera, a DSLR that I bougth one of these past days and a slide copier adaptor.

Well, but what I want to say is that it doesn't make sense anymore to use transparency, if you don't use the negatives with an enlarger or slide viewer. It would be better if the negatives (or direct positives) were on an opaque surface (could be film or, why not, paper) and if they could be scannable in a normal scanner, like I obtained with aged hair dye, see piece of film bellow. For this, I developed with some 10 ml of hair dye and 5 g of sodium hydroxide in 500 ml solution and then fixed, bypassing bleach. The film could then be scanned in a normal scanner, all pictures in one single scan.

Pure hair dye developer with bleach bypass, reflexive scan

From the above piece, you can see the right most picture below.

Example of one of the pictures, using reflexive scanner
Yes, nothing compared with real C-41, but just to illustrate what I mean, it would be preferable, if we don't use anymore enlarger or slide viewers, that instead of tranparencies we had opaque pictures coming from the camera.

This is just a suggestion for film manufacturers, why not making a film that we could scan with a normal scanner? I am sure this would make films more popular than they are now.

In the next post, I will show another process, that I discovered almost by accident, for B&W pictures directly scannable with a normal scanner. And using cheap C-41 films instead of B&W expensive films.

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