November 21, 2017, 09:08:40 PM

Author Topic: What's the most resolution I could get from films like Cinestill 50 & Velvia 50?  (Read 4091 times)

Antono Refa

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A relative gave me a Canon EOS 3 he used to shoot with, and I decided to give it a go with the EF lenses I bought over the last few years.

I'm going to have the films scanned, so I wonder what resolution I should ask the store to scan the films at?

Obviously resolution would be limited by the lens & how well I'll focus, but I'm putting those aside for a moment, and wondering how much I could get from low ASA films under ideal conditions.

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LDS

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I'm going to have the films scanned, so I wonder what resolution I should ask the store to scan the films at?
Obviously resolution would be limited by the lens & how well I'll focus, but I'm putting those aside for a moment, and wondering how much I could get from low ASA films under ideal conditions.

A lot depends on the scanning technology, and the operators skills. Also, on how well the film has been developed.

You can find some information here: http://www.filmscanner.info/en/Aufloesung.html

I'd ask them to scan at the best resolution they can achieve, the issue may be to know what resolution it is...

ajfotofilmagem

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The limiting factor is the scanner.
In my city, the photo stores make film scanning with up to 8 megapixel. By the time of the Rebel Xt, I thought that was okay, until they began to err consistently, applying brightness correction against my will.

slclick

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Do they use a drum scanner? It doesn't get much better in terms of resolution
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Mikehit

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Scanning is a whole new learning curve. In my experience the 'corner shop' scanning services are very variable and often lower quality than you could get - it is as much the way the machine is set up as it is the scanning itself (dust/scratch removal, single pass or multiple pass, the software you use...).
If you want to be assured of the best quality I would find a lab that does drum scanning and get the film processed at highest level, and two lower levels and take it from there. Be careful though, images can get into the 100MB size quite quickly.

When you get much above 4,800 dpi, critics say you are not resolving detail but getting a better defined grain.


This may help.
https://diglloyd.com/articles/GrabBag/photographic-film-was-not-much-of-a-performer.html


Policar

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That's a difficult question. The mtf curve of film is very different than that of digital. With digital on Foveon or monochrome you're getting almost 100% mtf to extinction. With Bayer you can get almost 100% mtf to >70% of extinction. False detail (aliasing) usually makes things look sharper. Digital has almost no noise/grain. Grain increases perceived sharpness but also decreases the ability to sharpen (beyond 100% mtf often).

Film's mtf curve often surpasses 100% mtf (with Velvia at least it does) at low frequency detail and then quickly dips below 100% then continues slowly toward 20-30% which we can consider extinction.

I believe extinction occurs (at least on films like those you list) at just over 5000 pixels (I'm guessing 5120 for Vistavision 5219 and more for Velvia). So there will be DETAIL there up to that point but it will be VERY soft. That could be equivalent to a D800 in terms of the finest lines resolved. But they will be resolved with next to no contrast. To that extent, you could say 36 megapixels. In terms of perceived sharpness (best equated with the area under the mtf curve; the integral of it) it might be closer to a 12 megapixel digital sensor (or six megapixel Foveon sensor), but much noisier.

Given the cost of drum scans, I'd shoot digital unless you're nostalgic for the look. I find the look of both of those film stocks to be awesome. The Nikon scanners (9000 and 5000) are really good so sending it to a lab with those or Imacons will give an almost-as-good result as a drum scan for a small fraction of the price.

MrFotoFool

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The last sentence of advice in this thread is spot on: use a lab with a high end Nikon or Imacon scanner (which comes very close to quality of drum scan at much lower cost). I worked for twenty years (until end of 2015) at a small pro photo lab and had many of my slides developed there and scanned like this. BTW Nikon film scanners are no longer made so they will be increasingly harder to find.

Assuming you have a sharp slide to begin with, meaning camera was on a tripod with decent lens and sharp focus, you can expect a great scan from iso 50 or 100 slide to make a print as large as 30x45 inches (apologies for using American inches if you are in a country that uses metric). If it is an extremely sharp slide, perhaps bigger. I have one print in my home from a Nikon scan of Ektar 100 (negative, not slide) that is 40x60 inches. If you stand with your face right up to it you can see grain and a bit of softness, but from any normal viewing distance (e.g. six feet or more) it looks amazing.

Film is meant to be printed and looks great in print. It is NOT meant to be viewed digitally (which is where digital cameras excel, though of course they print well also). So your scan will likely look quite grainy on the screen, but that does not mean it will look that way when you print it.

Someone has also correctly stated that scanning too high does nothing but enlarge the film grains themselves and does not add sharpness. It actually has the opposite effect - it makes the picture look worse. A good lab will know the optimum scan level. At our lab (JonesPhoto.com) we found 40mb to be the best for 35m film.

One final note. Slide film is very high contrast with Velvia being exceptionally severe. This means it works best in low contrast scenes, such as overcast days or clear days in the soft light of sunset or sunrise. In high contrast scenes, such as under bright sun, you will not get the same range of tones and detail you would get with digital (especially a RAW file) or even with print film.

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MrFotoFool

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Followup: Make sure you have a source to process your film. Very few places do it any more and only a handful still do slide film (known as E6 processing); many more do print film (known as C41 processing). My lab stopped doing E6 several years ago and the last time I checked there was only one lab in my entire state of Arizona still doing it (and they were only running it twice a week). This was a couple years ago and I am not even sure if they do it any more.

mb66energy

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A relative gave me a Canon EOS 3 he used to shoot with, and I decided to give it a go with the EF lenses I bought over the last few years.

I'm going to have the films scanned, so I wonder what resolution I should ask the store to scan the films at?

Obviously resolution would be limited by the lens & how well I'll focus, but I'm putting those aside for a moment, and wondering how much I could get from low ASA films under ideal conditions.

Do you have a macro lens? Maybe it is a good "first aproach" to make a digital copy of slide film ("positive" film). Using am EOS 40D with the EF-S 60mm gave good results and showed that the resolution in terms of pixels is in the region of the 10MPix the 40D provides, maybe 20-25Mpix. Using a camera with 18MPix gave no better results (maybe I will try again with current 24MPix sensor cams).

As light source some type of translucent white paper / white perspex / white glass (in german "Milchglas" or "milk glass") fixed on a window lit by the sun might help for simple experiments. Use a medium aperture of f/8 to exploit the lens sharpness but not loose it due to diffraction. Use a flatter tone curve e..g. neutral and set a low contrast but appropriate black and white point in post processing.

In my case it was much better than good standard scans - but I am shure with a good scanner you can top these results. But ... where to find a good scanner and ... much more important ... where to find a good operator of the scanner ...!

All in all a good idea to give it a try. I think myself of using an EOS 30 with slide film or BW film (but with BW I would like to do my own prints again). Good luck!
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David Littleboy

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A relative gave me a Canon EOS 3 he used to shoot with, and I decided to give it a go with the EF lenses I bought over the last few years.

I'm going to have the films scanned, so I wonder what resolution I should ask the store to scan the films at?

Obviously resolution would be limited by the lens & how well I'll focus, but I'm putting those aside for a moment, and wondering how much I could get from low ASA films under ideal conditions.

The experience here, using Provia 100F and a Nikon 9000, was that in a 12x18 print, both 645 and 12MP digital were noticeably better than 35mm. 6x7 in the Nikon 9000 was glorious, but scanning 6x7 was a major pain.

Velvia is a very short scale film, 5 stops of dynamic range, if that. There is no shadow detail. If your exposure is not spot on, you're dead. Provia is a bit more forgiving. But not much. In these days, when we consider an 11 stop dynamic range completely unacceptable, you're in for a surprise.

Back in the day (1970s), given how great Plus-X 6x6 looked at 11x14, I was never able to understand why people shot 35mm. Even Panatomic X in Microdol was grainy mush compared to the 6x6.

Having started out in 6x6, I never "got" 35mm film, so YMMV.



Antono Refa

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Thanks all for the replies!

peterzuehlke

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aside from resolution, make sure you are getting TIF files. a lot of the camera store labs like to deliver jpegs.

LDS

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So your scan will likely look quite grainy on the screen, but that does not mean it will look that way when you print it.

Grain in a scan can be reduced just like we reduce noise in a digital image. The caveat is that algorithm designed for CCD/CMOS noise may not work well with film grain, because of the different distribution and behaviour. There are some Photoshop plug-ins designed to reduce film grain, and some can yield good results. They also need to take into account the scanner itself will introduce some noise.

Downsampling will reduce grain just like it reduce noise, thereby it could be better to get a high-res scan (as long as the scan can deliver good results, and not just more grain/noise), instead of a smaller one.

Anyway, some grain in some images may also convey the "film" look.

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Antono Refa

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aside from resolution, make sure you are getting TIF files. a lot of the camera store labs like to deliver jpegs.

Yeah, had a big fight over this with a local lab. I asked for whatever lossless compression format, and got jpegs. Had to demand they show the original order to the owner for them to rescan the film at no charge.

Rachael Alice

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It depends on the how much calrity in flim which come from Cinestill 50 & Velvia 50 and also depend on which technology use in it as well as it's operating ability for film.

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