In my iPad-post from some days ago I promised to compare my Plustek Opticfilm 8100 Scanner to the act of digitizing the negatives with my Fuji X-E1 and a gorgeous Takumar 50mm f:4 macro lens. The film was Stephen Dowling’s excellent Kosmo Foto Mono film, in fact a rebranded Fomapan 100 film in a gorgeous packaging. Perhaps a rehash of an existing film but if this makes people take up film photography… why not!
Well, here are the results, and these are some of the first shots with my freshly CLA’d Spotmatic.
This is the digitized version, very nice detail, fine structures and the grain of the Kosmo Foto 100 film, in fact a rebranded Fomapan 100 film is very nice.
The scanned version seems a tiny bit mushy in the grain, not really the same resolution as the snapped version. I prefer the first one.
So let’s get a bit farther away from the subjects and compare a new couple on photos.
Again the results are very close. Really close! But I still prefer the first one that comes out of the Fuji. Sorry Plustek, you lose again.
Again the resolution seem a bit better, sharper, crisper… Not a big deal, but it’s noticeable.
And first of all, it took me a bit over one hour to scan the roll and just about 7 minutes to digitize it.
And my setup is still not very sophisticated. OK, I got the macro lens, so I’m better off than the first time. But then again I still have no repro stand so I have to use my cheap (as in Amazon Cheapest Chinese Stuff) tripod and a 2 second self timer. I darkened the room and masked the light pad with some paper. Still light getting through, potentially lowering the quality.
And then I could take 2 photos of a bit over half the negatives and stitch them together, virtually doubling the resolution and still be faster than with the scanner. And then again the Fuji is ‘only’ a 16 Megapixel camera…. imagine with a 20-something full frame rig! But then I’d be out of a big lot of money…. not, film is still my priority!
On to the next pair! Some of the oldest parts of the fortifications of Luxembourg City, still going strong! The resolution is great in the Fuji’s file tones are nicely balanced…
On the other hand, The Plustek, no big surprise again, shows a tiny bit less crispyness.
Again nothing extreme, just noticeable!
Let’s take a look at a last pair. Yep, total trash! But again nice detail, fine resolution down to the grain level for the digitized version…
And a tad less of it in the scanned one.
Now you will say why does he not simply use that darn Fuji and make photos?
OK, I like film and if I could I would build a nice darkroom and make my prints. But I don’t have the space and the time for that. Unfortunately. And I can’t monopolize the bathroom for hours… So I have settled for second best, scanning!
Scanning with a film scanner or a camera is in fact the same. Producing a digital file from a negative. This still lets me enjoy those lovely cameras and lenses and gives me the excitement of all the limitations that film imposes. And at the same time I can show you my work, I can print the photos out and even have a zine or book made.
Not a perfect world but it’s the one I’m in!Perhaps the best example for the resolution of my setup and the fine grain of this film…
By the way I did all this on the iPad. I’m slowly beginning to set up a rather quick workflow on that thing. Still some awkward things to get right, some workarounds to find and some apps to install and I’ll be up and running.
Thanks for being here!