Scanning Slides vs B/W Film

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Grant, Feb 10, 2004.

  1. Grant

    Grant Guest

    I am heading off on my first holiday in quite a while. In the past I have
    shot both transparencies and BW. The BW I have developed and printed in my
    wet darkroom.

    But now that I am considering going to a digital darkroom I have to ask the
    following: With scanners getting better all the time and software able to
    convert transparencies to BW should I still consider shooting BW film? What
    does traditional BW capture that conversion from transparency loses? Are we
    talking about detail in shadows?

    In the short term shooting just transparency on my trip would save on
    carrying an extra body and swapping lenses back and forth.


    --
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    ```````````````````````````````````````
    Thanks in advance,

    Grant
    Grant, Feb 10, 2004
    #1
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  2. Grant

    Jim Guest

    For starters, BW film lasts far longer than any color film. In all
    likelihood, it will outlast any storage medium.

    However, the dynamic range of current scanners exceeds that of BW film.

    JIm
    "Grant" <> wrote in message news:SbXVb.456720$ts4.74926@pd7tw3no...
    > I am heading off on my first holiday in quite a while. In the past I have
    > shot both transparencies and BW. The BW I have developed and printed in

    my
    > wet darkroom.
    >
    > But now that I am considering going to a digital darkroom I have to ask

    the
    > following: With scanners getting better all the time and software able to
    > convert transparencies to BW should I still consider shooting BW film?

    What
    > does traditional BW capture that conversion from transparency loses? Are

    we
    > talking about detail in shadows?
    >
    > In the short term shooting just transparency on my trip would save on
    > carrying an extra body and swapping lenses back and forth.
    >
    >
    > --
    >

    ````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````
    > ```````````````````````````````````````
    > Thanks in advance,
    >
    > Grant
    >
    >
    Jim, Feb 10, 2004
    #2
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  3. In article <SbXVb.456720$ts4.74926@pd7tw3no>, "Grant" <> wrote:

    > I am heading off on my first holiday in quite a while. In the past I have
    > shot both transparencies and BW. The BW I have developed and printed in my
    > wet darkroom.
    >
    > But now that I am considering going to a digital darkroom I have to ask the
    > following: With scanners getting better all the time and software able to
    > convert transparencies to BW should I still consider shooting BW film? What
    > does traditional BW capture that conversion from transparency loses? Are we
    > talking about detail in shadows?
    >
    > In the short term shooting just transparency on my trip would save on
    > carrying an extra body and swapping lenses back and forth.


    Grant,

    you will stir up some controversy with this question.

    I have been converting color slide scans into b&w and really like the
    results. Some say there is better tonality in b&w's, but I am hard
    pressed to see any loss in a well converted slide.

    My suggestion would be to convert some of your existing slides and see if
    you like the results. As you say, the scanners are getting excellent and
    with some practice you can save all the details that are in the image.
    Without having done a direct comparison between converted slides and b&w
    negs of the same composition, I cannot make a judgement as to whether the
    negs contain more tonality.

    I doubt that we will soon lose the ability to save digital files since
    it is just a bunch of numbers. I have some Kodachome II slides from the
    60's that seem to be in perfect condition, so you should be in good shape
    there also.

    You also face the possibilities of getting some exposure errors that are
    easier to save in a neg. If it is an important outing, something to think
    about.

    Lincoln
    Lincoln Michaud, Feb 10, 2004
    #3
  4. Grant

    gsum Guest

    If you're using Photoshop, there are plenty of plugins that
    convert colour to B+W or monochrome colours. These give any
    type of effect that you could imagine and some of them mimic
    specific B+W film types.
    Many plugins are available free if you search for them on the web.
    I use N1PIX.
    The use of plugins usually gives much better results than just
    desaturating a transparency.

    Graham


    "Grant" <> wrote in message news:SbXVb.456720$ts4.74926@pd7tw3no...
    > I am heading off on my first holiday in quite a while. In the past I have
    > shot both transparencies and BW. The BW I have developed and printed in

    my
    > wet darkroom.
    >
    > But now that I am considering going to a digital darkroom I have to ask

    the
    > following: With scanners getting better all the time and software able to
    > convert transparencies to BW should I still consider shooting BW film?

    What
    > does traditional BW capture that conversion from transparency loses? Are

    we
    > talking about detail in shadows?
    >
    > In the short term shooting just transparency on my trip would save on
    > carrying an extra body and swapping lenses back and forth.
    >
    >
    > --
    >

    ````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````
    > ```````````````````````````````````````
    > Thanks in advance,
    >
    > Grant
    >
    >
    gsum, Feb 10, 2004
    #4
  5. In article <SbXVb.456720$ts4.74926@pd7tw3no>, says...
    > I am heading off on my first holiday in quite a while. In the past I have
    > shot both transparencies and BW. The BW I have developed and printed in my
    > wet darkroom.
    >
    > But now that I am considering going to a digital darkroom I have to ask the
    > following: With scanners getting better all the time and software able to
    > convert transparencies to BW should I still consider shooting BW film? What
    > does traditional BW capture that conversion from transparency loses? Are we
    > talking about detail in shadows?
    >
    > In the short term shooting just transparency on my trip would save on
    > carrying an extra body and swapping lenses back and forth.
    >
    >
    >

    I would suggest you use color negative film rather than slides. You will
    get about the same tonal range as b&w and the reduced contrast is easier
    for scanners to handle.
    Modern films of 200 speed and under are quite sharp and grain free.
    I have a couple of examples of the degree of magnification that can be
    achieved this way in the tips section of my web site.

    --
    Robert D Feinman

    Landscapes, Cityscapes, Panoramas and Photoshop Tips
    http://robertdfeinman.com
    Robert Feinman, Feb 10, 2004
    #5
  6. Grant

    PJx Guest

    On Tue, 10 Feb 2004 02:18:26 GMT, "Grant" <> wrote:

    >I am heading off on my first holiday in quite a while. In the past I have
    >shot both transparencies and BW. The BW I have developed and printed in my
    >wet darkroom.
    >
    >But now that I am considering going to a digital darkroom I have to ask the
    >following: With scanners getting better all the time and software able to
    >convert transparencies to BW should I still consider shooting BW film? What
    >does traditional BW capture that conversion from transparency loses? Are we
    >talking about detail in shadows?
    >
    >In the short term shooting just transparency on my trip would save on
    >carrying an extra body and swapping lenses back and forth.


    You may be the last man standing who shoots b/w.

    I see nothing to be gained. Your digital darkroom will covert and
    tint your color images to whatever flavor BW you desire in about a
    millisec.

    PJ
    PJx, Feb 10, 2004
    #6
  7. Grant

    Grant Guest

    Graham:

    Do those plug-ins work with Photoshop Elements?

    grant

    "gsum" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > If you're using Photoshop, there are plenty of plugins that
    > convert colour to B+W or monochrome colours. These give any
    > type of effect that you could imagine and some of them mimic
    > specific B+W film types.
    > Many plugins are available free if you search for them on the web.
    > I use N1PIX.
    > The use of plugins usually gives much better results than just
    > desaturating a transparency.
    >
    > Graham
    >
    >
    > "Grant" <> wrote in message

    news:SbXVb.456720$ts4.74926@pd7tw3no...
    > > I am heading off on my first holiday in quite a while. In the past I

    have
    > > shot both transparencies and BW. The BW I have developed and printed in

    > my
    > > wet darkroom.
    > >
    > > But now that I am considering going to a digital darkroom I have to ask

    > the
    > > following: With scanners getting better all the time and software able

    to
    > > convert transparencies to BW should I still consider shooting BW film?

    > What
    > > does traditional BW capture that conversion from transparency loses?

    Are
    > we
    > > talking about detail in shadows?
    > >
    > > In the short term shooting just transparency on my trip would save on
    > > carrying an extra body and swapping lenses back and forth.
    > >
    > >
    > > --
    > >

    >

    ````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````
    > > ```````````````````````````````````````
    > > Thanks in advance,
    > >
    > > Grant
    > >
    > >

    >
    >
    Grant, Feb 10, 2004
    #7
  8. Grant

    Grant Guest

    Lincoln:

    Always good to stir up some controversy. I am not clear on your last
    comment below?

    grant


    >
    > You also face the possibilities of getting some exposure errors that are
    > easier to save in a neg. If it is an important outing, something to think
    > about.
    >
    > Lincoln
    Grant, Feb 10, 2004
    #8
  9. Grant

    Grant Guest

    Thanks Jim. I need to run a couple of tests with my "old" HP 6200. I am
    shooting with a Bronica medium format with changeable backs. I should be
    able to find images I captured on slide and BW to compare after scanning.

    grant


    "Jim" <> wrote in message
    news:r0YVb.14292$...
    > For starters, BW film lasts far longer than any color film. In all
    > likelihood, it will outlast any storage medium.
    >
    > However, the dynamic range of current scanners exceeds that of BW film.
    >
    > JIm
    > "Grant" <> wrote in message

    news:SbXVb.456720$ts4.74926@pd7tw3no...
    > > I am heading off on my first holiday in quite a while. In the past I

    have
    > > shot both transparencies and BW. The BW I have developed and printed in

    > my
    > > wet darkroom.
    > >
    > > But now that I am considering going to a digital darkroom I have to ask

    > the
    > > following: With scanners getting better all the time and software able

    to
    > > convert transparencies to BW should I still consider shooting BW film?

    > What
    > > does traditional BW capture that conversion from transparency loses?

    Are
    > we
    > > talking about detail in shadows?
    > >
    > > In the short term shooting just transparency on my trip would save on
    > > carrying an extra body and swapping lenses back and forth.
    > >
    > >
    > > --
    > >

    >

    ````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````
    > > ```````````````````````````````````````
    > > Thanks in advance,
    > >
    > > Grant
    > >
    > >

    >
    >
    Grant, Feb 10, 2004
    #9
  10. Grant

    Grant Guest

    We did some renos on the house 2 years ago and I lost my temporary darkroom.
    After 2 years digital has improved vastly. After reading various reviews of
    printers and scanners and checking out newsgroups I saw the light that I
    could combine my traditional camera and a digital darkroom.

    The after testing my old Adobe Photoshop 5.0 LE that came with my Nikon 950
    I saw the potential for converting transparencies to BW.

    grant




    >
    > You may be the last man standing who shoots b/w.
    >
    > I see nothing to be gained. Your digital darkroom will covert and
    > tint your color images to whatever flavor BW you desire in about a
    > millisec.
    >
    > PJ
    >
    >
    Grant, Feb 10, 2004
    #10
  11. Grant

    Grant Guest

    Robert:

    I have never shot print film, but might consider that in the future. Thanks
    for the link to your website.

    grant


    > >
    > >
    > >

    > I would suggest you use color negative film rather than slides. You will
    > get about the same tonal range as b&w and the reduced contrast is easier
    > for scanners to handle.
    > Modern films of 200 speed and under are quite sharp and grain free.
    > I have a couple of examples of the degree of magnification that can be
    > achieved this way in the tips section of my web site.
    >
    > --
    > Robert D Feinman
    >
    > Landscapes, Cityscapes, Panoramas and Photoshop Tips
    > http://robertdfeinman.com
    Grant, Feb 10, 2004
    #11
  12. Grant wrote:

    > Lincoln:
    >
    > Always good to stir up some controversy. I am not clear on your last
    > comment below?
    >
    > grant
    >
    >
    >
    >>You also face the possibilities of getting some exposure errors that are
    >>easier to save in a neg. If it is an important outing, something to think
    >>about.


    I suppose he is aiming at the larger exposure latitude, that allows
    negatives to capture a larger dynamic range and makes them less
    sensitive to under- or overexposure.


    --

    Wilfred van der Vegte.
    Replace 'invalid' by my first name to reply by e-mail
    Wilfred van der Vegte, Feb 10, 2004
    #12
  13. In article <c0avas$6vr$>, Wilfred van der Vegte
    <> wrote:

    > Grant wrote:
    >
    > > Lincoln:
    > >
    > > Always good to stir up some controversy. I am not clear on your last
    > > comment below?
    > >
    > > grant
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >>You also face the possibilities of getting some exposure errors that are
    > >>easier to save in a neg. If it is an important outing, something to think
    > >>about.

    >
    > I suppose he is aiming at the larger exposure latitude, that allows
    > negatives to capture a larger dynamic range and makes them less
    > sensitive to under- or overexposure.



    *- Wilfred is correct, I could have been more clear.

    I remember when I had the opportunity to climb Mt Kilimanjaro(1964) in
    east Africa. I shot *1* roll of Kodachrome II. Can you imagine, the
    chance of a lifetime and I only shot one roll (you can't see me but I am
    kicking myself hard!) There was snow up there and it really screwed up
    the meter on my old Nikon. A lot of the images were not usable. Moral:
    maybe neg film could have been saved. Moral 2: Don't be stupid like me
    and bring plenty film.

    Lincoln
    Lincoln Michaud, Feb 10, 2004
    #13
  14. Grant

    BCampbell Guest

    Actually there are at least two of us. I always use black and white film.
    The film itself is less expensive so I save costs there and then I process
    it myself in order to be able to adjust the development times to the
    contrast range of the subjects. Black and white film also has about two -
    three stops greater contrast range than slide film. I can't think of any
    good reason to use slide film to make black and white prints. At a minimum,
    if you like using and paying labs and don't care about your development
    times use color negative film not slide film. It has a contrast range
    approximating that of black and white film.

    "PJx" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Tue, 10 Feb 2004 02:18:26 GMT, "Grant" <> wrote:
    >
    > >I am heading off on my first holiday in quite a while. In the past I

    have
    > >shot both transparencies and BW. The BW I have developed and printed in

    my
    > >wet darkroom.
    > >
    > >But now that I am considering going to a digital darkroom I have to ask

    the
    > >following: With scanners getting better all the time and software able

    to
    > >convert transparencies to BW should I still consider shooting BW film?

    What
    > >does traditional BW capture that conversion from transparency loses? Are

    we
    > >talking about detail in shadows?
    > >
    > >In the short term shooting just transparency on my trip would save on
    > >carrying an extra body and swapping lenses back and forth.

    >
    > You may be the last man standing who shoots b/w.
    >
    > I see nothing to be gained. Your digital darkroom will covert and
    > tint your color images to whatever flavor BW you desire in about a
    > millisec.
    >
    > PJ
    >
    >
    BCampbell, Feb 11, 2004
    #14
  15. In article <SbXVb.456720$ts4.74926@pd7tw3no>, Grant <> writes
    >I am heading off on my first holiday in quite a while. In the past I have
    >shot both transparencies and BW. The BW I have developed and printed in my
    >wet darkroom.
    >
    >But now that I am considering going to a digital darkroom I have to ask the
    >following: With scanners getting better all the time and software able to
    >convert transparencies to BW should I still consider shooting BW film? What
    >does traditional BW capture that conversion from transparency loses? Are we
    >talking about detail in shadows?
    >

    I am surprised that nobody has mentioned that sheer resolution is the
    main thing you will lose - but that's probably because few scanners are
    up to the job of discriminating. There is just no way that a three, or
    more, layer emulsion can reproduce anything quite like the resolution of
    a fine grained silver based monochrome film. Scanners are getting
    better, but few can get everything recorded by a good lens on Ilford
    Pan-F, developed in ID-11.
    --
    Kennedy
    Yes, Socrates himself is particularly missed;
    A lovely little thinker, but a bugger when he's pissed.
    Python Philosophers (replace 'nospam' with 'kennedym' when replying)
    Kennedy McEwen, Feb 11, 2004
    #15
  16. "Grant" <> writes:

    > I am heading off on my first holiday in quite a while. In the past I have
    > shot both transparencies and BW. The BW I have developed and printed in my
    > wet darkroom.
    >
    > But now that I am considering going to a digital darkroom I have to ask the
    > following: With scanners getting better all the time and software able to
    > convert transparencies to BW should I still consider shooting BW film? What
    > does traditional BW capture that conversion from transparency loses? Are we
    > talking about detail in shadows?
    >
    > In the short term shooting just transparency on my trip would save on
    > carrying an extra body and swapping lenses back and forth.


    Given that you're moving to digital darkroom, the winning choice is
    color negative film. It scans better, has much better dynamic range,
    and is available in a lot more flavors. And is cheaper to process.
    And does better on shadow detail than slides, by quite a lot.
    --
    David Dyer-Bennet, <mailto:>, <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/>
    RKBA: <http://noguns-nomoney.com> <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/>
    Photos: <dd-b.lighthunters.net> Snapshots: <www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/>
    Dragaera/Steven Brust: <http://dragaera.info/>
    David Dyer-Bennet, Feb 11, 2004
    #16
  17. "gsum" <> writes:

    > If you're using Photoshop, there are plenty of plugins that
    > convert colour to B+W or monochrome colours. These give any
    > type of effect that you could imagine and some of them mimic
    > specific B+W film types.
    > Many plugins are available free if you search for them on the web.
    > I use N1PIX.
    > The use of plugins usually gives much better results than just
    > desaturating a transparency.


    The starting point in photoshop is channel mixer, not just
    desaturating.

    The plugins I've read about tend to introduce additional noise, which
    is the *last* thing I want. If you're going for a specific high-grain
    effect it'd be different, but that's not what I want.
    --
    David Dyer-Bennet, <mailto:>, <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/>
    RKBA: <http://noguns-nomoney.com> <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/>
    Photos: <dd-b.lighthunters.net> Snapshots: <www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/>
    Dragaera/Steven Brust: <http://dragaera.info/>
    David Dyer-Bennet, Feb 11, 2004
    #17
  18. "David Dyer-Bennet" <> wrote:
    > >
    > > In the short term shooting just transparency on my trip would save on
    > > carrying an extra body and swapping lenses back and forth.

    >
    > Given that you're moving to digital darkroom, the winning choice is
    > color negative film. It scans better, has much better dynamic range,
    > and is available in a lot more flavors. And is cheaper to process.
    > And does better on shadow detail than slides, by quite a lot.


    On the other hand, the grain is a lot worse. Scanned at 4000 dpi, Provia
    100F and Velvia 100F are nearly grain free. Reala isn't. And most recent
    scanners have no trouble at all with slide films (other than Kodachrome).

    This is an unending argument. I shoot a roll or two of Reala every once in a
    while, and always come running back to Provia or Velvia.

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
    David J. Littleboy, Feb 11, 2004
    #18
  19. Grant

    Azzz1588 Guest

    In article <>, PJx <>
    writes:

    > You may be the last man standing who shoots b/w.




    No, I still do, and I probably will for a while.
    Some things it just gives a *different feeling* to.


















    "Only a Gentleman can insult me, and a true Gentleman never will..."
    Azzz1588, Feb 11, 2004
    #19
  20. Grant

    L Brown Guest

    "PJx" <> wrote in message
    news:...

    > You may be the last man standing who shoots b/w.
    >
    > I see nothing to be gained. Your digital darkroom will covert and
    > tint your color images to whatever flavor BW you desire in about a
    > millisec.


    True, but at least you can develop B&W at home.

    Apropos of nothing, 30 years ago I used to reverse B&W neg film to make B&W
    slides - quite successful, but some loss of tonal range.
    L Brown, Feb 11, 2004
    #20
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