Any analog photographers?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by indierthanthou, Apr 24, 2008.

  1. indierthanthou macrumors member

    Nov 14, 2007
    I know this is a digital forum, but I thought I would ask, or if anyone has any experience.

    I have been thinking about getting into photography for awhile, but the rebel xti digital that I want was about $500 more than I have to spend. I recently found some of my stepdad's old camera equipment (couple of lenses, one is a 100/150/200mm zoom lens, I can't remember what the other was) and he has a fairly nice camera as well. I also found his ollld Duaflex II, which I cleaned up fairly decent, I believe it will still work if I can get ahold of the 620 spools it needs.

    How would I get the developed negatives onto my computer? I have a friend who has a scanner for scanning negatives, but is there some type of adaptor I could use, so I can edit the photos in GIMP or photoshop? I know that I could just sell the equipment and maybe get the rebel, but I kind of like the feel that analog provides, plus I already have access to this equipment. Since I am a complete n00b to any type of photography, really, this would be the best way for me to get into it.
  2. Telp macrumors 68040


    Feb 6, 2007
    I dont't understand what you are asking? What you are looking for is a negative scanner, and you will be able to open the pictures up in whatever program you want.
  3. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

    May 5, 2007
    If you're asking about the duaflex which takes 120 film (I guess) then you're best off (budget wise) with a flatbed scanner of some type (i.e. one with a 6x6 slide scan ability). Have a look around, they exist!
  4. indierthanthou thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 14, 2007

    The duaflex takes 620 film. 120 is almost identical, but the spool is larger, which won't fit inside the duaflex. I know that I can respool 120 film onto 620 spools, I just don't know where to find the spools. 620 is available, but it is a lot more expensive ($20/roll where I found it) than 120.

    Also, about the scanner, I meant to ask if there was some type of attachment that I could get for my scanner (canon mx300 all in one, apple rebate special) in order to scan the negatives, or if I would have to buy a second scanner.

    ALSO is there anywhere I can get the film developed, to where they just send me the negatives, so I can do the photos myself, or would it cost just as much to just get the wal-mart 1-hour photo deal to do it?

    Finally, are there any special pointers anyone could give me? Things to watch out for, tricks to get cool effects that you can't get with digital, etc? I know it isn't all that easy without knowing what equipment I have, I will post it up later on, after class tonight.
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Yes could sell the equipment but I doubt you could get even $100 for it. Only a few specific brands and items have any re-sale value left. If it is Nikon or Pentax you could use the lenses with the new digital body.

    What you do is scan the negatives. Either you have a scanner or pay some outfit to scan them for you. I have maybe 12,000 images that I'm working on geting scanned. Mostly I'm outsourcing this because it would take years if I did it all myself but if you are only shooting a few rolls then do it yourself.

    Once it is scanned then you can get at it directly with photoshop or gimp. I don't understand about "adaptor"?

    I doubt you will find a source for that roll film. It's an antiuqe camera, put it up in a display cabinet. Stick with 35mm film for now.

    If you are reraly strapped for cash you can do what I did when I was a kid. Buy bulk 100 foot rolls on black and white film and re-spool it then process by hand. That gets the price way down to what even a 13 year old kid can afford. It's not hard. But if you take color film to the drug store and tell them "no prints, develope only" it is cheap enough. Then just scan the film.
  6. indierthanthou thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 14, 2007
    I meant, is there some type of equipment that I can attach to my existing scanner that will hold the negatives for scanning, or if I need to buy a completely separate scanner.

    source for the film:

    by process by hand, do you mean set up a darkroom in my bathroom, or something along those lines? I heard that the chemicals have really short shelf lives, and are fairly expensive, which is why I would want the negatives done at a drugstore or something.

    also, what kind of quality are pictures on the discs that you can get when having photos developed? Are they watermarked, so only the company that originally developed them can remove it (walgreens, etc)? are they relatively small sizes, like the pictures they give you?
  7. OldCorpse macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2005
    compost heap
    I know this doesn't answer your question directly, but I'd urge you to think again about why you want to do this, because the motivation you gave (economics) doesn't compute too well. The sheer hassle and cost of buying, developing, scanning that film is going to be more than getting a good and cheap DSLR. There are some excellent DSLRs and lenses which are quite cheap (or ultracheap, when you buy used), and once you've made that (small, especially when used) investment, you'll find this way, way, cheaper in the long run than using any "analog" system. Of course, if you have other reasons beside cost, that's a different story. YMMV.
  8. indierthanthou thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 14, 2007
    I will admit, that the main reason is economics, and to be completely honest, I have no idea if I will like photography or not, so spending a few hundred dollars which I don't have to buy a camera and lens only to turn around and dislike what I am doing seems sort of foolish when I already have access to the equipment. IF I enjoy it, I probably will end up getting the Rebel, or some other decent digital camera.

    That being said, I like the overall feel that analog film gives. It has just enough grain to feel organic, even when it is edited, that photoshop just can't duplicate. I also have a thing for older technology (my car is a 1989 BMW 535, my main desktop computer is a 733mhz power mac with dual crt monitors, and i am working on getting ahold of an even older BMW for a project car), and though I do have respect and appreciation for new technology, and definitely like the convenience it provides, push come to shove I like the classics.
  9. genshi macrumors 6502a


    Jun 27, 2007
    Portland, Oregon
    I have a Canon 30D with a few lenses and after years of shooting digital, I have recently switched back to film (Medium Format) because I love the process, look and feel as well as the non-immediacy of it. In other words, going back to the basics is helping my photography skills get better and renew my love of photography in general (though I won't be selling my Digital SLR anytime soon.) So, getting into "analog" film to start is not a bad way to go...

    If you live here in the U.S., you can have 620 film processed and put on CD or DVD-ROM for you at They are a professional photolab (not one of those little Ritz Camera places that develops your throw-away 110 camera) that does really good work. I use them for all of my 120 processing.
  10. indierthanthou thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 14, 2007
    medium format is like 120, 620, etc, correct? What kind of camera are you using?

    I really like the feel that film gives. It makes it look and feel like a photograph, a captured image of something. Sometimes digital gets to be so overprocessed that it either feels fake, or looks just like you are there, which is good in some cases, but for the most part isn't the feel that I like.

    What kind of quality are the cds that aandi sends? really good (as good as the actual negatives) or is it somewhat low and compressed, making it difficult to make fine adjustments?
  11. genshi macrumors 6502a


    Jun 27, 2007
    Portland, Oregon
    Yep, Medium Format is 120, 220, 620. Since many medium format cameras are expensive (such as Hasselblad, etc.) I'm actually using a couple of cheap cameras such as the Seagull TLR (I got mine new for about $175) and the wonderful $20 toy camera known as the Holga!

    Here is an example from the Holga that I shot using a very grainy film (3200 ISO which expired 3 years ago.) No photoshopping at all.


    The CD quality from A&I is very good. You get a choice of low, medium or high res put onto the CD. Last time I choose Medium which still looked great (even for printing) but if you are going to do large size printing for a gallery or something, then you'll want the High res images put onto the CD.
  12. indierthanthou thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 14, 2007
  13. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    The secret is that you buy one (expensive) roll of 620 and save the spool. Use that to respool 120

    You need to scan film at a much higher resolution (about 4000 dpi) and dynamic range then your all in one can do. So even if a transparency adaptor where available you would want a beter scanner. the site has a place where they sell refurbs. I got a 4890 there. The adaptor (if it existed) is a cover for the scanner that has it's own light inside on a motor. So the light goes through the film. The light in the cover has to match speed with the sensor motion under the glass and the scanner has to "know" not to turn on the light under the glass. Film scanners also many times have a second light the is IR (infra red) and the software compares the visable and IR images to find defects like dust and scrathes. What I'm saysing here is that the "adaptor" is "way complex" and not so simpe

    Most any lab will to this. Just write instructions "Do Not Print, Process Only"
    and then you don't pay the per print charge. Some labs will offer to scan the film for you and hand over a CD. But be carful some of these are very low res scans. You want at least 3000 DPI for 35mm film although 2000 DPI would work well for the 620 film

    Black and white film is easy to process at home and you don't need expensive equipmet. All the stuff you need is cheap. The only tricky part is keeping everything at a constanf 68F degrees. A big tub of water will do that

    Scan to 16-bit files. Do all your Photoshop work in 16-bit per channel mode.
    Convert to 8-bit jpg only when you export your work

    One of the things you can do with film you can't with difital is Intra red. Buy some IR film. With digital you have to simulate this and it is never like "real IR" But the biggest differece s just image quality. Film is so much better. Even if you scan 620/120 film at 2000 DPI you will have 4500 pixels on a side those are 20MP files

    Negative film and especialy B&W film does "HDR" in one shot without much effort on your part.

    Read some books. Both technical ones and some big coffe table picture books. Photography is a mix or both art and technology. You gota learn both.
  14. infowarfare macrumors 6502

    I think somebody else already covered the whole putting the negs on CD in high res. thing. And as someone mentioned before, not every lab will process medium format film, but good sources have been given. I have also used the a and i people through Samys Camera when I'm in L.A. They put my negs on CD in high res and they were stunning!

    All good advice here!
  15. infowarfare macrumors 6502

    Great photo genshi! Holgas rule!
  16. Counterfit macrumors G3


    Aug 20, 2003
    sitting on your shoulder
    I stay away from drugstores, even for 35mm. I don't think any of them can handle 620, or anything other than 24 and 35.
    I have a Seagull too! :D I should have gotten one with a stop for the winder though.
    I think one of the editors for PHOTOGraphic uses a Holga that he modified by scratching the lens with steel wool. It has a very interesting effect.
    If you remove the IR filter on a Sigma SD10 or SD14, it becomes a very good IR camera. Removing the filter on the SD14 doesn't even take any tools.
  17. indierthanthou thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 14, 2007
    That would be cool to see.

    Ok here is what I have:

    Olympus OM-1n body
    Stock (I'm assuming) Olympus lens (says "lens made in japan", thats the only markings other than the adjustments)
    Unknown brand 100-200mm lens (says "lens made in japan" hats the only markings other than the adjustments)
    Unknown brand macro lens (says "lens made in korea" and a serial number 989223)
    Tamron MC Teleconverter
  18. indierthanthou thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 14, 2007
    WOW am I ever retarded. Look at the end of the lens, toopid!

    Olympus OM-system F.Zuiko 50mm
    Telesor Zoom 100-200mm
    Albinar ADG 28mm Macro focus
  19. liveexpo macrumors member

    Aug 19, 2006

    Believe it or not, I use my OM-1n as much as I use my D2X!

    I shot this recently on it in LA:


    BTW, the OM-1n is 35mm
  20. liveexpo macrumors member

    Aug 19, 2006
    Also, that Zuiko 50mm 1.8 is one of the finest lens ever made. Honestly dude, using this camera will teach you more about photography than jumping to a dSLR.
  21. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
    I sold most of my film equipment, except for my Nikon N70 and lens (they wouldn't take the body back and the lens they were going to give me $25 for it, so why not keep it). I can still use film with that...

    You can, if you have a negative scanner, take it to a processor and have them "develop only - no prints". You will get back only negatives.

    I also like to use Polariod! Both the older pull apart and Time-Zero film. You can scan from there.

    At least I got a bunch of film when Polaroid had a huge sale on them years back and put them into the fridge... :D
  22. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Olympus OM-1n together with the Zuiko 50mm and you have a profesional quality camera. As good as anything else made. The camera was popular with photojournalists although at the time many of them would have used the 35mm lens ratther then the 50.

    Good info here.

    The other two lens are likely Ok maybe. Certainly not the profesionnal level quality of the Olympus branded equipment but they should still work. Just use the 50mm lens and your feet. don't be afraid to walk up close for a close shot. I think this is the #1 beginner mistake, not getting close. That 28mm lens might be fun too it will be reasonable wide. ry some real extra close up shots with it you will get a kind of perspective distortion that is populaer in print ads.
  23. liveexpo macrumors member

    Aug 19, 2006
    If your pictures are no good, you're not close enough!" - Robert Capa
  24. M@lew macrumors 68000


    Nov 18, 2006
    Melbourne, Australia
    I reckon my Olympus OM-4 + 55mm f/1.2 combo works pretty well for me. :) EOS 5 is awesome too! And my Rolleiflex T can't be beat. ;)
  25. indierthanthou thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 14, 2007
    Ok I have a source for a scanmaker 4900 for $35 off of craigslist, it includes the film attachment. Would it be worth it?

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