Guidance on Canon Film camera

gaelan

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 11, 2005
188
0
I recently inherited a Canon 35mm film camera that is pretty decent from what I've read. My question is what is the best way to use this film based camera with my mac? There has got to be a way to send the film somewhere to get developed and get the pics back in a digital format of my choice. Once I got them stored digitally, I would want to edit using photoshop or some other mac app.

Ultimately, I would like to take the pictures, get the film developed and have my photos digitally. I am currently saving for a $1000 dollar digital camera, but it will be a long road.
 

-hh

macrumors 68030
Jul 17, 2001
2,527
323
NJ Highlands, Earth
I recently inherited a Canon 35mm film camera that is pretty decent from what I've read.
Which model?


My question is what is the best way to use this film based camera with my mac? There has got to be a way to send the film somewhere to get developed and get the pics back in a digital format of my choice.
Generally speaking, your lowest cost of digitizing will be if you pay for it at the same time as developing. Check to see what your options are at your friendly local camera store. Mine offers 6MP scans with developing for around an extra $5.


-hh
 

marioman38

macrumors 6502a
Aug 8, 2006
886
69
Elk Grove, CA
Any store (Safeway/Wal-mart) allows you to develop your film, and get a "Picture CD" with them. AFAIK the Picture CD is compressed, it may be possible to specify the resolution you would like them scanned.
 

OreoCookie

macrumors 68030
Apr 14, 2001
2,681
69
Sendai, Japan
The quality of the scans on Pictures CDs is abysmal, you have to use your own film scanner. I have a flatbed scanner with an adapter to scan film, the quality is meh and I get about 3 MP. This is enough for casual scans, but nowhere near enough if you want to do something with your equipment. In particular, the scans need a lot of work afterwards.

I've heard good things about Minolta scanners. Don't bother with film scanners that have a SCSI interface, you'll want one with a USB interface.
 

pdxflint

macrumors 68020
Aug 25, 2006
2,407
14
Oregon coast
You really should get a scanner at least at the level of the Nikon Coolscan V, which will make great scans, but set you back about $600 brand new. So, that would take a chunk out of your dSLR budget, thus you're probably best off to just have the photo processors do it for you until you save up enough to make the plunge in to full digital...
 

jlcharles

macrumors 6502
Mar 30, 2006
345
0
Wenonah, NJ
Yeah, just get the place you get it developed at to scan it. I'd stay away from places like walmart,etc and go for a local pro lab. They'll be able to give you much better scans.
 

J'aime

macrumors member
Jun 9, 2007
56
0
If you are saving for a digital camera and aren't going to use the film camera after going digital, i personally wouldn't spend the money to get your own film scanner. The quality of picture cds isn't the absolute best, but it's a decent hold over until you go digital. Unless you're planning on making movie size posters with your shots, picture cds should be fine.
 

netdog

macrumors 603
Feb 6, 2006
5,758
37
London
Why run up film and lab bills? Honestly, I still say sell the camera and buy a good digital. In the long run, this is the cheapest option.
 

-hh

macrumors 68030
Jul 17, 2001
2,527
323
NJ Highlands, Earth
The quality of the scans on Pictures CDs is abysmal, you have to use your own film scanner.
It varies by the equipment in the store, and while it may not necessarilly be all that great, its better than what you can DIY on a flatbed.


I have a flatbed scanner with an adapter to scan film, the quality is meh and I get about 3 MP. This is enough for casual scans, but nowhere near enough if you want to do something with your equipment. In particular, the scans need a lot of work afterwards.
I have one of the Epson 'Perfection' firewire-based flatbed scanners with the top light to scan transparencies including film. The quality is better than 3MP if you push the hardware, but you do get evidence of grain fairly easily.

And point well taken about needing post-processing, but even the touch labor of getting the slide/negative cleaned up, positioned properly (even with the masks), etc, etc...overall, it turns out to be quite a laborious process.

Since the OP infers that they don't have a large existing inventory of film that would be in need of scanning, the best approach for him to get it digitized is in bulk while it is being processed. At only $5 per roll, this is a bargain in the labor savings it affords.

In terms of comparative quality, I admit that it is hard to tell anything from these examples (different sizes, etc), but this one is a scan of 35mm film done by the store when it was developed, and this one is a scan from a 35mm slide that I had to do myself. If the objective is good enough for webpages, well you can see that both easily pass.


I've heard good things about Minolta scanners. Don't bother with film scanners that have a SCSI interface, you'll want one with a USB interface.
I agree about SCSI. I have an old Nikon LS-1000 and a SCSI card in my G5 PowerMac and haven't found any easy way to make it work.

Ideally, you want Firewire for the interface (30% higher throughput), but the Nikon LS-5000 is now only USB. FWIW, i'm interested in the LS-5000 because its available with a bulk slide feeder, which is something I would need, considering that I have probably 5-10,000 slides from my UW photography...the touch labor to digitize them all would kill me and to pay a service gets into the higher "per slide" fees because they're already developed. I suspect that I'm going to go the "display on slide projector & take new digital photo with dSLR on tripod" approach.




-hh
 

OreoCookie

macrumors 68030
Apr 14, 2001
2,681
69
Sendai, Japan
I have one of the Epson 'Perfection' firewire-based flatbed scanners with the top light to scan transparencies including film. The quality is better than 3MP if you push the hardware, but you do get evidence of grain fairly easily.
I have an Epson Perfection 1660 Photo and the scanner is really good: much sturdier than Epson's V10 which we got for my office and the scan quality is good. It seems you have a much more expensive model with higher resolution.

Don't get me wrong, the scanner is good, but it's not a replacement for a film scanner :)
In terms of comparative quality, I admit that it is hard to tell anything from these examples (different sizes, etc), but this one is a scan of 35mm film done by the store when it was developed, and this one is a scan from a 35mm slide that I had to do myself. If the objective is good enough for webpages, well you can see that both easily pass.
Hmm, the quality is decent.
This is what I got from Walgreen's this April, it's a full 1.5 MP. I've tried other shops in other countries, but it seems they are all content with about 1.5 MP -- I'm not ;)

However, it's good enough if you want to send some pictures to friends.
Ideally, you want Firewire for the interface (30% higher throughput), but the Nikon LS-5000 is now only USB. FWIW, i'm interested in the LS-5000 because its available with a bulk slide feeder, which is something I would need, considering that I have probably 5-10,000 slides from my UW photography...the touch labor to digitize them all would kill me and to pay a service gets into the higher "per slide" fees because they're already developed. I suspect that I'm going to go the "display on slide projector & take new digital photo with dSLR on tripod" approach.
I agree FireWire is the quickest interface, most film scanners use USB, though. With USB, you can plug in the scanner into your next notebook and I think it'll be years until a computer doesn't ship with USB built-in.
 

arogge

macrumors 65816
Feb 15, 2002
1,058
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Tatooine
If you are struggling to buy a $1,000 digital camera, you should not be using chemical film. The cost of the film, development, scanning, and processing can exceed that amount of money for only a few days of moderate shooting.
Do you have a filter set for colour adjustments? You will need it because most chemical film is meant to be used in a specific daylight colour temperature. Filters are required to adjust for the changes in white balance. Unlike with digital files, this white balance cannot be changed properly during development.
A minimum cost for film development and scanning is $12 per roll, but can be more than $20 with a high-resolution scan. Two rolls of film after scanning can cost more money than a 2 GB memory card. Because you have no requirement to use chemical film, I recommend that you buy a digital camera and use that instead. Which camera is it that you have now?
 

-hh

macrumors 68030
Jul 17, 2001
2,527
323
NJ Highlands, Earth
Don't get me wrong, the scanner is good, but it's not a replacement for a film scanner :)
Ya get what ya pay for :)

Hmm, the quality is decent.
This is what I got from Walgreen's...I've tried other shops in other countries, but it seems they are all content with about 1.5 MP -- I'm not ;)
I assume that you've seeked out your local, small (and probably struggling) family owned camera store? It pays to become a faithful regular. The store I've used for years started to offer the service and was asking $5/roll for 3MP and $10/roll for 6MP. Three years ago, I walked in with 50 rolls of film and told them that I'd pay $5/roll but only if I got 6MP. They agreed and shortly thereafter they changed their prices for everyone.

However, it's good enough if you want to send some pictures to friends.

With USB, you can plug in the scanner into your next notebook and I think it'll be years until a computer doesn't ship with USB built-in.
True, but I generally don't plan on lugging a flatbed scanner around with a notebook. As such, I can make my plans based on what's likely for the desktop.

If you are struggling to buy a $1,000 digital camera, you should not be using chemical film. The cost of the film, development, scanning, and processing can exceed that amount of money for only a few days of moderate shooting.
Fair enough, but film is simply a different medium, with its own subtlties and reasons to consider it. Guess it would surprise you to learn that I went out and bought an EOS 3 after I bought my 20D.

Do you have a filter set for colour adjustments? You will need it because most chemical film is meant to be used in a specific daylight colour temperature. Filters are required to adjust for the changes in white balance. Unlike with digital files, this white balance cannot be changed properly during development.
I've gone for 25+ years without ever buying said filter.

Unless you're shooting under studio lights without switching to tungsteon film, or you're trying to do indoor natural light photography and don't want the orange tone effect (and again, withouth tungsteon film), there's really no need for a color temperature adjusting filter.

A minimum cost for film development and scanning is $12 per roll, but can be more than $20 with a high-resolution scan. Two rolls of film after scanning can cost more money than a 2 GB memory card. Because you have no requirement to use chemical film, I recommend that you buy a digital camera and use that instead.
All true, but it all depends on what the OP really wants to do. There's still going to be a niche for film even after it has been clearly surpassed by digital technologies, if nothing else than as a craftsmanship art form. Plus in this case, the OP was given this camera. Not only is it hard to beat "free", but this factor might make it a bit of a delicate situation for him to promptly dispose (however politely) of it, lest he be perceived as ungrateful or whatever. The good news is that he's interested in photography and he's going to try to make the best of what he has.


Which camera is it that you have now?
I've already asked the same question. FWIW, if its a EOS-1N RS, I'll offer to buy it, since that's the latter (& better) of only two Canon SLR body designs that were ever made with a fixed Pellicle Mirror.

If you're not familiar with Pellicle Mirrors, they're an interesting design trade-off. Basic advantages are a more silent operation, no viewfinder blackout, reduced shutter lag, zero mirror slap and 10 frames/sec...all for a penalty of 2/3rds of a stop less light transmission. Today, if you want 10fps in a Canon dSLR, you'll have to get the EOS 1D Mark III...which means dropping a quick $4,500.

Suffice to say that 35mm will save you $4000 on the cost of the body...which buys quite a bit of film and developing in the short term.


-hh
 

OreoCookie

macrumors 68030
Apr 14, 2001
2,681
69
Sendai, Japan
I assume that you've seeked out your local, small (and probably struggling) family owned camera store? It pays to become a faithful regular. The store I've used for years started to offer the service and was asking $5/roll for 3MP and $10/roll for 6MP. Three years ago, I walked in with 50 rolls of film and told them that I'd pay $5/roll but only if I got 6MP. They agreed and shortly thereafter they changed their prices for everyone.
Good point.
True, but I generally don't plan on lugging a flatbed scanner around with a notebook. As such, I can make my plans based on what's likely for the desktop.
No, it's not about that. Notebooks don't allow for expansions as easily. So you'll have a more difficult time to connect a scanner with SCSI interface to a MacBook or ProBook.
I've already asked the same question. FWIW, if its a EOS-1N RS, I'll offer to buy it, since that's the latter (& better) of only two Canon SLR body designs that were ever made with a fixed Pellicle Mirror.

If you're not familiar with Pellicle Mirrors, they're an interesting design trade-off. Basic advantages are a more silent operation, no viewfinder blackout, reduced shutter lag, zero mirror slap and 10 frames/sec...all for a penalty of 2/3rds of a stop less light transmission. Today, if you want 10fps in a Canon dSLR, you'll have to get the EOS 1D Mark III...which means dropping a quick $4,500.
…*and the other one is the Canon Pellix. Very nice cameras. The Olympus E-20 also used a Pellicle mirror and you could hardly hear anything when I took pictures. :)
 

-hh

macrumors 68030
Jul 17, 2001
2,527
323
NJ Highlands, Earth
...{FW vs USB?}

No, it's not about that. Notebooks don't allow for expansions as easily. So you'll have a more difficult time to connect a scanner with SCSI interface to a MacBook or ProBook.
I think we have crossed wires.

I currently have a SCSI card in my G5 PowerMac and a SCSI film scanner, but can't get them to work under OS X. They worked fine on OS 9 on my 8600...in tracking it down, it appears that OS X only supports SCSI for external storage devices, not other peripherals. Perhaps things have changed since I did this legwork 3 years ago, but so too has scanner technology; its not really worth the effort today.

I also agree that notebooks are less able to accomodate expansions, particularly of the "I/O port" type. My comment was simply that a flatbed scanner isn't particularly portable, so I'd tend to default to the expansion characteristics of a desktop more so than a laptop as the default PC.

Nevertheless, I do understand that its always better to have everything compatible with everything else, and this is a potential concern given how it does appear that Firewire is fading as a standard.


-hh
 

cube

Suspended
May 10, 2004
16,983
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I am really not happy that Kodak discontinued PhotoCD and now it only offers that PictureCD toy. :mad:
 

OreoCookie

macrumors 68030
Apr 14, 2001
2,681
69
Sendai, Japan
I think we have crossed wires.
Yeah.
I also agree that notebooks are less able to accomodate expansions, particularly of the "I/O port" type. My comment was simply that a flatbed scanner isn't particularly portable, so I'd tend to default to the expansion characteristics of a desktop more so than a laptop as the default PC.
It's not about portability here. It's about being future-proof, and SCSI is not. Since the desktop market shrinks relative to the notebook market, the OP might get a notebook instead of a desktop next time.

My argument was not about portability. :)
 

-hh

macrumors 68030
Jul 17, 2001
2,527
323
NJ Highlands, Earth
It's not about portability here. It's about being future-proof, and SCSI is not.
Oh, I totally agree that SCSI is not future proof.

Afterall, my experience with SCSI and scanners is that it stopped working ~4 years ago! (4 years = when I adopted OS X).


Insofar as Firewire and its future, I'll have to admit that it doesn't look too healthy. Because of the Notebook factor (real possibility of there only being USB ports), I'd be somewhat wary of a peripheral that was FW-only.

Fortunately, my Epson flatbed is both FW & USB. And I've been 'future proofing' my external HD's by buying the ones that are both USB & FW. As such, they can be speedy today with FW, and still compatible tomorrow with USB.


-hh
 

jlcharles

macrumors 6502
Mar 30, 2006
345
0
Wenonah, NJ
If you are struggling to buy a $1,000 digital camera, you should not be using chemical film. The cost of the film, development, scanning, and processing can exceed that amount of money for only a few days of moderate shooting.
If you think moderate shooting includes $1000 worth of photos, you need to slow down and think about your shots. There is no excuse to burn through film or pictures like that. At that rate, you'll be going through shutters fairly quickly.
 

sjl

macrumors 6502
Sep 15, 2004
441
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Melbourne, Australia
If you think moderate shooting includes $1000 worth of photos, you need to slow down and think about your shots. There is no excuse to burn through film or pictures like that. At that rate, you'll be going through shutters fairly quickly.
I concur. Ten bucks (Australian) for a roll of 24 shots (actually 27) inclusive of processing and scanning is probably an overestimate if you're not getting prints made. At that price, you'll get 2700 photos, which is a hell of a lot, and probably not particularly useful for learning purposes. I learnt far more (admittedly with my DSLR, but anyway) when I was deliberately setting out to try to get a particular shot than when I just fired away at random. If you're talking US dollars, the numbers get even more ridiculous (although not significantly more so the way the Aussie dollar is going against the greenback :D)
 

arogge

macrumors 65816
Feb 15, 2002
1,058
19
Tatooine
If you think moderate shooting includes $1000 worth of photos, you need to slow down and think about your shots.
The cost of development and high-resolution scanning is more than $20 per roll of film. A roll of film costs between $5 and $10. I do not use cheap film.
 

failsafe1

macrumors 6502a
Jul 21, 2003
619
0
If you are saving up for a digital camera then sell your film camera now while you can. The investment you would make now to shoot and digitize your film would be difficult to justify. Film costs along with processing is high and if you digitize your film at the time of processing the quality is bad. So you have to add a good film scanner not just a cheap flatbed so that is costly. I would think you could sell your film camera right now or even apply it in trade and the money you get would be better than the money you would spend on all the above. I did not factor in the cost of printing but you have to add that also. Depending on what model camera you are looking for you might find it used at KEH.com and they would offer you something in trade for your film camera. You can also sell it straight out perhaps to a friend or eBay etc.
 

jlcharles

macrumors 6502
Mar 30, 2006
345
0
Wenonah, NJ
The cost of development and high-resolution scanning is more than $20 per roll of film. A roll of film costs between $5 and $10. I do not use cheap film.
Even with what I think are high numbers for development, you're saying you would go through 40 rolls of film in a few days. That is nearly 1500 shots. And I will reiterate, you need to slow down and think about what you are shooting instead of machine-gunning it. When I throw a roll of 120 film in my camera (12-shots at 6x6 format), it will take me a few hours to find and set-up all of the shots I want to take.

Use the film camera. It's either take shots and learn now, or do nothing and wait until you have the money to buy a dSLR.

I don't know how much you know, so start here: http://photo.net/learn/making-photographs/