Scanning negative 35mm: color accuracy, color balance, film bias

My question is about scanning color 35mm film. I use professional film (Portra 400) and a very good lab. I get consistent results and prints.

This year i have invested in semi-pro or pro scanner Reflecta 10T with expensive SilverFast Ai Studio 8. And I intend to scan 35mm film for printing purposes. My goal is to have very high quality 30 x 40 inch prints.

Scanner is giving me fantastic results: 230 MB, 7052 x 4715 pixels (33,5 MP) TIFFs with great natural/crisp film grain and overall great look.

BUT the colors are off. Always. I use NegaFix (piece of SilverFast) with the correct Portra 400 profile and I try to put accurate WHITE, BLACK and GREY points (where they are in picture) but I never get consistent and real results. Pics are never “right”, always off, always to bright or to warm (to cold).

I read all forums about how scanning is difficult and about SilverFast and VueScan, Color perfect and Photoshop but everywhere people have problems getting colors right.

My questions are:

  1. Should I just continue this guessing game and try to somehow spot the right color everytime?

  2. Have you tried putting Grey Card 18% and set this as a correct exposure in scanning soft or Lightroom and color balance from there?

  3. Have you tried putting Color Balance Card (White, Black, Grey) to help scanning software determine exposure and color balance and color balance from there?

  4. Have you tried X-Rite’s Color Checker Passport or other color calibration target to set full color correction this way?

  5. If yes, what about film bias. (Portra 160 more pastel, Ektar 100 a lot more vivid) Wouldn’t it just get you to the POINT ZERO with film where you have no film specific properties?

The goal is to have as close to 35mm film scanned image as possible, without any interpretation. Just what you get from film processed neutral and printed neutral. To see real film color specific for it’s kind. I just want to see good Portra 400 on my screen.

Thanks for your time.

Is the Pentax DA 35mm F2.4 AL a good choice for street and night photography?

I’ve recently bought a Pentax K-50 and I’m looking to move beyond the 18-55mm kit lens. I’m a beginner hobbyist and my main aim is to take beautiful photos of Tokyo, where I live. So mostly street scenes and landscapes, and a lot of night photography, sometimes in the rain. From some reading around the subject, it seems like what I need for these things is a fast “standard” prime lens.

I understand “standard” to mean around 30mm on an APS-C like the K-50. The problem is that there doesn’t seem to be an affordable prime in this range, with the exception of the Pentax DA 35mm F2.4 AL. This lens is very cheap, but as a beginner I don’t know whether this is because it has significant limitations. Once I buy a lens for this purpose I’m unlikely to ever buy another one, so I want make sure this will be the right purchase in the long term.

My specific questions:

  • At f/2.4, the maximum aperture is not as wide as many other prime lenses provide, and I’m wondering if that will limit me when it comes to night photography. I am a beginner and have no experience to judge this; I’ve only used the kit lens, whose maximum aperture of f/5.6 does make it hard to get the shots I’d like.

  • Initially, before I fully understood how focal length relates to field of view I had my eye on the Pentax DA* 55mm F1.4, which is just about within my budget and is weather sealed. Is there a similarly-priced lens that I’ve missed that has the advantages of this lens (very fast, well-regarded optics and preferably also weather sealed) but with a wider field of view?

  • Alternatively, is the DA* 55mm F1.4 itself a reasonable choice for what I want to do? Its field of view is similar to my kit lens when fully zoomed in, and it feels to me like that’s too narrow, but maybe once I’m more practiced at composition that will be less of a problem, I really don’t know.

In short, I’d like to know whether the DA 35mm F2.4 AL is suitable for my purposes as I’ve described them, and if not, what the alternatives might be.

Using Nikon PS-4 bellows to copy 35mm negs

I want to digitize my old b&w negs, and have an old PS-4 bellows unit to use on my Nikon D5200, an SLR with a DX format sensor. My PS-4 manual predates DX, and shows a table with lenses from 20mm to 85mm and their respective reproduction ratios from 12X down to 1X respectively. I’d think that I want a reproduction ratio of 0.66, so that my 36mm neg width becomes the 24mm sensor width. Does this mean I need to use a lens like 105mm or higher? Or could I use an 80mm enlarging lens, which seems to focus differently because it assumes a bellows will be used?

And why is it that a wide angle lens seems to have a higher reproduction ratio range in that table? At non-macro distances, objects seem smaller when shot via a 20mm lens, so a 1′ ruler at 2′ would be only 1/2″ or so on my sensor while it would be 1″ on the sensor if I used a 50mm.

Why is there an underexposed “shadow” along edge of frame on 35mm film when using my 70-210mm lens?

I shot a few rolls on Minolta XG-M with different lenses and some images have an underexposed edge. It take a while for me to go through a roll, to the point of me forgetting which lens/settings I used, but looking through the images, I’m fairly confident that

  1. The shaded region appears on the same side.
  2. It only appears when using my 70-210mm Vivitar.

That pretty much rules out shutter problems, I guess? Could it be the lack of a lens hood?

Here are some examples:

example 1 example 2 example 3

EDIT: Apologies for the mistake, the lens is Sigma Zoom-k II f/4.5 70-210mm Multi Coated Lens. Other lenses I use are Minolta MD 50mm f/1.7 and Minolta MD Zoom 24-35mm f/3.5, which don’t seem to have this problem (from what I remember about the images taken). The zoom lens has some internal dust, but otherwise looks fine. Not sure how to test for thhe interaction between the aperture and a mirror. Also, I scan with a DSLR+zoom reverser, so had to improvise with these images, but the same shade doesn’t seem to overlap with two frames:

requested example 1 requested example 2

Why is the bottom half of my 35mm photos black?

So this isnโ€™t in all my photos only some, I Use a Pentax super A1. The bottom half of the photo sometimes comes out as nothing. This is annoying and unpredictable. I have read that It may be the shutter, so would using it at a slower shutter speed maybe help? I usually adjust apature manually and let the camera decide the shutter speed. Could I maybe not go enter image description herequicker than 250? I just cant remember which shuttter speed the photos that came out okay were taken at/#.

(How) were FoVs discussed before the 35mm became de-facto standard?

Ever since the 35mm small frame gained popularity in the mid-1900s it’s well known (and perhaps lamented) the particular crop factor became a de-facto standard by late 1900s when people discussed their fields of view, a useful thing when talking about compositions, compression and other related things.

Nowadays one can say he’s got a “35mm lens” when he means he bought a micro-4/3 lens with a focal length of 17mm. Perhaps not technically correct but as a “standard” the 35mm equivalency gets the point home. You know what kind of a field of view a 35mm lens sports.

How were these coffee machine conversations back then, before 35mm took over the world?

Was it just like “well I have this here lens says 200 mm on the side and it makes a mighty good portrait” and that be the end of that? ๐Ÿ™‚

Differences between projector, enlarger and macro lenses for photographing 35mm slides

I have some 35mm slides that I would like to digitalize. I am thinking about building something like this, (modifying a slide projector to feed be slides and mounting a dslr photographing the slide currently shown by the projector) and am wondering what type of lens would be best for the job. The projects I have seen uses a macro lens but to my question.

For this kind of flat to flat photography where both the sensor and subject is 35mm across what advantages and dissadvantages does different lens types like macro lenses, projector lenses and enlarger lenses.

What I have figured out of my own, might contain missconceptions.

Macro lenses, no fussing around with adapters and extension tubes

Projector lens, one tend to come with a used projector so it will be cheap

Enlarger lens, optimized for flat to flat projection

I obviously realize that I will have to adapt any non native lenses and add extension tubes until I can focus in macro distances.

So my question, which kinds of lenses ate suitable for this and what are their respective advantages and dussadvantages?