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2020 film challenge - photos and discussion

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bonneville View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bonneville Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 October 2020 at 16:06
Addy, if there is any softness it is in the original negative. It is a 60 year old rangefinder with what was then the Leica “kit lens”, the 50mm f3.5 collapsible Elmar. The digital images were focussed on the grain of the film and the yellow highlights were all over it.

Having said that, the original digital images are considerably sharper than you see here and I believe it is down to how I am using Affinity Photo to reduce the cropped, inverted image to a 1024 width pixel image for Dyxum. I’m still having to work out how best to export at a much lower resolution and trying to preserve sharpness. Since I moved to AP from Elements I have had several comments about soft images I’ve posted here when the full size are pin sharp. Most recently samples from my FE 200-600 on a7iii and they are tack sharp, until I posted them here

Edit: Another comment about my "softish" posts got me thinking, and googling and I think I have found a solution. If you are familiar with Affinity Photo you will know that there is an Export option where an image can me exported in any one of many formats and at different sizes. It seems I have been using the default resampling setting of "Bilinear" when I should be changing it to "Lanczos 3 (separable)". It does make a considerable difference to the level of sharpness when I compared the two.

I've rambled on in case it may be of some use to others, and thanks for the nudge Addy

Edited by bonneville - 24 October 2020 at 16:27
 



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addy landzaat View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 October 2020 at 17:21
I thought it should be sharper, it might be 60 years old, it might be a kit lens, it still is a Leica

I often let SmugMug handle the resizing for Dyxum.

Glad to be of help! Waiting for your next bunch of pictures
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pegelli Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 October 2020 at 09:55
Brian, I agree with Addy that they are nice but also a bit soft. The Elmar 50/3.5 should be able to deliver tack-sharp images. If I download your image and enlarge it I don't see any visible grain in light grey areas. Make sure when you inspect the photo's from your A7iii/macro set up that you see sharp grain to ensure you've hit perfect focus. HP5+ should definitely have lots of grain visible. Maybe it's your downsizing routine that softens the image but I'd start investigating at the beginning of the workflow to make sure you're starting off as sharp as possible.

I like 3.1 to 3.4 best, both composition and subject are a notch above 3.5 to 3.8
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 October 2020 at 10:12
I notice you say the yellow highlights were all over it, just to be sure, did you use the focus magnifier?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Howard_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 October 2020 at 10:25
Time to get back to colour. Alas I happened to pick up a 15-year expired roll of Kodak Ultra 400 to load into my Dynax 800si, with AF 24-85mm zoom lens. (All EXIF data at Flickr.)

After 15 years bits and pieces get left behind and following standard processing and scanning at Snappy Snaps I'm left with a muted collection of photos. The patina of age adds something to some subjects and detracts from others, so here goes with my one-third keepers:

2.1

Photo Oxford 2020
The day I took this photo was the first day of Photo Oxford 2020, a brave attempt at a photo festival in the time of Covid. This outdoor exhibition featured the work of photographer Fran Morris.

2.2

St George's Tower, Oxford Castle
I used quite high settings for noise reduction (50 on all the sliders for luminance and colour in Lightroom) to limit some of the problems with the scans.

2.3

Westgate skyline

2.4

Funghi, Sydlings Copse
Using the onboard flash

More to follow shortly
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Howard_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 October 2020 at 10:32
Continuing (2 of 3)

2.5

Bark, double exposure in (film) camera
I used the in-camera double-exposure facility to get this criss-cross pattern from a tree trunk.

2.6

Sydlings Copse, autumn
The colours suit this autumnal scene in Oxfordshire

2.7

Snooks, yarn-bombed in Aldeburgh
A change of location, to Aldeburgh. Snooks was the dog of a much-loved pair of doctors that served the town 50-60 years ago. Now the subject of affectionate yarn-bombing in this local memorial.

2.8

Aldeburgh
Landlocked in Oxford, it is always welcome to visit the coast - here the North Sea laps gently at Aldeburgh.

(Continues.)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Howard_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 October 2020 at 10:48
(3/3)

2.9

Aldeburgh selfie

2.10

Aldeburgh gull

2.11

Thorpeness /1
The view a mile or so up the coast, monochrome in a brown sort-of-way.

2.12

Thorpeness /2

Thanks for looking!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pegelli Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 October 2020 at 10:58
Colours are indeed a bit wonky Howard but still a nice set. 2.3 and the seaside shots come out nice this way. I especially like your minimalistic 2.11
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Howard_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 October 2020 at 11:25
Thanks, Pieter ... I have a long way to go to match Andreas Gursky!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bonneville Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 October 2020 at 08:28
Originally posted by pegelli pegelli wrote:

Brian, I agree with Addy that they are nice but also a bit soft. The Elmar 50/3.5 should be able to deliver tack-sharp images. If I download your image and enlarge it I don't see any visible grain in light grey areas. Make sure when you inspect the photo's from your A7iii/macro set up that you see sharp grain to ensure you've hit perfect focus. HP5+ should definitely have lots of grain visible. Maybe it's your downsizing routine that softens the image but I'd start investigating at the beginning of the workflow to make sure you're starting off as sharp as possible.

I like 3.1 to 3.4 best, both composition and subject are a notch above 3.5 to 3.8

Pieter, thank you for your comments and advice.

I think I am going to have another shot at scanning the negative. I have been reading a post in the “Negative Lab Pro” site and by their reckoning I’m doing just about everything wrong!! Not levelling the camera, too low f-stop, not using lens hood, leaving all lights on and scanning next to a window, shooting jpeg not RAW and probably most significantly shooting the “shiny side up”.

So I’ll have another go and if it is okay with you I will send you a RAW file of an original image for you to look at for me. I am still convinced I’m making a complete mess of pp in Affinity Photo. I am almost thinking of returning to Lightroom and Photoshop. The AP forum is awash with complaints about softness, especially when downsizing for the web.

@addy, yes I do use the focus magnifier.

Thanks again for feedback.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pegelli Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 October 2020 at 09:39
Brian, no problem, glad to help. I only have no experience with shooting negatives with a camera since for that I exclusively use my Epson V700 scanner.

In case comparing raw files is non-conclusive you can also send me one strip of negatives and we can compare what my scanner gets out of them vs. the photo method. I'll then send the negatives back once we're done.

Since yesterday I'm using Negative Lens Pro for converting my negatives to positives (it's a Lightroom plug-in) and after one day of playing around my conclusion is that it's much better than what I can achieve making a positive directly in my Epson scanner software driver. My starting point is a 16 bit, gamma 2.2 tiff created in Epson Scan and doing all other steps in Negative Lab Pro and Lightroom. I've also tried creating a raw dng with VueScan (trial version) but I find those results are not as good as with the Epson Scan tiffs.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 October 2020 at 11:02
2.3 is really nice, Howard! The muted colour work with this one perfect.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Howard_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 October 2020 at 09:22
Thanks, Addy - these ancient films often spring surprises!
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bonneville View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bonneville Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 October 2020 at 13:28
Originally posted by pegelli pegelli wrote:

Brian, no problem, glad to help. I only have no experience with shooting negatives with a camera since for that I exclusively use my Epson V700 scanner.

In case comparing raw files is non-conclusive you can also send me one strip of negatives and we can compare what my scanner gets out of them vs. the photo method. I'll then send the negatives back once we're done.

Since yesterday I'm using Negative Lens Pro for converting my negatives to positives (it's a Lightroom plug-in) and after one day of playing around my conclusion is that it's much better than what I can achieve making a positive directly in my Epson scanner software driver. My starting point is a 16 bit, gamma 2.2 tiff created in Epson Scan and doing all other steps in Negative Lab Pro and Lightroom. I've also tried creating a raw dng with VueScan (trial version) but I find those results are not as good as with the Epson Scan tiffs.

Peiter, many thanks again for your comments and advice. After a bit of serious contemplation I am convinced I am paddling upstream trying to use the oh-so complicated Affinity Photo and their own forum members are very critical of its ability to retain sharpness when exporting. To that end I have decided to abandon it and have subscribed to Adobe's package of Lightroom and Photoshop. Instantly I feel more at home (despite a LOT to learn with the latest versions) and after installing the Negative Lab Pro plug-in I have had another go with the negatives from the Leica M2 I've already digitised with my a7ii. What do you think?



For the next roll of film I need to give a lot more attention to the specifics of digitising a negative strip using a digital camera and the Negative Lab Pro website gives some very sound guidance on just that. But in the meantime I am a happier bunny.

(I can still send a strip to you if you'd like to see if you can improve on this latest effort).


Edited by bonneville - 28 October 2020 at 13:31
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