I Remember Why I Dream In Black And White

Film 5 / Nikon Coolscan 8000ED

My scanner finally arrived today (no thanks to the usual crapness of UPS) and just been playing with it. It’s a medium format scanner, so it not only can do 35mm but also 120 and other sizes (even 16mm film strips with the right film holder!). It’s pretty good, although I knew that the software doesn’t work that well on Snow Leopard/64 bit systems – it is upto 10 years old after all – so I’m currently using my old 10.4 Minimac as a dedicated scanning computer. Currently it’s going through it’s first 120 shot, a portrait I took in 2009. It’s a massive beast but I love that it seems that it’s been hardly used, the 35mm and slide film holders were still in their plastic unused – it looks like it’s only had fairly light medium format usage.

I have scanned a whole two strips of 35mm slides (one of the nice things is you can just leave it scanning 12 pictures while you do something else!), I chucked some of the harder slides at it first to put it though it’s paces – these are from Berwick, August 2004 and yes are one of the ‘lost films’.

Berwick 2004 by Tim Baker

Pretty good, although this is using the Digital ICE (the infra red noise technology that takes out dust and scratches and marks on the surface of the film) and 14 bit this isn’t using the multisampling or Super Fine CCD modes…that’s noticeable as there is banding in the darker parts of these shots which apparently that fixes:

Berwick 2004 - John by Tim Baker

Berwick 2004 by Tim Baker

I’ve run these through Lightroom 3, something I trust more than Photoshop CS5 nowadays (and far faster) – apart from needing some colour noise reduction, sharpening and the banding issue they’re great. I think switching multisampling and Super Fine CCD will fix those – at the expense of a lot more time!


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