Po(i)sed (test shot).

This is a test shot involving some challenging (but beautiful) light.

The gear: Mamiya 7II + 80mm, and Kodak Portra 400 film.

The “test” part is referring to not only the camera gear, but also the film scanning.



13 thoughts on “Po(i)sed (test shot).

  1. bijansabet says:

    Gorgeous family and photograph. Those colors!


  2. Kevin says:

    Great family photo with the 7ii! Gotta love Portra!

    I haven’t scanned my own, per se, but I’ve been using a bridge camera and taking pics of each frame on a light table. If I want a big print, I’ll take multiple digital shots and merge them in photoshop to make one large image of the frame. The whole process doesn’t take me long, maybe 15 min for a roll of 36. Supposedly, this is better than traditional scanners as far as resolution and sharpness. Should see how it works with the DF and a macro lens, that would be an interesting comparison. And, it does save money since all I need to do is pay for development.

  3. IMHO home scanning works really well for black and white, and for E6 film, but is nearly always compromised for C41 film, as the controlling software (Silverfast, Vuescan etc) is much weaker than commercial equivalents with the parameters for orange mask compensation. Of course, you are very likely MUCH better at colour management than I am, but I get all my C41 scans done professionally (35mm C41 at Photo Express in Hull, but they are in the wrong continent for you, and don’t do 120). UK Film Lab are known to be excellent at scanning.

    The advice I’ve got is that the best choice for colour negative scanning is to scan as a POSITIVE to TIFF, and then invert and colour compensate with ColorPerfect (a plugin for Photoshop). Someone did one of my early frames for me after a post on Talk Photography about colour problems with a Fuji film, and the result was just great. I don’t do PS so have not tried it myself

    • Interesting. Thank you Chris.

      It’s not even the colour that’s bothering me on the Plustek 120 scans… it’s also the sharpness and dynamic range. This is not something that I had a problem with when doing my B&W scans. Very curious as to why…

      • andygemmell says:

        Comes to down to horsepower and “you get what you pay for” I would presume. If the lab are using a pro grade scanner like a Flextight the dpi resolution is 8000 vs. the Plustek which is 5300. Also IF they use a scanner like this the dynamic range will be much better as well. It’s been recorded somewhere in cyberland, when reading about this up to 20% or so better DR.

        If you have used your Plustek for B&W but not yet tried the higher grade scanner for B&W you might find it’s also better on these as well!

      • Vuescan Pro might help a bit with dynamic range (I’m not sure what you are using); there are settings for multi-exposure (if the scanner supports it), where the scan is repeated with a higher exposure to dig more out of the shadows. Vuscan allows you to use this as well as multi-pass, while SilverFast (6) only allowed one or the other.

        On sharpness, these “consumer enthusiast” scanners are definitely limited by their optics compared with the ones used by pro labs. To get best results from consumer scanners, I’m told you should scan at a higher resolution (which is slower and gives a bloated scan) and then reduce to the resolution you need. OTOH a 2400 dpi (effective) scan of a 6*6 gives maybe a 25-30 Mpx result, which is more than most of us will need.

        Best results of course are from drum scanners, but you’ll pay a LOT more for them.

  4. wow this one is amazing peter.

  5. Leonardo says:

    Aways great seeing your photos Peter, wonderful work.
    I scan all my film with the Epson v700 scanner. I can’t say I am completely satisfied with the results but it gets the job done. After some time scanning film I figured that what I most like for my style of photography is the film look itself and the grain… ohh the grain 🙂

  6. andygemmell says:

    Lots of wonderful life and colour in this image Peter!

    Most people talk about skin tones with Portra (which I also feel is it’s real strength) though is does a a great job with the reds, greens and blues of film as well. No Kodachrome with it’s cinematic finish though probably, with Ektar (brings a cooler rendering to the table…for want of a better description) the best colour films around for my taste.

    Here is a comparison from a forum to provide some idea…..


  7. nickolas says:

    wow. just wow.
    long live film!!!

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