Best Films for Scanning? : LUSENET : Black and White Photography: Digital Printing : One Thread

Photo mag reviewers once in a while say a certain film is "particularly good for scanning." What does this mean? What determines whether a certain color print or slide film is better than others for digital work?

In the darkroom, I prefer lower contrast, subtle films like Vericolor or Fuji NPS. Will this still hold for the digital environment?

-- Mike Heath (, May 26, 1999


1) It means the reviews don't know what they're talking about.

2) Slide film is better for scanning than print film. The orange emulsion base in print film introduces noise into the scan, which you will have to remove in PhotoShop.

3) If you prefer lower contrast print films, stick with lower contrast slide films for digital work. It is much easier to saturate E100S electronically to simulate Velvia than it is to pull back the saturation of Velvia and make it more subtle.

-- Darron Spohn (, May 28, 1999.

This may be a bit esoteric, but with black/white negatives there is definately a difference in how they scan, related mainly to how they are developed. Generally speaking, you will get best results from a negative that has ample shadow detail (was properly exposed) and lower than normal contrast (a negative that would need a #3 or #4 filter to print, for example). The very best scanning results from b/w negatives is obtained by developing your film with a pyro developer, which produces a dye image instead of the conventional silver image. The PMK formula is excellent and can be purchased through the Photographer's Formulary. By the way, the chromagenic b/w films made by Kodak and Ilford, which are also dye based, also scan

-- Bill Kennedy (, July 07, 1999.

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