Best LF negative film for drum scanning? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I currently only shoot and scan chrome film. However, I would like to start shooting and scanning negative film in either 4x5 and 8x10. Has anyone expereinced which LF negative films are best for this application? Since negative films do not scan as well as chromes, I figured possibly the newer films were designed with scanners in mind? I shoot landscapes only and sometimes am desperate for the additional exposure lattitude. Thank you in advance for any input.

-- Bill Glickman (, November 05, 2000


I've been scanning 35 mm colour negatives for about three years now and I can share some experiences from that perspective.

If I was looking at buying another film scanner, I'd like to see what colour films it supports and the frequency of the support updates. As you know each colour film has that salmon coloured mask on it, and it's designed to reduce contrast when a colour print is being made. My understanding is that the scanner software has to strip off this mask as the first step in making a scan.

I have a little Olympus scanner that has a 1770 dpi capability and that has been fine for what I do for newspaper work. It has limited colour film channels, giving me four choices, Kodak, Fuji, Agfa and generic. If that wasn't bad enough Olympus hasn't updated the software. Most if not all of the colour films have been updated since this scanner was introduced. Subsequently I find that I have to scan Agfa film as if it was Fuji, in order to get anywhere close to what I want.

The Kodak scanner I used at a newspaper had separate controls for each film. There must have been dozens of individual films listed and that seems smart to me.

So see what films the scanner you are interested in supports. Then whatever film you choose should scan well.

-- David Grandy (, November 06, 2000.

As for color negative, the new Kodak Supra is designed to be more scanner friendly. Try Kodak website for more info. Not sure if it's available for 4x5 though.

-- Li Lin (, November 06, 2000.

Bill. Scanners don't have problems with colour negative, their operators do! Shoot a colour swatch, or something that's easily recognisable that the scanner operator can match the scan to. That way you've got a fighting chance of reasonable colour.
As for film, I'd go with Kodak. I haven't found any of their slower (100 to 160 ISO) negative films that doesn't scan really well. Konica is superb for scanning, but unfortunately the largest available size is 120.
I'd steer clear of Fuji negative. The highlights always seem to block up and lack detail.
Incidentally, the orange mask is there to correct for shorcomings in the behaviour of the yellow and magenta dyes, it improves the colour accuracy.

-- Pete Andrews (, November 07, 2000.

Since Supra came out, I have been shooting it almost exclusively in 35mm. I call Supra 400, "The first acceptable 400 speed film." It is also supposed to be optimized for scanning, whatever that involves. Sadly, it is not currently available in 4x5" (Or anything but 35mm, I think - not even 35mm 100' rolls).

-- John H. Henderson (, November 08, 2000.

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