Photography

© Brooke Clarke 2000 -2007


Class Assignments
New Camera Idea - an eBay Camera
Film Cameras  - Nikon - Hasselblad - View
Digital Cameras - DC290 - Digital SLRs have Problems - Single Lens Electronic View - High Dynamic Range - 2009 Camera
View Camera
Tripod
External Flash
     Light Box -
     Bounce Flash -
Web Cameras -
CCTV Cameras
IPIX - spherical photograph for web publishing
QTVR - two kinds: 360 degpanoramic & rotating object
Scanners - Flat Bed - Film -
Links

Class Assignments

The De Anza Jr college (Cupertino CA) photography instructor I liked the best was H.W. "Wick" Wichers.   He was a retired professional photographer at Hiller Helicopters in Palo Alto.  Their plant was right next to the San Francisco bay.  He interjected some philosophy into the class with sayings such as:
The assignments took the form of taking a color photo, processing the negative and making a print mounted on mat board for the class to judge.  The idea was that he would assign a word.  When you show the print to someone the first word out of their mouth should be the assignment word.  Sort of like charades.  Some of the words came from a list in one of the companion volumes of the set of books called the Great Books (they are too high now to get to without a ladder).  For example "Love".

In one class he pointed out that McDonald's had no advertising and that they should start (this was about 196?)

Another aspect is you need to know how the photo is going to be used.  For example if it's for a magazine cover it must be a portrait format photo.  For viewing on a computer screen at full size it should be a landscape photo.

Jan 2011 I've learned from the Hiller Museum that the name of the De Anza Jr college instructor was: H.W. "Wick" Wichers.  But the phone number has been disconnected.
Front photo of VZ-1 "Flying Platform"
Photo from Hiller Aviation Museum VZ-1 "Flying Platform"
Back
Photo from Hiller Aviation Museum
Photo courtsey of Hiller Aviation Museum

Film Cameras

My brother, Garry, bought a Nikon F (they didn't number the first one) and some darkroom equipment.  Some time later he moved away and left the photography equipment.  I was interested in using it so I took all the camera related classes at the local junior college.

Nikon

The easiest to use camera was the Nikon F.  It was all mechanical and had no light meter. It has very precise matching of what you see in the viewfinder and what is on the film (an early case of WYSIWYG).   Later I traded it in on one (Nikon F photomic) that had a light meter built into the Pentaprisim viewfinder that was removable from the top of the camera.  It had a coupling to the lens in front to read the f-stop and a coupling to the shutter speed dial on the top of the camera.  A needle was visible through the view finder (and from outside) that moved as the f-stop and/or shutter speed were changed.  This camera was very rugged but it's exposure control was primitive.  This model could take close up photos by use of extension rings that fit between the camera and the lens.  When this was done the coupling between the light meter and the lens did not work, but there was a way to manually use the light meter.  There were a number of rings so that the distance between the camera body and lens could be varied for different amounts of magnification.  This is a feature that I miss with the N90.  Note that the shutter speeds that can be used with a strobe flash are those slow enough that the focal plane shutter half's are both open.  To use flash at higher shutter speeds required special FP flash bulbs that had a long burn time so that as the slit moved across the film, there would be light from the bulb.  There were different flash sync settings for strobe (instant) and FP bulbs (delay for bulb to light up).

Around 1994 I got a Nikon N90, AF Nikor 35-70mm 2.8 D series zoom lens, MF-26 data back and a SB-25 Speedlight.  This combination has a phenomenal capability to properly expose scenes with very difficult lighting (see above).  The difficulty is that if you don't use it often, you forget how to use some of the features (Is it your memory that goes first?).  Nikon has a data link system Photo Secretary to allow computer control of the N90.
Liang-Wu Cai - review of Photo Secretary -
Ken Hancock's - N90 Buddy 1.1 -for Palm Pilot -  The MC-31 is available w/out software. It's Nikon part # 4661.
MC-31.pdf - dwg of a cable that should work, but where to get the connector?  Nikon F90X/N90s protocol -
Cocoon Creations - cables to connect Nikon cameras to computers - HarTalk cable about $116 - software free

For the photos in this page I am using the Nikon N90 and Kodak Picture Disk. Until I got the DC290 digital camera.
Nikon Historical Society -
Dr. Walter Pietsch - major Nikon page
A Pictorial History of Nikon, Hasselblad & Rollei cameras. - well done Malaysian site
Kodak DC620 - Nikon F-5 based digital camera
Sigma - Teleconverter - about $170
Tamron - Teleconverter - about $130
KENKO AF 2X Teleplus converter MC7 - This includes the data linkage between camera and lens. I have one of these.
Nikon - D1 - digital camera has the largest CCD chip size and therefore the lowest amount of "telephoto" effect on the lens.  Some of the high end digital cameras use a rather small CCD chip in the camera focal plane and as a result all  lens effective focal lengths are multiplied by some factor that is greater than 1.
Camera Model Focal Length Multiplier
Kodak DCS 560  1.3 - Cannon based
Kodak DCS 620  1.6 - Nikon based
Nikon D1       1.5 - Nikon's own digital camera
Kodak DCS 315  2.6 - Nikon based
Silicon Film   2.85 * - I have heard that this is has been vapor ware for a number of years
 

Hasselblad

One of the darkroom classes required a minimum film size of 2 1/4" (also called medium format) and I bought a used Hasselblad 500 and a couple of backs and lenses for it.  It had a mirror that moved up when the shutter was released causing the cameras to jump.  I did some tests using a tripod and still the jump caused blurring of the image.  The only way to get sharp results was to use a tripod and use the manual mirror trip, wait a few seconds, then release the shutter.  I once took a photograph in a wedding... the minister looked directly at me because of the loud noise...no more photos with Hasselblad in quiet locations.  The Rolliflex twin lens reflex is used by wedding and children's photographers because of it's quietness.

There are different backs (film holders) that have different formats.  The stock back has a square format.  When this back is used and an 8x10 print is made some of the film is not used.  You know this when you are taking the picture and there are marks in the viewfinder so you can visualize a portrait or landscape format and frame accordingly.  You do not need to turn the camera 90 degrees, just look in the viewfinder.  You also can back up or use a shorter focal length lens and still get the same negative area as a 35 mm camera then enlarge in the dark room.  This gives more flexibility in framing each shot than with a 35 mm camera where you need tight framing.  Another back has "ideal format".  Instead of getting 12 square format negatives it provides 16 negatives with the same aspect ratio as an 8x10 print.  This is great for landscape type shots, but rather awkward for portrait shots.  The third back I had was the "S" back.  It provided 16 square negatives that were the correct size for mounting in "Super" size slides that had the same outside dimensions as a standard 35 mm slide, but much more viewable area.  You also could use transparency film with the stock back and get 2 1/4 square slides.  When mounted in glass slide holders (to keep them from buckling) and projected on the Rolli slide projector these were stunning.  The sharpness and size are unmatched.

The great feature of the Hasselblad is the Exposure Value (EV) setting on the Carl Zeiss lens.  Two rings set the f-stop and leaf shutter speed and lock to each other.  When both of them are turned the f-stop AND shutter speed both change, keeping the EV at the same value.  When a flash is used the EV can be set for the background lighting and the f-stop set for either fill or full flash exposure.  Since the shutter is a leaf type the opening is always usable for flash, whereas a focal plane shutter like in most 35 mm cameras can only be used with electronic flash at a few speeds.
Hasselblad USA - Digital Backs - List of brands with $ -
Digital Backs: Dicomed - MegaVision - Phase One - Kodak DCS 465 - Scanview - LeafDCB II Live -
Dicomed Patent US5570146: Digital image recording device

A Pictorial History of Nikon, Hasselblad & Rollei cameras. - well done Malaysian site

Calumet 4" x 5" View Camera

The other camera my brother left was a 4x5 view camera and the accessories that went with it.  Once the darkroom tanks are set up (with floating lids) it is quite easy to develop 4x5 B&W negatives.  As a final project in the Zone System class, I took a single exposure of an outdoor landscape scene, developed the negative, and made a single print that was turned for an "A" grade.  The Zone System is a great way to visualize and expose.  The view camera allows correcting the perspective of the scene as well as the advantages of the larger film size.
The Zone System Manual by Minor White was the book used in the zone system class. There is a new version of the Zone System manual coming soon.
The basis for the Zone System was work done by Ansel Adams.

Digital Cameras

There is a tendency for manufacturers to tout the number of pixels.  This is the total number and since a color camera uses at least 1 red, 1 green and 1 blue pixel to form the image the actual count is at least 3 times smaller than stated.  For publishing to the web I have my DC-290 set for the lowest resolution possible and the quality is great. 

14 May 2007 - This was a mistake.  I've since learned to take all photos with the highest resolution tiff file format (about 6 MB per photo).  In the computer you can now crop, rotate, erase background and still have a very good image.  Then for the web page the image can be resampled and shrunk down to a smaller file size for the thumbnail version, and the hi resolution version is just a click away.

It's often that case that I take a hi res photo and later when working with the image in the computer see things that I had not noticed with my bare eyes.  In effect the resolution is so high you are seeing a macroscopic is not microscopic view.  For example you can read the fine print on top of integrated circuits that you can not read with just eyes.

The optical range finder changes with the optical zoom, but does not change when an accessory lens is installed or the digital zoom is activated.  But by using the LCD it's close to what you see is what you get.

The automatic focus mechanism is offset from the lens so when taking photos of subjects that are say a foot away from the camera and at an angle, like something on a table top, the range finder is typically looking a few inches further than the subject.  A fix is to place an object in the scene just to the right of the subject that will be cropped out later.  You can move the focusing target back and forth and press the shutter 1/2 half way to force a new focus cycle and by watching the LCD (or better the TV output) find the correct focus target location.
I was once very interested in getting a digital camera as a replacement for my film camera.  Recently I saw some photos taken with the Epson digital camera.  I noticed that the exposure was what you would expect from a simple (throwaway) 35 mm camera with a built in flash.  This is a far cry from what you would get form the Nikon N90.  The N90 has 2 microconlrollers in the body, 1 in the lens and 1 in the flash (4 total) that are talking to each other and can set the flash and ambient light settings far better than most humans (including myself).  Digital cameras IMHO have there place, but it is not as a substitute for a good film camera.  Places where they would be good are similar to where you would use a Polaroid film camera (instant viewing of image) or throwaway type camera (snapshots).

10 Jan. 1999 - The Canon Pro70 ($1200)and Olympus D-620L ($940) look very similar in appearance and may be the start of full featured digital cameras.  The Pro70 has a huge advantage if low light levels are important to you.

Leica has the S1 series of studio cameras with resolutions up to 4,000x4,000.  They have adapters for most high end camera lenses like Nikon or Hasselblad. About 75 second exposure times.
Cannon Computer Systems - Cannon USA -Digital CamsCannon Power Shot -PowerShot Pro70: 1536x1024 pixel, design elements of Canon's top-selling EOS, EV2 ! - road test - (<$ 1,500) - Cannon EOS DCS 3 - EOS with Kodak digital add on - DCS 1 - 6M pixel - EOS D2000 ($12,950)- 2M pixel -
CMOS PRO - Affordable Digital Studio Camera (must be tripod mounted)
digital camera related internet resources - most in Japanese - includes Consumer, Pro and Tethered (studio only) digital cameras
Internet Product Watch - Digital Cameras -
Imaging Resource - Choosing a Camera, by Barbara Coultry
Digital imaging has arrived at Wall St. Camera - OlympusD-500L & D-600L - (new D-620L) -
Digital Camera Resource page -
Plug-In Systems -Digital Camera Guide - Consumer (<$1500)  - Professional (>$2000)- Large/Teathered (very expensive)
Steve's Digicams -
NIKON Breaks The Two-Megapixel Barrier - GPS input that allows photographers to geographically tag shot locations - Coolpix 950 ($972)& 700 ($585)
                                             D1 has the look and feel of a 35mm film camera, D-type AF Nikkor lens
DCR-TRV900 - low resolution has quite a following for still work although it is also a video recorder.
Kodak Digital Cameras- DC265 available in bundle with Garmin III+ GPS receiver and a custom script in the camera to add coordinates to images
stock DC265 $999 @ CDW - DC290 (<$700 10May00) & Tiffen lens adapter + 37mm lens + filters
Silicon Mountain Design - high speed CCD cameras
HyperZine Communications - Hot News Digital Imaging -
Digita Camera - Scripts for use with DC290 and others, including adding GPS Lat & Lon, compass direction -
Flash Point Technology makes the Digita operating system used the in the DC290 &other cameras and supports scripting and now FX in the camera.  Digita Application developer -

Kodak DC 290

I ended up getting oneof these and a bunch of accessories.  It turns out that I have it set for the lowest possible resolution for web publishing.  Typical file sizes are under 100 K Bytes.  In this mode the Compact Flash card holds over 150 images.  It has a motorized optical zoom feature that's very handy.  There is also a digital zoom that I haven't used.

The DC290 has 4 resolution settings and 4 quality settings. File sizes are in Kilo Bytes.
The number in ( bits/Pixel).
 
Resolution
Resolution
Print Res
300 DPI
File Size
Quality
= TIFF
File Size
Quality =
Best.jpg
File Size
Quality =
Better.jpg
File Size
Quality =
Good.jpg
Ultra
2240 x 1500
5 x 7
not allowed
1058
(2.5)
732
(1.7)
498
(1.1)
High
1792 x 1200
4 x 6
6337
(24)
799
(2.9)
501
(1.8)
341
(1.3)
Medium
1440 x 960
3 x 5
4087
(24)
549
(3.1)
403
(2.3)
235
(1.3)
Standard
720 x 480
1.6 x 2.4
1048
(24)
229
(5.3)
175
(4.0)
113
(2.6)

If any photo post processing is to be done, it's best to use the TIFF Quality so the camera does not compress the image.
For web photos Standard resolution is more than enough for all but full screen shots.  So I'm going to start using Standard - TIFF format.  This is only 1 photo per floppy disk.

Note that you can estimate the number of shots per flash memory card in the camera by dividing the card size (20,000 KB standard) by the file size.  So for Standard-TIFF 20,000/1048 = 19, but my camera only allows 16 because there is some other stuff stored on the flash card.
Steves Digicams - DC290 review - 1999 - note the camera's firmware can be updated and features added via the USB connection.

Tripod

One report on the Kodak DC290 points out that the exposure time can be up to 1/2 second and so a tripod is needed for low light photo.  I have seen "fuzzy" photos with the DC290 that were taken in low light conditions, now I will use a tripod.  Picked up this Arri tripod on eBay.

Manual Override

The DC-290 allows you to manually adjust the exposure and that's a vital thing when trying to take product photos.  See my eBay camera web page for why this is so important.  "Manual Override" are key words to look for.

Digital SLRs have Problems - 13 Oct 2007

Digital SLR cameras are flawed.  A film Single Lens Reflex camera has a huge advantage over other film types in that you're viewing directly through the taking lens allowing precision focusing and framing of the shot (well at least on good SLRs like Nikon, etc.).  This is not the case for range finder or Twin Lens Reflex cameras.  This gets to be more important when doing close up work.  A disadvantage of the SLR is there's mirror flop.  On 35 mm cameras it's barley tolerable and on larger cameras like Hasselblad you can't take a focused picture if you just push the shutter because the mirror flop is so severe!  You  MUST use the mirror release, wait a second or two, THEN release the shutter.   When a Digital SLR is attached to a high power telescope or telephoto lens the mirror flop gets to be a bigger problem.

The digital SLRs retained the mirror flop problem but eliminated the key idea of viewing the actual image. 

Digital Single Lens Electronic View aka Digital SLeV

The Digital SLeV would have an outward appearance similar to the Digital SLR, but would work differently in terms of the viewfinder operation. 

Eliminate the SLR mirror and operate the CCD chip with a video output feeding a small LCD color monitor.  The image you now see is exactly what will be recorded digitaly, although a lower resolution version.   This has a big advantage when outdoors in bright light where the camera back LCDs are washed out.  Note the DC290 has a  television monitor output.  This same circuitry could feed the small color LCD that you would see in the viewfinder.  Since it's digital there also could be a digital zoom to make focusing easier.  So there's no new technical innovation needed.

Note that the proposed SLeV camera can be made to use the same lens interface as was used on film cameras so the lens from a film camera would also work on the SLeV. The iris control would be different than on a film camera.  In a film camera the iris is wide open when not taking a photo and stops down after the shutter is pressed and just prior to the exposure then it opens.  But for the SLeV camera the iris would always be at the exposure stop.  This is not problem since film cameras have a depth of field preview button that stops down the iris manually.  That mechanical function would be reversed, i.e. in the SLeV camera the default is iris stopped to exposure setting and when button pressed it's opened wide.  The reason for this is that in you need the CCD seeing the same light level as for the actual exposure.

If the exposure time is for example 1 second then the update rate for the viewfinder image will be one second.  This means that you can frame a shoot a photo where you can NOT see the scene with bare eyes!

Advantages

Sep 2008 - Panasonic has announded the G1 but it's not yet on the market.
"It lets you see in the LCD how adjusting the exposure, white balance, aperture and even the shutter speed will affect the photo. "
http://www.dpreview.com/news/0809/08091202panasonic_DMC_G1.asp
http://www.dpreview.com/Previews/PanasonicG1/
http://www2.panasonic.com/consumer-electronics/shop/Cameras-Camcorders/Digital-Cameras/Lumix-Digital-Cameras/model.DMC-G1K_11002_7000000000000005702
The problem is that the lens standard "Micro 4/3 System" is new so there are not any accessory lens available only an adapter to allow using "4/3 System" lens.

2009 Camera

In order to capture High Dynamic Range images inside the camera I'd like to get one of the Nikons that have this feature.
Nikon digital SLR(D series)  cameras in high end first order:
These all use interchangable lens
D3X
D3
D700
D300 - $2500 -  borrowed from a friend and like it very much - but difficult to use (maybe that's the price you pay for the power)
D90 -
D5000 -$850 - (Intro: 14 Apr 2009) (Costco kit: D5000, 18 - 55 mm + 55 -200 mm $1,000 Aug2009)
D80
D60 (Costco kit: D60, 18 - 55 mm + 55 -200 mm $700 Aug2009)
D40

Nikon Compact digital SLR (P series) cameras high end first:
These have a fixed lens
P90 - $400 24X  26-624mm
P6000 - $500
P80 - $350
P60 - $230

View Camera

Calumet 4x5 View (Plate) Camera

A Calumet 4x5 view camera was used for some time.  It was a very low cost view (also called Plate) camera.  The foot where it attaches to a tripod has a notch, not sure why, but it limited the contact area to my Tiltall tripod.  So I got a second Tiltall tripod, removed the circular top plate and machined the left and right sides off so that the remaining plate was the correct width to fit the notch in the camera base.  This tripod still would work for 35 mm cameras.

With a darkroom equipped with 4x5 developing tanks filled with the needed chemicals and covered with floating lids it's almost as fast as Polaroid to develop a negative.  The two big advantages of a view camera are the large negative size and the ability to use the motions of the lens frame and film frame to control perspective and/or depth of focus.

Linhof makes view cameras that were exquisite, but way out of my price range.

Tripod

Tiltall Tripod
The Tiltall tripod was all Aluminum construction and much more sturdy than the commonly available consumer type camera tripods.  A feature I really liked was the ability to unscrew the knurled ring on the bottom of the vertical column and pull the column completly out of the tripod, then turn it upside down and reinsert it into the tripod from the bottom.  Now you can attach a 33 mm SLR camera nad position it very close to the ground which is ideal for macro photography.

The tips of the legs have rubber hemispheres so they can be used indoors on smooth floors without scratching the floor (like the Arri Tripod does).  And by turning the knurled ring a point will protrude from the tip of the leg which is good for some surfaces to better hold the legs in place.

A Quick release adaper would easily fit the head.

Tiltall Tripod Support - there is a loyal following of these tripods and spare parts are still available.



External Flash

Jan 2008 - Wanted flat lighting and started with a simple light box.  Since I already have a flash for the N90 film camera that's what I'm using.   But needed to get some bits and pieces to hook it up to the Kodak DC290.

Nikon SB-25 on Monfrado MountThe key part is the Monfrotto Avenger Super Clamp C157B.  This is a joy to use.  Not only does it work well but  you know it works well by how it feels.  And the price ($25 - 2008) is very reasonable.  You  can buy a similar function for 1/10 the price but you'll also be buying gray hair and worry.  In addition a Dot Line 15 foot Male to Male PC cable.

The Super Clamp can accept a large numer of attachments that all have stud with a hex head in the center.  In order to remove the stud the small knob on the front needs to be backed out a few turns AND the chrome button (in photo at left) pushed while you lift out the stud.  In this case the suud is called the Reversible Stud 2907 and has English tripod threads on one and and European tripod threads on the other. 

The stud holds a Smith VIctor Shoe Mount.  It's the silver block under the Nikon SB-25 strobe.

The problems I've had with this setup are:


Light Box

25 Jan 2008 - Starting to get the parts required to use the Nikon SB-25 flash that has been sitting idle since I'm not doing much with the Nikon N90 film camera with my second Kodak  DC290 digital camera (got the second DC290 outfit from eBay for $60).  Space is at a premium so the plan is to use a Manfrotto C1575B Avenger Super Clamp on the shelf that's just in front of my right hand as I sit here at the computer.  Then a Manfrotto 2907 Reversible Stud plugged into the  5/8" (16 mm) spigot on the clamp to provide a male 1/4-20 thread.  Then a Smith Victor Shoe Mount which will hold the SB-25 strobe flash.  A Dot Line DL-0430 Male-Male PC cord connects the camera and strobe.

I've done some simple experiments by using four sheets of paper taken from the laser printer and arranged with one on the desk top, two in a U shape being held in place with boxes and one sheet sitting on the top.  When a product is photographed using the on camera flash the light is much more even and the reflections are controlled much better than when just placing the product on the desk top.

By using a used USPS box marked O-BOX#4 that's about 7" x 7" x 6 1/4" an cuting out three sides, leaving about 1/4" and on the inside gluing printer paper a simple light box was made.  It's used with the open top facing horizontally and with a Nikon SB-25 strobe a few feet away aimed at one of the papered sides.  See the May Baby Torch for an example. 

When working with the light box the strobe gets clamped to  a bookcase shelf that's right behind where I sit and it's upside down and angled so it points down and at the box.

Light Box

The main reason to use a light box is to control reflections.  For example shiny or mirror surfaces, like on plated metal.

Bounce Flash

The light box will also provide very even illumination and pretty much from all sides, i.e. flat lighting.  But if you only need flat lighting and not reflection control, like an subject that's not shiny, then bounce flash is the way to go.  Simply aim the flash at the ceiling (assuming it's close to white).  The problem is that it takes much more flash power than a light box where the flash is a few feet from the subject.  For ceiling bounce the distance is more like 8 feet.  The big advantage is you don't have the box size limit.  For example see PSG-9  Fig 9 where there was virtually no retouching.

Bounce Flash

Provides flat lighting.

For bounce flash the strobe is mounted like in the photo above pointing up at the ceiling and about three feet below.

Web Cameras

KPIX TV San Francisco -
WEBLAB TV Page - Map of the World link to cam
Web Cam's From Around The World -
Web Cams  - huge number of links -
Guide to Creating Real Audio & Video - RealSystem™ G2 Production Guide -

CCTV Cameras

Super Circuits P-164 (KPC350BH) Low Light Monochrome
Super CIrcuits P-38 (Mintron 63V5) Integrating Low Light Color
Harbor Freight Outdoor Color

IPIX

This is a way to use a digital camera fitted with a 180+ degree lens to take a spherical photograph.  The Ipix company has software that mates the two images and allows publishing them on the web.  They support the Kodak DC200, Nikon Coolpix 900, Olympus D-340L and Pentax PZ-70 cameras.

QTVR

There are two flavors of Quick Time VR, one is an outward looking panaroma (similar to IPIX, but with no up-down panning).  The other is a rotating object, but with no up down panning.

Quick Time Virtual Reality is used for the Harley Davidson Engine Demo.  The IPIX system is what I would call a looking outward system with your eye in a fixed location and you choose where you look.  The QTVR system is looking inward.  The object is on a turn table that can be turned by the observers mouse.  There may be a way to zoom in and out, but so far I have not been able to get it to work.

Apple Computer - QuickTime VR -
QuickTime Virtual Reality for Educators and Just Plain Folks -
TourVision's QTVR Links - examples of QTVR
Manfrotto - heads for panoramic picture taking -
Peace River Studios - pan heads & object rotators
Brian Lawlar's pages - info on home built panaromo adapter & details - QTVR -

Scanners

Scanners used to come in three flavors: hand scanners, flatbed and film.  The hand scanner was priced in the low hundreds but could only scan about a 4" width and needed software to splice the two images used to scan an 8.5" wide page.  These have gone away because flatbed scanners are now in the same and lower price range.  A flatbed scanner is very much like a copy machine can can scan a book or even some three dimensional objects.  The film scanners come with the ability to scan various sizes of film with 35 mm being the narrowest, then 70 mm and 120 roll film, then 4"x5" sheet film.  Conventional 35 mm film is returned in strips of about 5 exposures rather than as one roll whereas 35 mm APS film is returned in it's cassette.  Most film scanners have an adapter so that they can work with APS cassettes.

APML Scanner Test Results

These are scientific tests of the quality of the scanned images.  Done for astronomy reasons, but the results are good for everybody.

Flat Bed

HP ScanJet 6200Cxi  $350@HP.com

After looking into scanners I found the HP ScanJet 6200xxx where the xxx suffix specifies the software package that comes with the scanner.  This is an 8.5" x 11.7" flat bed scanner with 36 bit digitizing.  It has 1200 x 1200 dpi direct resolution and up to 1E6 x 1E6 enhanced resolution.  They also have a 35mm slide adapter, but no provision for scanning 35mm negatives.  This should just be a software color reversal.
The advantage of a flat bed scanner is that it can do both photographs and can be used to scan documents like books or 3 dimensional objects that will not fit into my fax
machine.
The scanner does a great job on objects that have a depth of less than 1 inch.  Much better than a camera.

US5483053: Variable resolution color image scanner having an exposure delay between successive linear photosensors detecting different colors - by slowing down the movement of the scanning mechanism and sampling much more frequently than a native pixel they can resolve features in the scan direction smaller than the native pixel size hence get very high resolution in the scan direction.
US5726771: System and method for optimizing tonal resolution in an optical scanner - the prescan is used to optimize the A/D converter dynamic range
US5523562: Optical scanner having enhanced depth of illumination - they are paying attention to depth of field
US5463217: Adapter for scanning transparencies with a reflective document scanner - this is the adapter included with the 6200Cxi
For 80 patents use the IBM Boolean search page with assignee = Hewlett-Packard (must use the hyphen) and Abstract = scanner

Jan. 17, 1999 - I got the HP 6200Cse from my local Staples office supply store.  It came with the 35mm slide adapter (have not unwrapped it yet) and OCR software.  On my cars page I have a photograph that I scanned (the only way because the photo has an autograph on it that is not on the negative).  On my electronics page I have a technical manual where it was not possible to get good legability of both all the text and the B&W figures.  Using grey scale instead of B&W was better, but using the OCR software to convert the words into text then scanning just the figures worked even better and reduced the file size considerably. The raw scanned image of the page was 1.7 MB and no matter what file format I used it was very difficult to both see the fugures and read the text.  The HTML version is about 4 kB for the text and less then 30 kB for both figures.  Here is a portrait of George as a JPEG file (11 k). George.BMP  (198 k about a minute to download - then view locally) Jackson.jpeg (832K)  When scanning material that is printed on both sides it would be good to have a flat black background (the scanner lid is white.  To improve the bleed through, like to see watermarks and bands, it would be good to have a mirror as a backing.
Sep. 19, 1999 - The scanner does a fantastic job of imaging printed circuit boards with the components installed! Hobo1.jpg - Hobo2.jpg -
See Don Lancaster's web page about using scanners in place of high resolution cameras for instrument front panel images. webimage.pdf imagimag.pdf -
One thing that I like about the scanner is that the images are the right way around.  The Kodak picture disk always seems to have the images upside down or some other wrong rotation.  This is to be expected since they don't know how I was holding the camera.  With the scanner I place the source image correctly so the step of rotating the image is not required, saving some time.  Since you can scan a 35 mm slide it seems that you should be able to scan a 35 mm negative.  Then the software would need to reverse the colors and add the standard cyan & yellow color packs plus allow adjusting the color balance to yield a positive.  Adobe Photoshop has a menu choice that reverses the negative into a positive.  To use this you need to use the slide scanner but with a 35 mm negative in it.  Maybe adding a glass plate to keep the film flat would be a good addition.

When scanning double sided material like newspapers it is good to have a black piece of paper or flat sheet of glass to hold down the material so that the printing on the back side will not be seen through the material.

Jan 17 2001  I had a lot of trouble with a "scanner not found" error and not being able to use the scanner without a lot of work removing and reinstalling the software (nothing wrong with the scanner).  I think this was casued by my upgrade to WIN98SE.  Because of a computer crash I am now back to WIN98 and will NOT upgrade to WIN98SE.  With WIN98SE if you install any other USB device or defragment your hard drive the scanner software will die.  The fix is to compleatly remove the software, unplug the scanner and disconnect it from the computer.  It's a good idea to copy the HPPSPRO folder form the CD-ROM onto your desktop (and leave it there), then in safe mode do the install from the folder.  After restarting the computer power up the scanner and then connect  the USB cable and the computer will recogniae the scanner and configure it.  If you send email to sj6000_support@am.exch.hp.com a computer will read your email and respond with the latest work around.

The glass gets plastic outgassing residue that makes a white film on the inside near the lamp (top) end.  You can see this if you start up the scanner at night and after the lamp parks you will see the film.  Just remove top cover (lift it up) and the four screws that hold the glass (two are under caps at the bottom end) and clean the glass.  This improves the shadow detail on some objects.

I now think of the scanner as a specialized camera for small objects and use it for many images on my web pages.

Seperate Web Page for  HP Scanjet 6200C Problems.

8 April 2001 - Finally the problem may be solved.  The software drivers for the Kodak DC290 and the HP ScanJet 6200 are not compatible.  The scanner is now working.  I plan to:

14 May 2007 - after getting a new WIN XP computer these problems went away.  I have both the DC290 and HP 6200 connected with no problems.  All the problems were Microsoft's poor USB code in WIN98 & WIN98SE.  Prior to getting the WIN XP computer I gave up on the 6200 and HP offered a upgrade to the 8400 scanner at a fair price and I accepted.  After receiving the 8400 and trying it I very quickly called HP back and made arrangements to return and 8400 and get a refurbished 6200.  It seems the 8400 is designed for computer newbies, sort of a point and shoot version of a scanner, and can NOT be controlled by the histogram.  The user interface was a series of windows which you needed to navigate through for every scan, what a poor design.

A few scanning tips -

Notes on scanning 35mm slides - HP patent 5,463,217 is referenced above

HP PhotoSmart S20 - optical scanning resolution of 2400 dpi for film strips and slides, 300 dpi for photographs (to 5x7), and 36-bit color depth $500 list price

KODAK DIGITAL SCIENCE PhotoDoc Color Scanner - KODAK Snapshot Photo Scanner 1  - both personal scanners have been discontinued

Film

An advantage to film scanners is that they are scanning the negative or positive directly.  If a flatbed scanner is used on a print, then it is one generation away from the source and will have reduced quality.  This is similar to copies of an analog audio tape, each generation adds noise and is of lower quality.  Note that the rules change with the introduction of the HP 62xx series of scanners.  They have resolutions that are extremely high and can scan a negative with more than enough points.

Film Scanning Services

Kodak and I expect other photo processors will return not only your developed film and prints, but also some form of digitized images.  The Kodak Picture Disk is an economical way to get digitized images from film if your needs are relativity small.

Review of Film Scanners - Kodak Q60 Test Negative ordering information is available from Kodak.  At the FTP site click on Orderinfo.pdf.  For more information about the Q60 go to the Kodak Home page and Find "Q60". & how to evaluate results
APML Film Scanner Comparisons -

Kodal RFS Professional  2035, 3570 and 4050 Rapid Film Scanners

The 2035 does 35mm slides and negatives at 2,000 by 3,000 resolution (6,000,000 total)
The 3570 does 35mm to 70 mm film at 2,000 by 3,000 resolution (up to 18 MB total)
The 4050 does 35mm to 4x5" up to 4096 x 6144 resolution (72 MB total)

Minolta - Dimage Scan Dual & QuickScan 35 Plus

Dimage is 8,000,000 pixels per image - $527 @ netsales
QuickScan is 1,000 by 1,000 pixels per image (1,000,000 total pixels per image). - $795 @ netsales

Nikon Coolscan III LS-30 -     $975@Central Cameras

{ older models=Coolscan 2000 - Coolscan LS-1000 - Coolscan LS-20 @Publishing Perfection}

The other option is a film scanner.  The Nikon Coolscan series scanners are designed to scan negative and positive, monochrome or color35mm film.  The LS-30 is for 35mm only film and has 2700x2700 optical resolution.  The film can be APS (optional adapter), strips or slides. Requires a SCSI (50 pin half pitch x 2) interface.
They also have scanners that will do up to 4x5 film.

The Coolscan 2000 is $1800 @ mdiusa   Super Coolscan 200 $1795 @ Central Cameras

Olympus ES-10

Scan slides or negative to resolutions up to 1770 dpi in 24 bit color, with the dynamic range equivalent to expensive 30-bit scanners. Images measure 2400 x 1600 pixels, or 3.84 megapixels, yielding a file size of 11.5 megabytes
$370 @ mdiusa

Polaroid SprintScan 35LE  35ES   35+

These scanners work with 35mm film like the Nikon above.  The three models have moreresolution going left to right.  The street price of the35LE is $700 and refurbished units go for $500.  The 35ES is $1100 street and $800 refirb.  The 35+ is $1500 street and $1200 refirb. Prices from Publishing Perfiction 800 639-1434.
Sprintscan 35Plus Slide 2700DPI 36BIT Color Scsi2 W/Photodeluxe WIN - $1295 (2/13/99)

Web Links

Canon -
Epson -
Kodak - High Resolution CCD Digital Cameras -
Nikon -
Olympus - D-620L -
Pentax - PZ-1 -
Polaroid - Sony Digital Mavica- has a Digital Camera that uses....a floppy disk. It gets good reviews and is used by Mike Murphy for his surplus web page.  Sony has released the MCV-FD91 floppy disk camera that also does MPEG movies

Photographic Mail Order Survey - ratings on a large number of mail order houses with web addresses of many
Publishing Perfection - carries many digital photography products
Shutterbug - medium format magazine
PEI magazine - Tutorials -
Photography - Equipment & Supplies - list of vendors
Wall Street Camera -
Cameraworld.com -
B&H - very good rep
PC Photo magazine -  on line
Imaging Resource - Digital Camerasfilm scanners - links -
Pacific Rim Camera - collecting
The Photographic Historical Society of Canada - Links -
Americam Photographic Historical Society - Links -
Photographic Collectors Club of Great Britain -
Rochester Institute of Technology- Imaging Arts - Andrew Davidhazy, Professor - They are in the same city as Kodak headquarters
Malaysain Internet Resources - Left Brain - Right Bran - Photography -
IBM Patent web site - try: Boolean Text search with Assignee= Eastman Kodak Company and Abstract = electronic and you will get 318 hits
Egghead.com - Digital Imaging / Scanners -
Information about digital and conventional imaging equipment from Nicholas Hellmuth -
WJ's Photo Homepage -
Hewlett Packard - PhotoSmart digital imaging page - Cameras, Scanners & Printers -
Ritz Camera -
Focus Camera -
Tiffen - filters
Phoenix Corporation of America -
Vivitar - Lenses -
Minox - the 8x11mm spy cameras - TLX - MX - ECX - CLX -
Pentax -
Shhenider -
GiraffeCAM - POV Pro camera designed for outdoor use - ProTower Mobile Antennae Mast Systems -
Film Resolution in Lines Per Millimeter - film has way way more information capacity than a CCD
John N. Wall's photo information page - Summaries of Published Tests and Charts for Do-It-Yourself Testing -
WebShooter's GUIDE -
Phil Askey's Nikon D1 page -
megapixel.net - D1 Review -
Dcviews - links to current digital camera reviews
 

Brooke's PRC68, Products for Sale, Personal Home Page

page created 30 Jan. 2000.