I’ve had scanners and I’ve had scanners. I remember I had a 5R type scanner, not pro quality, where I would sandwich the film or paper between transparent polycarbonate sheets. It was hooked to LPT port (remember those?) and the scans were not really good for print much less 35mm film. Then I had a flatbed scanner, Genius, I think, and that didn’t do much for film either. In 2008, I got a Plustek Optic Pro 7200 for my birthday. I processed a batch of slides and negs of 30 plus years ago – they weren’t again pro quality as of current technology, but they allowed me to see my old images again. I didn’t want to want a long time between each scan frame so didn’t use 3600 dpi even.
After sitting idle, I took out the Optic Pro and carried out some scans of new 35mm film. I asked the neighbourhood photo store to C-41 process Fuji Superia 100. The result? Nothing like the digital stuff we shoot nowadays. If not for the romance of the film dyes and the Lomo – Henri Cartier Bresson look, one would just hit the delete button on them (well, not really, you can’t delete film, you have to walk to the bin).
All kinds of technical issues – longitudinal scratches, film grain, weird film dyes (the Silverfast software colour corrects that orange base of the colour negative but the colours still look like they’re painted on), poor dMax causing blocked out shadows and burnt highlights. Retro? They sure are.
But, but, but – could you get something in digital this romantic without post processing? Really?