Now that my 8X10″ black and white negatives have been converted to RAW files as outlined in my previous blog, I can say without hesitation, that was the best 8 bucks (for the plexiglass, again, just read the previous blog post, it’s not long) I’ve spent in a long time. The quality of the files allows me to produce prints on my Epson R2400 up to 11X17 and maybe larger, but I haven’t gone there yet due to a lack of 13X19″ paper.
I have a “good” feeling too, kind of like the feeling I had after FINALLY, after so many years, setting up an automated back up for my hard drives. Or the feeling I got after FINALLY getting life insurance, providing for my spouse should something tragic happen. By creating these files, I have in essence, backed up my negatives. 15 years or more worth of work protected from deterioration caused by the passing of time.
Next step, my medium format negatives. I toyed with the idea of using an extension tube on my Fuji lens in order to get as large of image as possible on the sensor. In fact, I bought a tube from Amazon that, according to the description, gave me high hopes for an inexpensive method of completing this task. Unfortunately, I should have heeded the reviews of which all too many complained of the quality of the item, resulting in sub-par performance. After unpacking the extension tube and attaching it to my camera, it was no more than 5 minutes later that it was once again packed up for shipping back to Amazon.
So,I’ve been thinking about this for a few days now, and because of the shear volume of work, a scanner is in my future. It’s now just a question of which scanner. Sure, I could have right from the get go shelled out $700 or so for a top of the line Epson scanner that would have handled my 8X10’s, but that was just too rich for my blood (right now). Now that my maximum transparency size is only 6X7cm, it opens a whole new world of scanners, with a price range starting at around $200.
Will they bring the quality I need? I don’t really know, but let the research begin!