Tag Archives: scanner

Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day 2020 (backup and backup-backup)

For 2020, I’m doing an extremely-long-exposure photograph or solargraph. The Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day rules are that the photograph must be taken “on the day annually designated as Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day ( April 26, 2020 )” or “Extremely long exposures will be accepted if any part of the exposure was made on Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day…”

I started the exposure on 1 May 2019 and I want to do a full year. That means if the exposure is a bust, I’ve missed WPPD and I’ve got nothing.

So… I decided to make another pinhole camera and use a scanner. I used a USB powered Canon LIDE 30 as a digital back and VueScan and TWAIN-SANE software. The results are not a supreme victory but first, the camera.

JPEG from a PDF page print from http://mrpinhole.com/. I used 8×10 inches as the portion of the 8.5×11″ scanner in case I had to resort to paper. The 16″ film dimension is insurance and a trade off to get the specs I wanted.

I wanted to keep exposure simple and let in a lot of light so I chose a 1mm pinhole and a 10 inch (254mm) focal length to get f/256-ish, a nice power of 2.

I wanted to keep exposure simple and let in a lot of light so I chose a 1mm pinhole and a 10 inch (254mm) focal length to get f/256-ish, a nice power of 2.


It's big so the image won't be super sharp but the pinhole came out pretty well.

It’s big so the image won’t be super sharp but the pinhole came out pretty well.


Foamboard is versatile stuff.

Foamboard is versatile stuff.


I had to actually think about how to get the required sizes from a 20x30" piece. The horror!

I had to actually think about how to get the required sizes from a 20×30″ piece. The horror!


Hot glue is wonderful stuff. Too bad I didn't account for the thickness in the construction calculations (had to fudge a bit).

Hot glue is wonderful stuff. Too bad I didn’t account for the thickness in the construction calculations (had to fudge a bit).


I made it too tall on purpose but the 1st rough cut is fugly.

I made it too tall on purpose but the 1st rough cut is fugly.


It sanded up rather nicely.

It sanded up rather nicely.


Pinhole mount coming along.

Pinhole mount coming along.


Pinhole READY TO ROCK! Too much? Anyway, I'm excited.

Pinhole READY TO ROCK! Too much? Anyway, I’m excited.


Black construction paper to fill in the gaps.

Black construction paper to fill in the gaps.


The assembled beast.

The assembled beast.


Sadly, in the short term, it was not to be. I got something, but nothing to write home about.

Tree in the back yard.

Tree in the back yard.


Different scan settings. Tree in the back yard.

Different scan settings. Tree in the back yard.


I’m not completely ignorant about exposure. Something is going on with the scanner. I even tried an emergency, 1/2 the focal distance (f/128-ish) cardboard box.

Maybe this will help.

Maybe this will help.


Not happy with the results, I had to implement plan C. I replaced the scanner with print paper.

The super-complex, 8x10 print paper taped to a piece of foam board version.

The super-complex, 8×10 print paper taped to a piece of foam board version.


The result is pretty sweet. I’m not insane (about this any way) and the camera works well.

Tree in the back yard. Inexpensive Arista photo paper negative. Metered for ISO 6 at f/256.

Tree in the back yard. Inexpensive Arista photo paper negative. Metered for ISO 6 at f/256.

I’m up late and it’s actually May 1st. At about 3:00 PM local time I’ll cover the shutter and find out if the long exposure worked.

Trip MD – Playing With GIMP Filters On A Ruined Roll

Kind of a long post so scroll down or go back if you get bored.

I mentioned the failed 1st roll (Alaris 200 color print film) in the Olympus Trip MD post. My C-41 developer was too old so most of the negatives came out really bad. The scanner has to boost the gain to get something and it introduces a lot of noise. Once I saw them, I didn’t really take care of them and they got dust and scratches. I scanned them any way but results were not pretty. While another roll was scanning, I played with some GIMP filters to kill time.

Peach tree.

Peach tree.


Peach tree - edge detect filter.

Peach tree – edge detect filter.


Peach tree - neon filter. I can't remember if neon was added to edge.

Peach tree – neon filter. I can’t remember if neon was added to edge.


Most of the filters can be tuned so the effects aren’t so drastic but I was messing with scans I didn’t really care about any way.

Our friend's horse. I seem to have gotten my shadow in a lot of these too.

Our friend’s horse. I seem to have gotten my shadow in a lot of these too.


Our friend's horse - "old photo" filter.

Our friend’s horse – “old photo” filter.


Grass & Flower.

Grass & Flower.


Grass & Flower - cropped to the grass.

Grass & Flower – cropped to the grass.


These filtered versions of the grass aren’t really identifiable, but they came out kind of cool.
Grass - "circuit" filter.

Grass – “circuit” filter.


Grass - "lava" filter.

Grass – “lava” filter.


Mean turkey and a rooster - a lousy image without the dev problem.

Mean turkey and a rooster – a lousy image without the dev problem.


Mean turkey and a rooster - edge filter.

Mean turkey and a rooster – edge filter.


Propane tank, apple tree, & truck.

Propane tank, apple tree, & truck.


Propane tank, apple tree, & truck - "graphic pen" filter.

Propane tank, apple tree, & truck – “graphic pen” filter.


Dragon kite.

Dragon kite.


Dragon kite - cropped & neon filter.

Dragon kite – cropped & neon filter.


And the best for last.
Trinity is not happy.

Trinity is not happy.


Trinity is not happy - cropped & neon filter.

Trinity is not happy – cropped & neon filter.


Trinity is not happy - cropped & "little planet" filter.

Trinity is not happy – cropped & “little planet” filter.

GIMP has gotten really good. I can’t find the Photoshop Elements 8 installer I got with the Canon Scanner. I re-bought PSE (version 15) since Adobe doesn’t have installers going back that far, even if you have your serial number. I think it was installed on a drive I wiped without freeing up the license so I don’t know if it’s doable even if I find the disc. PSE 15 kind of sucks compared to the older version. I just have GIMP 2.10 on the laptop. The workflow is different but it easily rivals PSE now and maybe full Photoshop. I hate the software as a service model so even if I thought PS “Creative Cloud” was worth the extra money, I probably wouldn’t get it.

Phound Photos Volume 7

There is only one image so far but I’m really excited for a couple of reasons.

I bought a box of old movie films (Super-8 & 16mm) and it also came with boxes of color slides. These aren’t buy-them-at-the-gift-shop slides but photos someone took on various vacations. Inside the big boxes are small plastic Kodak slide boxes with labels written on them. They are somewhat jumbled but the small boxes are labeled with where the photos were taken and the recipient.

It’s a little sad thinking about why the boxes are labeled this way. Was the photographer downsizing in his old age or moving to assisted living (we used to call them “retirement homes”)? Did he die and this is how the slides were to be divided? The movies have extra labels indicating they were digitized. I hope the slides were too before they ended up at a Goodwill.

This is a fairly large collection and from what I can tell, he was a talented photographer. I’m not talking about a Vivian Maier kind of find, but a fascinating puzzle.

The box this slide came from is labeled “Hawaii For Holly”.

"Hawaii For Holly"

“Hawaii For Holly”

It’s a lousy scan but here’s the second reason I’m stoked — I used an old slide duplicator, an “Accura Zoom Duplivar”. I got it when I bought a different lot of equipment. The duplicator had a Minolta SR mount on it so I hadn’t really thought about using it. I was making myself crazy trying to find an M42 to EOS adapter — I have a couple and couldn’t find either — so I used some of my down time while sick this last week to organize the boxes and boxes of stuff in my office. It still looks like a mess but it’s a mess where I can better find things. Any way, putting lens adapters, macro tubes and such into their own bin, I came across the slide duplicator. Checking to see if I could cannibalize parts I realized the Minolta mount is also an adapter. The slide duplicator actually has a T-mount.

I also have, and miraculously found, a T-mount adapter for the Canon. It works but the crop factor (1.6) from the smaller APS-C sensor on the Canon 60D narrows the field of view too much. I’d have to take multiple shots of each slide and stitch them together. I might as well use the flatbed and the whole point is to get away from the cruel tedium of doing slides and negatives on the scanner. The 9000f is a good scanner but the workflow is error-prone and soooooo time consuming omigodjustkillmenow.

Plan C: I have a full frame digital which hasn’t been featured yet on 52 cameras. I also bought a Canon EOS to Sony E-mount adapter.

Voila!  Frankenkludge.

Voila! Frankenkludge.

It’s made up from these bits plus the Sony: EOS to E-mount adapter, T-Mount to EOS adapter, T-mount slide duplicator.

The bits...

The bits…

I inserted the slide, held the whole rig up to an LED bulb in the kitchen and pressed the shutter. The focus and light both need a little work but not bad for a quick pass/fail test. The slide duplicator doesn’t really have focusing but it does have settings from 1.0 (life sized) to 2.0 which I haven’t played with yet. Stacking adapters may be introducing some error as well.

I’ll tinker some more and report back here.

Playing With Polaroid Negatives

I’ve had these giant TIFFs hanging out on my drive for a while and finally decided to do something with them. This is far from comprehensive and probably raises more questions than it answers. Scanned with the CanoScan 9000f at 4800DPI and no corrections unless noted. I used some of the same images from the Polaroid 250 post.

With B&W film, you don’t have to bleach off the black backing to get something scannable.

Scan of the print:

Ghost bike in Pojoaque -- Fuji FP3000B film.

Ghost bike in Pojoaque — Fuji FP3000B film.

Scan of the negative:

Not much to see yet.

Not much to see yet.

Inverted negative:

Less contrast but a lot more detail from the shadows.

Less contrast but a lot more detail from the shadows.

It will be interesting to overlay the positive and inverted negative to create a High-dynamic-range (HDR) image or selectively erase the upper layer to the lower. That will have to wait for some of this “free time” I keep hearing about.

Scan of the print:

Self portrait with Zoe -- Fuji FP3000B film.

Self portrait with Zoe — Fuji FP3000B film.

Scan of the negative:

You can already tell there's detail that didn't make it to the print.

You can already tell there’s detail that didn’t make it to the print.

Inverted negative:

Now we're getting somewhere.  More ear and forehead visible too.

Now we’re getting somewhere. More ear and forehead visible too.

For this one, I used the negative and applied Photoshop’s “Auto Smart Fix” just to see what I’d get and then inverted it.

Big difference.

Big difference.

Years ago, I used a similar trick to boost a photo of lightning. I separated the RGB channels, inverted them, boosted the contrast on red (I think — it was a long time ago), reassembled the channels and inverted. I used Jasc Paint Shop Pro (since bought by Corel) on Windows NT. I’ll see if my friend still has it.

Color Fuji instant acts very differently. The negatives look black until you remove the backing. I taped it face down to a piece of glass and used thick, “no drip” bleach and cotton swabs, then lots of running water.

Scan of the print:

Cropped to better match the negative.

Cropped to better match the negative.

Scan of the negative:

Not-negative negative.

Not-negative negative.

Some bleach got under the tape so I cropped it. There was some developer slime on the negative and I tried to wipe it off and removed some of the picture.

I don’t know the chemistry but the negative isn’t negative. I didn’t invert the image. It looks like the B&W component is positive (the shadows are dark, not light) but the color is negative (bluish print and orange-y negative).

Things I’ve learned from this so far…

The negatives are delicate. Do not use warm running water and fingers to clean off excess developer.

Scan as soon as practical — they were meant to be thrown away and aren’t stable over time. Or, at least, they change. There may be a point where they stop.

Given the above, wait until they’re dry. If a negative is damp, it’ll be ruined when you remove it from the scanner and you’ll have to clean goo off of the scanner glass.

Use good tape. Bleach is sneaky and it will work its way underneath.

It may not be usable because of the adhesive but the negatives have a little more image than the prints.

More experimentation is needed but there is detail hiding in the negatives of blown-out and dark prints.

52 Cameras: Week 22 part 2 – Polaroid Automatic 220

Film is Fuji FP-100C. Scanned on the CanoScan 9000F using Apple Image Capture.app. TIFF, millions of colors, 4800 DPI. Resized to 5% of original and converted to JPEG for upload. No edits.

My neighbor's dog Max.

My neighbor’s dog Max.

I kept forgetting that the original Polaroid film is ISO 75 vs. 100 for the Fuji and adjusted exposure the wrong way.

Giant parapets at Jackalope on Cerrillos Rd.

Giant parapets at Jackalope on Cerrillos Rd.

I used an old Achiever flash with a PC cord.

I used an old Achiever flash with a PC cord.

A rainbow of information.

A rainbow of information.

Messy table with Fuji negatives and Konica Auto S.

Messy table with Fuji negatives and Konica Auto S.

52 Cameras: #14 – Hasselblad XPAN 1




I suspected I might fall in love with this camera. I did. Any shortcomings in the pictures is me getting a feel for it and not composing well. Scanned on the Canoscan 9000f at 4800 DPI. I tried 9600 DPI at first but the scanner’s “snow” noise shows up. I used Apple’s Image Capture app and a TWAIN driver set to millions of colors and scanned to TIFFs. Images are downsized to 10% and converted to JPEG for posting.

Color photos are Fuji ISO 200.

Slowly turning back into iron oxide

Slowly turning back into iron oxide

Another arroyo car photo

Another arroyo car photo

Near the Rio on NM 502

Near the Rio on NM 502

B&W photos are Ilford XP1 ISO 400 that expired in December 1991. It’s great black and white film and it can be processed using C-41 color chemicals so I don’t have to wait for Visions to do their Wednesday B&W run.

The grayscale scan setting gave me black images so I used millions of colors. Something amiss in the way the Canon TWAIN driver talks to the app I guess. Reversing the negatives gave a purplish hue, opposite the orange of the negative’s acetate (no color or exposure corrections doing it this way). Converted back to black and white in Photoshop.

Rio Grande near La Mesilla

Rio Grande near La Mesilla

The currents made these patterns in the sand

The currents made these patterns in the sand

My sweetie wearing the "Kill The Wabbit" hat

My sweetie wearing the “Kill The Wabbit” hat

A Tale of Two Scanners

My printer, a Canon MP480, has a decent scanner but no light or adapters for scanning negatives or slides. While every spare cent was going towards tuition at the now-defunct College of Santa Fe, I bought a cheap scanner. It’s an ImageLab FS-5C05. I think I paid about US $50 for it on Amazon. Not total crap but not great either. It scans to an SD card or internal memory. There are no drivers or settings. It’s 5 megapixels, or about 3600 DPI. Its sensor is a bit noisy, it uses too much JPEG compression, and the click stops for each frame never line up correctly. That said, it does a passable job for snapshots and you can line the negatives up pretty well by ignoring the stops and using the little LCD on the unit as a guide.

I bought a Canon CanonScan 9000F about a year ago but just set it up last week. It does a great job scanning prints (max 4800 DPI). Negatives (9600 DPI) are a mixed bag so far. The trays don’t hold the negatives very flat — I had to insert them wrong side up (convex side of the curl up). The exposure level seems to vary a lot depending on where in the tray a negative is located. It comes with an adapter to hold 120mm negatives flat. I may have to make something that does the same for 35mm. I need to make a shield too, for negative sections that don’t reach end-to-end in the trays. I’m hoping that will help the exposure variation. When 35mm negatives are selected as the source in the software, it expects a perfectly aligned 36X24 mm frame. On the Olympus Pen-EES half-frame negatives, this created some strange crops even when both exposures were visible in the tray frame. It’s far from obvious if there is a way to resize the scan area for negatives. The software doesn’t have resizing frame handles the way it does for scanning prints.

Aside: Obviously, I like Canon hardware. My first digital camera was an A70 (died), I had an SX20is (stolen), and I have an SX10is and an EOS 60D in addition to the MP480 and the scanner. However, if you have trouble after warranty, don’t bother with their “customer loyalty” program. It seems like a good deal — trade in your broken gear for refurbished goodies at a discount. Nope. Whole lots of nope. The discounts are off of MSRP, which no one actually gets or even asks. You don’t get the same warranty and there’s no way to know if something is open-box-can’t-be-sold-as-new or waaaay broken and repaired. It *does* come with heaps of shitty attitude from the phone reps.

Anyhoo… On to some photos.

Both images are rotated since the Olympus uses portrait format half-frames. Both have the half-frame break and scanner borders cropped and both are resized for the web. The ImageLab cropped a little top-to-bottom, which is left-to-right on these rotated frames. The Canon scan is flipped horizontally due to having to load the negatives wrong side up. The Canon cropped quite a bit off of the bottom (side of the half-frame) — consistent with not being able to choose anything but an ideal 35mm frame size. I did a LOT of clone tool dust cleanup on the ImageLab scan (it’s on the sensor) and ran a mild noise reduction filter. On the Canon scan, I did a little dust edit but the negatives are pretty clean. I left the “snowfall” on the right side of the image. It’s not dust. I read a few complaints about it in reviews but I haven’t seen any solution. It’s hit or miss. Rescan and it may be gone or it may be different. The ImageLab scan is a little green and the Canon scan is a little blue. On this photo, the ImageLab scanner did much better on color and exposure.

The car wash from Breaking Bad - ImageLabs

The car wash from Breaking Bad – ImageLabs

The car wash from Breaking Bad - CanoScan

The car wash from Breaking Bad – CanoScan

Other than web-prep (rotating, flipping, resizing) I left these alone. You can really see the quality difference in the Canon sensor. The ImageLab overexposed and the Canon underexposed — both by quite a bit.

Albuquerque Crowne Plaza - ImageLab

Albuquerque Crowne Plaza – ImageLab

Albuquerque Crowne Plaza - CanoScan

Albuquerque Crowne Plaza – CanoScan

Web-prep only. The ImageLab got the exposure right. The Canon is really underexposed, the sky is full of noise, and there’s the snow again. At current prices, the Canon is about 3 times the price. When it was the new model (when I bought it) the differential was about 8X.

Big-I - ImageLab

Big-I – ImageLab

Big-I - CanoScan

Big-I – CanoScan

So far, the Canon is really disappointing. I can tell the sensor is up to the task — when it gets it right, the scans are glorious. At 6 minutes per negative raw scan time, plus rotate, crop, and flip, I don’t know if it’s worth it to retry until it gets it right. The next test is to use a TWAIN driver and bypass the rather lame Canon software altogether.

Other items of note: If you get a Canon scanner, do NOT use the default installation. It installs an ArcSoft photo editor and ArcSoft Connect, an always-on spam daemon that’s a pain to completely uninstall. The install also uninstalled the scanning software for the MP480 without asking. Not cool bitches, not cool.

52 Cameras: #7 – Olympus Pen EES


Part of the original project. No results photographs in the video.



This is a fun camera to use. It did well considering I suck at guesstimating distance and I forgot my human rangefinder card. I took it with me while we did a tour of Breaking Bad locations.

John B. Robert dam in Albuquerque - CanoScan 9000F at 9600 DPI

John B. Robert dam in Albuquerque – CanoScan 9000F at 9600 DPI

Waiting for the vacuum cleaner repair guy - CanoScan 9000F at 9600 DPI

Waiting for the vacuum cleaner repair guy – CanoScan 9000F at 9600 DPI

Same negative scanned with the old 5MP ImageLabs

Same negative scanned with the old 5MP ImageLabs

Because it’s 1/2 frame, The Camera Shop of Santa Fe couldn’t scan right away. I was impatient so I just had them process the film and dusted off my old scanner. Literally. It was covered in dust and sadly some is inside on the sensor. I had bought a nice Canon CanoScan 9000F a while back and finally set it up. I’m still learning my way around the new scanner so hopefully, results will improve. Images are resized but no exposure or color correction. On the 3rd image I used the clone tool in Photoshop to clean up dust and cat hair.

I’ll do a separate post about the scanners and put up some more pictures from the Pen EES.