One step closer to shooting film again

Film is calling me and I recently picked up a used Mamiya 645 1000S with a Sekor C 80mm f/1.9. I’m looking forward to putting a few rolls through in the next month. I haven’t shot a roll of film since 2003, I think. And I’ve never done anything larger than 35mm. So this is a bit of an experiment. I will likely limit all of my film shooting to black and white (easier to develop on my own)…and it will all probably be done with a though toward digitization. I’m sure some would argue destroys the point, but let’s be honest. I’m never going to be able to be as adept in a darkroom dodging and burning as I am in Lightroom. That’s just a fact…no matter how unfortunate it is (and it is unfortunate). I also don’t have the time, funds, or space for a full darkroom. I’m also not in one place enough for that to happen.

Nevertheless.

I have been testing digitization techniques. I have a Epson V600 scanner (Amazon) and the results are decent and they come fairly quickly. I’m not gaining as much as I could off the image quality. I’m finding that Geppe transparency light (I got mine off ebay, I don’t know if they make them any more), a macro lens (mine’s a Olympus OM 50mm f/2),  and my Sony A7 (Amazon) is a more effective options when it comes to quality. This is slower and more involved however. So that’s the trade off. If I were scanning hundreds or thousands of slides all at once (actually that’s what I’m doing for family right now), then the V600 is easily the right choice. But for shooting one role of film at a time, taking 10 minutes to digitize the roll with a camera & macro lens isn’t an overbearing prospect. Granted, digitizing 35mm with a 35mm camera is one thing. Doing 120 film might end up being more work. We’ll see.

Anyway…pictures. These are some old family slides from the 1980’s (again, these are from the V600. The full-size versions (24MP) will make nice prints probably up to 8×10 or so, but they’ve still lost a bit of their original punch because of the scanner).

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