The 35mm film scanning setup I have developed over the last several years uses a digital camera, most recently a Fujifilm X-T20, combined with a Leitz BEOON copy stand and a 50/2.8 Schneider enlarging lens. It produces scans I really like. It is very fast and very easy to use. For the few 6×6 negative I have scanned recently I used the same setup, taking six 35mm shots of the one 6×6 negative and stitching them together with Panorama Stitcher. I like these scans too, but the process is neither fast nor easy. I have some old 6×6 scans that I did with an Epson V700 and some even older scans I did with a Canoscan 8800f. I have some 12×12 prints I made from some of those scans some years ago. They aren’t half bad but, sadly, both scanners went with the big sale before we downsized to our current quarters. But I recently found an Epson V600 at a very reasonable price and I bought it. I thought it would be interesting to compare the scans with the V600 and the stitching setup.
Concurrently, I have been trying to find room on my tiny guest bathroom sink counter for the larger bottles and graduates I used for developing 120 film in our previous home. Once I realized that the jug of distilled water could actually go on the floor I was ready to give it a try. I finished shooting a roll of Tri-X in my Hasselblad, My records indicate that I loaded it in 2017. Needless to say the film had developed a nasty reverse curl. Combined with the curly film, my lack of practice resulted in a botched job of loading the Hewes reel in the changing bag. The film was badly wrinkled and in a number of spots not properly separated from the adjacent track. None of the 12 frames were unaffected. The frame below is one of the least bad.
Here is the subject frame scanned with the Epson V600.
And here is the same frame scanned with the Fujifilm X-T20.
Both images were scanned as Gray16 JPG’s with all additional image processing in the scanner and the camera turned off. Using Affinity Photo for both scans I simply cropped them, set the black and white points to 0.3 and 0.7 respectively, and set the gamma to 1.5 to get a little more contrast in the mid tones. No sharpening was done to either image at any time. They both look pretty good to me on the 13″ Retina display of my MacBook Air. I am confident that both would produce perfectly acceptable 8×8 prints. But what about larger prints, or heavy cropping? Let’s take a closer look at the exact same scans.
Here is a closer look at the V600 scan.
And a closer look at the T-T20 scan.
The V600 scan is better than I expected, and I am a little disappointed with the X-T20 scan. I expect I could get away with a 12×12 print of the stitched scan, but probably nothing larger. If I decide to continue with medium format I will probably scan all of the frames on a roll with the V600 and go back and scan just those I decide to print with the X-T20.