Tuesday, February 10, 2015

ION "Film 2 SD Plus" Film Scanner

While browsing BestBuy.com I ran across an almost half price deal on a film scanner. I've been keeping an eye out for something like this to scan some of the multitude of slides from my film days. It was actually in stock at my local BestBuy so it was ready for me to pick up less than an hour after I ordered it online.

The ION "Film 2 SD Plus" Film Scanner will scan color and B&W negative and positive (slide) 35mm film as well as 110 and 126 size negative strips. It saves the JPG images it creates on an SD card. While there is software for PCs and MACs it functions independently of a computer and I plan to simply plug the SD card into my laptop to transfer files.

The files the scanner produces are 4416 x 2944 and the few I've processed range from 5MP to 6MP depending on the scene. Here some I've reduced in size to 1200 x 800 with no other post processing added.

These shots were made with Fuji Provia 100 which is an E6 process slide film. The location is the Adirondack Balloon Festival in Glens Falls, New York in October of 1995.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

A Tale of Two 10mm Crop Sensor Lenses

I thought I'd do a comparison of two of my current lenses, both designed for the smaller crop sensor cameras. One is Canon's EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM and the other is Sigma's 10mm f/2.8 EX DC HSM Fisheye. 

The Canon is a rectilinear lens. Wikipedia explains that "a rectilinear lens is a photographic lens that yields images where straight features, such as the walls of buildings, appear with straight lines, as opposed to being curved. In other words, it is a lens with little or no barrel or pincushion distortion. At particularly wide angles, however, the rectilinear perspective will cause objects to appear increasingly stretched and enlarged as they near the edge of the frame."

The Sigma is a diagonal, or full frame, fisheye lens. Wikipedia's explains that "as fisheye lenses gained popularity in general photography, camera companies began manufacturing fisheye lenses that enlarged the image circle to cover the entire rectangular frame, called a 'full-frame fisheye'. The picture angle produced by these lenses only measures 180 degrees when measured from corner to corner: these have a 180 degree diagonal angle of view..."

Basically, although the focal length is the same, the field of view is quite different and while the lines remain straight in a rectilinear lens they do tilt.

Here are two versions of the identical scene with both lenses. First, unaltered by software straightening and then with distortion correction applied in Photoshop Elements. Both shots are at 10mm, f/8, 1/500 second and ISO 100.

Canon EF-S 10-18mm at 10mm pre correction

Canon EF-S 10-18mm at 10mm post correction

Sigma 10mm diagonal fisheye pre correction

Sigma 10mm diagonal fisheye post correction

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

DxO Mark FilmPack Film Emulation Software

While I'm waiting for my eyes to clear up, I decided to delve into the applications folder of my MacBook and play a bit with some software I downloaded for free over a year ago. DxO Mark is both a software company and a website which rates lens and camera sensor performance.

One of their software packages is a film emulation software called FilmPack. When DxO Mark releases a new version of the software they usually offer free licensess for the prior version for a limited time. I happened to get ahold of version 3 of the software in October of 2013 just after they came out with version 4. The current software is version 5.

This software is designed to  take .jpg files and theoretically alter them to emulate what the image would have looked like shot on one of numerous film emulsions, some if not most of which, are no longer in production.

As a subject photo I chose a single frame image (not HDR processed) from 2010. The image was shot with a Canon EOS 50D and an EF 17-40mm f/4L USM lens. Focal length was 32mm and aperture was f/4. Shutter speed was 1/800th of a second and ISO was 100. These are probably not the optimum settings for this subject but as I had jumped out of my car and ran back across a bridge to get the shot I probably just used the camera the way it was set up.

I decided to use emulations of transparency film I had experience shooting with back in my MInolta X700 days. I didn't really examine these to see the differences as my eyesight probably would make that difficult in any case.

Original Digital Image

Kodachrome 25

Kodachrome 64

Fuji Velvia 50

Fuji Provia 100