Black and White Photography

Simply because it is my preference to use a workflow that does pixel stuff in a proper pixel editor and leaves PL to do what it does best, i.e. RAW conversion.

Of course, “Other workflows are available.” Go with whatever works for you :smile:


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Two things I eventually need to look into. Both very important. Eventually.

How do you plan on digitising your film?

If you only want a photograph to be ‘realistic’ then this sort of conversion is pointless. However, in this case realism was uninteresting whereas an artistic rendering evokes a response, a feeling of a bygone era. To me, that’s an ‘improvement’ but art rarely pleases everyone so others are entitled to disagree.

The camera may not lie but software sure does :grin:


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I take a picture of my dia’s. I made a construction for on my lens and just put the slider in it. Very fast and if you want you can shoot raw and see what that gives you in pl. :grinning:
With a little modification also to be used for unframed negatives.


I have a Nikon CoolScan V ED that I use to digitise my 35mm transparencies. One of the file types it can save files in is .NEF. Superficially that is a RAW format but it’s not a normal .NEF, it is a CoolScan specific file type that in my experience is only readable by the Nikon Scan software*.

*if anyone here knows different, I’d love to learn!

When I digitise my 5" x 4" negs/transparencies, I have the emulsion side closest to the lens to avoid any distortion in the film base. The problem is that this produces a reversed image that PL can’t flip unless I convert it to TIFF and flip it before getting to PL :frowning_face:

That means the light is coming from the side of the camera. My negatives are light from the back. Something like the nikon es2 film scanner. I only have 35mm negatives/dias.


For all who want to bring analog film into a digital form:

Apart from dealing with a Lr plugin, the forum has a lot of information
on how to digitalize analog shots, gear, methods, lighting etc.

So are mine. I think you mis-read what I wrote. I have the side of the film that has the emulsion facing towards the front of the lens, just like any slide copier would.

The point I was trying to make is that if you have the film base towards the lens, the image may not be as sharp due to the thickness of the base distorting the detail.

I see.


I have three ways I might do this.

First is to take the negative holders that came with my Epson Scanner, and use that to scan the negatives. I think this gives me essentially a pdf, or jpg - not a raw file.

Second is to get something like this:

It’s made for a Nikon D850, and might work on my D750 or Df. I may or may not have a lens which works like the lens this device is made for - need to look.

Last is something I might try just to get started - I have an (unused) negative scanner where you attach a smart phone to take the picture. I don’t expect much from this, but I can see how things are working before I buy something more expensive.

That is the proper way, for the sharpest image. I expect to have the same problem. If so, I’ll use PL4 on a reversed image, and after I export a finished jpg image, I’ll use one of the editing programs that can “flip” it.

Yes, I have VueScan, which claims to produce RAW files but, which are in reality, uncompressed TIFFs. I also have an Epson V700 scanner and I use their own EpsonScan software to produce TIFFs, which limits what you can do in PL but, at least, you can flip the image whilst you are scanning.

Apparently this works with any full frame camera with the 60mm macro lens fitted. They talk about using it with the D850 because that actually has special software built in to deal with the “scans” in camera - although it only produces jpeg files.

My initial reaction is that you’d have to be fairly desperate to use this solution.

The Nikon solution is not too expensive - as long as you don’t count the price of the lens :crazy_face:

Personally, I would look at using the Epson scanner you already have.

I’ve done that in the past when using the D810 on a tripod above a light table for 5" x 4" stuff. It depends how much you want RAW files(camera but need flipping) or how prepared you are to work with TIFFs (scanner and already flipped)

I have the V500 Epson - rather old.

After reading your advice, I went looking at my scanner, my extra gear that works with it, and I also found this YouTube video. I suspect it is identical to what you’re doing. Anyway, it’s decided - for now, I’ll just use my scanner.

That is something I builded for around 15euro, the es-2. The most expensive part was the set down filter ring.
That way gives good results and a raw file of your cameras dimension.
I made it from PVC pipe that I can expand so I am not limited to a certain focal length.


I will try the scanner first. It seems to me that if I get a light box, I can put the negative on it, and shoot with my camera with the macro lens I do have. For now though, I want to try it with the scanner.

I went through my negative collection - couldn’t find all of them. What I did have was half good, and half trash, now tossed out. I had some negatives that were piled on top of each other - no idea why I did that, but this goes back a lifetime ago. They seemed to be “melting”. Dumpster time for most.

If this works for 35mm, if I could ever find a view camera at an affordable price, that opens up still more possibilities, but I don’t want to do too many things at the same time. One at a time, no problem.

My M3 could probably benefit from a c&l (clean and lube) but the only thing that feels different from what I remember is the focusing is now “stiffer”. This is almost certainly from the 50mm collapsible Summicron lens, that probably hasn’t been used since the 1960’s. I’ve also got my Nikon SP, but the Leica was always the “better” camera.

Joanna, once upon a time I had a 4x5 Graflex! Not sure you know what it was. Like an SLR on steroids! I never should have sold it, but never thought I would want to use it again, and even today, if I still had it, I’m not sure I could deal with it - unless I had never sold my darkroom gear…

I’ve got lots of free time to work on this stuff. I just got my first Covid vaccination this morning, I go back for another in three weeks, and two weeks after that, while I still need to be careful, I can start going around with my cameras again like I used to. So for the next few weeks, I can get even more involved in PL4.

Joanna, I used to even have a “polaroid back” for large format cameras. Do you use one? The idea was I could take a polaroid of what I want to photograph, and only when I’m satisfied, I would put the real film back on the camera. A co-worker had the full outfit back then (1970’s) and had he been willing to sell it, I would have found a way to buy it. Oh well… (I did buy his full Nikon F4 outfit, but that’s another story…)

Speaking of black and white, I watch a long video last night of all the steps the fellow went through to create a “perfect image”, but I didn’t like the end result, and didn’t like the way he did things. When he finished, it looked like a photo taken with an iPhone and special effects. I was going to stop the video several times, but I wanted to see how he did things. I hope that if I buy this “film pack” I can do the editing completely in PL4. I will never “be” another Ansel Adams, but no reason I can’t try…

Joanna, what is the difference between “film pack” (around $80), and buying DxO Optics Pro 10 (apparently around $200)?

Do I have a choice of buying one or the other, or is one of them part of the other?

DxO Optics Pro is a predecessor to PhotoLab. You don’t need it because you already have its successor.

Just get FilmPack Elite.

It is now downloading. Nice New Year’s Present to myself. :slight_smile: