Hat & Tun Pub

Kodak Portra & Plustek scanner

mickyates film, Kodak, Leica, Photography, Street photography 0 Comments

I love using Kodak Portra, as I find that the skin tones especially are very pleasing. I tend to use the 400ISO version, and shoot the film in several cameras. Recently, I finished a roll in my Leica M6, which can only be described as close to the perfect film camera. I shot using an Elmarit 28mm F/2.8, a lovely, sharp (and often underrated) lens.

A week or so ago there was the first ever London Street Symposium, and I took the M6. I shot a few of the gathering inside the Hat and Tun, in Farringdon, London. Wonderful, classic pub.

As I often do, I had the film developed and scanned at a local Bath dealer (Ace Optics). I would prefer higher resolution scans, but at the price the service is excellent. Here’s an example:

Hat & Tun Pub

I was very pleased with the colour rendering, after the obligatory Lightroom tweaks.

Then a Facebook buddy (Ken Watson) asked me if I had scanned the image with my Plustek (OpticFilm 8200i Ai). I was intrigued enough to make a comparison.

I use SilverFast 8 software, which is not the most user friendly, and the instructions are a little esoteric in parts. But it really is a quality combination of scanner and software.

After a little trial and error around, I opted for these settings, for anyone with a similar scanner:

  • Negative setting, scanned at 7200 dpi
  • No Histogram correction
  • “Negafix”, set to Kodak Portra 400NC with CCR
  • Auto Contrast Optimisation at 50
  • Light GANE noise elimination
  • iSRD (Infra Red) dust and scratch elimination – which worked brilliantly, by the way as I also tried the regular SRD which left some marks.

Here is scan:

Hat & Tun Pub

As you can see, the result had a strong purple cast versus the commercial scan. (I have tried to mirror all other Lightroom setting for both images, to be as fair as possible, and did not adjust the White Balance).

So, I took down the purple in Lightroom, and here is the result. Deeper shadows and blacks, I think, and all together a rich, pleasing result.

Perhaps a little warmer and darker than the commercial scan, but maybe I just didn’t get Lightroom right. It’s such a subjective exercise, I guess.

Hat & Tun Pub

Now I need to figure out how to adjust that purple in the original scan.

I have read other people have experienced something similar. Ideas, please? Grey point adjustment? Anyway, Ken, there you go.

Olympus 35RC – another film gem

mickyates Local & Bath, Photography, United Kingdom 0 Comments

The Olympus 35RC first went on sale in 1970, one of a series of cameras that built on the breakthroughs of the Pen family, with auto exposure (EE).

Weather Vane WM -1

It’s a beautiful camera, to look at, to hold and to use. Simple, with a sharp 42mm F/2.8 lens. The camera has nicely smooth and precise rangefinder focussing, though the focus spot is a little on the dim side. Close focus is 0.3m.

Broken Dreams WM -1

The 35RC delivers accurate shutter-preferred automatic and manual exposures. In Auto mode, the 35RC shutter locks if its settings would lead to a bad exposure. And, unlike any contemporary Leica, it shows apertures and shutter speeds in the finder.

Woodlands WM -2

Admittedly the shooting range is narrow, 1/15 to 1/500, and the ISO range is limited (ASA 25 – 800, but skips 40, 320 and 640). So it makes a lovely second camera – good on the street, too, especially given its tiny size.

Woodlands WM -5

You can easily get the Wein PX625 zinc-air replacement battery on Amazon, by the way.

All shots taken with Kodak Portra 400.