22 October 2008

Comparing film and print scanning with a digital capture

I took a film camera on holiday recently (Minolta Dynax 5) and took some pictures on Superia 200 film, as well as many many more on a Sony A100 digital SLR. Here is an opportunity to compare commercial and home scanning with a digital source file. Commercial film processing was by Bonusprint, an inexpensive mail order film processor, that also offers free digital scans at their website. Home scanning (of the Bonusprint negative and prints) was done with a CanoScan 3200F flat bed scanner. All images were acquired and minimally processed in Picasa. All images were resized to 1200 px on the longside and are re-sized here at 500px from Flickr.

The pictures were taken at Frangokastello in Crete.

Film and print scan comparisons 3

Negative scan at 1200 dpi (resized from 1692 px)


Film and print scan comparisons 4

Print scan at 600 dpi (resized from 4482px)


Film and print scan comparisons 2

Bonusprint negative scan (resized from 1536px)


Film and print scan comparisons 1

Sony A100 RAW > JPG in Picasa (resized from 3880px)

The CanoScan 3200F is several years old now and probably doesn’t represent the best that is possible in budget home scanning. The negative scans in particular suffer from a lack of sharpness (click through on the images to access larger versions at Flickr). I wasn’t that pleased with the Bonusprint prints – they look like a local contrast setting has been set too high, with patches of highlights around shadows. But the Bonusprint scans of the negatives, at around 1.5MP are just about OK for web use. None of the scans matches the colour rendition of the A100 camera though.


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