Questions? (802) 651-4100

Reviews

  • Are All Scans The Same? (NO)

    What's the difference between a dedicated film scanner and some other scanner, like, say, a flatbed scanner?

    Many flatbed scanners now offer film holders, which makes scanning film negatives and slides a simple task for the at-home user. It seems like everyday we have customers asking us about scanning, and which scanner or service is best. It is difficult to sit here and explain the differences between the types of scanners when all that really matters is the end result.

    In an attempt to showcase the quality of a scan from a dedicated film scanner, and that from a high-quality flatbed scanner that offers film holders for scanning negatives and slides, we scanned some Fujifilm Superia 400 color negative print film. We took one frame and scanned it twice. Once on a dedicated Nikon 4000 ED film scanner and again with an Epson V700 flatbed scanner. The first two images are straight out of the scanners using similar, high-quality settings. And, here are the results:

    Scan from Epson V700 Flatbed Scanner

    Scan from Epson V700 Flatbed Scanner

    Scan from Nikon 4000 ED Scanner

    Scan from Nikon 4000 ED Scanner

    Now, here is a crop taken from the two images. We think it is a good idea to get in close to see what viewing the images at 100% looks like because this is important when making prints. Especially bigger prints.

    Crop of Scan from Epson V700 Scanner

    Crop of Scan from Epson V700 Scanner

    Crop of Scan from Nikon 4000 ED Scanner

    Crop of Scan from Nikon 4000 ED Scanner

    As you can see from the above images, using a dedicated film scanner makes a big difference. Looking at the sky, just above the horizon, the Nikon holds color and density, whereas the Epson does not. There is a big difference in the perception of the grass and leaves. The Nikon keeps a more natural green color, and the Epson scan looks like there was a recent drought. Where we really see a big difference, however, is the 100% crop. The Nikon retains a lot of detail in the sweater, and the Epson doesn't hold any detail.

    Finally, here is the high-quality Nikon scan "jazzed" up and ready for a nice print with a little post-processing:

    Nikon Scan Post Processed

    Nikon Scan Post Processed

    Looking for high-quality scanning of your slides and negatives? Please visit our website by clicking here.

     

  • How to Create a Timelapse Video Using Your Digital SLR Camera

    The above timelapse video was shot using a Canon EOS 5D Mark II digital SLR camera with a Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens. It is made up of 99 individual shots that were spaced 5 seconds apart, and sequenced all together to make one timelapse video. The key to the success of making this video was the use of an intervalometer to remotely control the timing of the shots.  There are many intervalometers on the market, and most camera manufacturers have their own, but companies like Nikon and Canon charge over $150. We have found, and sell, a cheaper alternative, and they work great. Plus, they only cost $48.50:

    Remote Intervalometer

    Click picture to purchase intervalometer

    If you are still wondering how this works, we'll tell you. The first thing is to set up your camera on a tripod, a table, or anywhere where the camera will not move. Then, figure out the exposure and focus you want using the camera's manual (M) settings, so that the exposure and focus won't change as you're taking the sequence of pictures. Simply plug the intervalometer into the remote control port on the side of your camera. This is the same port that is used for a remote shutter release. Once the intervalometer is plugged into the camera, you can actually start using it as a remote shutter release. Simply press the center button and it will trigger the camera to take a picture.

    Now, you could sit there and remotely trigger your camera manually every so many seconds, but that would quickly get old and your timing would probably not be very consistent. Plus, it defeats the purpose of having an intervalometer. So, set up your intervalometer:

    1. Set the initial delay (how many seconds before the first picture is taken)
    2. Set the shutter delay (only necessary if using bulb, controls how many seconds the shutter is open)
    3. Set the interval delay (how many seconds in between shots)
    4. Set the interval number (how many shots to be taken)
    5. Press start and watch the magic happen

    Once your intervalometer is going you will probably have to wait for a while, so now would be a good time to get a drink. The above video took a little over 8 minutes to shoot, which actually wasn't so bad. Really cool timelapse videos will be done over several hours.

    Now, once all of the shots have been completed, you aren't done yet, but almost. The final step is to load all of your timelapse pictures on to your computer so that you may compile them into a single video file. For the above video we used Quicktime Pro, and it made things really simple. With Quicktime Pro you simply go to File > Open Image Sequence . . . and choose the first file of the sequence. As long as the files are numbered consecutively Quicktime will automatically be able to compile them into a single video without any more input from you. Then, from there, watch the video. And, you can export the video file for the web or whatever else you want, so the world can see your hard work. There are also a host of other software available that will be able to do the same thing, so choose whatever you like. The best part about timelapse is trying out different subjects and circumstances, so get creative.

    Looking for an intervalometer for your digital SLR camera? Find one here.

  • Macro on the Cheap--Why Not?

    If you are interested in this item, you can find it here. We have it for several different camera mounts, too.

    Macro lenses are great, and for many reasons. One of the reasons macro lenses are not great, however, is the price. Dedicated macro lenses are typically expensive. Sigma has some very good, very reasonably priced macros, like the 70mm f/2.8, but that lens is still $500. Zeiss makes an incredible macro, the 100mm f/2, but that bad boy is $1800. So, what are you to do if you want to get close but don't have the budget of a Wall Street banker?

    Here's a good question: Can you afford $9.50? For close-up photography? Of course you can. If you are into photography and are, or are getting, into macro work, you have most likely heard of extension tubes. And, like dedicated macro lenses, there is a lot variety out there for extension tubes. The cheapest ones we have found (that actually work) are $9.50. Yep, that's right...The price for two gallons of milk. Check it out:

    Canon EOS Macro Extension Tube

    An extension tube works by increasing the distance of the lens to the camera body. Think of a projector. When you are looking at a slide, sorry, digital projector being displayed on a wall, and you move the projector back from the wall, the projected image gets larger. The same idea applies to extension tubes. Move the lens farther from the camera body and the projected image on the camera's film, sorry, sensor gets larger. This metal-construction extension tube is made into sections, like this:

    Canon EOS Extension Tube Disassembled

    The different sections screw together and can be used in any combination to increase or decrease magnification. This extension tube is intended for Canon EOS mount lenses and cameras. It is made up of a lens mount, a camera mount, and three sections of varying sizes. Are you wondering if adapter tubes really work? Check it out:

    Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens No Extension

    Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens, No Extension

    Same Lens, Same Focal Length (105mm), Lens and Camera Mount of Extension Tube Only

    Same as above, smallest extension ring added

    Same As Above, Smallest Extension Ring Added

    Small and Medium Extension Rings

    Small and Medium Extension Rings

    The Entire Extension Tube

    The Entire Extension Tube

    So, an extension tube really works. For $9.50, why not? Well, there are a couple of things you should know before jumping both feet in. The first, nothing is auto. Autofocus cannot work, auto modes cannot work, and the metering cannot work. In addition, the aperture cannot be stopped down, so if you have a lens (like Canon EOS) that does not have a manual aperture ring that can stop down the aperture, you are forced to use the lens wide open. And, with macro work, that means your depth-of-field is tiny. Also, extension tubes, because you are increasing the distance of the lens to the camera body, decrease the intensity of light falling on the camera's film, sorry, sensor. This means slow shutter speeds become a common reality.

    All of the above mentioned things will be solved by using a dedicated macro lens. There are also some expensive extension tubes that will solve some of those problems--aperture control, autofocus, etc.. But, for $9.50, or 1/100th of the cost for some dedicated macro lenses, why not?

    If you are interested in this item, you can find it here. We have it for several different camera mounts, too.

Items 11 to 13 of 13 total

Page:
  1. 1
  2. 2