This latest shot of my favorite model was made on Fujifilm 200 with the Yashica Electro 35. I like the short depth-of-field provided by the f/1.7 lens in this low-angle shot (I don’t remember if it was wide open on this shot – probably had to stop down a little because of the brightness outdoors).

My quest for cheap (and good) scans continues…

I had several rolls of film developed and scanned by Dwayne’s photo, and I was pretty happy with them, considering the price – $4 develop + $3 scan per roll (same price for a roll of 35mm or 120).  The 35mm film scans were 2376 x 3583 pixels, and ok quality.  This compares to North Coast Photo’s budget scans at $5.75 develop + $6.95 scan per roll for 2000 x 3000 pixels.  There is a difference in quality, though.  With lower-quality scans you’ll see streaking or other oddities when you start to adjust colors or values in the image, and I see some of this in the scans I got from Dwayne’s.  Not terrible, but maybe not any better than what you’d get from drug store processing and scanning (but the price is in that drug-store range, or even lower).  Dwayne’s scans generally look good (the one above looks great, I think) right off the disk, but when you want to make adjustments you’ll start to find the scan’s shortcomings.  The scans from North Coast were smoother and free of lines or streaks when I made adjustments.  And of course, North Coast’s ‘enhanced scans’ were much higher resolution and great quality, but a little expensive ($11.95/roll for scanning, on top of the $5.75 develop).

The problems I see in lower-quality scans are usually most evident in the smooth color of the sky. The image at right is cropped from a dark evening sky in one of the Dwayne’s scans on the same roll of film as the photo above (click to see full-resolution). You can see vertical streaking, and this image had no edits done in Lightroom besides cropping. If you start making adjustments to the image, these faults usually become amplified. Adjustments as simple as adjusting exposure can emphasize some scanning faults. I like to use Lightroom’s selective HSL sliders to saturate certain color ranges, lighten or darken certain color ranges, etc, and this can wreak havok on a bad scan.  But with a proper scan they work great.  So I’ll continue my quest for great scans at a lower price, but I might just end up going back to North Coast.

Surprisingly, Dwayne’s scans of 120 film were lower-resolution than their 35mm scans.  6 x 6 images on 120 film were only about 2000 x 2000 pixels.  Weird.  But again, the price was good (same price as 35mm).

I’ll be posting my favorite shots from these rolls of 35mm and 120 over the coming weeks.


2 Comments on “Riley”

  1. Jim says:

    Thanks for the discussion about scans. I’m looking for a reliable source of decent inexpensive scans myself. For my purposes a little streaking at max resolution isn’t a big deal, so perhaps I’ll just stick with Dwayne’s. I’ve been using Costco for my color 35 mm rolls — the price can’t be beat and the quality is usually okay. The tradeoff is that once in a while the scanner is set wrong and you get back 1500 px wide scans rather than 3000 px wide ones.

    • Rick Schuster says:

      Thanks for reading, Jim. I’m glad it was helpful. I haven’t tried Costco yet, so maybe I’ll give them a try. I haven’t used many places yet, so perhaps I’ll keep trying different places each time and report on the results.

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