Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Miami's Overtown

Overtown is a place just north of Downtown Miami.
Its use to be a real black town up until early 60s when the major highways (Dolphin, I95) were build through the area; its remnants of the past now, in a form of half-empty old structures with modern condo towers popping around here are there. Once a year,there is a street fair called "Overtown Music and Arts Festival" which I am trying hard not to miss. Yes, its not the biggest one; the weather of mid-summer is atrocious; and it is scheduled for the hottest time of the day. Still, its the best event in Miami one can photograph. Every year I bring something interesting from it.
Here are some of this year's catch:

Thursday, July 21, 2016

On Pakon film scanner

Been film scanner operator for ~20 years, I tried many Minoltas, Nikons, Epsons ugly ducklings. I settled on Epson V700 photo for preview and Nikon Coolscan V for the final scans. Using this combo for a few years now, I scanned several hundred rolls and finally got tired of the slowness and the buzzzzzz.

Recently I started looking into the operatorless scanning of a whole roll of B&W 35mm film (I shoot black and white film only, no color). I checked what's available new on the market and >>tested<< Prime Film XA, also known as Reflecta ProScan 10T/10M in Europe. The PrimeFilm XA in theory could scan the whole roll, but in my case it did not work very well. Yes, when positioned right and the stars are perfectly aligned it could produce very nice scans; it also had some intrinsic deficiencies making the process very long, involved and tedious. I returned the PrimeFilm promptly.

Last week I tested Kodak Pakon F135 scanner; this is a pro scanner intended for the photolab market; it hit the shelves a decade ago and use to cost a wopping $12000 new; I acquired a well-used specimen for ~$300.

After some testing I liked the little ugly beast and it stays. Here is what I found out, in a few words:

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Pacific Image scanners

I recently tested these two scanners from Pacific Image:

Prime Film XE and Prime Film XA are also known as Reflecta ProScan 10T and Reflecta RPS 10M, respectively.
Resolution-wise, they both can produce scan at 4K+ dpi. The units I received both had problems:
- XA (the one at bottom) had inherent issues with its film transporting mechanism and it was a pain to align the frame properly.
- XE produced vertical stripes in the midst of the frame on some photos.
I only used them with 35mm Tri-X which is black and white film, slightly curled when recently developed.
I suspect they both will work better with modern C41 films, but I have not tested that as I have no desire to use this type of film.
I returned both.
Oh well..I will stay with my Nikon V, Minolta Multi, Minolta Scan Speed and Epson V700 Photo :D