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Old 19-09-2006, 21:32   #1
alex.robinson
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Scanning old disc film

Anyone remember the truly terrible disc film? Was looking for something completely different and stumbled across a whole big drawer full of old pictures (a large majority of ME!) that I've never seen before. Unfortunately, most of it is on disc film, which if you remember seemed to produce terrible prints (looked up on wiki about this, apparently it was because it was supposed to be printed with a special 6 colour process but most labs used the regular 3 colour, so prosumably the negs would produce a much better picture with modern printing techniques?)

Anyway, don't really want to scan the prints; they're already incredibly grainy, and not all of them are there anyway. Has anyone had any success scanning the negs? I have a 35 mm film scanner (or rather my step-father does; I've not used it). Would it be possible to scan them using this and then crop them, or are they just completely incompatible things? Really would like to try and save the pictures if I can, there are some fantastic ones of me as a toddler - I obviously wasn't camara shy!

Last edited by alex.robinson; 19-09-2006 at 21:33.
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Old 20-09-2006, 08:19   #2
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I don't know what this 6 colour process could be but I suspect the grainy results will more than likely be down to the size of the negatives and having to enlarge it a large amount to create the print size.

There's no reason why you couldn't scan them although a dedicated 35mm film scanner probably won't physically be able to take the disc. Your best bet will probably be a flatbed scanner with a film option that shines light through the back of the negative. If this is what your step dad has then it can't hurt to try .
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Old 20-09-2006, 08:26   #3
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Thats not a 6 colour process, its a 6 element lens. IE the labs were supposed to use a better quality lens to print the small negatives. (Reread - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disc_film) (Whats a 6 colour lab process anyway??)

How high the hub is on them will dictate if you can get an image off it. You'll want a flatbed scanner with transparancy converter, IE a normal scanner which came with an annoying plastic film strip holder. If its a dedicated scanner for 35mm, your stuffed.
Try switching it to manual mode, rather than allowing the software to decide where the frames are and just give it a go. You almost certainly won't find any dedicated unit that will take the film.

Failing that, you might try these people - http://www.processc22.co.uk/ - Who've probably bodged together some method of scanning them. Probably won't be cheap.

Last edited by Wishy; 20-09-2006 at 08:29.
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Old 20-09-2006, 09:02   #4
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To use the scanner, you'd probably have to remove them from the disc and somehow ( using maybe a very thin card ) mount them in a 35mm transparency mount by cutting each image from the disc. Obviously this is very destructive.

Alternatively, if you have access to a camera with macro capability, try taking a photograph of each image preferably with a light box but if not, against a window. In each case, take a white balance of the source light. With this method, you have 2 little problems.

First, you have to remove the orange/red colour cast and secondly you need to invert the image.

To get the image inverted, just use photoshop/PSP invert function.

Now you'll have a positive image with a nasty blue/cyan colour cast. This can be removed with photoshop's 'remove colour cast' function ( or similar in another package ). Use a bit of overcast sky, a car's headlamp or similar as the sample.

You'll now have a positive image that is probably very pale and may still have a small cast. Use levels ( auto or manual ) to adjust.

With enough playing, you should get something reasonably useable.

More info and technique here http://www.philpem.dsl.pipex.com/photoshp/neg2pos.htm . You could take 1 additional photograph of the base near the centre of the disc as you sample for all the images on 1 disc.

and another method http://www.computer-darkroom.com/tut...torial_6_1.htm

Both assume Photoshop ( Elements ).

Last edited by pkr; 20-09-2006 at 09:53. Reason: Base sampling
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Old 20-09-2006, 11:31   #5
alex.robinson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wishy
Thats not a 6 colour process, its a 6 element lens. IE the labs were supposed to use a better quality lens to print the small negatives. (Reread - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disc_film) (Whats a 6 colour lab process anyway??)
Thank you, that's what you get for reading something you don't understand when you're tired

Thanks for your replies everyone, they were really helpful. I saw the process22 websites, but I have about 30 or so discs and I just can't afford that So I'll be trying your suggestions.
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Old 20-09-2006, 13:51   #6
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Let us know how you get on. If you don't have the right type of scanner drop me a mail. I work in Preston and have a flatbed scanner with adapter I'd be happy to give it a try, although I don't think I could handle 30 discs worth if you have dozen or so that you fancy and the process works.
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Old 20-09-2006, 18:46   #7
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Wseed and Alex - Totally side comment, but I'm moving up to preston with work shortly. Much up there you suggest shooting? Any photo societys very active or flickr communities?

Last edited by Wishy; 20-09-2006 at 18:57.
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Old 20-09-2006, 19:42   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wishy
Wseed and Alex - Totally side comment, but I'm moving up to preston with work shortly. Much up there you suggest shooting? Any photo societys very active or flickr communities?
Flickr-wise the 'Preston Found' group is fairly active and quite a good group, I also quite like the 'It's Grim Up North' group, which obviously isn't just Preston. I don't know about any photography groups, but if your interested in video photography as well as still photography, Preston Movie Makers (www.prestonmoviemakers.co.uk) is quite active (I'm not a member due to time consraints) and is supposed to have quite a good program.

Obviously it's subjective but I think Preston is great for photography; it's full of great historical buildings, lots of parks, LOADS of churches, the docks, the River Ribble, the Preston-Lancaster Canal - loads of stuff to take good photos of. I'm sure you won't have any problem finding stuff to shoot
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Old 20-09-2006, 19:52   #9
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I spotted the churches and buildings when I went up monday flat hunting (Found somewhere, all sorted I hope, although I'm sure I can look forward to the usual letting agent bumpy rude)

Canals - I've been in brum for 3 years, i've seen enough of those!!
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Old 20-09-2006, 20:25   #10
alex.robinson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wishy
I spotted the churches and buildings when I went up monday flat hunting (Found somewhere, all sorted I hope, although I'm sure I can look forward to the usual letting agent bumpy rude)

Canals - I've been in brum for 3 years, i've seen enough of those!!
I just listed the stuff I personally like, but seriously I think you'll have fun taking photos in Preston You'll have to let us know if you take some good pictures.

Last edited by alex.robinson; 20-09-2006 at 20:29.
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