scanners for slides and digital cameras

Roger J. Burkhalter rjb at OU.EDU
Wed Jun 5 08:39:26 CDT 2002

On Tue, 4 Jun 2002 16:00:03 -0600, Una Smith <una at LANL.GOV> wrote:

>Despite being a long-time computer weenie (or perhaps because of
>it?), I still prefer to use a conventional camera and film (with
>full control over film, lens, f-stop, exposure, etc.), and send
>the film off to a lab for digital duplication.  With film, I get
>the best return on my time and money.
>I routinely crop images, provided the pixel count is high enough.
>I use film precisely because it delivers that high pixel count
>at low cost.  High-end digital cameras are still very expensive,
>unless your volume is high.  The break-even point is somewhere in
>the range of thousands of images per year.

Cost is one of the main reasons we went fully digital! The other reason is
time savings. We, along with grad students, spend on average about $1,500.00
per year on film and developing (no prints, just developing). The film (120
B&W taken through a Rolli 6x6cm SLR with bellows) was scanned here in our lab
at a rate of about 2 rolls (24 images) per hour at 3000 dpi. We are getting
about the same quality images with the digital camera. We also can get a
higher magnification and do not need to crop as much. Total cost for the
digital setup was around $2,000.00. The time savings are great. I have taken
up to 140 images in a single day, and I can see the results within minutes,
not days. I can easily re-take an image that has problems. We also tried the
digital route with a Nikon SMZ 800 dissection scope but depth of field is a
problem. I beleive it is because of all the glass the image has to go
through, so we reduced the glass by mounting the camera to a bellows and
using enlarger lenses. A 50mm enlarger lens can give us up to 30x at full
extension with fair depth of field (because the lens only stops down to f16).
We plan on purchasing a new 50mm lens to stops to f22 or more next fiscal.
eBay or other on-line auctions or photo shops have some great deals on
bellows and enlarger lenses because the world is going digital. Film camera
acessories are going for cheap prices compared to just a few years ago.

Roger Burkhalter
Curator/Archivist, Invertebrate Paleontology
Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History
University of Oklahoma
Norman, OK

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