During my recovery from the flu - which by the way works well for both of us, Sal and I - I scanned plenty of color negatives from the 80s and 90s. In all I believe around 350 large negatives. Boy, it comes out of my ears, to be honest. You need to be something like a die hard enthusiast to keep on doing it.

Over time, however it does pay off. In terms of that you get to learn tips and tricks, and above all - how to fiddle with those three color channels, in order to get better or perfect color balance. Sometimes you have to use some minor trickery, to get it right. But I did learn things better - that is for sure. It enables me not being so dependent on one single solution, but on many different ones if I like. And somehow I do get it right in the end.

But as I said - it is sometimes a pain in the ass.

I still consider the worst of all "better" films to have been Agfacolor XPS 100, 200 and 400 films - which simply don't hold up time well - plus they are prone to fungus attack (I believe it is). None of my other films show that behavior.

Fujicolor HR 100 form the 80s does actually hold up admirably for having been an old emulsion.

And all the modern films from Kodacolor and Fujicolor, from 1990 and onwards, hold up very well, no matter which type. So far, so good.

 

The above Waterbottle Stilleben

I have never ever scanned since I experimented back in Summer 1987 with my new Mamiya RZ67 pro studio camera. Never ever have the images seen the light of day. Kind of strange, really. So, it took 34 years to come to the fore.... just like that.

There is nothing special about them other then perhaps personal. Yet, it is fun to see images come to life, after so many of your own years. Images from the very first period, when I barely was into photography. Well "barely" was a joke. I was obsessed with the stuff, and didn't know much (of worth) - while at the same time dreamed big dreams about big things...

 

With ever dreamy goal, comes a trap attached

It was the time I started to take my first bank loan in order to buy the Mamiya RZ67 Pro camera, together with the Sekor-Z 110 mm f 2.8 lens. later that year I added second hand used Sekor-Z 65mm f 3.5 wide angle, and the Sekor-Z 250 mm f 4.5 tele photo lens. Then I didn't buy any until decades later. Oh wait - I did buy the humongous Sekor-Z Shift 75mm f 4.5 lens - but turned it back into the store a half year later, since I almost never truly used it.

I still have the camera - and almost all lenses - and the latest addition was last year with the Sekor-Z 360 mm f 6.3 as well the Sekor Shift 75 mm f 4.5 lens.

One thing about these Mamiya Sekor Z lenses is - that they are all razor sharp and very, very well corrected. Mamiya made genuine high class performance optical lenses. They have never ever disappointed !

 

I still have to test...

the latest two additions; the 360 mm telephoto lens, and the 75 mm Shift lens. The latter has some minor delamination of the glue between lens elements in the extreme (shifted) corners. My thinking was that I use that lens so little that I could and do accept it (together with a lower price) - so it is the first time I actually bought a faulty lens. One thing I never accept, are lenses with fungus. That is stay away from - ALWAYS !

The funny thing about Japanese sellers at eBay is, that they can tell you that it is an "almost mint" lens, despite in the smaller print, you find out that it has fungus. The concept of "almost mint" and "fungus" simply does NOT MATCH !

Silly billies.

 

Topaz DeNoise AI & Sharpen AI

are good friends to me in order to enhance the scanned color negatives even further. It really does help. Not always, but many times it does. The Sharpen AI also can help with older scans, to make them sharper. Or Gigapixel AI works well to make an old scan larger (2x) - so there are finally a bunch of solution, which can serve you in restoring your negatives. Each one in it's own way. But don't think of it as there is a "One solution fits all" - that usually doesn't exist, really. You have to be more flexible in thinking, imagining and in executing your work along the path of achieving excellent scans from color negatives.

Sometimes you have to blend the effect from Topaz AI software in order to get it right. Also the settings in Adobe Camera Raw plug in are important - such as pulling down the slider for "Texture" - which makes the noise in a color negative smoother, less pronounced. But don't pull it all the way down to 0% - because makes the image look mushy.

 


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