But first...WEATHER

The bizarre cold is about to loose its grip over Scandinavia - which 5 days ago resulted into very low temperatures - at the most down to -43.8°C in the extreme north of Sweden (Karesuando) - a place right at the border to Finland. Remarkably, those temperatures where much lower, compared to large parts of Finland and Russia. The latter locations where you normally would expect to be the place in which you find the lowest temperatures.... but that wasn't the case. Still, it was cold there too, like -30°C or sometimes a bit lower. Yet not below -40°C.

Don't ask me why the cold went so extreme over Northern Sweden in particularly ? I have no clue what caused this phenomena.

 

New January Cold record in Kvikkjokk: -43.6°C

The station Kvikkjokk (anno 1887) in fact broke its 100+ year temperature record with an new all-time low January record at -43.6°C.

 

How about today ? It's "mild"

As I am looking at my thermometer here in the southern suburbs of Stockholm, it shows a mere -1°C - and the sun is shining (!!!). The super rare sun... the one that since autumn, has been absent almost all the time - has finally decided to show us some beautiful light.

Here you can see the extreme low, daily sunshine rate over Stockholm since 1 August 2023 until 31 Dec 2023.

 

Clouds, Clouds and more Clouds

Notice how the sun disappeared since the third week in October... Which i felt was unusual early for being "Winter" season. Then of course we had a couple of hours here and there, but during a period of 65 days - the sum of sunshine only made it to 33 hours. Which is exceptionally low.

And the "funny" thing was, that it didn't matter whether we had mild or cold weather - it was most of the time overcast, still. In the beginning of December we had very cold weather in Stockholm, already approaching -20°C in the outer suburbs - yet the clouds remained...

Usually, with cold weather during winter time, we sun comes out. But this time, it just didn't seem to make any difference.

 

 

 

VALOI Easy35

A product from Finland which makes camera scanning 35mm film negatives very easy - as it replaces many of the things you normally needed for negative scanning. You know things like

- A tripod/or enlarger tripod on which you set your camera and lens parallel to the negative film plane.
- A negative holder, to keep the negatives flat.
- Then you need a darkroom, in order to keep stray light out / away from the negatives.
- Then you need a light source / LED flat panel illuminating though the negatives.

Where the Valoi basically comes with everything you need for scanning negatives. Except of course the camera + real macro lens, and you also need a software that can handle color negative conversions.

 

Here is a straight Video

which explains the principle of how the VALOI Easy35 works -
12 minutes in English.

 

Yes, you do need a MACRO lens

for scanning film negatives - because that type of lens is simply the very best for sharp, close up images. Other lenses are not made to perform well in the close range. Macro lenses however are designed to perform their best in the very close range, and to have a very good flat field sharpness (without the sharpness plane is bend in the corners).

In my package I just ordered, I added an anti-stat brush device you mount on the side of the VALOI Easy35, as an extra source of getting rid of (most) dust. Yet, additionally, I will also use the (my) typical Rocket blower - and make sure that my desk is clean. An area which i will from now on, be far more careful with (to keep it clean from dust).

Why did I choose this set up when I already have a perfect setup for ALL kind of film negative sizes in my darkroom ?

Very easy:

 

My darkroom is in essence - Our Bedroom

And Sal is in it at night. So, I feel I can't really work in the darkroom - when I am (most often) awake at night.

The bedroom is my darkroom, in which I have a full set up of enlargers (24x36mm to 6x7 negatives, and a 50 kilo 4x5" large format enlarger). Still able in 2024 to create and develop traditional prints from negatives. Also there - is my camera scanning setup for making digital copies from negatives (of any size) when the camera is mounted on a Repro stand.

Now me being a night-owl, as well working night shift - means - that when I am off work, I am still awake during night time (and on top of my awakeness and lust to do creative things).

But I feel I can't.

Sal is the opposite; he sleeps like most people at night. And while he is very tolerant and kind of allows me to work in the bedroom/dark room - I simply do not feel comfortable to fiddle around with small lights, on and off, making noise when taking out film from noisy pergamyn negative pockets (which makes quite a lot of noise actually), going in and out of the room all the time...

It just makes me feel very uncomfortable to work with my stuff - when somebody is asleep in the same room. And Sal who is now working full time - needs good sleep. So, I don't work in that room - basta !

 

That's where the VALOI Easy35 comes into play !!

I can take care of camera scanning 35mm negatives - IN THE LIVING ROOM INSTEAD ! Sal can sleep peacefully in the bedroom/darkroom without disturbances at night.

I love that thought

 

Shielded light source !

Since the VALOI Easy35 has its own SHILDED light source - that means means no outer light sources will not interfere with the scanning results.

(Light interferences are normally a crucial issue when you scan negatives - and I don't understand how many people do vertical (repro or tripod) scanning negatives in "daylight" - without shielding their negatives from the outer light sources: You get all kinds of problems - especially with color negatives !!

The VALOI setup doesn't even require a tripod - albeit if it works with a tripod (Read: remains steady), I'll intend to use the setup with a professional tiny/mini tripod - right at my desk. I don't like the thought of dragging my negative stripes across the desk ... (attracting dust).

One bonus is:
the camera display on the back of the camera, will be in a normal position - and not upside down (the latter happens as you work with the camera "upside down" on a vertical enlarger tripod / repro stand), and the camera LCD content usually doesn't switch around its position. So you read everything Upside down basically. Not a problem, but a bit iffy for a while until you got used to it. However, the VALOI lets the camera and its LCD screen be in a normal position.

Neat !

Another bonus will be:
I don't need to semi-bend my back in a strained, kind of pretty awkward position like i often do in the darkroom when performing negative scanning.

 

Scanning 35mm negatives - at ANY time, ANY where.

I didn't know about the VALOI Easy35 - and stumbled across it only two days ago. Then i realized, if this really works - and hopefully it will - than it is an unusual flexible, and portable setup. I mean, you are suddenly no more locked to a dark room to work with negative film scanning. I can set it up, whether it is my computer desk, or perhaps at the table in the living room. It will make no difference.

And I can use my night time hours without bothering Sal's sleep. And I don't need to waste my time on other stuff too much. I mean I love scanning film negatives. You know, a couple hours per day, would really give a big boost after 356 days in the transformation of my huge negative film archive - transforming into a second, digital form. I always felt scanning35mm is more boring, than scanning large 6x6 negatives.

 

Private vs Studio / or Project oriented photography

So, with the new setup, it will be fun, to take care of the many 35mm negatives exclusively. To focus on that type of photography I have done in the past (often containing more spontaneous and private "snap shot" photography) - while the larger 6x6 and 6x7 negatives often where more "studio" oriented, or focused around projects.

 

Another video,
including scanning results with VALOI Easy35

This guy however, uses a Fujifilm GFX 50 digital medium format camera + an adapted, manual Pentax 645 A 120mm ƒ4 Macro lens - resulting into a much longer set up.

I will not use this set up even if I have that camera - because I feel that the 30 MP Canon EOS R + Sigma 70mm f 2.8 Macro are a perfect team for 35mm film, revolving resolution and malleability of the RAW files.

In theory i could actually use my Fujifilm GFX 50s II adapted with a Sigma 70mm f 2.8 Macro lens - but honestly I don't need 50 MP for 35mm film negatives - because it is an overkill. You don't get out more details from the negatives, since 24-30 MP are optimal.


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