Mostly negative… i.e. as in Negatives of old family photos…
So - I’ve been working on this on, and off… and lot more “on” recently.
I have these format negatives (literally thousands - i.e. the family archive) :
- 35 mm (called “135”) that’s so straightforward it doesn’t really bear discussing - all colour
- 126 - it’s a nasty consumer-grade “instamatic” format - colour and black and white
- 110 - another nasty consumer-grade format - it’s horribe and REALLY shit quality - all colour
The trickiest format is :
- 120 and 220 and 620 - these were the film formats popularised for use in Kodak’s “Box Brownie” cameras… They’re kinda horrible, and all different dimensions… I have negatives (Black and White) dating back over 80 years or so… My mum got a box brownie for her 12th or 13th birthday (circa 1950/51).
The negatives I’m MOST interested in are the 126 and the 120/220/620 box brownie negatives - I’m already finding happy snaps I don’t ever recall seeing before… I have literally THOUSANDS of negatives to get through… So I might scan “proof sheets” first, and batch process them with imagemagick.
On the weekend I bought a shonky thing the retailer advertised, on their shelves, as supporting 110 and 126 film negatives - got it home - and it DIDN’T - so I took it back the next day… and the quality was rubbish anyway…
So here’s what I’m going to do, and have purchased (on order) :
An A3 “light box” ostensibly marketed as a “tracing” solution.
A “selfie” stick for my Samsung with a tripod mount and remote bluetooth button (arrived today - works perfectly) - the main thing I wanted was the remote “shutter release” button doohicky…
My process will be :
- plonk a bunch of negs on the light box, which hopefully has a clear sheet to hold the negs down.
- mount my Galaxy S9+ on the selfie stick/tripod (and hooked up to my Linux computer via USB C)
- take photos with the bluetooth button, so it’s “steady” on the Samsung handset.
- proof the resulting photos (over USB in “realtime”)
- use imagemagick (e.g. “convert” and “mogrify” to invert the negatives).
Note - I tried doing the “scan” thing from a decent 14 MP Lumix digital camera and the results were HORRIBLE… ghastly…
When I start in “earnest” (can’t start till the light box arrives) - I might ask one of my daughters if we can try with an iPhone to compare results to what a Galaxy S9+ can do… I suspect there won’t be much difference…
Note : I LOVE ImageMagick… what a kickarse suite of CLI tools it is… who needs gimp anyway ??? Jeepers, I remember using some stuff from imagemagick in the 1990s, but mostly working with an “engineer” (as in internal combustion engineer) to get it compiled and working on Irix on Silicon Graphix MIPS64 systems running IRIX… I’ve spent days using imagemagick to remove non-black/gray (particular shades of gray) from a bunch of stuff I scanned on my MFP (brother).