Darkroom and Scanning

I first started printing in the darkroom when I was in Year 7, and I am still good friends with my photography teacher from school. I started printing seriously in about 2003 and have maintained a fairly regular printing schedule in the darkroom since then. I am certainly no master (see Gordon Undy and Enrico Scotece for that) but am comfortable that I can produce pretty decent prints.

In 2001 I bought my first film scanner (a Canon 4000US - which I still have to this day) for scanning 35mm film. And in 2007 (I think) I bought the Epson V700 which I have used to scan 6x7cm film and 10x8" prints.

Recently I have been thinking about improving my digital archive and this has led me to investigate some quality film scanners. Notably I have been looking at Imacon and Creo scanners, both of which I have had the fortune of using (the Creo IQSmart3 at the ANU School of Art in Canberra and the Imacon 848 at Macquarie Editions in Braidwood NSW). The Epson V700 does well for scanning negatives and small prints up to a certain size but to get extremely good quality scans, it's an expensive step up. Today was my first day scanning on the 848 and I scanned three 6x7cm negs (one B&W and two colour) as well as a 35mm B&W neg. The colour negs are Kodak Portra 400 rated at 320 (Pushed +1 in development) and both black and white films are TMax 400 - rated at 320, developed in Rodinal 1:50 - + 1/2 stop in dev time).

Comparatively, the Imacon blows Epson scans out of the water (the price is like a bomb too), but darkroom prints from negatives are something else still. Simply put, analogue gelatin silver prints are unequaled in my opinion even by the best scans and the best pigment prints. As I have a large colour project underway (and a large archive of B&W negs), getting good quality scans is something that I have been thinking about of late. 

For those photographers who still choose to shot film, digitisation of negatives and prints is certainly a relevant issue.

Here are the scanned images (resized resolutions)....