Negative viewing device

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31
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#1
Hello!

I've got a huge stack of old B&W negatives which I wish to scan. I have an Epson V750 with which to do this but I'd like a way of previewing the negatives before I load them up.

The scanner has a 'preview' function but it still involves mounting them and performing a quick scan.

Is there such a device (like a slide viewer) where I could just hold the negative behind a lens and quickly see a positive (and hopefully magnified) image of it?



Thanks!
 
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6,929
Name
Ken
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#5
Thanks both! I'll try the app first as I need to convert to a positive image
I've heard there are apps but I have not tried one, so I don't know which is best.
It should be easy enough to find reviews.
 
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David
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#6
I used one called Helmut for Android phone. Worked OK
 

excalibur2

My F4's Broken...
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9,709
Name
Brian
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#7
Hello!

I've got a huge stack of old B&W negatives which I wish to scan. I have an Epson V750 with which to do this but I'd like a way of previewing the negatives before I load them up.

The scanner has a 'preview' function but it still involves mounting them and performing a quick scan.

Is there such a device (like a slide viewer) where I could just hold the negative behind a lens and quickly see a positive (and hopefully magnified) image of it?



Thanks!
Well a rough quick way is to hold the neg (emulsion side) at an angle to the sun or indoor light.....I used to do this to check if the neg was worth printing.
 
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1,006
Name
Mike
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#8
Two sticking points are the scale and inversion.

Somewhere in my box of junk, I have, what I suppose was a magazine cover freebie 'film viewer'... it's plastic strip, that 'folds' in three and clicks at 90 degrees to make 3 sides of a box. Bottom side has two rails in it, the width of a 35mm film, top side has a christmas cracker magnifying glass lens! You sort of fold it up, run a strip of film into the rails and then hold it up to the light to have a look-see.... interesting, but entirely at home in the junk-box!

The traditional ways about was to hold the neg or transparency up to a window or light source, or put it on a light box. Fine for a quick look, but to see much detail, even with a medium or larger format bit of film, you normally had to look at it through a half decent lupe or magnifying glass, and if negative, it was still reverse image. To get around that, making up a contact strip, with 35mm, you could lay perhaps 7 strips on a single bit of 8x10 printing paper (also in the junk-box is a proofing frame, to hold the strips to do just that!), and actually print an entire roll of film on one piece of printing paper, to get positive image, you could then look at, probably under a lupe to see more detail.

Trying to do that with modern tech, using a smurp-phone...... err... I am NOT a fan of the darn things to begin with; as jack of all trades wonder widget they are 'supposed' to be a telephone, but oft are rather bad even at that, and tend not to do much particularly well, for all the number of things they might do.... usually badly. Next there is modern vogue to look at the darn things to do any and every job you may want.... oft badly.... cos its there, and presumed convenient.... "Where shall we eat tonight?"... "oh hang on, let me have a look.... at my PHONE!... look there seems to be a Chinese restaurant not far from here that's got some good reviews..." "Oh-Kay" (After a half hour delay and mutterings about the cell coverage).... "How do we get there?".... "Just a sec.... let me check on google maps.... on my phone"...... and after an hour going round the houses you find the place, to discover that it shut down three years ago and no-one has updated the web-page, and an old fashioned paper map would NOT have flaked out on you in the middle of no-where or had the battery go flat!!!! Like I say, smurph-phone culture does grate a bit, when they are the first, usually BAD one-size-fits-all, jack of all trades tool reached for, JUST because its the first thing that comes to mind or hand, to do the job, often badly and more slowly, and just make it actually HARDER for you, not easier.... which is actually 'anti-technology'... but still.

Some years ago, I bought a Maplin web-cam type scanner for this sort of job... 'quick' proofing of negs before making decent quality scans with more dedicated kit..... Resolution is sort of OK and good enough for Farce-Broke uploads, but it's not wonderful and much more restrictive with anything a tad tricky or in need of recovery than a dedicated scanner.... IS 'reasonably' quick though.....

BUT, by the time you have got a films worth of pictures off it to look at.... might as well have done the job propper, with the real-deal scanner... and just chucked away the ones that aren't so great!

It's layers of 'faff' added to the job, and you really do have to ask, what you hope to save by doing half the job twice over just for the look-see.... there's a lot to be said for doing it once and doing it proppa and doing it justice.... A-N-D, I have to add that IME, you do find the odd photo in the bunch that with a high-quality scan to 'proof', you do actually get something worth keeping or working on to make a keeper, that you would dismiss in a (not so!) 'quick' proof scan.

I use a near 20 year old SCSI scanner, still. It was not exactly 'fast' when I bought it, and even with the beef of much faster processor and a lot more RAM and a huge hard drive, from modern-ish times, with 12-times over-pass, it's still pretty slow..... B-U-T..... working through my archive of old 35mm negs, its actually NOT that slow, as part of the whole job.

So much of the time, is in getting the negs out the archive binder, dusting them, loading them, and organising them so I know whats been done, and what hasn't, and then sorting and saving the scans I get, the actual time in the machine becomes a much smaller bit of the overall deal. Even working on ad-hoc single films, probably straight out of camera, where developing them first puts a huge overhead of time and faff onto the job, and makes the actual scan time so much less significant.

It IS rather like the days of the dark-room.... and looking at a reverse image neg projected on the base-board, looking at that by the naked eye, or with the fine focus finder or with a lupe, and getting round the reverse image issue interpreting that as you see it, in your head.... You get to a point, where, the added faff of making up contact prints, making small scale test prints, BEFORE you commit to a full-size display print.... you as oft just dont save anything for the faff, you waste more time and paper in the doing, than going straight to display print... so why not.... and if it is junk when you get it... chuck it away, and MAYBE try again, using that as the 'test'.

I'd say, just bite the bullet, and go straight to your full-size full res scans... you probably wont save anything trying to pre-proof them by other means, just make more work for yourself.....
 
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9,444
Name
Steve
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#9
There’s an IOS app called LB Loupe that performs on the fly inversion of negatives which will give you a quick view. Alternatively, there’s a newer app by a guy called Abe Fettig called FilmLab that is more featured to shoot/invert. He’s currently working on an android version but at the moment it’s IOS only.
 
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