You’ve Never Seen Digitized Film With This Resolution: Using the Fuji GFX100S

"How much detail can you really get out of 35mm scans?" That is the question that has long been up for debate among film photographers, and I believe we now have an answer. 

In this video, Kyle McDougall does some side by side comparisons of 35mm film and medium format film, comparing the results of the Fuji GFX100S partnered up with a nice, vintage, macro lens (he tests out two: a 120mm f/4 Pentax and a 60mm f/2.8 Contax). In a previous post and video by Kyle, he introduced his first version of this setup (it seems the current setup is his second take on it) and gave an overview of the process and a glance at the results after pairing the Fuji with an inexpensive 7artisans Photoelectric 60mm f/2.8 Macro Mark II.

Two things really jumped out at me about this video: Kyle has completely replaced his Nikon Coolscan 9000 with this setup and the results when paired with the Pentax lens were absolutely astonishing. It's been a little while since I've digitized any film, but the last several times I did, I used the pixl-latr (review can be found here) and my Sony a7 IV paired with my Mamiya 120mm f/4 macro lens. My only real complaint was that I didn't have the easiest time getting the sensor plane parallel to the table. At some point, I intend to get either a copy stand or a tripod head more capable of the very precise movements needed to be exact.

Though I don't intend to go out and buy myself the GFX100S just to see what I can get out of it, but I am genuinely curious to know just how much resolution I'm leaving on the table with my current setup, particularly with slide film. 

James Madison's picture

Madison is a mathematician turned statistician based out of Columbus, OH. He fell back in love with film years ago while living in Charleston, SC and hasn't looked back since. In early 2019 he started a website about film photography.

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Making a parallelism checker

You will need two pieces of thin glass mirror. It's prettier if you use front surface mirrors, but back surface worked for me.
One piece will be laid over the film on your frame, so it must be cut to the appropriate size and made of thin glass so it's weight doesn't distort the film. Or lay it over the frame surface itself if you're sure it's parallel to the film.
The other piece, you will scrape off a 15 mm circular patch on the center, removing the mirroring and backing paint. This piece of mirror you will hold against the front of the lens with rubber bands.
Center the frame with mirror under the camera and center the transparent patch of the second mirror under the lens.
Look through the finder and you will see the several successive reflections of the mirrors fading off to some direction. Adjust you tripod head until they're aligned. That's it.

Wow, het must be very disapointed about his scans, to do so much work.
I do my scans on a cheap but acurate plustek scanner, at 7200 dpi, and get marvelous results, better then my prints in the darkroom in the ages before.
For me no need to go the extra mile.....