Last week I wrote about developing my first roll of 120 film. This was kind of like crossing a bridge on the trail that is leading me from using a film camera again, to actually developing the film. This week I had it scanned and now can see the results.
The first thing I noticed is that the grain is very noticeable. This is not necessarily a bad thing if it adds to the character or mood, but can be less desirable at other times. It can be the result of several factors, including the film and development process. I will be keeping an eye on these factors as I continue to develop film and make changes to improve the process.
Another thing I noticed right away, was the large amount of dust and other spots on the scanned images. I have cleaned much of the worst of it from these images, but it is a tedious task to get it all. While this film was scanned at low quality, I have had film developed and scanned at high quality in the past and they don’t seem to get any cleaner with higher quality. I had hoped they would take more time ensuring the high quality scans were as dust free as possible, but unfortunately that is not the case. This has brought me to the next “bridge” on my photographic journey.
I have considered the cost of having film “professionally” scanned and the quality of those scans, and have decided to proceed onward and am purchasing a scanner designed specifically with film in mind (more on this in a future post). This should not only result in long term savings, it will also give me more direct control over the entire process (although I will still rely on professional printers when I want my images printed).
I will still be using my DSLR, but all in all, I’d have to say the film bug has really taken root.
All photos were made using a Hasselblad 500 EL/M, with Ilford HP5 Plus black and white film.