CI Photocommunity

Register a free account now!

If you are registered, you get access to the members only section, can participate in the buy & sell second hand forum and last but not least you can reserve your preferred username before someone else takes it.



Well-Known Member
This is meant to follow on from my thread regarding the choice of using colour negative or transparency films for scanning purposes – it’s just a personal impression of ‘my’ current state of affairs…Many thanks to all of you who have taken the time and trouble to answer my previous post.

I’m a keen amateur photographer who lives in a rural area – which means I don’t have fast access to labs etc. I am not completely computer illiterate, and have the equipment and programs sufficiently powerful to ‘treat’ large image files. I am not prepared to reinvent the wheel and build a wet darkroom (Again!) but and I am also firmly convinced that the quality of my MF photographic equipment is way beyond my needs – which means I want to keep using it.

So what exactly am I looking for?

An image file with sufficient dynamic range, that I can treat with a computer. This is what made me ‘look’ back at scanned film, but now I’m wondering, as there are just so many variables that come into play.

1: Choice of film – very much influenced by my ability to take meter readings/cross linked with the latitude of the film itself.

2: Treatment of the film – I have to develop it, and regardless of E-6 or C-41, the temperature considerations are of prime importance. Repeatability is the key, and without really accurate temperature control, it is too hit and miss.

3: Digital versus film - With the advent of the CFV-39, is there really that much difference between the two, and will I get the same tonal range on a digital file as on film? For my needs (As an amateur) the answer is probably yes.

Frankly, and based on the fact that I am keeping my 501/CF series lenses, I am leaning more and more towards a huge investment…this won’t be for a while as I have a fair amount of film stock to use up, and I admit I still enjoy the pleasure of developing a film etc. but the inconsistencies due to temperature and exposure are leading me to rethink my initial reluctance to ‘invest’…


Well-Known Member
Maybe keep using film and look at options to improve film processing?

From may days in the wet dark room I noticed an improvement using mains power stabilisers.
In fact any attempt to reproduce prints that looked similar without those stabilisers was impossible.

No idea what prolabs use these days but their development process of film is quite good and consistent.


Well-Known Member
I appreciate your comments, however the problem is with maintaining the temperature during development (Principally, the first developer)

38° is not more difficult than 30°, but when you're using a large sink it's not easy (for me) to keep everything EXACTLY at the temperature required. I thought about a fish-tank heater, but these generally only go up to 32 or 34° (To avoid boiling the fish I imagine...) and if I have to invest in a semi-pro setup with commercial heaters etc, I might just as well go the whole hog and go digital...


Well-Known Member
Fish tank heater

A fish tank heater is not a bad idea.
Would not it be possible to adjust the temperature so you can reach the 38° you need?

There is a lot of ground between a fish tank heater and a 12000 euro CFV39........


Well-Known Member
Personally, and this is from a total film nut, if I were in your position and I had the money I'd buy into a digital back. It's just way more convenient. As soon as I can afford one, I'll either buy into a Hasselblad H system or, if time proves it a success, the new Leica S2. Either system would be a big change for me, coming primarily from a Mamiya 7 system and 4x5" field cameras. I like the bigger sensors in (most of) the H series and the size and weather sealing of the S2.

I feel your predicament as I have to outsource all my processing to an out of town lab and the whole procedure is a real drag, not to mention I hate my work being at the mercy of other people.

I guess only you know the answer to your personal dilemma.