The Black Hole Pro Scans
Pro Scanning Service
Scanning film has traditionally used older but efficient devices such Noritsu or Fuji Frontier on one end, on the far end of the quality spectrum there is drum scanning. Both the Noritsu and Frontier feeds on film at unbelievable speeds but it is important to note that at the end of the day the colours and details rendered on the scans are solely interpreted by the machine with limited options for photographers to express.
A relevant question is to what extend a photographer wants to control how their images look from the highlights to the shadows, from the warmth to the coolness of the image. After much thought and personal experience, The Black Hole team decided to embark on a journey to find a method that can provide our customers with more control if they so choose they want.
After many hours and days on reading through the articles available online, we finally found an emerging method of scanning film rolls that can only be done from this decade onwards. As we break down the functions of scanning machine, there are essentially three parts; a film holder, a digital sensor, and a light source.
Using the best film holder available, the Negative Supply film holder, we find that the film is at the flattest it could be possibly be, making sure that the image on the film is not warped and that the light source is distributed equally from one end of the image to the other. This also allowed us to scan formats from half-frame all the way up to 8×10 large format frames. The light source we use is the 99 CRI light from Negative Supply. The light is very neutral and the colours rendered are accurate.
Last but not least, the digital sensor that will be used to scan the film, are the Hasselblad H4D and Sony A7RIV. This is provide more resolution than any film scanners available in the market. The high dynamic range also proves to be useful as the scans can preserve the highlights and even the shadows giving it a lot more latitude to work with for photographers that would like to work on their files as how they have intended it to look.
Even with the right setup, we practise the highest standards of handling the film rolls our customers assigned us. Throughout the scans, the processed films be given utmost the care ensuring that there is no dusts, hair or contamination on the film during scans. We will then carefully examine each frame for scratches and will inform our customers accordingly to our findings. This is to make sure that every frame can be processed and scanned consistently over the sessions in the future.
Our customers will also be provided with a digital TIFF file that enables them to post process the film later on if it is what they prefer. Else, a sample of a preference look can be shared with us, where our colourist will try our very best to match the images in terms of toning, color balance, detail and the film latitude. It is only through the professional scans where it is possible to unlock the full potential of the film digitally.
It has been a long time where film photographers work on their photographers in the dark room. It has only been of recent time where film scans can be at qualities closed to those of those at the dark room. As we adapt at more and more digitalised world, a professional scan that can match the flexibility of working on images at the dark room is very important. Every frame matters, which is why every frame should reflect what the photographer truly intended. Go beyond composition, having a professional scans allow you to truly control your vision and your story. Not everyone shoots professionally, but everyone shoots for a story.
Fuji Frontier | Pro Scan
Fuji Frontier | Pro ScanPhoto by @haojie.jpeg
Photo by @haziqfrhn
Photo by @dylan.analog
Photo by @siewginn
Photo by @brendon_leong