The first slides I scanned were the 6×17 ones taken with my Gaoersi 617 camera and Fuji Provia 100F. I only have the Nikkor 90mm f/4.5 SW lens for this camera, but its more than enough for the landscapes I shoot. Scanning 6×17 with the Coolscan 9000 is a tough process since you basically scan the frame twice (the Coolscan can only scan 6×9 size with one pass).
The problem that I face is that the two scans to be stitched have most of the times a difference in exposure (and sometimes color). That requires post processing which depending on the image can take a considerable amount of time. Scanning the frames with the Epson V750 is much easier since the whole image is scanned with one pass. Of course the flatbed cannot beat a dedicated scanner especially with slide film.
(Gaoersi 617, Nikkor 90mm f/4.5 SW, Fuji Provia 100F
Aperture: f32, Speed: 1/15, LEE 81D warm filter, LEE ND SOFT GRAD 0.6)
I have used many times the Gaoersi with the external viewfinder but when I need absolute control of my composition and filters the ground glass is the way to go. You remove the film back, mount the ground glass, and when you finish, you mount the film back again. Especially when using filters like a ND GRAD, the ground glass is mandatory in order to be accurate. Slide film has a relatively narrow dynamic range, so the use of filters enables me to have the every part of the image properly exposed.
At the image above I was in a hurry so I accidentally underexposed it by one stop. Now, one stop may be not something when shooting digital, b&w film or color film, but with slide film its significant. With some effort I managed to correct the image (to the extend it was possible) in my computer, but generally these mistakes must be avoided.
Today, its easy to stitch digital images to create a panoramic one, but I really like being able to visualize and shoot my panoramic subject with one click. It also helps when there are moving parts in the image. Even this can be done with digital stitch, but with 6×17 you also get the unique look of a film image which is different than digital.
Long exposures with film require careful metering and technique, since you cant have an instant preview of your shot. With a slide film like Provia 100F which has a very good behavior with long exposures (no need to compensate for reciprocity if your exposure is below 120 seconds) things get easier. The ND GRAD HARD filter is suitable when there is a clear horizon level (usually at seascapes).
The above image was scanned with the Epson V750 since I didn’t consider it a special shot, so I just scanned it for my archive.
Shooting slide film with the Gaoersi was really fascinating. Looking at the huge positives on my Lightbox and exploring their details with a loupe is something I enjoy very much. And of course the huge resolution of the scanned file allows for large prints.
(c)2013 Konstantinos Besios. All rights reserved.