Scanning Anew

Hanami-koji street, Gion area, Kyoto, Japan, 2010

I got a new scanner this week.  The old one, an Epson V500, was suffering from a problem that has happened to all of my scanners after I’ve had them for several years: lines on the scans.  I don’t know why this happens, but my theory is that dirt somehow gets into the scan mechanism and when that spec follows the scanning head across the negative, a line is created.
So, I figured that it was time to get a new one.  I could have gotten another V500, but for a little more I could have gotten the newer V600, so I did.  The scanning resolution  of the new one is the same as the old, but the new one does have some advantages.
First, it seems to scan a little more quietly and quickly than the old one.  Another advantage is the negative holder.  The window on the old one was wide enough to fit about one a half 6×7 cm frames of film, while the holder coming with the V600 is 22 cm wide, meaning that I can just about fit three full frames – an entire cut strip – on the holder.  If I want to scan more than one negative on the strip, I can therefore do so without having to make any changes to the film on the holder.  That, to me, is worth the extra cost in upgrading.
Today’s photos are the results of that advantage.  I made these images during my trip to Japan two years ago.  I was walking around in Kyoto on a drizzly day and made my way to one of my favorite parts of the city, Gion – the old geisha quarter – which has one of my favorite streets, Hanami-koji.  If one wants to see a geiko (the word for ‘geisha’ in the Kyoto dialect), this is the best place to go.

Plaque, Gion area, Kyoto, Japan, 2010

While Hanami-koji is not a pedestrian-only street, it is nonetheless paved with beautiful cobblestones that give it a picturesque look.  While I don’t think I saw any geikos at that time, I did see several women looking very beautiful wearing their kimonos, which seemed appropriate for this very traditional part of the city.  You can see a photo at the top.
The other photo, showing a plaque laid in the street indicating the names of the two streets at that intersection, was the shot that I made immediately before the kimono photo and is right next to it on the negative.  With the old scanner and film holder, I would have had to remove the negative from the holder and reverse the negative to scan the other frame.  With this new holder, that is no longer necessary.


In other news in the “new” department, I just bought a new lens for my Pentax 67 camera on eBay.  (Well, it’s a used lens, but it’ll be new to me when I get it!)  The lens is a 45mm, which is roughly equivalent to a 22mm lens in the 35 mm format, or an extra wide angle but not a super wide like a fish eye.
This is the first lens that I’ve bought for the Pentax since I bought the camera back in 1995. The lenses that I bought then and have been using all of these years are 55mm (wide), 105mm (normal) and 200mm (tele).  I’ve been wanting to get the extra wide lens for some time now, and something I saw made me think of it, so I finally got one (and at a reasonable price, too).
How will I use it?  I guess I’ll have to wait until I get it and use it before I know.  I’ve got some major photo shoots in the planning stages, so I’ll have to shoot a roll and get it processed just to test it before I use it for real.  Obviously, I can use it for those situations where I’m very close to my subjects and the 55mm still isn’t wide enough.  However, I’m really looking forward to seeing what kind of interesting wide angle perspectives I can get with it.
Stay tuned.

About Dave Rudin

Dave Rudin is a fine art photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. He specializes in art nude and travel photography, using black & white film and making silver gelatin prints in a darkroom.
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