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TP: Film Scanners

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analytical View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote analytical Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: TP: Film Scanners
    Posted: 19 April 2007 at 20:48
I have seen several references to shooting film then scanning. The current pricing on Minolta 7 is interesting, and I have years of old negatives I might want to digitize, so could I ask those who shoot film then scan some questions?



1. I assume you are scanning the negatives directly. I see what appear to adequate scanners available in the $100-300 range.



for example **Broken link (Sep 15 2013):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2010270044%201103910450&bop=And&Order=RATING


The more expensive scanners include more software, easier film handling like whole strip at once, and higher speed, but not necessarily much better resolution, at least as listed either optical or interpolated. Some say they yield 17 or 18 megapixel images from 35mm film.



Question: Are these lower priced scanners adequate for low volume use? Any specific recommendations?



2. What film do you shoot?



3. Where do you have it developed, other than do it yourself, which I am not set up for.   



Thanks.

Edited by rovhazman - 16 September 2013 at 01:41
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Sanjuro View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sanjuro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 April 2007 at 21:12
About scanner, I have a minolta from a friend that takes 5 neg at once and I get hughes Tiffs from it.

I know the coolscan have good reviews, but check the color deep from them, 16 against 48.
If you shoot BW only maybe that is not important.

Film, I shoot Ilford 100 and 400 and Tri-X 400, Agfapan 100 is very nice too.

Then you have the Kodak T-max C41 (and as all c41) you can develope in any lab that do color.
I do not like the c41, you do not get the same contrast or quality like a common BW film.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote AudioDoc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 April 2007 at 21:35
Hi analytical,



You definitely need to look for a scanner designed for scanning film. I use the Konica Minolta DiMAGE Scan Elite 5400II which is outstanding. Since the KM scanners are no longer manufactured you would have to look for new old stock or a used one. There are good scanners available from Nikon, Canon and Epson, to name a few. Look for Digital ICE which is quite helpful for cleaning up dust and scratches. Might save you some PS time. However, it is not recommended for Kodachrome and B&W (other than C41 B&W). Here is the link too KM site if you are interested in checking out the various models that they made:**Broken link (Sep 15 2013):KM Scanners

Look here for a review of the KM 5400II: KM 5400II Review



My 5400II scans 48bit up to 5400dpi, which produces 120-200MB Tiffs. It is outstanding. There are others on this forum using it as well.



Newegg generally has good prices. I'm only familiar with the Nikons and I do know that there are those that swear by them. I'm sure others will chime in with opinions.



I shoot many different films depending on the situation. I like Kodak Portra 160NC and 400NC, UC100 and 400, Fujichrome Velvia, Kodak T-Max 100, Kodak E100G.



I have my processing done by a local pro lab, Borge Andersen for my processing:**Broken link (Sep 15 2013):Borge Andersen



Kelly,



OT, BTW thanks for the tax advise! Though, I was kidding about the -1 :-)

Edited by rovhazman - 16 September 2013 at 01:42
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dCap View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote dCap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 April 2007 at 22:04
turned into a Talking Point and moved into the Knowledge Base
- please replay with wise and knowledgablable info, ths sort of stuff that would act as a good point of reference to the buddy film scanners
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Post Options Post Options   Quote DavidB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 April 2007 at 23:14
I have also seen excellent reviews of the 5400II but have not used it. My earliest slide scans were with a Microtek 35mm-dedicated scanner; not bad. Then I graduated to a Polaroid SprintScan 4000, which has given me some excellent scans, but had a SCSI interface and little support after Polaroid went under.
After doing some research and seeing as I needed a new flatbed to replace my old Arca; and seeing that it rated nearly as high as the 5400, I am now using an Epson 4870 Photo flatbed scanner. Its results exceeded my expectations, especially in that it's a flatbed. The comment that you need a better-than-average scanner to do transparencies is definitely true. Although I had a transparency module on my Arca at considerable additional cost, the results were abysmal, but that's old technology.
All of these scanners had the ability to scan negatives as well as positive transparencies. Most of my experience was with Kodachrome 25 and Velvia. I didn't feel I had as good results with negatives, mostly Kodacolour, but then I didn't know the films as well either.
For critical work, I have preferred LaserSoft Imaging's SilverFast software/driver to anything the manufacturers have bundled, although Epson's is quite good. LaserSoft has very good technical support and works with some pretty high-end industry scanner technology as well as consumer stuff. Their strength seems to be particularly in bringing more details out of the blacks.
I have made several scans up to 250 megabytes and printed and sold them at 2'x3' from a 35mm slide, and am confident many of them would go to 3'x4' (source-Velvia50).

Edited by DavidB - 19 April 2007 at 23:59
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Post Options Post Options   Quote MostlyHarmless Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 April 2007 at 23:51
If your goal is to scan a bunch of old negs and slides en masse, then I believe you are better off going with a high-end flatbed rather than a dedicated film scanner. The Epson V700 and V750 are both excellent units for this, allowing you to scan up to four strips of 6 exposures at once (or up to 20 slides, IIRC).



The absolute quality won't be as good as what you'd get with a dedicated film scanner but you'll get resolution comparable to a 6MP DSLR so as long as you're not after huge enlargements, it might work well for you. And the time savings from bulk scans is huge. The Epson scanners I mentioned also have Digital ICE which is another big timesaver.



A V750 costs around US$600, which I believe is around the cost of the entry-level Nikon Coolscan V. The Coolscan V, again, will give you higher absolute quality but the V750 is good as well and lets you work in larger batches. I see that your budget is a good bit lower but remember that you can always sell your scanner once you're done scanning to recoup the cost. The added automation features are definitely worth it IMHO. If you need to do it on a budget, though, the Epson V100 (about $50 after rebates) plus Vuescan (I believe around $40 for a one-time purchase) is a good way to go.



Of those listed on the link you provided, I would avoid the Plustek Opticfilm units. The film adapter on the Canon 600F is said to be flimsy and a pain to use. The V100+Vuescan is a better value.



Beware of misleading specs, though - "48-bit" scanning is meaningless. What you're after is the real dynamic range of the scanner. Features like multiexposure and multisampling can boost dynamic range and decrease noise. Usually you'll need Silverfast or Vuescan to do this.



Ken Rockwell does a good job cutting through the hype: http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/scantek.htm

Edited by rovhazman - 16 September 2013 at 01:43
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bengeo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 April 2007 at 23:55

VueScan is an amazing scanning program you can get from here.

There's a trial version available. I use it with a Minolta Scan Elite II and it works very well.

Andy
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Shaocaholica Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 April 2007 at 00:19
I'm not sure if Digital ICE is the same as IR dust & scratch removal but its a really cool feature that's also available in vuescan.

Apparently, dust and scratches show up differently under IR exposure so the scanning software makes a mask based on the IR exposure and uses the mask to heal/clone out the areas where dust and scratches are. I've used it and its much better than manually fixing in PS. Plus it takes no extra scanning time since the IR exposure data is gathered during the normal scan pass.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote RubberDials Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 April 2007 at 01:34
Audiodoc is right, the 5400 II was the best on the market by some margin but it had huge resolution which was probably overkill for most people. If you're scanning old negative film you'll see grain structure at anything above 2000 dpi.

I use a Minolta scan dual III which will fit your budget if you can find one second hand. This produces 30MB scans at 2688 x 4032 in about 20 seconds. And will scans negs in strips of six or mounted slides in fours.

If you shoot Provia F you will see jaggies long before grain. Although scanning film in these desktop scanners produces quick and good results, you will not get the same results as a darkroom, which is why some people think 10 megapixels is better than film.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote MostlyHarmless Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 April 2007 at 01:39
Originally posted by Shaocaholica Shaocaholica wrote:

I'm not sure if Digital ICE is the same as IR dust & scratch removal but its a really cool feature that's also available in vuescan.

Apparently, dust and scratches show up differently under IR exposure so the scanning software makes a mask based on the IR exposure and uses the mask to heal/clone out the areas where dust and scratches are. I've used it and its much better than manually fixing in PS. Plus it takes no extra scanning time since the IR exposure data is gathered during the normal scan pass.


Yes, Digital ICE does use IR. Not to nitpick but it's not Vuescan that makes it available - IR dust and scratch removal requires that the scanner have a separate IR scanning channel.

IR scanning works because IR is reflected off of dust but not off the film emulsion. This also allows it to be reflected off areas of the film where the emulsion has been scratched off. It should be noted that Digital ICE can be incompatible with certain types of films. Non-chromagenic black and white film and Ektachrome, I believe, are two types of film that aren't supported but this depends based on the version of Digital ICE in use (the latest Nikons are equipped with Digital ICE4 which do support both).

I'm not sure if your statement about not taking any extra scanning time is correct - there is a software component to Digital ICE that takes data gathered by the IR channel and then uses it to apply corrections to the image and as a result, scans with Digital ICE enabled take longer than those without. What scanner were you using?

Edited by MostlyHarmless - 20 April 2007 at 01:40
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Cekari Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 April 2007 at 01:45
I been trying to find a Minolta 5400II here in sweden for a while now to replace my old SCSII one but no luck so far.

Anyone know anything about the PLUSTEK OPTICFILM 7200I SE?

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Post Options Post Options   Quote MostlyHarmless Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 April 2007 at 03:14
I myself am currently trying to score a 5400 II through Ebay, having recently been outbit for an Elite 2900. I've been doing a lot of research on various film scanners including the 7200i SE.



There's a review of the 7200i SE here: http://www.ephotozine.com/article/Plustek-OpticFilm-7200i



Resolution is ok but nowhere near the 7200dpi that they claim. Note that on the resolution test, it outresolves the 4000dpi ArtixScan but not the 2820dpi Dimage Scan Elite II.



It appears that iSRD isn't nearly as effective as Digital ICE but with VueScan, it does an ok job. The review doesn't touch on the dynamic range that the scanner is capable of; I've heard accounts on the Photo.net forums that using Vuescan with this scanner allows you to enable multi-exposure and multi-sampling so that should help so I would consider Vuescan a necessary expense in getting the most out of this scanner. Dynamic range seems lower than average so I'm not sure how well it would work for high-contrast slides.



I was also intruiged by this scanner when I first came accross it but could find very few reviews. I trolled a lot on Photo.net's forums and I've seen some folks who have had good luck with their's and others who had no end of problems. My guess is that Plustek might have some quality control issues; also, I couldn't find any info on whether these units or fixed focus or autofocus and whether the focus is adjustable.



My thoughts:



* Plustek has a few more models coming out and although specs haven't been released, their model numbers (7500i SE) suggest that they will be placed above or possibly replace the 7200i SE. I'd wait until they get released to see if this product line matures.



* The Epson Perfection 4990 Photo is a quality flatbed scanner available for a similar price to the 7200i SE. If I were interested in scanning lots of negs or slides, that would be the better buy to me. The 7200i SE uses a flimsy plastic feeders for slides and negs and they have to be manually positioned for each frame so you get zero help in automation.



* If you work up the food chain, the Epson V700 (flatbed), Nikon Coolscan V (dedicated film) and the aforementioned Epson V750 (also flatbed) are all vastly superior choices IMHO.

Edited by rovhazman - 14 September 2013 at 17:24
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Cekari Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 April 2007 at 03:31
Thanks a lot for the link and info...
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Shaocaholica Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 April 2007 at 04:02
Originally posted by MostlyHarmless MostlyHarmless wrote:


I'm not sure if your statement about not taking any extra scanning time is correct - there is a software component to Digital ICE that takes data gathered by the IR channel and then uses it to apply corrections to the image and as a result, scans with Digital ICE enabled take longer than those without. What scanner were you using?

Sure theres always the processing time but I guess I didn't really account for that since the actual film scan takes so much longer in comparison. I do know that it doesn't do multiple passes for the IR and enabling IR scanning doesn't increase the actual scan time (not including processing).
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