Best Way To Scan Negatives

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by kilifila66, Jun 20, 2005.

  1. kilifila66
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    kilifila66 New Member

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    Hey everyone! I was just wondering what I should do to scan my negatives into my computer. I heard that the Epson 4180 is a good choice but thats about the only thing I seen that has negative support. Any suggestions, comments, or solutions would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Unimaxium
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    Unimaxium New Member

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  3. John the Greek
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    John the Greek New Member

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    OK, I understand that Minolta is a big corporation but their scanner is 3,200 dpi while the other is 7,200 AND 100$ cheaper!

    Is there something I'm missing here?... or is the 7200 dpi scanner truly the superior model?
  4. EmergentFungus
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    EmergentFungus New Member

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    Once the 35mm negatives are scanned, how clear is the image on the computer and how big can it be made?
  5. John the Greek
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    John the Greek New Member

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    I'm seriously interested in buying a film scanner now that I found out about them.... this will definitely be helpful since my current scans suck. Plus, this will allow post-processing for my film shots.
  6. 303villain
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    303villain New Member

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    wow i was wondering the same thing at best buy just a few days ago, now that i see that minolta film scanner, i might have to pick one up, that would make my life so much easier! but i too would like to know about the quality of the scans...
  7. ThatCameraThingy
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    ThatCameraThingy New Member

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    I am fortunate to have the shop (my workplace)'s NIKON COOLSCAN LE 5000 D to scan my negs and slides with.

    The quality is by far superior to flatbed scans.

    I get approx 5300 x 3600 pixels on 35mm film. That means that at 300dpi output i can print 17.6 x 12v inch prints. If i scan at highest res and asve as Tiff in 16bit colour depth I end up with 110Mb files.

    Typically I scan high quality JPEG's at about 10Mb ea.

    Hanno

    PS when looking at scanners specs also look at D-max rating - the higher the number the better the contrast range the scanner can handle. under correction but i believe a D-max of 4 or above is supposed to be good.


    Hanno
  8. Jeremy Z
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    Jeremy Z New Member

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    OK, just to prove that I actually did search, I'm bringing up this old thread. What are people using these days to scan negs? Where did you buy? From reading this and a couple reviews at B&H, it seems like I can expect to spend around $500 to get decent negative scans without a ton of corrections. Is this about right?

    If possible, please provide links to the film scanner you're happy with. I don't really want a flatbed scanner, as I wouldn't use it much, and I don't have the desk space.
  9. RacePhoto
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    RacePhoto New Member

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    I'm with you. I have a SCSI interface HP Photosmart S20 which is a nice toy, 300 DPI 36 bit color. Time to upgrade. I want to do slides and film, don't care about flatbeds, I have a few already.

    I have slides going back to the 50s and I think it's time to archive them on DVDs before I lose another batch of my favorites, like I did in a flood.
  10. Alex_B
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    Alex_B New Member

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    I would only reccommend the NIKON 5000 ... I tried several scanners including minolta. but as in workflow and superior scan quality, I got stuck with the nikon for negatives and slides.
  11. tasman
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    tasman New Member

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    I have the Minolta Dual Scan III and it works great. It is about 3 years old and scans at 2800 dpi. I will not use a flatbed scanner for negatives, you will not get the quality out of it as a dedicated negative scanner.
  12. burtharrris
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    burtharrris New Member

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    Can you get a dedicated film scanner for under $500? I might be getting a flatbed (Canon 8400f, Epson 4490, HP something) for about $200, just cause I can't afford others.
  13. SaSi
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    SaSi New Member

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    I have seen the prices for dedicated film scanners drop since originally introduced. My Canon FS4000US sold for $1200 when I bought it some 3-4 years ago, and have seen it on sale for $500 recently. The question now becomes of availability. Other good (more expensive) models come from Nikon as well as Minolta.

    Another option might be the Epson V700 which is a flatbed scanner designed for negative scans as well. I have seen quite favourable reviews and the scan samples speak for themselves.

    Avoid any of the low cost ($90~200) flatbeds. In papers, they seem to offer high dpi but the focusing and scan density appear to be poor.

    Typically, to scan a negative or slide, you need only about 4000dpi, which is about the resolution of the film and probably higher than the resolution of the lenses used for taking the pictures.

    The issue is, flatbeds seem to offer 4000dpi or more, but this seems to me mechanical resolution and not of the optical system (which includes the flatbed glass and the scanner lens).

    Again, the new Epson V700 seems to prove that high quality negative scanning is possible.
  14. Jeremy Z
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    Jeremy Z New Member

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    SaSi seems to know what he's talking about here.

    I have decided not to pursue this any further, since it seems like any film scanner costing less than $500 is not worth taking home. (i.e. lots of color correction will need to be done at the least)

    I'm just going to have the negatives that I really like scanned locally. They've already paid for their machine, and I don't have THAT many great negs... ;)
  15. Alex_B
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    Alex_B New Member

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    Having personally scanned about 5000-6000 35mm slides and a considerable amount of rolls of 35mm film on a Nikon 5000 (in my eyes the best desktop film scanner, not really cheap though), I can assure you that EACH scanned image needs postprocessing in terms of colour, sharpness, grain, contrast, ... even if you use all those fancy mechanism and algorithms like GEM and ICE ;)

    You can reduce the amount of postprocessing, at least regarding the colour
    , if you use scansoftware like silverfast, and use calibration targets to calibrate your scanner and the film used. These targets can be bought from different sources for different types of film. This greatly improves the output of your (even cheap) scanner in terms of colour.

    so even if you do not want to spend around 2000 USD for a high end desktop film scanner setup, you can still get decent scanning results if you use third party software. The good thing about silverfast is, that i think to remember that it is rather cheap for the cheap scanners and expensive for the expensive scanners ;).

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