Dedicated film scanner - worth it?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Lol999, Sep 21, 2007.

  1. Lol999

    Lol999 TPF Noob!

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    Hi all, I need a bit of advice and feedback from current users. I'm currently using an Epson 3490 Photo flatbed with negative holder to scan my 35mm B&W negatives via Vuescan at the max optical dpi of 3600 (no Silverfast available for my scanner). With a little post scan playing in PS I'm getting quite nice 9x6 prints. However, I've been looking at a Plustek 7200 which or a elderly Nikon Coolscan LS3. Question is, would they be worth the money in terms of improvement over my Epson? The Nikon has a lower res scan than the Epson and I believe the Plustek only scans at 3600, not 7200.
    So what's everyone's opinion before I blow my cash?

    Thanks, Lol
     
  2. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    Lol,

    I recommend the Minolta Scan Elite 5400 (not the 5400 II) for scanning 35 mm silver-image B&W - in fact I have two of them just for that purpose, to speed things up. I have no experience of the two scanners you mentioned, but the 5400 produces a truer representation of the graininess pattern of silver-image B&W film when compared to my Nikon 4000, 5000, 8000 and 9000 scanners, and it does have a higher true resolution. It compares very well with the Imacon 949. The 5400 scans at up to 5400 spi and 16 bit. It has the 'Grain Dissolver' in the light path - this sometimes helps, but not always.

    The 'B&W Negative' setting of the Minolta software doesn't do a good job of capturing the whole density range of B&W negs developed for traditional printing, but the 'B&W Positive' does - however the curves function will not allow inversion (Nikonscan software allows you to scan as a positive, and invert using curves within the scanner software). Silverfast (and Vuescan, I expect) does not have this small problem.

    The 5400 sells for about $350 (GBP 170) here in the US, which is a bargain for what it does.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  3. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    A round of applause for Helen B!!:hail::hail::hail:
     
  4. sothoth

    sothoth TPF Noob!

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    I've always been partial to the Epson line, but since I haven't used the others extensively, I can't give a very fair comparison. Having said that, I scan 120 slide film (usually Velvia ISO 100 or 50) and think the Epson does an outstanding job of color rendering.

    My father archives all the old family photos on the Epson, which will probably take him the rest of his retirement to complete. Hope he has a backup drive in use. :)
     
  5. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Another Epson fan here too... I've always used dedicated scanners until I purchased the Epson V700. For a flatbed it produces wonderful scans comparable to the dedicated scanners at school.

    My initial impressions were posted here a while back:
    http://thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=62119
     
  6. Lol999

    Lol999 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the replies. Unfortunately the Minolta is out of my range at the moment even on e-bay. Going to stick with the 3490 for now.

    Thanks again, Lol
     
  7. klausson

    klausson TPF Noob!

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    Hi,

    you should set no great store by the optical resolution values. Most scanners can not provide this resolution although their sensors may be able to provide it. The effective resolution is in most of all cases much lower than the nominal resolution - mainly because of low-grade, low-resoluting lenses.

    I found a lot of information about scanners on www.filmscanner.info. But not all articles are available in english yet.

    Check the Nikon filmscanners reviews:

    Nikon CoolScan V ED: http://www.filmscanner.info/en/NikonCoolscan5ED.html

    Nikon Super CoolScan 5000 ED: http://www.filmscanner.info/en/NikonSuperCoolscan5000ED.html

    Nikon Super CoolScan 9000 ED: http://www.filmscanner.info/en/NikonSuperCoolscan9000ED.html

    Kind regards,
    Klausson
     

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