Film Scanners

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by mctb, May 9, 2016.

  1. mctb

    mctb TPF Noob!

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    I started with film, went to digital (Pentax crop) and now split my time between digital (Olympus M4/3) and film (Pentax). I have, however, found myself shooting more and more film lately. I accidentally bought some 120 T Max a little bit ago and have now started looking into picking up a TLR or something else relatively portable. My local shop where I buy my film can and will develop it for a few bucks but the real expense comes from scanning. I have looked through B&W, Adorama, etc... and scanner prices are all over the place. What do you all recommend for around $200?


     
  2. dabsond

    dabsond TPF Noob!

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    I picked up a used epson flat bed scanner with negative holders for $50. Keep an eye on craigs list, maybe even create an alert there. You will find one.
     
  3. limr

    limr Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I use a Canon CanoScan 8800 (the newest version is the 9000, I believe, unless they've come out with an even newer version in the past couple of months.) I've had no issues with it. With any scanner, it takes some time to figure out how to tweak to get the best scans and I'll be honest - scanning color can be a PITA sometimes, but that's not necessarily the scanner's fault ;) I just find color more difficult to deal with in general.

    Edit: I shoot film almost exclusively (very often with my beloved Pentax, too,) so if you check out my Flickr (link in the signature,) you can get a sense of the scans from the Canon.
    PS - Definitely get a TLR - they're a lot of fun :)
     
  4. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    If you go ahead with the 120 film camera then you'll want to be able to scan that. Given your budget, one of the Epson V series scanners or the Canon that Leonore noted would be your best bet. They'll do a good job with the 120 film and an OK job with 35mm. I've had/have access to both and the Epson is somewhat faster which can be an issue when scanning film. (Specifically I've been able to compare the Canon 8800 with the Epson but haven't used the Canon 9000).

    Joe
     
  5. jcdeboever

    jcdeboever TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I just bought one of those 8800F off eBay for $85.00, should be here in a few days. Looked new, has all the original protective sheeting in place, box, software, holders, etc. I asked for additional pics and I am pretty sure it's never been used, even software is still sealed. Crossing my fingers.

    Not real happy with scans from various places. Some places are real small scans but clean but... can't do much with them or I get a big scan with dust, scan tracks, etc and I have to spend crap loads of time cleaning them up. At least this way I have some control over it.

    I used to scan years ago and didn't really know what I was doing and nothing was critical. I used film /developing as a reference tool, nothing more. In other words, I didn't consider film as an art form for me. My scans were 10 times better if not more. I owned two film SCSI scanners back in the day. One was a microtech that got damaged in a move and an Epson that I sold to my uncle when I decided to stop using film as a reference tool.

    Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
     
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  6. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Good deal: that's an excellent price if it is "as new". It's does a very good 120 film scan and a respectable 35mm scan -- fingers crossed.

    Joe

     
  7. mctb

    mctb TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all the information. My local shop will develop 35 and 120 for under $10/ roll, which to me is a bargain. Having a 17 month old, I have neither the time nor want extra chemicals in the house. Eventually, developing might be an option but for right now, not so much.

    The real cost comes from the scanning. Something like $20/ roll on top of the developing. I have 4 rolls waiting which is about the cost of a flatbed scanner. It just makes sense to invest as in short order, it will have paid for itself. I found a good tutorial on scanning on Popular Photography's site.

    I understand that 120, bring bigger, will scan better but why does 35 only result in okay results? Is it density of the image within the smaller frame?
     
  8. jcdeboever

    jcdeboever TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I think your correct of the 35mm. Better results will cost a lot more money. I trust the dedicated 35mm scanner is what the pro's use. I have been satisfied in the past with the scans from a flatbed. They take longer but they are detailed enough to post on here. I guess if your wanting to print large 35mm images, it may not offer a lot of detail in shadows. 4 x 6, 5 x 7 look fine to these eyes. Flatbeds work real nice for imaging old photographs.

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  9. limr

    limr Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    They're simply smaller and so you have to work harder to get at the information in them, especially if you plan on cropping/editing. Scanning 35mm at a lower resolution is fine for uploading and printing up to a certain size, but if you want better prints, it's better to scan them higher, which can take a long time. I've done 8x10 prints from 35mm frames I scanned at 1200 dpi that are fine, and I even once did an 11x14 print, though most 35mm scans at that rate won't print well that large. These days, I'll scan at 2400 dpi, and that can take a good ole chunk of time.
     
  10. cgw

    cgw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Look into DSLR scanning. Film scanner technology has been stagnant for years.
     
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  11. mctb

    mctb TPF Noob!

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    I thought about that but that sounds like, and I could be wrong, about the same level of work. I could set up my EM10 or my K7 but it seems like slapping them down on a flatbed would be about the same level?
     
  12. cgw

    cgw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Just Google "DSLR Scanning" and see for yourself. The ability to focus precisely and scan speed matter--both sources of consistent complaint from flatbed users. Your call but I wouldn't spend a dime on a flatbed for 35mm/120 film materials if I already owned as DSLR+macro lens. The camera support and light source are easy to sort out.
     

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