film scnners again!!

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by whistule, Dec 15, 2008.

  1. whistule

    whistule TPF Noob!

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    I've been looking at getting a dedicated film scanner for months - checked back through all related posts read reviews etc etc and am finding it really difficult....so many different scanners!! I've boiled it down to a few that are in my price range and really want to make a good investment.

    Nikon coolscan ed IV (secondhand)
    plustek optic 7200/7500
    Acer (benq) ScanWit 2720S (although I've no idea where I'd get one from or if they still make them)
    Konica Minola Scan Dual IV (secondhand)
    Nikon coolscan ed v (secondhand)

    what I've seen from comments:-


    plustek optic 7500 vs coolscan ed V
    + high resolution
    + price
    +- 7200DPI Scan time 1 min 50 secs with out ICE, 38mins with ICE!!
    - frustrating film loading
    - USB 2
    - poor dynamic range

    Nikon coolscan ED IV
    - prone to bring out grain on coarse grain films because of LED light source
    + Nikon ICE very good for removing scratches, dust etc (must be a massive time saver but apparently reduces sharpness slightly)
    + relatively fast (2 mins per 4 frame strip)
    - ICE doesn’t work with B&W, kodachrome etc
    - Nikon software (although scanner can be used with other software such as silverfast)
    - USB
    - more expensive
    - flimsy film tray
    + can batch scan

    Acer (benq) ScanWit 2720S
    + good image quality (if you use other software)
    - poor software (but again can use vuescan or other software)
    - scsi connection
    - flimsy film tray
    + price
    + can batch scan ???
    - multiexposure reduces noise


    Nikon coolscan ed v (secondhand)
    - have to use c41 B&W to use ICE
    + good colour reproduction
    - prone to bring out grain on coarse grain films because of LED light source
    + Firewire connection – fast
    + can batch scan

    Konica Minola Scan Dual IV (seconghand)
    + not backlit LED light source so better for coarse grain B&W films
    - colour matching needs attention
    - unreliable
    + Can batch scan with vuescan
    - noisy scans
    - horizontal slot bad for dust
    - not quite as sharp as Nikons
    - no ICE
    - loud

    Would consider a Epson V700 / V750 but laying out neg strips and keeping them clean sounds like a nightmare and I cant believe that the image quality would be the same a dedicated scanner

    And after all that…………….I’m still not sure!

    It seems that the Nikons are great scanners but they have an achilies heal when it comes to B&W - accentuating the film grain and you cant make use of ICE which is one good reason to pay the extra - and I shoot mainly on 400 TRI-X film. The plustek seems amazingly good value for money - good detail - but has a limited dynamic range - and I'd definitely like black to be black. The Konica mintola seem stronger on B&W, good detail and Dynamic range, perhaps unreliable but probably my favourite at the moment.

    To be honest I dont really understand resolution figures - maximum resolution, optical resolution etc etc - so cant make a judgement in respect of that.

    I'd obviously welcome any comment based on experience. When I scan negs I quite like including some of the border around the picture - is that possible with any of these scanners?
     
  2. selmerdave

    selmerdave TPF Noob!

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    I think most negative carriers are designed to block the border, if you want that I think you're looking at a flatbed of some kind.

    There's a lot more to image quality than dpi resolution, I don't have the knowledge and terminology to explain it but I'm sure many others here do. I use a Minolta and it's good, satisfactory for many things but the amount of colour correction required can be annoying at times. It also doesn't do that well with dimly-lit photos, it does fine with bright images. Of course it's much much cheaper than the Nikons (which I believe are considerably better in both of those areas) and so you have to decide what you want to pay and what you are expecting for price/performance. In my case it does an acceptable job for what I need it for and I can get much better scans than what I would pay for at a lab. I can't comment so much on the BW grain issue, I haven't compared it to other scanners to know what potential advantages it has. I find BW grain comes through about right though.

    Dave
     
  3. jlykins

    jlykins TPF Noob!

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    I am in the same boat as you. I'm not happy with the quality that I'm getting from the lab, and I'd like to do my own. I just don't know which to go with...
     
  4. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Since medium format negatives was a important criteria, I am unfamiliar with most of the units you listed. I have extended use with the Polaroid Sprint Scan 120, nikon 9000, and my Epson V700 at home. I tested out the Nikon 5000 even though I did not consider it seriously since it only does 35mm.

    IMO, the V700 is head to head in competition with the medium level scanners in the market. The quality of the scans are much better than the typical flatbed. Considering your price range and level of scanners in your list, I think you seriously should consider the unit as I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. My initial opinion about the unit posted:

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=62119

    I'm still very happy with the unit and the flexibility of the flatbed has come in handy numerous times. As for cleaning it, it is no more difficult than any other flatbed. I use cotton gloves when handing negatives so I rarely get any fingerprints on the glass. Keeping the dust of the negatives is no more difficult (royal pain at times) than any other dedicated scanner.

    I still say the scans from the Nikon 9000 are superior but the cost difference between the two is significant. Even if you still choose another dedicated scanner at least you make your purchase fully informed of all options.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2008
  5. Jeff Canes

    Jeff Canes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    i have had the Nikon v for about years now, got it new from B&H for 600ish, and I love it except for it be 35mm only
     
  6. whistule

    whistule TPF Noob!

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    yeh, I am very tempted by the nikon V but read lots of reviews about it having problems with coarse grain B&W film. What I couldn't understand is if it was a hardware limitation (because of the backlit LED) or software limitation (so if you used vuescan you could get better results).

    I should probably look into the v700 also. I think I was put off by the fact I have a flatbed just now (a canon lide500F) and it's such a fiddle - time consuming and very difficult to keep negs clean. The v700 is obviously a step up so it obviously takes better scans but is it also improved in the way it handles neg strips?
     
  7. Jeff Canes

    Jeff Canes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I don’t shoot a lot of coarse gain film usually nothing higher that 400iso, but do like some of the older Agfa and other German films that have highly visible fine to medium gain currently being sold thru Rollie and Adox, so far i'm happy with the grain. At the time it was the best unit in my price range and the upgrade was from an Epson 4180 so it was a big improvement anyway, but I’m still use the Epson for my MF
     
  8. djacobox372

    djacobox372 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have an Epson v700 and a optic film 7200... the quality is about the same (assuming you get your scan height right with the v700). I might give a slight edge to the optic film--mostly due to a better film holder which holds the film flatter.

    However, I HATE how slow it is to scan film with the hand fed negative scanner... with the v700 I can scan 24 negatives at once! I would never go back to something that is one at a time! :-0

    As for dust issues... that's always a pain, the flatbed requires more cleaning, however it's cleanable... I'm not sure what I would do if dust got inside my other scanner.

    pm me if you want the optic film, I'll sell it to ya for $100.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2008
  9. whistule

    whistule TPF Noob!

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    Yeh, looking into it v700 does look like a good option. My head was wired to say 'must not buy flatbed scanner' but then that's from experiences with a cheapo. Is it possible to scan 35mm with some of the border with the v700 or does it automatically crop it? Is this a software limitation or the fact the plastic holders crop some of the photo off?
     
  10. djacobox372

    djacobox372 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Opps, in my previous post I meant to say that the opticfilm 7200 had a slight edge in quality, which I would attribute mostly to perfect focusing.

    With the v700 you can turn off auto-crop and do the cropping yourself... or you can just increase the size of the auto crop, so that a bit of boarder is visible. If you want a lot of the border visible, then you can scan directly on the glass--but that can sometimes create newton ring artifacts.

    About the v700 the 35mm film holders DO NOT work well with curled film... there are no braces between each frame so it doesn't flatten out film as well as other film holders I've used. Also, it's EXTREMELY important to get the scan height right... each scanner is different, there are three height settings for the film holder controled by some little tabs, they can be high low, or completely off... for my scanner high wasn't high enough and I had to put three layers of masking tape on the bottom of the tabs to achieve maximum sharpness.
     
  11. whistule

    whistule TPF Noob!

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    presumably if the film holders have braces for flattening out the film then it's likely they will also 'autocrop' so you cant include the border around the picture. A dedicated film scanner have a way of flattening the film so it's all definitely in focus.

    How quickly can you scan a film with the nikon coolscan V? Presumably it's just a matter of loading the different film strips - and you can leave it batch scanning each in the background while you work on something else. Does it allow you to take some of the border round the picture also?
     
  12. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    I have an Epson 4990 pro that I have had for a couple years now. Pretty happly with it, but it seems the pics are a little flat in color. I have been going back and forth over the Nikons for a while now. Then all of a sudden the prices went up on them a couple hundred (9000). Just recently I caught a dell special sale and the 5000 was $1,000. I jumped on it. About $100 off prices of other places. Should be at my house in a couple days. I have not heard of the coarse grain issue though.
     

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