Film/Slide Scanners

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by CanTex618, Nov 28, 2004.

  1. CanTex618

    CanTex618 TPF Noob!

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    I'm beginning the transition from film to digital, and am looking at boxes and boxes of prints, negatives, and slides from the last 40 years or so. It's time to start looking at film/slide scanners.
    Yes, Nikon has some very nice-looking equipment, but that may be overkill. Fry's, on the other hand, has $150 no-name film scanners. What is "good" in the middle ground?
    (FYI, I had a decent B&W darkroom back in the '70s and '80s, so I'm beyond "point and shoot" but not up to magazine-level shots yet. My goal is to print some of my old stuff as 8x10s and possibly 11x14s to hang on the wall for my own use and enjoyment, as well as try all the other cool things one can do with a digital image. Also, once the film is all scanned and I'm 100% digital, the scanner won't be needed much.)

    Advice? Can anyone point me to an ongoing or past discussion?
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    Someone here bought a Minolta Dimage IV or something like that. He seemed very pleased with it.

    I personally don't know much about film scanners but if you have a large amount of material to scan, you may want to find one that has some sort of bulk loader. It might take you a year to scan all of your shots, if you had to do them one at a time.
     
  3. MDowdey

    MDowdey Guest

    i bought that scanner. i LOVED IT. i made a change to digital and didnt need it. you will fall in love with that scanner and its cheap for the amount of things it can do and the results you can get.


    md
     
  4. CanTex618

    CanTex618 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the response. Now, what do I need to know, if anything, about tradeoffs among dpi, scanner costs and file/picture sizes? What is a reasonable expectation for a 35 mm 400 ASA negative or 200 ASA slide - what dpi number should I be looking for to get a "decent" 8x10 or even 11x14 without requiring next-to-infinite hard drive space?
    Also, what's the generally-accepted method of pre-scan-cleaning of slides and negatives? A quick shot of canned air, or...?
     
  5. Bob_McBob

    Bob_McBob TPF Noob!

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    If you'll be scanning a lot of old colour slides and negatives, I'd really recommend buying a film scanner with Digital ICE. Even slides that look very clean tend to end up with crap all over the scan, and retouching them is not a quick job. By the time you're finished, you'll have spent longer getting rid of dust than you have scanning.

    I bought a Minolta Scan Dual III last year because I mainly use black and white film, which Digital ICE won't work on. I recently started a project to scan approximately 1500 old slides, and after a few test scans I knew I needed a new scanner. I sold my Scan Dual for $180, and my Nikon Coolscan V ($570 at B&H) is in the mail right now.

    Another option would be the slightly more expensive Minolta Scan Elite 5400. There are also many older scanners that work quite well. The Nikon LS-4000, for example, has the option of using the SF-200 bulk slide feeder.
     
  6. CanTex618

    CanTex618 TPF Noob!

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    Hmmm. Most interesting on Digital ICE. Looks like more diligence is needed on my part before I can seal the deal. Google sent me to an Eastman Kodak site where there was an example of what Digital ICE will do - most of my film/slides will be dirty, I'm sure. Your Nikon Coolscan V was in Canadian $? Amazon.com had something like US $498.
    (BTW and totally irrelevant, but probably half my stuff was shot in and around Toronto when I lived there. 25 years in Texas.)
     
  7. photogoddess

    photogoddess TPF Noob!

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    The Minolta Dual Scan IV has digital ice. Something the III was missing. Works pretty well too. :p
     
  8. CanTex618

    CanTex618 TPF Noob!

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    So "Auto Dust Brush automatically cleans any dust or lint that may have been scanned with your film" must be their version of Digital ICE without actually saying the name?
    $265.99 on Amazon.com (the source of the quote above). Thanks for the tip. Now to let Santa know what I want... <g>
     
  9. Bob_McBob

    Bob_McBob TPF Noob!

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    'Auto Dust Brush' is *not* Digital ICE. It is very much akin to using the 'dust and scratches' filter in Photoshop. Digital ICE in film scanners is a hardware-implemented feature that cannot be reproduced in software.
     
  10. CanTex618

    CanTex618 TPF Noob!

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    So is there disagreement between photogoddess and Bob_McBob, or am I totally missing the point? I could not find any mention of Digital ICE in the Konica/Minolta website, which made me think that perhaps Minolta had their own proprietary system. Is there really a significant difference between the III and the IV that will ease my getting sharp images from my "questionable" old negatives and slides?
    Curious...
     
  11. Bob_McBob

    Bob_McBob TPF Noob!

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    The main differences between the III and the IV are the very slight resolution difference, and the fact that the IV's film holders don't crop the slide/negative. Neither has Digital ICE.
     
  12. probe1957

    probe1957 TPF Noob!

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    Wanna sell it?
     

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