negative scanners

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by maoparungao, Nov 21, 2009.

  1. maoparungao

    maoparungao TPF Noob!

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    For most of my photographic life I've been using film. I must say that I have accumulated a ton of negatives (black and white and colored) which I want to scan and digitalize so I could store them and easily view them. Can you suggest a negative scanner that is good and affordable?
     
  2. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    Affordable is a decision only you can make.

    There are two classes of film scanners on the market. Those that scan film only (aka Dedicated Film Scanners) and those that can scan film and reflective material (Flatbed scanners). You will find that there is far more debate about which to choose than there is actual difference. Which class you should consider is influenced largely by the format(s) of the film you wish to scan.

    As a general rule, "affordable" film scanners will be limited to 35mm only or sometimes 35mm and APC. Flatbed scanners usually handle a wider range of film sizes, 35mm and 120 out of the box and many also handle 4x5 and 8x10. Flatbed scanners are also much more easily adapted to amateur formats like 110, 126, & 127.

    Personally, I chose an EPSON v700 (~$500USD) and I'm extremely satisfied with the results it produces. My collection of old film includes a very wide range of formats. Some are old family negatives upwards onto 100 years old and in rather rare formats. Others are my serious work which includes 35mm, several 120 formats, 3 1/4 x 4 1/4 Polaroid negatives, and 4x5 sheet film. For the larger sizes, there is no better "affordable" choice other than the EPSON v750 in my opinion.

    Generally, less expensive scanners than the v700, either flatbed or dedicated film, don't have the dynamic range (aka Dmax) to achieve really good B&W scans. They will often do well with slides and color negatives.
     

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