Scanning Negatives to Digital Positive?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by junk250, Mar 21, 2007.

  1. junk250

    junk250 TPF Noob!

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    I have a bunch of great old photo negatives from the 1920's 30's,several different formats/sizes.

    I have had some developed,but it was rather expensive due to the odd formats/sizes.

    I have seen scanners that claim to scan negatives with an accessory,anyone ever used one?

    It would be awesome to be able to convert negatives to digital without all the cost.

    Thank's
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    It certainly is possible. There are flatbed scanners that have special attachments for film, but it may be hard to find ones for odd sized negatives. You may be able to just lay the film on the bed.

    A better option is a dedicated film scanner...but then you would surely need to have one that is compatible with your film size.

    You may need to clean the negs first, because any dirt & dust will show up. Even with cleaning, the files may not be all that clean, and may need some Photoshop work.
     
  3. junk250

    junk250 TPF Noob!

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    Big Mike,

    Hey,thank's.

    I've never seen one and I wondered if it was for 35mm only,I suspect thats the case.

    How much is a dedicated film scanner?

    I have hundreds of interesting negs,and I would like to transfer to digital if possible cost wise(cheap).
     
  4. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Dedicated 35mm scanners of current technology are fairly expensive. If you need a scanner that does MF, then your choices go down to just a handful and the price goes up even more.

    I've owned a few 35mm scanners and flatbeds as well as access to the Mustek Artixscan (Polaroid sprintscan) at school. flatbeds are cost less but their performance has always lagged behind the dedicated scanners. There is only 1 flatbed scanner I have tested (and purchased) that approaches the scanning quality of dedicated scanners; Epson V700 or V750 (same scanner different attachments). It costs more than most flatbeds and less than most dedicated. The advantage is the flexibility of scanning almost any size negative and reflective material.

    My initial post is here:
    http://thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=62119&highlight=V700

    I've had the scanner in use for just over 4 months now and it has yet to dissappoint in its ability to produce very high quality scans. My only complaint is the PITA film holders....
     
  5. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Look into an Epson or Microtek flatbed scanner with the drawer for scanning transparencies. I'm using a Microtek i900, which is several years old, and it does an adequete job on 35mm, and a great job on formats larger than 35mm. I have friends using even old models, and they are getting very good results from from formats larger than 35mm. I don't know about the Epsons, but the Microteks come with several film holders including one that's basically a glass sheet; this would be handy if you are dealing with old formats that are significantly different than modern sizes. You can probably find an older model Epson or Microtek for a lot less than it would cost to pay someone to scan your negs if you have a lot of them.
     
  6. junk250

    junk250 TPF Noob!

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    usayit and ksmattfish,

    Thank's for the great info,man that epson scanner looks awesome !

    To bad it's a little(Way)out of my price range,would love to have one.

    I have a regular flatbed scanner (Canoscan)and I tried to scan some a while back with only fair results,I'll have to drag it out and try it again.

    Seeing the film holder on that Epson,I'll try and fashion some type of holder to keep the neg above the glass,that was part of my problem I think.

    Thank's !
     
  7. Patrice

    Patrice No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Regular flatbed scanners do not generally work very well with transparent medium unless the scan light shines through the negative or slide.

    Pat
     
  8. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    Epson 2450 flatbed works fine for negatives
    has lights in lid and removable hatch.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    pat is correct... photo flatbeds are designed with negative holders and shine light through the negative to be scanned by the sensor/lens below. The Epson V700 takes this a step farther and adds a sensor/lens above and below the scanning area (dual scanning). Previous to this scanner, I had the 3170 which also performed fine. Epson has lower priced photo scanner models so you should check them out.

    As you can tell, I'm a bit biased towards Epson but doesn't mean that Canon doesn't have equivalent products. I've been happy with most my Epson products (2200 printer too) and they seem to push flatbed scanner design and technology. Whatever your choice, make sure the scanner is designed for negatives. You are also better off with newer than used since technology is a forward moving target.
     
  10. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    i would not trust a flatbed scanner if you want high res. in particular from 35mm film a dedicated film scanner is the best choice.

    for MF things are less critical as the medium is larger .... of course using a flatbet you will waste some of MF's resoulution capabilities.
     
  11. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I don't know... alex... I'm comparing V700 to the dedicated MF we have at school ( Artixscan and Sprintscan) and I can't really see a difference. My experience during that time is what lead me to purchase the V700 over the nikon 35mm dedicated. Most people I show my work too can't tell the difference between my film/scanned photos from my DSLR.

    Granted the MF scanners at school a couple years older but are still current models. I just think that some scanners are closing the gap.
     
  12. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    use fine grain film, good lenses and a dedicated mf scanner like the nikon 9000 and you will see a difference, at least if printing large.

    sometimes the scansoftware makes a large difference, so if you want to compare the MF scanners you used with your flatbed, then you should use the same scanning software with the same settings. say silverfast, or vuescan
     

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