Yet another Negative film scanner advice needed thread

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by ismael, Apr 28, 2010.

  1. ismael

    ismael TPF Noob!

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    Hello,

    I know there are many threads on this topic. But the more I read the more confused I get.
    I jumped in the digital bandwagon over a decade ago. But I'm finding myself shooting film again now. However local commercial scanning services are horrible. So I want to scan my own negatives. It seems a dedicated film scanner is preferred over a flatbed. My attempts with regular flatbeds have been unsuccessful.
    In my case, after 25 years of shooting film, 99.999% are 35mm color negatives. I don't need MF capability.
    My intention is more archiving than printing. If I ever print it will not be very big.
    I plan a budget of about $400, maybe up to $500 so a Coolscan 9000 is out of the equation for now.
    While speed is good, it is not a crucial parameter.
    New is preferred, but used may do as long as it performs as expected.
    How about Coolscan IV? Or Konica-Minolta Dimage?
    What other parameters do I need to consider?
    Any recommendation?
    My head is spinning...

    Thanks,
     
  2. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I have a now older Minolta Dimage 35mm film scanner. It's "okay". It does not have the really high D-max capability of the better scanners, and is somewhere in the 2400 dpi resolution capability, which is actually quite useable on the 35mm film size. I wish it had a higher D-max, rather than higher resolution, so that it would scan dark slides better. For color negative film, I do not think D-max is nearly as important as having good color profiles for multiple types of film. The software that runs the scanner is important, and while the supplied Minolta software and profiles "work", I think some of the better 3rd party scanner software applications are better and faster and more intuitive.

    Used scanners are pretty affordable these days, but you need to check on the connectivity. Some of the better older machines use SCSI connections, which you might need to add a PCI card to utilize, while newer machines will often have Firewire and or USB connection systems, or both.
     
  3. KevinDks

    KevinDks TPF Noob!

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    These are the 3 main points that jump out for me. How many negs do you want to archive? If you seldom print, or print small (which is what, 6x4, 7x5, 8x10 ?) then maybe you can scan at a relatively low resolution. Doing that will certainly speed things up compared with higher resolution, but consumer grade scanners are not fast, especially if you have scratched or dirty negs and need the software to clean them up.

    I have a Coolscan V and an Epson V700, both of which are excellent, but for bulk copying for archiving purposes I've been using a dSLR on a copy stand, because one lifetime just isn't long enough to scan what I have to scan:

    [​IMG]

    However, I'm mostly dealing with b&w negs, and for colour this is a nightmare because of the orange film base, which scanning software takes care of for you. I just can't get the hang of correcting for it in Photoshop.

    Without knowing the volumes you have to archive or the resolution you need, I think I would suggest a second hand Coolscan IV, based on my experience with the Coolscan V, which has been great. Even better would be to try to borrow one and do some speed tests to work out how long the job would take you. Also watch out for software compatibility with older scanners - Nikon released a Windows Vista version of NikonScan for the Coolscan V, but I don't know about the IV.

    Regards

    Kevin
     
  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I admire your hi-tech cardboard box approach Kevin! Is that one of those imported from across the pond ANSI (American National Standards Institute) cardboard boxes? Or is that a locally-made one procured from an English book seller or restaurant supply house?:lol:

    As long as the negative stage is good and parallel with the copy camera, I see no problem with using this type of home-brewed setup. For many years I kept around an old enlarger rigged similar to your setup. For many years, I used an Omega D-2 enlarger with the light head and negative carrier stage removed, and the negative carrier's support arms made a virtually *perfect* cradle for the Nikon F3 camera body. I did hundreds of copy shots using that old Omega as my copy stand. Thanks for posting the shot of your set-up,Kevin.
     
  5. KevinDks

    KevinDks TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Derrel. It's a domestic box - those imported ones are good, but so much more expensive... I'm using it to raise the working height to a reasonable level, so I don't have to bend down so far, and it was easy to cut a square hole in it with a sharp knife, so the light can get through from the lightbox.

    I'm copying 6x6 negatives and after cropping the jpegs square I get images of around 2,500 pixels per side, like this from May 1952:

    DSC_2542 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    Ismael, sorry for hijacking your thread!

    Regards

    Kevin
     
  6. Vautrin

    Vautrin No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have a canoscan 8800F and I'm quite happy with it. You can get one for about 200,

    It's a flatbed, but it's got a lamp in the cover so I can scan film.

    I can put 2 35mm negatives in the holder, hit the preview button, and it'll automatically find the frames for me. Quality is good enough
     

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