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Scanner suggestions 35mm/120


No longer a newbie, moving up!
Jul 24, 2011
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I'm considering getting a film scanner, because I'm starting to think in the long run it might save me a bit of money. Does anyone have suggestions for something that can do 35mm negative and slide as well as 120 (which I'm just now starting to get into)? It doesn't have to be top of the line, as I'm purely a hobbyist, but preferably something well built and consistent.

I've also seen that there are some scanners out there that can do super 8 film. This would be a great bonus, but is not necessary.

All suggestions appreciated, as always!
Do you want a dedicated film scanner or a flatbed that also does film, if the latter the only real option is one of the Epson v850 or whatever the current top model is, although even that will struggle with 35mm

For a dedicated scanner Plustek do a 120 scanner but if their 35mm scanners are anything to go by, its not going to be the best option in the quality stakes but it is IIRC the only New option available, for a consumer grade scanner.

Second hand scanners are probably the best option and I would look at either the Minolta Multiscan Pro or the Nikon 8/9000, neither will be supported by the latest O/S's but do work using Vuescan

For 35mm have a look at the minolta scan elite 5400 or the Nikon 4/5000 range of scanners

Just remember that these scanners will fetch more now than when they were new but they do show up on Evilbay, the Scan elite was £400 new, the multican Pro was £1000 new, and that was 10 years ago, see what they go for now and the Nikon versions are even worse they go for even more than they cost when new.

other will obviously have other oppinions

For 120 I just use my digital camera and a macro lens and get excellent results but the workflow is a bit long winded especially for colour negatives

For 35mm I have modified a Ohnar slide copier to attach to my macro lens, this again gives excellent results
I have an Epson 4990 and Nikon Super Coolscan 5000. Of course right after I bought the Epson they came out with the V850. But it's a decent scanner. I was considering upgrading to Silverfast for it over the weekend. They were having a 30% off sales over the holiday. I use Silverfast on my Nikon 5000.

I have Silverfast AI Studio on my Super Coolscan 5000. Nikon original software will not work on Windows 7 or newer (for non computer geeks anyway, there is a work around though). I kept an XP system alive just for the Nikon scanner. But it eventually died. So, for a while I didn't use it. Then finally bit the bullet and ordered Silverfast. And it works very well. It's programs / features are updated and much better than the old ICE programming.

Since the V series Epsons have been out quite a while now. Not sure if they have been updating the software during the same time. Or if it has the older software in them.

You may find a deal on used scanners and maybe add Silverfast for newer software technology. As many film scanners now are just the old designs from years ago.
Thanks for the tips, all. The CanoScan and the Epsons recommended seem good for my purposes...I might have to keep my eyes peeled for a sale. Ideally I'd like something even a bit more compact, since I don't envision myself ever needing to scan anything bigger than 8x10, but I guess it is what it is.
Like others have said....
Epson V700 or 850....you can scan larger you just have to allow overlap and use photo merge in PS. Or get the XL10000 11x17 scanner.
Nikon 8000 or 9000 are very nice. You can still get them repaired and I use Vuescan for these.
VueScan Scanner Software for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux

I can't recommend the scanner I use at work....new they are $25000! and used $10000, Noritsu 1800 series.
If you do some really really persistent hunting you can land a neg scanner for cheap as many older ones have SCSI interfaces that make them more difficult to connect. As already mentioned, many film shooters have an older Windows OS system just for their scanner ... and getting a hold of one would not be very expensive, even with a SCSI card.

Years ago I lucked out with obtaining a Minolta Dimage Scan Multi II that included a Ratoc SCSI to Firewire adapter, runs perfectly with Vuescan on my MacBook ... sadly I see that these adapters are being sold on eBay for way way too much money.
Think those are expensive, see to stupid prices they ask for USB to SCSI converters that were only about £20 new :icon_pissedoff:
Think those are expensive, see to stupid prices they ask for USB to SCSI converters that were only about £20 new :icon_pissedoff:

Last year I considered buying a Super Coolscan 9000 used. And they are firewire. I check then and just recently and you can still get the cards new. If you have a pc with an open slot they were not much at all compared to what the scanners are going for!
As webestang24 mentioned, there are third party drivers available for some legacy scanners. I was just short of discarding my old Epson 1650 when I found Vuescan. With a little research on available driver compatibility, you may find a deal on an older scanner at thrift store.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
With respect, life's too short to putz around with unsupported/unserviceable relic scanners and SCSI/driver headaches. Scanner technology is effectively dead in the water. Look into current mid-price Epsons. DSLR scanning is faster and gets around the abiding problem with flatbeds--the inability to focus without endlessly shimming film holders. I only scan 35mm and 120 b&w along with a few slides now.
The only advantage a dedicated scanner has over using a modern DSLR is the use of IR Dust & Scratch removal, in just about every other aspect a modern DSLR will beat most if not all consumer grade scanners, especially in speed and sharpness.

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