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Author Topic: Flatbed Film Scanners  (Read 7806 times)

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« on: March 07, 2008, 11:48 »
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I'm looking for a flatbed film scanner (so that I can scan up to large format).  It'll be mainly for medium format scans that I've shot myself, but I'd also like to start selling some of my Grandfathers medium format and slide work.

Can anyone recommend one that would get me through the micro inspection?  I think iStock will be my best bet, since it has the specialist film inspectors.

I've been eyeing up the Epson Perfection V500 Photo Scanner, at 200 it's around what I want to spend.  I'd go over a little if I could get something pretty awesome.

Anyone with experience?

(BTW, please don't suggest drum scanning - I've got literally thousands of his pictures to go through, I can't afford drum scanning!)

EDIT - Also eying up the Epson Perfection V700 Photo Scanner which is above my price range, but it looks like it's far better.  Any experience?
« Last Edit: March 07, 2008, 12:13 by Seren »


« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2008, 14:47 »
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I have the Epson Perfection 4490 Photo Scanner, the resolution is lower and it's a couple of years old now. It can produce nice images that print well at 16"x12" from a 35mm slide, but I have not managed to get any images through the inspection process at either Shutterstock or Istock. I have had some accepted at Fotolia & BigStock,

These have been all scanned from 35mm though not medium format.

michealo

« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2008, 14:56 »
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Did you consider iStocks recommended partner:

http://www.istockphoto.com/scanningservices.php

With the exchange rate its good value ..



« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2008, 15:02 »
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Did you consider iStocks recommended partner:

http://www.istockphoto.com/scanningservices.php

With the exchange rate its good value ..


Like I said, I've got thousands to do (the negs are deteriorating rapidly).  Even if you only take 1000 of those shots it would cost me somewhere around 1500 to do on the cheapest service.  Not to mention I would have to send decades of precious family memories that *could not be replaced* through the post to India.

Hence why I suggested not drum scanning.

Plus some are in bad condition and would cost a fortune to get scanned professionally because of the amount of time they'd take to mount.  That's why the second one I mentioned looked good because you can fluid mount with it.

« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2008, 15:17 »
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I have an old Epson 3200 that still does a decent job. I've had several 35mm negatives accepted at IS that I scanned myself. I would suspect that the follow on models like the 4490 to do an even better job. If you can take good care of it, then turn around and sell it on eBay when you are done. I've seen a lot of people scan all their negatives in and turn around and sell their scanner for a small loss, but well worth it.

« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2008, 15:39 »
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I'd also go with Epson, I've had several in the past and found them very good indeed. Digital Photographer magazine just ran a group test on three different film scanners and the Epson V700 came out on top. If I was upgrading I would probably go with the V700.

« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2008, 17:43 »
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Seren,

I don't know what you are calling a "flatbed film scanner".  If you mean a flatbed scanner with a transparency/film adapter, I must say my experiences with them were frustrating.   I've used a top-of-the line HP scanner at work and also two image bureaus with my slides, but the scans at high res looked too soft and colors a bit flat.

The best results are by far with dedicated film scanners.  I have an old HP Photosmart, which scans up to 2100dpi (I think) and a Minolta Dual Scan IV, which scans up to 3200dpi and has a much better dynamic range (catching better the dark and bright areas).  Neither of these models however would scan medium format films.

In my opinion, flatbed scanners are fine if all you want to do is to recover old images for preserving them from further aging.  Maybe they're ok also if you don't want really high res files.  Maybe there are also better ones now, but I have the impression that their technique for film in fact can not match that of a dedicated film scanner.

Regards,
Adelaide

« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2008, 23:33 »
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The reason to recommend a flatbed scanner is that it can can MF film pretty darn good. 35mm it does OK...

« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2008, 02:30 »
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The best results are by far with dedicated film scanners.  I have an old HP Photosmart, which scans up to 2100dpi (I think) and a Minolta Dual Scan IV, which scans up to 3200dpi and has a much better dynamic range (catching better the dark and bright areas).  Neither of these models however would scan medium format films.


Please read the line in my first post where I say it would be "mainly medium format films".

I have nearly twenty 120 cameras that I inherited from my grandfather as well as my TLR that I'd like to get more use out of.  At the moment I don't use them because the costs are prohibitively high.  I also have thousands of medium format shots of his I'd like to scan as well as to a lesser extend 35mm slides.  The medium format is the priority though, because it's the older stuff.  There is also plenty of stock worthy stuff there, and I have now inherited the copyright to it all...

« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2008, 10:02 »
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I have the same problem and I solved it ordering today an Epson v700 for about 500 euros.

It can scan till large format and if quality isn't enough I could order the wet mount (to keep my slide on the same focal plane) and at www.betterscanning.com are on sales several other accessories to make scanning easier and more accurate.

The real resolution of the v700 is at about 1500-2000 DPI, not the nominal 4800, at least so it appears scanning resolution targets (here http://www.fotoavventure.it/freecontent/FC_ProvaV700/index.htm there's a really professional review with comparison with higher price dedicated scanners, even if it's in italian the images are really interesting).

The v700 has fixed focus lenses so you have to find the best distance from the scanning plane and you have to be very careful to keep your slides or negs flat.

Recently Microtek released the new Artixscan F1 with glassless film scanning (film must be inserted under the superior flat glass plane) and autofocus lenses but since we are european and we have to suffer it costs from 1000 to 1300 euros while about the same model (the Artixscan M1, it lacks digital ICE noise removal because of copyright issues in the States) costs about 599 $ from B&H, alas 400 euros at the current exchange rate. But you have to add shipping (more than 200$ from USA to Italy as the scanner is darn heavy), duty taxes and VAT, plus different electrical plugs and warranty problems, so all in all it's not all that bargain for us but maybe in the UK you could find easier ways to trade with your ex colonial cousins ;)
« Last Edit: March 08, 2008, 10:06 by ale1969 »

« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2008, 16:06 »
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The best results are by far with dedicated film scanners.  I have an old HP Photosmart, which scans up to 2100dpi (I think) and a Minolta Dual Scan IV, which scans up to 3200dpi and has a much better dynamic range (catching better the dark and bright areas).  Neither of these models however would scan medium format films.


Please read the line in my first post where I say it would be "mainly medium format films".

I read that (see bold text above). I was mentioning my experience with 35mm film vs flatbed scanners, and these scanners are anyway out-of-production. I believe there must be MF film scanners, maybe with an adapter (my Minolta can scan APS film with an optional adapter).

Regards,
Adelaide

« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2008, 16:15 »
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I read that (see bold text above). I was mentioning my experience with 35mm film vs flatbed scanners, and these scanners are anyway out-of-production. I believe there must be MF film scanners, maybe with an adapter (my Minolta can scan APS film with an optional adapter).

Regards,
Adelaide

Unfortunately the only medium format dedicated scanner I could find in the same vein as yours, are 2000 upwards Nikon models.  That's around two and a half months wages from my regular job, so I don't think I'll be getting one of those in a hurry!  I'm open to suggestions though if anyone knows models that produce superior scans to the Epson 700 in the under 400 range.

« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2008, 18:19 »
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I'm open to suggestions though if anyone knows models that produce superior scans to the Epson 700 in the under 400 range.

There aren't any I'm aware of (for medium format anyway). The Microtek Artixscan M1 is priced between Epson v700 and v750 in the States but as I said the european version is about twice the cost while the other step further from v700 would be the Nikon Coolscan 9000 that it's in the 1500 pounds range (about 2000-2300 euros and about 2000$ but then VAT, custom, trasport etc etc).

A possibility could be some used older Microtek Artixscan (like the 120tf) now that a new model came out but I still have to find one (I guess most people keep them at warm with cuddles and love). I also hear good things about some Heidelberg film scanners but I have very few infos about them and anyway I didn't find any of them on the used market.

« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2008, 01:43 »
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I'm open to suggestions though if anyone knows models that produce superior scans to the Epson 700 in the under 400 range.

There aren't any I'm aware of (for medium format anyway). The Microtek Artixscan M1 is priced between Epson v700 and v750 in the States but as I said the european version is about twice the cost while the other step further from v700 would be the Nikon Coolscan 9000 that it's in the 1500 pounds range (about 2000-2300 euros and about 2000$ but then VAT, custom, trasport etc etc).

A possibility could be some used older Microtek Artixscan (like the 120tf) now that a new model came out but I still have to find one (I guess most people keep them at warm with cuddles and love). I also hear good things about some Heidelberg film scanners but I have very few infos about them and anyway I didn't find any of them on the used market.

Thanks for your help.  I think I'll go with the Epson.  I'm already familiar with the Epson interface since I have an all in one from them (prints nice photos!).

We'll see if I can afford it out of my photography business account next month!

« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2008, 11:30 »
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I get good results from medium and large format negs and transparancies using my Epson 3200 flatbed scanner. I use Vuescan software on my Mac - rather than the software which came with the Epson.

You'll spend some time sussing out a workflow which will work for you. Flatness of the film and the distance from the glass are the 2 main issues. I ended up making my own neg holders.

It takes days to remove the dust specks and other gunk in Photoshop. I ended up hating scanning :)


 

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