Can anyone recommend a scanner?

Discussion in 'Scanning, Enlarging, and Printing' started by pdk42, May 1, 2015.

  1. pdk42

    pdk42 FF Rookie

    15
    May 1, 2015
    Paul
    Hi - I've decided to go back to my roots and do a little film photography again. I'll process my own negs, but I really don't want to get into setting up a darkroom and doing printing so at least for the moment I'll just scan the negs. So, I need a scanner.

    Can anyone recommend some good ones to buy? What resolution is necessary/desirable. I've seen a few that scan at 5Mp - is that enough for 35mm images? It seems low compared to modern digital cameras, but maybe we've all been lured into more Mp than we need! Anyhow - any suggestions welcome.

    Thanks,

    Paul
     
  2. Steve Ricoh

    Steve Ricoh FF Rookie

    17
    Apr 7, 2015
  3. dwig

    dwig New to FF

    7
    Mar 30, 2015
    Key West FL
    What resolution you need depends on the format of the film scanned and the size of the final print or screen display. If the scanner's optics are good enough, a scanning resolution of between 4800-9600ppi will challenge the limits of film's ability to hold detail. With color film it is questionable whether anything much over 6400ppi is of value.

    You might give the PDF linked to in this article a read though understand that it does read a bit more like an ad for the software the reviewer touts than the scanner at the center of his review: https://luminous-landscape.com/epson-v850-pro-scanner-context/

    The EPSON v800/850, and the previous versions the v700 & v750, are excellent scanners and are particularly suited for scanning medium and large format film. Though not state of the art for 35mm, they will still match or beat anything in their price class.
     
  4. jai

    jai FF Regular

    68
    Apr 8, 2015
    If you want to scan 35mm, and nothing bigger, I really recommend the Plustek OpticFilm 8100.

    Great value, amazing quality. The only catch really is the fact you have to manually slide the film holder through for each frame.

    Here is an example of an image I scanned at 3600 dpi:

    View attachment 620 2015-05-02-0023.jpg by Jai Sbr, on Flickr

    It goes up to 7200dpi but I think that isn't really worth it.
     
  5. xxjorelxx

    xxjorelxx FF Rookie

    23
    Apr 8, 2015
    MD, USA
    JohnRae
    My friend has a Epson V550 and he's been getting good results. Scans up to 6400dpi. Amazon has refurbished ones for around $100
     
  6. pdk42

    pdk42 FF Rookie

    15
    May 1, 2015
    Paul
    Thanks everyone. The Plustek seems like a good choice, but still a little more than I was planning to spend ... one of life's little truisms I guess!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. pdk42

    pdk42 FF Rookie

    15
    May 1, 2015
    Paul
    Well, managed to get a Plustek 7400 for £50 on eBay. Here's hoping it delivers!
     
  8. jai

    jai FF Regular

    68
    Apr 8, 2015
    Apparently the only difference between the 7400 and 8100 is the latter comes with silverfast scanning software.

    I actually don't like silverfast and use vuescan anyway.
     
  9. pdk42

    pdk42 FF Rookie

    15
    May 1, 2015
    Paul
    The whole Plustek range is completely confusing. They all look the same and on the face of it offer similar performance (apart from the hardware scratch and dust removal capability of the "i" models.
     
  10. tradesmith45

    tradesmith45 New to FF

    3
    May 11, 2015
    Thanks dwig for the link to the Epson 850 article. I look forward to reading it.

    Anyone interested in scanning & currently available scanners would do well to read the Fall 2014 #17 issue of c't Digital Photography
    http://www.ct-digiphoto.com/back_issues/ct-digital-photography-issue-17-2014/film-scanner-test/

    One thing to consider about any film scanner - they are very time consuming. The scans take a long time & need post processing - often lots.

    An alternative that is much faster & perhaps as good as current scanners would be to use the new Olympus E-M5II in hi-res mode like a slide copier. Certainly not a cheap approach but if your time has any value it may be worth the investment. http://www.43rumors.com/using-the-olympus-e-m5-mk-ii-as-a-film-scanner-guest-post-by-jl-williams/
    If you already are showing digital, using a camera RAW file will easily fit into your existing workflow. This is the direction I'm going after researching scanners.
     
  11. tradesmith45

    tradesmith45 New to FF

    3
    May 11, 2015
    Oh yes, David Brook - columnist for Shutter Bug mag - has a CD of his articles he sells about scanning. He likes Silverfast & reviews it plus several flat bed scanners. worth the small price for his lengthy experience film scanning.
     
  12. edwardconde

    edwardconde FF Regular

    56
    Mar 24, 2015
    Edward Conde
    I am using a v550 and really like it.. Got if for $100 and just bought some ANR glass from betterscanning to help with those pesky films that like to curve!
     
  13. MAubrey

    MAubrey FF Regular

    55
    May 19, 2015
    Mike Aubrey
    I personally use a Epson Perfection V600. But I won't necessarily say you should use that, though I definitely like mine. What's more important is this:

    (1) Make sure you have hardware based dust/scratch removal (e.g. Digital ICE)
    (2) Skip the included software and immediately buying something like VueScan.

    Even with the default settings, the results I get from Vuescan are far superior to anything I could get from Epson's proprietary software.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. tradesmith45

    tradesmith45 New to FF

    3
    May 11, 2015
    The latest issue of issue of c't Digital Photography has a great how-to article about using digital cameras as a film/slide copier. They show comparison results of the copy using I think a Sony? camera w/ Ektar lens & a scan from a V700 & Nikon 5000. The camera copier easily beat the V700. The Nikon gave sharp results but exposed every flaw in the film as well.
     
  15. jai

    jai FF Regular

    68
    Apr 8, 2015
    I think it's a cool hack if you want to scan a bunch of old slides, but not a good solution if you want to properly shoot film as part of your regular process.
     
  16. MAubrey

    MAubrey FF Regular

    55
    May 19, 2015
    Mike Aubrey
    I do it when I want the maximum resolution. I have to shan at 6400DPI to complete with the resolution provided by my A7 and a high quality macro lens and that creates an absolutely massive TIFF file. I scan for convenience and use the macro when there's a particular image that I want to actually print.
     
  17. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. FF Regular

    85
    Mar 24, 2015
    Larry
    I guess everyone will have their own recipe. I scan my 35mm negs using an (old) Nikon Coolscan 9000ED, scanning at 100% original size at 4800dpi and outputting a 48bit Tiff. Medium format I usually scan between 2500-4000, depending on what I want to do with it, also generating 48 bit tiffs. It works for me.
     
  18. jai

    jai FF Regular

    68
    Apr 8, 2015
    It's a bit of a faff :p

    My scanner can produce files 70+ megapixels from my 35mm film. And that isn't necessarily smart, and yeah the tiffs are big, but it does refute the argument that scanning with digital cameras is better quality.

    Remember that digital cameras have a bayer filter, so the 24 megapixels of an A7 is interpolated across RGB pixels, not really as high quality as even a 3200 DPI scan.

    But my main objective is it's a faff.
     
  19. MAubrey

    MAubrey FF Regular

    55
    May 19, 2015
    Mike Aubrey
    The A7 certainly does interpolate, but the final product is still sharper compared to what a Epson V600. I can't speak for your scanner. The V600 can't focus, so you get whatever you're given (and shimming the holder adds extra CA and is unreliable from slide to slide). Because of that, a 6400DPI scan (~54MP) of 35mm film doesn't produces the resolution even remotely equivalent of 54MP. The A7 can focus directly on the grain and gives a sharper image that can be enlarged more.

    But all of this is a matter of how good your scanner is. Mine is cheap and good mostly for scanning more faster. If I could afford something better, I'd probably be on your side of this question.
     
  20. jai

    jai FF Regular

    68
    Apr 8, 2015
    I think this is because the V600 is a flatbed, which I have read is not the best for small negatives. My little plustek (which is very cheap) scanner is designed specifically for 35mm and does a great job, but then it can't be used for medium format. So there are always tradeoffs unfortunately.

    You could argue it's all moot anyway, as scanning at super high res isn't gaining any more resolved detail. But I wonder, maybe the extra pixels actually do help when you add sharpening to the image, keep it looking more natural? That could be all in my head.