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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> film scanner?
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03/21/2013 02:21:15 AM · #1
suggestions? preferably under $200? i am shooting a lot of film of late and what i have been using is REALLY not cutting it (something by some company called kaaiser daas or something? i borrowed it from my grandparents about 5 years ago... they bought it off an informercial/skymall type thing). im shooting mainly with a nimslo and an old kiev rangefinder, so nothing too sharp - but the light bleeding when scanning is killing me when trying to make lenticulations. i cant keep anything vaguely consistent over four frames of film i know for an actual fact was exposed EXACTLY the same...
03/21/2013 03:24:29 AM · #2
Bit over your price but the predecessor to this was highly regarded and recommended by many on here. Plustek 8100. Also includes Silverfast which is said to be pretty good.
03/21/2013 10:38:48 AM · #3
I also shoot a lot of film, and the Epson V500 does more than a respectable job for me. I regularly scan 35mm and 120, as well as prints. It's in your price range. Understand you're not going to get the resolution of a dedicated, professional film scanner (Nikon Coolscan, Noritsu and the like). But for showing off on the web and making small prints, it's more than adequate.
03/21/2013 11:16:35 AM · #4
Originally posted by spiritualspatula:

Bit over your price but the predecessor to this was highly regarded and recommended by many on here. Plustek 8100. Also includes Silverfast which is said to be pretty good.


I think this is is a good option, as long as the biggest thing you are scanning is 35mm. A dedicated film scanner will almost always out-perform a flatbed for quality. The one thing that i don't see in the specs for this unit, though, is whether it has an infrared channel. If it does not, it will not be able to do automated cleaning for dust. This can be a really big concern.
03/21/2013 11:48:59 AM · #5
Originally posted by bvy:

I also shoot a lot of film, and the Epson V500 does more than a respectable job for me. I regularly scan 35mm and 120, as well as prints. It's in your price range. Understand you're not going to get the resolution of a dedicated, professional film scanner (Nikon Coolscan, Noritsu and the like). But for showing off on the web and making small prints, it's more than adequate.


I agree and disagree, the V500 can be used to create huge high quality prints.
03/21/2013 12:02:15 PM · #6
Originally posted by kirbic:

I think this is is a good option, as long as the biggest thing you are scanning is 35mm.

As long as the only thing you're scanning is 35mm. Unless I missed it, it won't scan 110, for example.

Originally posted by kirbic:

A dedicated film scanner will almost always out-perform a flatbed for quality. The one thing that i don't see in the specs for this unit, though, is whether it has an infrared channel. If it does not, it will not be able to do automated cleaning for dust. This can be a really big concern.

A flatbed will give you far more versatility -- the ability to scan multiple formats, sprocket holes, different orientations, etc., not to mention documents and prints. The V500/600/700 also has Digital ICE capability, which is what kirbic is referring to.

(I never turn on Digital ICE. It takes forever to run, and it does affect scan quality, negligibly some might argue. I invested in an antistatic cloth and never encounter problems with dust.)

If you're only scanning 35mm and lots of it -- and squeezing every last pixel of resolution out of the film is important (within your budget), then the Plustek might be a better choice. But know its limitations before investing.

Message edited by author 2013-03-21 12:15:30.
03/21/2013 12:09:13 PM · #7
Originally posted by JamesA:

I agree and disagree, the V500 can be used to create huge high quality prints.

That could very well be true; I've never tried it. I was analyzing it mathematically. I scan at 1200 dpi (flatbeds are capable of more, but I believe it's diminshing returns after a certain threshold) and print at no less than 200 dpi. So that's about eight inches on the long edge of a 35mm frame. But the proof is in the print, I suppose.
03/21/2013 01:43:19 PM · #8
I seem to remember the grain (resolution) of 35mm film (ASA 100) being about the equivalent of 4000dpi, so a dedicated film scanner with that (optical) resolution would give you the maximum useable data.

If you are scanning a lot of 35mm film and don't need super-high resolution files consider taking them to Costco -- I think they'll still scan to DVD for about $0.29/frame, yielding the equivalent of a 6MP image (about 2800 x 2100 pixels) -- good enough for a 16x20 print (with a small border) at 150dpi (qualifies to sell to the public at DPC Prints ...
03/21/2013 03:12:44 PM · #9
Originally posted by GeneralE:

I seem to remember the grain (resolution) of 35mm film (ASA 100) being about the equivalent of 4000dpi ...


That seems to be about right. In my experience (I've scanned a few thousand slides) 4000 dpi is only needed in some very limited cases. For most work, scans at 2700 dpi get pretty much all the detail there is to get. The usable density rang eof the scanner is, IMO, a much more important figure. In general, dedicated film scanners seem to have a greater density range than flatbeds, but that is a very broad generalization indeed. I also have no experience with anything made in the last few years.
03/21/2013 11:03:23 PM · #10
Thanks for the advice guys! (And feel free to add more). Obviously I still have a lot of comparing and researching to do.
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