Any picks for flatbed scanners?

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by poulette_k, Apr 3, 2017.

  1. Hi all,

    I shoot primarily medium format and my lab usually will develop and scan my film for me.

    I am looking for a flat bed scanner primarily to scan PRINTS (Not film)...
    Does anyone have any top picks for this?

    I am considering the Epson v600 or a used Epson 10000 XL (a bit out of my budget and tad too large)

    Any other contenders out there I should look at? Of course the ability to scan film would be a bonus but not a requisite in this case.
  2. I've had good luck with a CanoScan 9950F and the CanoScan 9000F

    The Nikon Super Coolscan 9000 does a much better jog with 6cm film negatives.
  3. +1 for the Epsons.
  4. david_henderson


    For scanning prints, you have to remember that you essentially won't need to scan above 300ppi. So its not a particularly demanding application, resolution-wise, and pretty much any competent flatbed with a bed big enough to take your print should be able to do it. Scanning at a higher resolution risks picking up the texture of even a reasonably smooth fibre paper, and you can't really expect to enlarge anyway since no scanner can pick up detail that wasn't on the original print.

    So your question is really how much extra are you prepared to spend to achieve better performance on the subsidiary objective of scanning negs. If the answer is nothing then you may as well settle for the V600. If its " a bit" then look at the V700/V750 range used or their newer replacements for a new machine, which will get you a little better resolution and more shadow detail from negs.
  5. I still use my somewhat ancient Epson 4870 - it can scan film and prints. I've actually found that I can get a better match for a print by scanning the negative and adjusting it than by scanning the print.
  6. For print scanners, they're all good technically. Consider more the track record of device driver support from the vendor. For instance, presuming you're using Windows, will they update the driver for Windows 11? Also consider third-party support of the device, is there solid support in ViewScan and SilverFast? For instance, while Epson scanners are good, Epson Scan software stinks, so you have to use third-party software to maintain your sanity.

    Also see if it's supported by the SANE Project for use on Linux. That shows if they treat the API to the scanner as a state secret or not.

    For instance, I've been screwed so many times in terms of device driver support by Hewlett-Packard that I will never buy anything from them again! Everything I've bought from them is scrap metal, despite having no hardware failures.
  7. I have an Epson 3200, which I got (used) mostly because of the low price.

    The Epson V series are highly recommended, with the higher numbers higher
    resolution and more expensive.
  8. Epsons seem good. For your use, you just need to make sure that the active area in the bed is sufficient for the size of the prints. I had read an interview with Ralph Gibson on line someplace and he said (several years ago) that when he was sending files to his publisher, he would print on fiber in the darkroom, and then take the print while still wet, and scan it. He said he liiked that method better than scanning negatives and got richer deeper tones that way. Of course the tech has changed a lot since then, but I thought it was interesting at the time.
  9. Here's a link to the interview i was talking about..

    Ralph Gibson

Share This Page