DSLR scanning vs Epson V600

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by sajid_saiyed, May 21, 2022.

  1. Hi Everyone,
    I know there are strong advocates on both sides of this debate, but I wanted to hear what are the pros and cons of DSLR scanning over something like the popular Epson V600?

    I have heard a lot of negative comments about Epsons software and user interface. Is that worth a reason to adopt DSLR scanning technique?

    Thanks for any insights from your workflows.

    note: I have a Nikon D600 that I would be filming the negatives with (if that information helps)
  2. Sorry, but this 'debate' has already been beaten to death in this forum and elsewhere. I doubt there's anything novel to add. So I strongly suggest you do a search of this forum, and the rest of photo.net for "film Scanning", "Camera scanning", "digital copying" and similar phrases.
    SCL, digitaldog and laurencecochrane like this.
  3. Just to put some scattered eggs into one basket. Here are just a few of the different ways to 'scan' film using a digital camera.

    1. An all-in-one slide copier with internal lens costing £5 - £10 used, or NOS.
    Advantages: Cheap and easy to use.
    Disadvantages: Only for 35mm film. Lenses vary in quality and corners are usually fringed and slightly soft. A bit of a lottery whether you get a good 'un.

    2. Slide/film holders for use with a macro lens.
    This one cost £10 - a bit hard to find and AFAIK only available used.

    The (IMO overpriced) Nikon offering. £££s but available new.
    Advantages: Image quality only limited by lens and camera resolution.
    Disadvantages: Only for 35mm film.

    3. Purpose-made copier.
    Originally made for film duplication, but easily adapted to a digital camera. Only available used, but can be surprisingly cheap. This one cost me £50.
    Advantages: Multi format - up to 6x7cm. Takes relatively cheap, but excellent quality, enlarging lenses.
    Disadvantages: Slightly hard to find and might need work and/or lens/camera adapter for bellows.

    4. Other Heath Robinson lash ups consisting of; tripod and light-box, old enlarger turned into copying stand, copying stand + home-made light-box, etc. etc.

    5. Badly designed and overpriced Kickstarter projects supposedly purpose-made to make film digitisation a 'snap'.

    There may be other options that I haven't yet been made aware of. Many roads lead to Rome.
    Last edited: May 21, 2022
    invisibleflash likes this.
  4. WOW, Thanks for summarizing it so beautifully.
    This is great, I am going to look into there slide copiers and post back how it goes
  5. I had a question though.
    Do you know what it the name of this product that you shared?
  6. In the past, there were many slide copiers on the market. They largely disappeared with the ascendency of digital photography, but are available used. Many had a cheap, 10 diopter lens, which could be used on an ordinary lens. For best results, you must remove this lens and jury-rig a way to attach it to a righteous macro lens.

    Nikon has two well-made adapters for use with a macro lens with a 52mm or 62mm filter ring. The ES-1 is for slides only, and the ES-2 is for slides and film strips.
  7. As Joe says, it is all in the archive - do a search.

    I may add: Epson scanning software is quite adequate, and it is not necessary to replace it unless you have specific needs. The V600 is more than fine for web usage of 35mm scans and ok for medium format scans to be printed in moderate sizes.

    For camera scanning, an option to feed the film without having to mount it in a holder is MUCH faster than those strip holders. An old macro bellow with a copying extension is super convenient - as I illustrated in this thread:
    It is the Journey
  8. Yea,

    even though the search engine on this site is not the "best" even a simple Google™ over all will reveal 63,800,000+ results. try different phrasings and you can narrow down the options considerably.
  9. Holders are necessary if the film strip is curled or cupped.
  10. Picture #2 is branded 'Sunagor' IIRC, but it's a lensless front-of-lens tubular device that needs a macro lens, bellows or extension tubes to get 1:1 focus. There's a telescoping section that allows the distance between lens and film to be adjusted over about a 25mm range.

    Brands like Hanimex, Panagor, Sunagor, Elicar and suchlike also sold the all-in-one copiers with a poor-quality lens incorporated. The two types of copier shouldn't be confused.

    Talking of bellows; most decent makes of bellows (Nikon, Pentax, Topcon, etc.) had a film-copier attachment available as an optional accessory. So that's another way to go.
  11. Thanks a lot. This is really useful. I'll do more research and get back.
  12. The cheapest "slide copier" attachments are widely available in "mint" condition on eBay because people bought them, tried them once, and stuck the gadget in the closet.

    The slide copier bellows attachments from Nikon, etc. are definitely better, but most of the alternatives are better still.
    Last edited: May 25, 2022
    digitaldog likes this.
  13. I used a V600 and Epsonscan software for 12 years. You can see some samples of 35 mm and other formats on my flicker site linked below. The V600 comes with ICE that eliminates much of spotting caused by the dust on the film during the scan process but does slow the scan speed down if used. ICE works with E6 chromes like Ektachrome but not with Kodachrome or most BW film.

    Did I miss what type of film you plan to scan and what do you intend to do with the scans? If printing to what size? How many do you plan to scan? All these questions may effect the scanner type decision.
  14. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney


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