film scanning and gettings details from bad or badly developed film

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by alexandergusev, Nov 18, 2020.

  1. Dear Sirs, I scan my old films with family photos. Scanning of some from them are of ugly quality. The sample is on the photo attached. I heard it can be because of wrong exposition or underdeveloping. I use Vuescan for this job. I want to get as many details on resulting image as possible. Please write me, which scanners do you recommend or point criterias for scanner choice. The list of preferrable scanners is below. I do not want to use chemicals for films, because of no knowledge and equipment.

    Nikon ls 4000 ed
    Coolscan IV ED
    Coolscan IV ED
    PrimeFilm 3650u
    PIE PrimeFilm 3600PRO
    PIE PrimeFilm 3600U
    PIE PrimeFilm 3610AFL
    PrimeFilm 3650LAB
    PrimeFilm 7250U Pro 3
    PrimeFilm 7250 Pro3
    PrimeFilm XA
    PrimeFilm Xas
    CrystalScan 7200
    Reflecta ProScan 3600
    Reflecta ProScan 4000
    Reflecta RPS 10M
    Reflecta RPS 3600
    Reflecta RPS 7200
    Reflecta Silverscan 3600
    Kodak RFS 3600
    FilmScan 2700
    Microtek filmscan 3600
    PrimeFilm 2700
    PrimeFilm 3650 Pro3
    iScan 3600
    Reflecta ProScan 4000
    SmartDisk SmartScan 2700
    SmartDisk SmartScan 3600
    MediaX SilverScan 2700 Pro

  2. Is there a reason you did not include Epson scanners? Also, it would be helpful if you told us how big the prints are and what film types and sizes you'll be scanning?
  3. Standard generic 35mm fillms. I included only models with relatively high resolution. and scan without cutting of films.
  4. What scanner did you use for the example?
    And how does the scan compare to any existing print from the same negative?

    I have a Pacific Image Primefilm 3650 Pro 3, and it gave excellent quality at its price point.
    Unfortunately it's no longer available new, and almost impossible to get its Firewire interface to work with a current OS. Although it works at a slower speed via USB2.

    You might want to research which of your above scanner list might still work with a modern operating system. It might shorten the list considerably.

    BTW, any scanner specification claiming more than 4000 ppi 'resolution' should be viewed with suspicion. Figures like 7200 ppi (or incorrectly dpi) are just hype and fantasy.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2020
  5. Now I use Hewlett Packard Scanjet 4600. I plan to buy scanner better. I use vuescan to solve issue of system conpatibility.
  6. A Scanjet 4600 isn’t a transparency scanner. It’s not going to be possible to get a good result regardless of the quality of the negative. A transparency flatbed scanner, like an Epson V-whatever, has a lamp in the lid. When it’s in film mode it uses that lamp to shine light through the film.

    An Epson will work for smaller prints. You can get about 6mp of image data. A dedicated 35mm film scanner can give you more, so that the limitation is the quality of the image in the negative, not the scanner. You want one that’s usb and either has software that supports your OS, or I’d in the compatibility list for Vuescan. Mine is a Minolta Dual IV, which is fine and cheap and works with Vuescan, but doesn’t have ICE. ICE is a nice feature that removes dust from the image.
  7. There are simply too many variables involved in your question to give a good answer.

    The days when everyone wanted to convert their old slides and prints to digital are gone by. As with rodeo_joe, many of us who are still doing these procedures are using our treasured scanners from those old days. What seem to be really good, new, high-resolution scanners are pretty expensive and most have drawbacks. The cheap ones, are hardly worth the trouble. Flatbed scanners with adapters for transparencies are barely adequate for internet use, and pretty much useless for real archival work. IMHO.

    Just some general observations
    • claims of resolution much above 4000 pixels per inch are misleading for most films and equipment. In fact, such claims are often a flag to the cautious, since they may suggest to me that the vendor/maker is not 100% trustworthy. Interpolation is mostly an illusion.
    • Some old scanners like the Nikon Super Coolscan 9000 are really excellent; but, as said by rodeo_joe, they often have antique interfaces that don't play well with modern processors and software. They are also expensive, and difficult-to-impossible to repair if they go south. The newer scanners don't seem immune to interface problems, either. I have kept an old G4 Mac running an older Mac OSX almost solely to use my Nikon Super Coolscan 9000 ED. It's much easier than getting the scanner working with newer equipment. That way the original Nikon software works too, and since it is not hugely fast, no more competent computer is held back.
    • The best strategy, in my own experience, is to get the best scanner you can afford and scan at highest true resolution so that you don't end up going back and re-scanning, as some of us ended up doing.
    here a couple of my laments and odysseys from the old days. There are more, but the search engine is one of the weaker features of this site.

    2015: A scanning Odyssey - Nikon Super Coolscan LS-9000 ED
    Nikon Coolscan LS9000 ED, ICE, and CanoScan F4000US - Part 2
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2020
  8. Not any more JDM.
    This is my 'scanner' now:
    Fitted with a 24 Mp, or higher, digital camera it gives results better than any scanner I've used, and quicker.

    It looks huge, but actually has a desk footprint smaller than most film-scanners.

    Oh, and no interface problems! All that's needed is a card reader.

    Single shot digital-copying, rather than true scanning, is the principle behind most of the cheap film-digitising boxes on sale these days. They're probably more than adequate for turning family snapshots into online JPEGs.

    And +1 to searching existing archives, especially in PhotoNet. Almost everything worth knowing about film scanning has already been said and discussed.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2020
  9. I think that a 'transparent media' adapter is available for that scanner. Hopefully the OP has used that, but maybe the software settings were wrong.
    It looks as if a high-contrast text treatment has been applied. Whereas the greyscale preset should have been used.
  10. Well, I sometimes use this one. It is quicker for a few slides, but I still prefer the CoolScan for large batches

    Honeywell Universal Repronar
    A tintype of the 'latest thing'

    Last edited: Nov 19, 2020
    glen_h and rodeo_joe|1 like this.

Share This Page