Help with purchasing film scanner

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by dcheung, Feb 16, 2009.

  1. Hi there, my uncle asked me for advice on buying film scanners but I really have no knowledge in this area so I'm asking you guys for help.
    He's interested in digitizing 35mm (no medium formats). He would like to feed in a negative strip (has 5 or so frames on it), and automagically pop out corresponding jpg files, reasonably exposure-adjusted and color converted from the negative and automatically diced into the individual frames. It would be okay if it required a manual alignment step to register the first frame.
    For the photos of extra interest he can further process the jpgs, but he would like to avoid doing it too much so he would like a scanner with reasonably good conversion process that doesn't horribly messed up the exposure, color, etc. 48-bit tiffs would also be a good feature.
    So I only thing I told him is that ICE is a good feature to have. I had a scanner in the past and I regret not getting one with ICE and had to spend countless hours editing away the dust and hairs.
    Any suggestions? He didn't give me a budget to go by.
     
  2. rnt

    rnt

    I have a Nikon Super Coolscan 4000ED that does everything you want... Of course I've had it for a while, so there may be other options that would work just as well out there. The 5000 is supposed to be faster...
     
  3. Only thing available new from Nikon is Coolscan 5000 and 9000. The 5000 is closest to what you want.
    If you buy used Nikon Coolscan, be sure that it was not grey-market. Nikon USA will not provide any service, in-warranty or our-of-warranty on grey-market items.
    There's also software choices, from the Nikon Scan that comes with the scanner, to SilverFast Ai, to VueScan.
    If he doesn't need 5000 pixels/inch resolution, the Coolscan 5000 would be overkill. (It's expensive.) An alternative would be Epson V500, V700, or V750 flatbed, but realistically they only can resolve 1800 to 2400 pixels/inch. You can run them at higher resolutions, but won't get more information.
     
  4. Depending on how many frames he needs scans, something like scancafe might be more cost effective.
     
  5. I bought my Nikon coolscan IV off of KEH a couple years ago and have love it. To really have accurate scans, scan after scan, i think some software is needed, i personally dont have any color calibration etc software. I can generally get away with doing quick edits on photos, 1-3mins per frame, for the sake of getting it done and giving it to people. That said, just like an image from a digital camera, i can spend hour tweaking it. Depends how it came out and what i'll be using the photo for (case in point, had a photo that i just wanted to show some friends, initially, spent 2mins cleaning it up after the scan and felt it was adequate. Tonight, i spent 3hours tweaking it so i could post it here or print it... and im still not satisfied with it to that end...).
     
  6. Is it difficult for these things to automatically get the convered exposure correct? I remember with mine, I usually had to manually adjust exposure and color balance or else it was way off.
     
  7. Canoscan 8800F will handle 2X2 slides, 35mm strips, or 120 strips.
     
  8. "...he would like a scanner with reasonably good conversion process that doesn't horribly messed up the exposure, color, etc."
    I've got a Nikon V ED and use Nikonscan and Vuescan, but do not have Silverfast. The sw and scanner (I'm assuming Nikon) will not be the source of horrible messes to scanned negatives. The quality of the exposure and *the quality of the development* is the main determiner. Both softwares can be easily setup to produce a useful scan given those are ok. I have no problem with frame alignment given a nice strip of negatives (assuming whoever cut the strips did good work and the frames are well exposed). If your uncle's collection of negatives spans many years and many different shops developed them, there are very good odds that handwork will be needed to get a nice scan. Scanning is not sweat free, especially if the source of the negative is the proverbial pimply-faced teen at the 1 Hour.
    I would use Nikonscan for this sort of project. It can use the scanner's ICE4, and frame alignment is easier than it is with Vuescan.

    "He would like to feed in a negative strip (has 5 or so frames on it), and automagically pop out corresponding jpg files, reasonably exposure-adjusted and color converted from the negative and automatically diced into the individual frames."
    Heh. Wouldn't we all...
     
  9. Buy a Nikon CS5000. These tend to be in stock only maybe once a year. I just noticed both B&H and KEH showing availability. If you want one new, pick it up now.
     
  10. I'll throw the Epson 4490 in that hat as it has about the same resolution as the V500, but for even less money. That only real different is it doesn't have an LED light source, so slightly higher power consumption and a bit of warm up time (nothing horrible, maybe 60 seconds the first time you go to scan anything and the same if it sits idle for more then maybe 15 minutes).
     
  11. Since I do more MF these days I went with the Epson V700 I also have a 4490. I went with the after market holders and Anti Newton glass. keeps things flat.
     
  12. I would avoid any and all flatbed scanners for 35mm negative scanning. The quality is so-so at best.
    The Nikon CS-5000 dedicated film scanner is fantastic, as are other older models.
     
  13. ... I went with the Epson V700 I also have a 4490.​
    Larry, could you post comparison crops between the 4490 and V700.
    I use a 4490/V500 for 6x7. I'm really curious whether the few hundred bucks for a V700 might be worthwhile.
     
  14. Well it allows me to do more film at a time and I also do 4x5. I will have to dig out some from the files but that will be later time to go to work.
     
  15. Oh, I think my query may have come across the wrong way.
    An advantage of my current V500 is the very good depth of field. This is great for scanning 3D objects. In actual usage, things can get a bit messy depending on what's getting scanned. It'd be convenient if I can dedicate the V500 to just this purpose.
    So, I'm debating whether to buy a (probably refurbished) V700 for just film scans. If the V700 can materially resolve more from 6x7's than the V500, then it'd be worthwhile spending the incremental sum. Otherwise, I'd probably just pick up another V500 or 4490.
     
  16. david_henderson

    david_henderson www.photography001.com

    What does your uncle want to do with his digital files? Make big prints? Make small proof prints? Show his work on screen? The scanner he needs could well depend on his objective.
     
  17. scanning get the one you can afford with the best A/D, optics, and density. LS-5000 is the best and fastest so far. also you want LED's as a source so your film doesn't get cooked if you oversample.
     

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