In the past did you use your film scanner much?

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by RaymondC, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. I know the good affordable scanners are now long gone. Looking back for myself I think maybe I should have just got pro scans now and then as required. Those of you who had film scanners before digital really took off how often did you scan your own film? That would have been quite time consuming wouldn't it and for a number of people they would have been casual photography of friends and family etc. Or did you only use it for the important ones?

    Posting it in the casual photography branch given it's general nature but feel free to move it :)

  2. During the film days, I always got a CD from Walmart for medium res scans of the entire roll. That was sufficient for family and casual pics. For more serious work, I have a Canon Canoscan FS4000, which I still use. It is helpful to bring out shadow details in slides etc, but obviously, I don't use it to scan the entire roll, only the ones that are worth it.

    In the handful of places that still develop film, you can add digital scans of your processed film for little extra.
  3. I got my first digital camera in early 2003, and over the years became less dependent on color films and transparencies; however, I continued to shoot B&W film, which I developed at home and scanned I still do that today, although not as much as I used to. But yeah, to me, when I shoot film, the scanner was and is an integral part of any digital darkroom. My scanner today is a Nikon Coolscan 5000.
  4. I bought a Nikon Coolscan V in 2006, scanned a few thousand trannies that had been shot from 1977 until 2006, then stopped, shortly before making the transition to shooting digital. I intended to scan my old negs as well, but haven't had the patience. I still have the old Coolscan, not gathering dust, but stored in a back corner of a climate controlled cabinet that holds my lenses. Maybe I'll learn patience again.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
  5. I sit down once or twice a week and scan a lot of old family slides and also a lot of the work I did through the years, nearly all Ektachrome stuff. I have a Nikon scanner on loan from a friend who won't sell it to me but has no interest in my returning it.....Go figure. I'm glad to be getting all of this into digital form and it's worth the time.

    Rick H.
  6. I would often have 4x6 prints made, which would come with a "free" CD with completely awful quality scans. I started shooting a lot of events in the mid 90s, and bought an LS-50 scanner. After a couple of years, I upgraded to an LS-4000, which I still have today. After going digital in 2003, I still used an Hasselblad with film, and bought an LS-8000 for that. That mostly ended in 2007, when Hasselblad had a good price on CFV16 digital backs.

    It took nearly 2 hours to scan a 36 exposure roll with the computer I had at that time, so 4-6 rolls of film took half a week to scan, process and deliver. I have travel photos from that time period which are unscanned to this day. My only hope is to us a digital camera for the job, which is about 10x as fast.
  7. I used my flatbed to scan my APS point and shoot camera negatives before I took up this hobby. Which was prob ok for a point and shoot camera.

    I kinda get a feeling I am not the only one. While I look back now and I have archived my film shots but in the film days when we only had film cameras and lab sources were a dime and a dozen many of us might have used the scanner now and then maybe for our more important ones. On that note and that Nikon and others have decommissioned it I guess one could even say we could have just farmed the scanning out.

    I only got into photography in 2004 which it was straight up with a dSLR, we did have a film SLR but it was just your Canon Rebel, plastic kit lens bought at Singapore airport on holiday, nothing but consumer film processed by dropping off at the chemist. I did pickup a Coolscan 4000 but it broke but then there were only a handful of shots that I really needed it for. Although turning the clock back in 2006 instead of the Epson I could have got a new Coolscan and it might have still been working it is limited to 35mm or I could very well just sourced out the scanning.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
  8. Yes. When I shot film, I scanned myself. Still do, or would if I did. Tend to shoot digital almost exclusively these days.
  9. I bought a Minolta (used for cheap) but didn't really use it. - You can waste up to 15 minutes per insane res scan with ICE.
    When I started out shooting for publications the pre-press work was done with a process camera and expensive. Planned hybrid workflow would have been getting negatives (B&W) or negs and proofs (color) and doing a few scans on editor's demand. At those days most printshops had film writers and copied plates manually.
    I think I got 2 or 3 films with a CD full of low res lab scans, of events that I covered with Leica M because I either forgot the DSLR at home or had to shoot over a radio guy's shoulder. After those my magazine connection dried out and I had no real use for the scanner. A bit later I scooped up inexpensive film snapping devices from a local supermarket. - I haven't really used those either but looking back at how I used to shoot what kind of 35mm stuff in the 80s & 90s, I assume the results should be almost as good as they can get.
    My rough plan is to start digitizing my old stuff once I'll have decent hardware, like a calibrateable screen, a nice gaming PC to entertain me in between another box with a RAID and maybe something modest to do the scanning grunt work, cobbled together in a network.
    I've never had much darkroom stamina. While shooting was (& is!) fun, I need external pressure to really get going and work on results.
    I don't really like scanning. I suppose I'd have more fun in a wet darkroom and a digital printer that I'd like to have doesn't seem available yet. I'd be content with a B&W solution, but it should be ablen to rot in a corner for several months and run cheap too.
  10. A while back I was shooting film and using a Minolta Scan Dual to digitise my 'keepers'. It was a long-winded process and I regarded it as a stopgap until output from affordable digital cameras overtook the scanner (about 2005 I think).
    I have kept the scanner just in case some old negs turn up that I want to print, but it's harder now to get software that will talk to both the scanner and Win10.
  11. I shot mostly Kodachrome in my film days and scanned those shots that I wanted to transfer to the computer to email to friends or to Photonet. Still have my Canoscan 8800F to scan old slides once in a while. I stopped using a slide projector/screen years ago, preferring to use a good hand held slide viewer which I find a much pleasanter viewing experience. Digital is much easier and quicker and I need to get a tablet to replicate the viewing experience.
  12. When I used the scanner I would scan my color negative films as soon as I got them processed. It took some time but not too long as I can't shoot film as many as digital. After scanning I would pick a few good shots and make print in my darkroom. The scan helps in determining what kind of prints I can expect. I still do but as I moved to digital I don't have my darkroom any more and I shoot slides. I don't scan my slides.
  13. Working for a major commercial lab at the time I started out with the process/print/scan service they offered. I found the scans grainy & went to an older model Olympus scanner & selectively scanned many film images. I cut the time down by pretty vicious editing.
  14. I still scan all my films. (not yet gone digital), that I process myself (B&W). First all views at ~low definition, then the selected ones at 4000 ppi 16 bits greyscale. So my entire photo system rests on a single device (a coolscan 5000 ED) that is no longer manufactured, and can be serviced only thanks to the goodwill of a Nikon facility located in a different country. I keep this scanner plugged into a serious power device (we call it onduleur here), and covered with a tailor made box to keep dust out. At each new full moon I make libations to all gods, olympian, infernals, etc and pray them to keep it working.
    Why do I still operate this way? Love of my old cameras, fun, and I don't really need photos...
  15. In 2004 I bought an Epson 4870 - still have it and use it. I don't do much 35mm, but do scan 120, 4x5, and prints with it. I've been debating getting an Epson V800 while I can in case my 4870 dies or won't work with future OS.
  16. I bought a new Nikon CoolScan V ED shortly before it was discontinued (about 10 years ago?). I have scanned thousands of slides and negatives. I'm still using the scanner -- as recently as last weekend -- but now more often I'm using a macro lens and slide copier to dupe my slides with a DSLR. It's much faster and equal quality -- in some cases, higher quality. I still use the Nikon scanner for some "problem" slides, especially if they're dirty or scratched, because Digital ICE is faster than fixing the images in Photoshop. For example, the slides I scanned last weekend were some dirty (and sometimes fungus-eaten) Kodachromes from the early 1950s.
  17. Like Tom and Ed, I have moved to using a DSLR to copy slides. I have also used a DSLR to copy 4x5 black and white negatives. Previously, I owned a Nikon 9000 scanner, and used it to scan my most important 120 negatives, almost all of which are black and white. Unlike Tom, I did not scan thousands of slides. I found the process to be too tedious, and I only managed a couple hundred. I purchased the scanner used about seven or eight years ago, and sold it last year for much more than I payed for it. This is the only instance that I can recall of selling used photo equipment at a profit!
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
  18. I have a lifetime of film, from 35mm to 4x5. Once digital printing became interesting (early 2000's) I purchased a Minolta Scan dual 3 for 35mm work, and an Epson 2450 for medium format and 4x5. I still use these scanners when I want to print one of my negs. I use Vuescan software and ps cc for processing and I am very pleased with the quality of prints I can make digitally from my negs and transparencies. I started shooting digital in 2004, but since I have so much I've done with film, I will always need scanners to present my work.
  19. Still have my Canoscan 4000FS, but use my Canon 5DIV and repro lens, copying setup for digitizing my film. It is sharper, and much, much quicker and does not suffer from the grain aliasing issues of my Canoscan (even though that is a good scanner), nor the occasional halo-ing effect seen in high contrast borders. The only downside is there is no auto dust elimination. "Real" scanning is the biggest pain, whereas digicopying is, generally, fast and problem free.
  20. Yes. We switched to fully digital in 2005, and it took several years after that but now all of our negatives and slides from as far back as early in 1972 have been scanned. After my father passed I decided to scan all of his as well. We both kept the majority of our negatives from back in the day, so the Coolscan IV was able to cycle through almost everything. Lately I've adapted an old bellows stand that my father had for one of our DSLRs, and have copied several older family photo albums back into the '20s. So lots of scanning at our house.

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