Scanner Help Wanted

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by paul_c|8, Oct 25, 2014.

  1. Its my dads birthday coming up and I want to buy him a scanner new or used but I would like people recommendations on what I should look for.
    In an idea world id like to buy him a flex tight but he's not getting one before me and i can't afford one well I can't justify it anyways.
    I myself use a Canoscan fs4000u and am pretty happy with how it goes, I always see people talking about the epson v700/v750 are they any good and are they as good as my own fs4000u ?
    I would love to get him something really good as he just wants to archive all his old negs/slides (there is a darkroom full) since he has now retired.
    Scanners I have seen around but never looked into are plus tech and Pacific image any help would be great I guess the budget is anything up to epson v750 prices, and I am also keep to hear about any scanners that are better than these but not made anymore like the coolscan series.
    One last thing Im not sure how he will go for software I'm guessing vuescan as its easy and he went out today and bought himself a new mac which is running yosimite which is very new probably to new for silverfast.
  2. dont underestimate the amount of time it will take to zero in on a solid 'process' or workflow and then to do the actual scanning. It can take a loong time............ It'd be a good idea to winnow the 'darkroom full' down to a more manageable 'top couple of hundred' or so. I hve the Epson 600 and it's pretty good.
  3. If we are talking about scanning 35mm film the best bang for the buck IMHO are the second hand Konica Minolta scanners; perhaps not as robustly build as the equivalent Nikons they match or exceed Nikon performance at a fraction of the cost, and indeed at a fraction of the cost of a new v750. The KM original software is very good thus one might not need to spend on third party software.
    The downside of a used KM or Nikon is that, even if bought in a good as new condition, no one could predict for how long they will work; when they break it is terminal as I believe no one service them anymore.
    Plustech IFAIK are not in the league of KM or Nikon. The only plus side is that they are still in production, and come with a warranty.
    From the new options you may also consider the Reflecta scanners. From what I've seen they are a bit better compared to Plustech though I think Reflectas come with a stripped down version of Silverfast software so realistically one ought to add to the purchase price of the scanner the cost of a full version of SF; in practice this more or less double the price of the scanner.
  4. I don't recommend used scanners that are no longer in production; not for a gift. Having something that would break and be impossible to get parts would look badly on the gift giver.
    I have had a long standing quarrel with Silverfast relating to their software not working as advertised and their refusal to reimburse me. Software aside, I don't like how the company deals with problems (they lie and I kept all my emails to prove it). I can't recommend them for anything.
    I have an Epson V700 and an OpticFilm 7200. While the OpticFilm performed wonderfully, Windows 8 was the demise of the driver. Epson seems to be better committed to support as my older 4490 (pre 500 days) still works on Windows 8.
    If you wind up down the Epson path, the V750 is preferable as it includes fluid mounting trays. Any anal-retentive photographer would appreciate the results. You can still do fluid mounts with the V700, but you have to get 3rd party mounts. Epson has a superior alignment tool. Your mounted slides will not be able for fluid mounting.
    I have been using vuescan pro for about 8 years. Nothing quite like it. Although it is strait forward on creating a scan, it rewards an experienced operator. Realistically it took me a year to get consistent scans that I liked. There are a multitude of tweeks and it just takes time. It's a skill worth having.
  5. What type of film would your dad be scanning? Flatbed scanners like the Epson V7xx series work reasonably well with MF/LF films, not so much with 35mm. He'd need a dedicated film scanner for that, something like the old KM Scan Dual series. That said, I have to agree that buying older gear like that is a gamble at best, because finding any kind of technical support is very difficult, and the only replacement parts you'll find are on eBay - another gamble.
    Another issue is compatibility with the latest computer equipment and operating systems, and whether they'll accept SCSI cards. My old KM Scan Multi II (may it rest in peace) wouldn't play well with any Windows OS later than Vista. The Silverfast software only supported XP, but did work with Vista. I had to use an older PC to run the scanner and link it to my main machine via LAN. It worked, but it might be a little more troublesome than your dad might want to deal with.
    I'd recommend going with a scanner which is in current production and has a good support system.....for however long that might last.
  6. I did a comparison of the CanoScan 9000F vs. CanoScan FS 4000US, when the latter was still working:
    The saga of getting my slides and all into digital form is told at . I've done a lot of this, in any case.
    Now that the FS 4000 has departed this vale of tears, I'm looking too. Wish I had an answer for you.
  7. I disagree with the posting the minolta scanners.
    In their day they seemed good,. But I think after the sale
    to sony, support seems to have vanished,
    also is there support for operating systems beyond windows xpo.
    I am not entirely sure about the last thing.
    if the interface is scsi with a isa ( so called pnp) card it will not work with
    w 2000 or beyond.
    an aftermarket scsi card MUST be used.
    between the canoscan ( if they are still made)
    and the epson are close scanners.
    but epson has an online store so a refurb is sold at a lower price.
    unfortunately scanners with a film slot are no longer available from epson.
    I hear little or nothing about the othert "prime" and "pacific" scasnners. I wish I would.
    (( usual disclamer about bad eyes)) but i did check
  8. I would get a Plustek 8200i or a PIE PrimeFilm 7xxx. They are current, come with warranties and do a good job with 35mm. The old Nikon 5000 or Minolta ScanElite 5300(?) are better than the Plustek, do not require SCSI cards, but have no support and can be tricky to use on recent OS. (VueScan helps a lot and is not expensive.)
  9. Buying a film scanner to achieve "good to excellent" results will require a substantial outlay of money. The best choice would be indeed a Flextight.
    Buying a film scanner to achieve "average" results, could cost $1-1,999, used or new. Some of the scanners mentioned in this thread may fit the requirements.
  10. Tell your dad that in my opinion he needs to send his negatives and slides to and have them scanned professionally for extremely reasonable prices. Digmypics is in Arizona so the slides and negs don't leave the U.S. If he's not as squeamish as I am he can use ScanCafe where the pics are sent to India and done there very professionally. I make this recommendation having and using a Konica Minolta Dimage Scan Elite 5400 scanner and extensive experience using it. Scanning is a difficult art and craft to learn, and it is very time consuming. Best of luck!
  11. Seems like the consensus is that flatbeds are ok with MF film. I use my Epson 4490 for that and have been happy with the reslts. I have a Nikon LS2000 which has been overhauled and cleaned, working great. Problem is, it requires a SCSI interface and with my new Windows 7 that is not an option. Right now it's connected to my old XP, but it is very slow.
    No one has mentioned another alternative for 35 mm... copying the neg or slide with a high pixel count camera and macro lens. Anyone tried that and can recommend it?
  12. david_henderson


    Seems like the consensus is that flatbeds are ok with MF film.​
    Depends for what, and the OP has not addressed what his father wants to do with the archive scans, and where he's starting from in terms of film size. Archiving in itself doesn't cover it. Frankly without this information it isn't possible to make any sort of cogent recommendation for a scanner to suit his purpose- merely to discusss the merits or otherwise of what the OP can get for his budget. And of course its perfectly possible that the purpose and the budget are at odds.
    Finally a view on what a decent (eg V700/750 ) is capable of from MF film. IMO, having had a great deal of work drum-scanned, scanned on Imacons and having owned a Nikon 9000 ( now sold) and Epson V700 for a few years, I'd be happy to print from my V700/Betterscanning holders up to about 12" square from 6x6 originals. Beyond that point the superiority of the Nikon/Imacon in terms of detail and in particular shadow detail becomes very obvious and I'd rather send the scan out.
    With 35mm and a V700/750, anything beyond a proof sized print and screen -based applications would not be my choice. They may or may not look OK- operator skill and quality of original have an influence here-but you'd expect that a scan from a real film scanner is going to be obviously superior.
  13. No Paul Whiting, the consensus is not that flatbeds are OK for medium format film. Yes, if you scan a larger size (larger than 35mm) positive or negative the result would be a bit better but not ideal, superior, sharp, true to color in any way shape or form. All flatbeds were created for scanning REFLECTIVE media, that's right, PAPER, not film. And somehow, manufactures found a way to kill two birds with one stone, so "film" was added to the mix. At most, one can achieve mediocre to average results when scanning film on a flatbed. To scan film and achieve a superior visual result (photographically speaking) one must scan on a device that was conceived, created and manufactured for scanning FILM.
    The OP is advised to read David Henderson's post since his clarifications are right on the money and most valuable in this thread.
  14. It all depends on what you have to scan.
    An Epson v700 or v750 is the best of the commercially available flatbeds. It is great to scan large volumes and odd formats. However, it can't hold a candle to what the recent Plusteks and PIE/Reflectas can do. But it may be enough, given the source material. And the recent Plusteks and Reflectas can't match what your Canoscan does. Which, again, may not matter. In fact, the Canoscan, like the Nikons, may give poor results with some emulsions, not because of any fault, but because it is too good for them and brings about issues no one had noticed before (grain aliasing). The Minoltas are awesome, but it's very hard to get them serviced, and again they may be overkill. So…. think a bit about what the scanner will be used for. Odds are something like a flatbed Canoscan 9000 (which has nothing to do with the FS4000), which again can't hold a candle to the Epson, will be more than enough. (The Epson also has the advantage of having a large transparency area, up to 4 strips of 135 film.)
  15. Anyone tried that and can recommend it?​
    Yes. It is my method of choice. There are plenty of threads on it here on photonet if you do a search. Scannerphiles remain skeptical however.
  16. I have a CanoScan Lide 700F and can thoroughly recommend it. It has an optical resolution of 9600dpi, a wide colour gamut (accept ICC profiles), an infrared channel, is very quick and quiet and outrageously inexpensive.
    You can use the supplied Canon software which gives better than average results (after some tweaking I might add) however when you use Vuescan with it as I do, it really sings. I bought it specifically for scanning film and while it doesn't have some of the automatic features of some of the more expensive models, i.e. batch scanning, the quality of the scan more than compensates for this. I've found it to be right up there with the best of them.
    This is a pretty accurate review you might find helpful. The only part I disagree with is the last paragraph regarding negative scans. You do need to set up the driver correctly to get the results I've spoken about....or use Vuescan.
    You can pick one up new for around AU$150 if you hunt around.
  17. Thanks, Robin, I'll search for some threads... I don't want to hijack this thread.

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