Scanner to scan bigger than negative size

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by serge c, Mar 1, 2006.

  1. I am interested in finding a scanner that can scan 35mm film at bigger
    than the negative size, so at least the border and preferably
    perforation as well are included.

    Most scanner negative holders (in both film and flatbed scanners) seem
    to assume you want to scan only what's inside the negative and that
    your negatives are evenly spaced (not the case with some older cameras).

    When I print B&W in the darkroom I often use either a filed out
    negative holder or sometimes a holder with two glass plates that
    flatten the negative to allow printing the perforation. So I'm looking
    for a similar effect.

    Basically I need natural-looking borders (I don't want to do it in
    photoshop, I'd much rather keep the ones that I already have. Plus, in
    PS it's hard to achieve the same grain on borders)

    Thanks in advance,
  2. You need a medium format scanner like the Minolta Multi Pro, Nikon 8000 or Nikon 9000.
  3. I think a good Epson flatbed scanner w/ medium format capability would work and then add Doug Fisher's ( film holder and anti-newton glass insert so you could scan the entire 35mm frame would work.
  4. Thanks for the prompt replies. "Anti-newton" is definitely the word I was happy to hear cause that's what's in my enlarger film holder (and I know what it means more or less). I will definitely look into it.

    Doug Fisher's products look exactly like the type of stuff I would be looking for. And Epson 4490 is the only compatible scanner currently on the Epson website.

    Any other suggestions are appreciated (competitors' products, workarounds etc).
  5. Sorry to disagree with Joseph, but 35mm worth of image area scanned on a flatbed does not yield a very high quality print to most eyes.
  6. 4800 dpi of an Epson 4490 in 16 bits sounds allright. I am currently scanning my film on a Nikon film scanner at school that scans somewhere in the 4000 dpi range.

    I like the fact that the Nikon film scanner (I believe it's a Coolscan 4000 ED) has an optional adapter that feeds the film automatically and allows me to adjust the negative's position in the software. But you get no borders and it actually crops a little bit... And I'm sure the adapter doesn't really flatten the film the way it should.
  7. Well I wouldn't say that it will give results equal to a dedicated film scanner...only that it will do the effect Serge is looking for which is scan the full negative including the film sprockets, etc. Perhaps you could just get some high end scans of a few different film strips -- drum scans would include the full negative right? -- and then use those borders for your scans you do on your film scanner.
  8. I hate to embarass myself but I didn't know drumscans include the full negative.
  9. it can include anything mouted on the drum - rebate, tape used to hold the film down,
  10. Serge: If the Epson flatbeds actually did 4800 dpi, no one would buy a film scanner. While that is the published marketing spec, everyone concludes the true optical resolution is around 1200 dpi. Some conclude they are good enough for scanning MF but that didn't cut it for me. Very few conclude an Epson flatbed will get you anything more than a web sized JPG from 35mm.
  11. OK. That makes sense.

    So to sum up the best way would be to drum scan, but it's prohibitively expensive.

    The next best would be a multi-format film scanner with a AN glass holder (like Nikon 9000 ED $1800 + $230 for a glass holder or $500 for a fluid mount holder. BTW, is fluid mount any good - it sounds like a good idea?

    The cheapest lower quality option is an Epson MF flatbed plus Doug Fisher's holder. Should be around $300.

    Thanks for the replies!
  12. I just realized my school has an older model of Nikon MF scanner (it's less bitdepth than the newer ones unfortunately) but I don't think they have a glass holder. So I guess I may consider just buying a holder for it.
  13. jtk


    How large do you print? If you contain your ambitions to 11X14 the Epson 4990 will do the job attractively. The new tope end models will almost certainly do better than 4990, which may bring them into Nikon turf. .
  14. Actually I don't print. I mean I print chemical B&W. But I would like to have digital copies for archiving, promotional purposes, show catalogs, stuff like that. And I'm sure one day I'll find a way to print digitally that I'll be happy with.
  15. John, I'm skeptical of these printability claims about the 4990 and medium format, though I truly want to believe them.

    Do you have personal experience with medium format scans on the 4990, and if so how do they compare to 35mm dedicated film scans?

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