Discussion in 'Beginner Questions' started by jonnymiller, Jul 28, 2009.

  1. Hi guys
    Im looking for any suggestions for a decent scanner for my film negatives. I havn't got a clue with what makes a good scanner or not so any advice would be appreciated.
  2. Many of the photography students here have one or another of the Canoscan scanners (e.g., 8800F, 9950F). They do a decent job on color and black and white negatives, in a number of different formats. These are also usable for ordinary flatbed scanning
    Dedicated film scanners (e.g., Nikon Super Coolscan 9000) are getting harder to find, and more expensive, but arguably do a better job, especially with slides.
  3. jonny:
    I use the nikon Coolscan 5000, that gives me 4000x4000 dpi resolution. This scanner is already discontinued but I think you can find it at amazon or e-bay... The newer coolscan V and the 9000 are expensive, as JDM stated above.
    I think you would need to think about the final use of your digitalized films... I use the scanned film for books and academic presentations...
    There are other dedicated scanner of other brands... try in and at
  4. Used film scanners, many of them quite decent that give 4000 dpi or so are available used all over the place. You do need to be sure that you can get it in an interface with your computer that won't be like pouring a gallon of molasses into a jar with a small funnel. Also, make sure it works before you buy, or get a guarantee that it does.
    Drivers, however, are not so much of a problem as they used to be for old machines because of a wonderful program called VueScan that supports just about any scanner ever made. I've got an old Canoscan FS 4000US on a SCSI interface with an older computer (since its USB rate of transfer is horrible), and the VueScan software works better than the now obsolete software that came with the scanner. VueScan is available as a free trial download , so you can see what it supports before you buy an older scanner. It runs on Macs, PCs, and Linux boxes. I have no interest in VueScan except as a satisfied user of it.
  5. The answer depends a lot on how you're planning on using the scanned images. If its for personal use (to show family, friends, and make some prints to frame) then you'll probably be happy with a dual purpose, flatbed scanner. There's a number of brands out there, though I'd suggest choosing a Canonscan series (8800F, 9950F as JDM von Weinburg already suggested), or the Epson series (v500/v700/v750). These start at around $150 and can go all the way up to $800+ depending on the feature set you need.
    If you're planning on doing a lot of color scans (either print or slide), then buy one that has infrared scanning. Canon calls this FARE, Epson calls it Digital ICE, but it's the same technology either way - using infrared light in addition to the visible spectrum of light to differentiate what's dust and whats film. It works very well, and can save a lot of time post processing to remove dust spots. It won't eliminate it completely, but then again nothing's perfect. Unfortunately the infrared scanning doesn't help you with B&W film, so keep that in mind.
    If a dual purpose flat bed scanner sounds like it'll fit your needs, you can find some more specific posts on about the differences between the Epson v500 / v700, canonscan 8800F / 9950F, etc. You'll learn about DMax values, how many frames you can scan at a time, and how long they roughly take. I personally own the Epson v500 and think it does a phenomenal job for the price. But read around a bit more and find what suits your needs.
    If on the other hand you need to do more with your scanned film, it's probably worth looking into a dedicated film scanner like the Nikon Coolscan series. They'll run you around $750+ to get started, and depending on the feature set needed, can cost thousands.
    The third option is to pay a professional scanning house to drum scan your film. It isn't cheap (drum scans around here cost $50-100 per frame), but they offer some of the highest quality you can find. If you're planning on making a very large prints then the quality of a drum scan is hard to beat.
  6. I use an Epson V750. It's described as a flatbed multi-purpose scanner, but it is designed primarily for photography. My previous scanners were Canoscans, which were perfectly good, but were unable to scan large format negatives.
    A basic Canoscan flatbed scanner or Epson V500 is probably your best bet for basic 35mm slides and negatives. You won't need that much resolution if you are using your images primarily on the internet, but either type of scanner offers high enough resolution to make good quality prints.
    The included software is easy to use, or you can use your favorite photo-editing software to operate your scanner. I've been pleased with the result of all the scanners I've used up to this point, but the Epson V750 does quite a bit more than my old Canoscans.
  7. My Canon 8800f gives good results (I scan 35mm slides) and I can make decent prints from the scans up to 8 x 10. It really depends on your budget and the intended use of the scans. When I need a slide scanned for a bigger print, I take it in and have it done by the pros with drum scanners.

Share This Page