Scanning Black and White Negatives

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by philip_maus, Mar 4, 2008.

  1. Hi - I'm new to and this is my first post, so please bear with me. I've done (what I consider) to be my due diligence and can't find an answer to this question: I am getting back into photography after some years and have opted for shooting and developing B&W film and then scanning into PS from there. I have an older Pacific Image PF3600 scanner which leaves a bit (a lot) to be desired. I've been researching newer film scanners and among other things, dust and scratch removal seems to be the desirable feature on the newer scanners, up there with resolution, color rendition, etc.. My research has uncovered the fact that Black Ice and other dust/scratch removal schemes don't work very well with B&W negs due to some inherent characteristic of the emulsion; Kodachrome positive film seems to fall into this category as well. So all that preamble just to ask: What is a good scanner for scanning B&W negatives? I'm not so concerned with method as I am with equipment - I can figure out method as I go. I am shooting Tri-X film, but will venture into others with more experience and I'm concerned about dropping dollars on a scanner whose features will be unusable or unnecessary to me. I'm sure I can keep my emulsion clean enough that dust and scratch won't be a major problem, but I'd like to make a good choice based on [someone's] experience rather then vendor descriptions of their products. Advice anyone?
  2. ahhh...sorry about the big photo, I didn't think about it before posting.
  3. Philip,

    Youre right about dust and scratches removal software not working with traditional B&W film - all the silver grains looks like dust and scratches! C41 B&Ws like Ilford's XP2 work just fine.

    Are you shooting 135 or 120 format film? For 135 the Nikon V and 5000 are about as good as it gets for 135. For 120 (& 135) the Nikon 9000 is a similar solution. However, depending on what you want the scans for and - if printing, what size - you may be happy with some of the better flatbeds eg, Epson V700 and V750 scanners.
  4. I've been down the flatbed road for 35mm, and flatbed sux. Currently, I'm setting up a rig to shoot 35mm negs with my Nikon D300, via a 50/2.8 Nikon enlarging lens, and so far it looks equal+ to what I was getting with a 2400dpi scanner. And it's a lot cheaper, given that I already have the tools. And a lot faster, too.
  5. Craig Cooper told you right about the Nikon V and 5000 for 35mm and the 9000 for MF negs. I happen to use a Minolta MultiPro, a MF film scanner, but they are no longer available.

    I tried the flatbed and it didn't work for me, even with 6x7 negs.

    I think the Nikon's are the only game in town since they quit making the Minolta scanners.
  6. jtk


    The ultimate dust removal application when Ice won't work:

    Tiger Cloth Anti Static Cloth... item # 10890
  7. The Epson V700/750 series is good but only if you're shooting 4x5 or 8x10 film. For anything smaller than 4x5 you need a good film scanner if you want to make quality prints 8x10 or larger. I wouldn't worry about the inability to use ICE with b&w film. If you keep the film reasonably clean it's not difficult or time-consuming to get rid of dust spots in Photoshop or a similar editing program.
  8. Agree with most of the above -- Ilford XP-2 with a Coolscan 5000 and the SA-30 roll film loader (overpriced but very useful, around $400). Start a roll and it's done in 45 minutes. Then you can clut and sleeve it. Lovely film, especially at ISO 250.

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