Should I SCAN or use my 100 mm MACRO to copy?

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by tomhansonphotography, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. I have several pictures from my film days that I would like to bring into a
    digital format. I would like to have amazing quality but have found some
    scanned images less that great. Should I try to find a scanner or should I use
    my 100 MM macro lens and shoot them? My main concern is quality. I know either
    way it is going to take some time. Thanks for your help.
     
  2. If you have the negatives or transparencies and access to a high end scanner you can get to
    quality.
     
  3. Hi

    I think you'll do best with a film scanner, what is the film format? If 35mm then try to get time on a Nikon Coolscan (such as a LS-40ED, LS-4000, LS-V ...)

    if its medium format or large format then an Epson 4870, 4990 or V700 would do the trick
     
  4. If you want quality, drum scanner will give the highest quality, CCD dedicated film scaner next, and flatbed at the bottom of the list. I have a Nikon 9000 film scanner and it works great for medium format and 35mm. I find Digital ICE works great to remove dust/scratches and I don't believe this is available with drum scanners. If you don't use Digital ICE, you will spend extra time fixing dust spots on the scans.
     
  5. This *has* been discussed before, frequently. Just a few examples:

    http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=00KjDd

    http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=00IUtZ

    http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=001Umm

    http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=00Fswd

    Consensus is that a decent dedicated film scanner is better. Also note that if you're picking a macro lens for this purpose, a critical feature is that it have an absolutely flat field of focus. Some "macro" lenses are better at that than others.
     
  6. I would like to have amazing quality . . . . Should I try to find a scanner or should I use my 100 MM macro lens and shoot them?
    It sounds to me like all you have are prints, and if that is the case, sorry, but you will almost certainly not be able to achieve what I would call amazing quality. However, a decent scan is likely to be much better than a copy shot with a macro lens.
    As others have said, if you have the original film, then have the film scanned. If there are only a relatively few pictures you want in a digital format, using a pro lab is likely to be cheaper, and produce better results, than buying a scanner. Folks around here seem to think West Coast Imaging is about the best for scanning, but I'm sure there are many labs that can do a decent job.
     
  7. Thank you for all your help. You have all been great! I will look for the film and work from there. Thanks again, Tom
     

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