The best digital film scanner for professional photojournalism photography

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by lyubov_strauss, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. Would you please share your experience how you digital film images. I have hundreds of images on film, and I want to buy the scanner which works the best for my photography. I have been a news photographer for 15 years international, and I have historical photos from 1989-1995. I hope I could get a nice digital image and share with the world.
    What is best professional film scanner?
    You advice will be very helpful.
     
  2. Lyobov, If you've been shooting 35mm, I would say you want to stick with a Nikon Coolscan V, 5000, or 9000, depending on your needs. The 9000 scans medium format as well. While I use an Epson 4490 for medium format, and find it acceptable for digital scans, I use a Canoscan dedicated scanner for 35mm (only because it was cheaper than the Nikon at the time).
     
  3. I agree with Michael , the Nikon Cool scan V is a great scanner for 35mm , I use a Epson 4990 for 6x6 and 4x5.
     
  4. Conventional scanners, whether the Nikon Coolscan or flatbed, are incredibly slow. It can take 2 to 6 hours per roll, the lower speed only if you have an automatic roll or slide feeder. If you don't need enlargements more than 12x18, the fastest way to render your film archives is with a digital camera, closeup lens and a slide/filmstrip holder.
     
  5. .
    Ding! Edward got it.
    Lyubov, you don't mention your technical target, and "professional photojournalism" and "share with the world" could be small newspaper black and white print target, or smaller-than-screen size JPG, both less than 1 megapixel contents. Tell us more specifically what you want as a result. My Minolta 40 million RGB pixel scanner is waay better than those little tiny Nikon and Canon sissies and wannabees (it's almost April, folks!), but all these dedicated, top-of-the-line 35mm film scanners may be overkill and too arduous for your specific targets.
    And, quantity, do you want to convert 100% to digital accessible archive, or just scan one here and there on demand? A $99 or cheaper scanner/camera and/or adapter may be perfect. Or subcontracting to overseas labor may be the only affordable and timely solution.
    How about other features? Need a printer and fax and flatbed scanner with a document feeder? A film-scanning all-in-one may be best for you.
    Maybe just get started today using any cheap digicam on a tripod used as a copy stand aimed at the pictures laid out one by one on the floor, and don't worry about the film until you get some total archive system experience?
    Tell us more, Lyubov.
    .
     
  6. .
    Okay, I see that you only "need" small output for web display, but are you planning on selling master digital copies on demand, or prints of certain sizes on demand? What's your goal. My scanner may be right-on after all.
    Caution, your slide show dead-ends and has no "home" button or stable menu across Very nice begining, however. How more can we help you?
    .
     
  7. Here are my posts on a scanner's flares, and using a scanner.
    On flares:
    Before making a decision, check the following links. Some Nikon users reported flares in their scans, but no Minolta users had reported this problem. I own many Nikon equipment, and would have gotten a Nikon scanner if not for the flares.
    http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=00IGyN
    http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=001A4q
    http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=004EWS
    http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=00A2Sh
    http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=00CTcF
    http://www.vad1.com/photo/dirty-scanner/
    http://www.pearsonimaging.com/ls5000cleaning.html
    This member apparently was aware of the flares:
    http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=00H558
    Here's what he ended up with after buying a Nikon:
    http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=00HCnM
    ======
    On using a scanner:
    Choosing a good scanner is just the beginning, learning how to use it well is the key. Given the less than great native sw and documentations, and the lack of good tutorials/books, the learning curve can be steep. Some would get a third party and/or calibration sw. Scanning introduces another generation of degradation from film to print. Along with it come the additional steps in the workflow, such as getting the correct exposure/color/tone, maintaining sharpness, reducing noise/grain, archiving, etc. Each of these can be non-trivial if done well.
     
  8. There are no flares with the Nikon, only when it was operated in extremely dusty environment and wasn't cleaned. I would only consider the Coolscan 5000ED with a roll film adapter to scan automatically or hack the regular film adapter to scan rolls. It just gives the best results with 35mm film. Combine it with Silverfast or Vuescan and get it calibrated with an IT(/Q60 target prior scanning.
     
  9. Lots of 35mm film - perhaps a variety of films, perhaps you kept them intact as a roll, there is no alternative to a Nikon Coolscan 5000 + roll feeder if you kept the rolls intact.

    In the Can minilab scans rival other scanners? thread, you can see the comparisons I've conducted with various desktop scanners compared to a Noritsu minilab. Mini labs can be very cheap and very good but YMMV.

    Using a Coolscan 5000, full res scans with ICE takes about 50 seconds per frame - about 30seconds without. The discontinued Nikon Coolscan V used to be the next fastest doubling these times while all others takes several minutes per scan - or more, with ICE. In my Film 2 Album you can review the results from mostly full res examples of various films using completely neutral unprocessed scans using the included Nikonscan. Having now scanned over 10,200 frames of various films with the Coolscan 5000 and over 3,000 frames with a other scanners I can tell you that scanning with the Coolscan 5000 can only be termed as uneventful. Compared to the Coolscan, all the others are far slower and requires user intervention frame to frame even within each roll using native or third party software.

    You can consider using a DSLR with a macro lens and taking a pic of the frame of film may be faster - if you have it properly setup, but not only will you not get the resolution of a Coolscan but you will not have ICE and manipulation of the image captured from a slide will take considerably more work - more with negative capture. Below is what you can expect from a 10Mp Canon 40D, using the Canon 60mm efs on the same frame of Fuji RVP.

    [​IMG] Click thumbnail for 3Meg full res.
     
  10. "There are no flares with the Nikon, only when it was operated in extremely dusty environment and wasn't cleaned."

    That's not true. Despite this I'd probably recommend the LS5000 for your task, especially if you're scanning negative film.
    LS 5000:
    http://jingai.com/vuescan2/LS5000%20multisample%204x%20highlight.jpg
    Canon FS4000US:
    http://jingai.com/vuescan2/FS4000US%20exp2%20highlight.jpg
     
  11. Thank you for all your advice. Great help. I am impressed with all your comments, and answers to my questions. I had taken photos with 35 mm film camera Chinon. My father was camera inventor, and famous camera man, and photographer. He made changes to Chinon, and images were very high quality. It is B&W film images, and color negatives. I lived one year in Spain in 2000, and all images are color negatives film. I have been traveled and worked in 15 countries. It is all film, and I hope I could get some digital files from this huge data. My goal to make high quality scan which could be use for print, and magazine, and web. I want to digitalize the photos of Chernobyl Nuclear Catastrophe, First Russian president election, Michael Gorbachev portraits, Bill Clinton portraits ( Ukraine. 1991) and etc. I had been in the middle of the history changes with the camera, and I want people to see these images even 20 years after. It is great images for my portfolio and my website as well. By the way, thank you to visit my website and your comments. MY goal to get a very high quality professional scan from film. I don't know if I would like to spent $1000 for Nikon scanner, but I would like to see the images which was scanned with this scanner. Each of you advice me to buy different scanner. It will be great if you could post the image on line, and we could see the difference. Portrait, group photo, landscape photos are great choice for it, if it is possible.
    Thank you for your time and your help.
     
  12. Peter,
    I want to answer your question about TRAVELHOST magazine virtual tour. I payed $1 per page, and they done great job. WEb site company asked me $300 for virtual tour magazine, and I made the right choice to use Engage Publication. I download pages ( each) to their website and Engaged Publication convert to virtual tour magazine. They email me the folder with files and place the folder in Dreamweaver which I have used to put my website. The reason why I put magazine on my website, because I own TRAVELHOST of Greater St. Louis magazine in 2008. I am only one person put together bi-monthly magazine as Associate Publisher, Owner, Graphic Designer, Photographer, Art director, Advertising Sales, and Distribution manager and writer. I designed ads and done photography for my advertisers in the magazine. You could say it that after this assignment everything is possible. I didn't have eonugh energy to continue this business as one. I was building the team and looking for Media, magazine professionals, and I couldn't find them in St. Louis. I closed the business, and continue my ad agency business. I hope one day I could have a great team when I will do something like it again.
     
  13. We have great team on this page, and I would like to know if any of you as food photographer. Recently, I start doing more restaurant and food photography for the magazine. I have used lights, but I read in one book to use only window, natural light. I found on Amazon.com the book
    Digital Food Photography (Paperback)

    by Lou Manna
    Have anyone read and use this book? I am looking for lighting techniques, and food style for photoshoot. What book you would suggest for FOOD photographty?
    I have another assignment soon, and any your advice will be very helpful.
    Thanks,
    Lyubov
     
  14. Each of you advice me to buy different scanner. It will be great if you could post the image on line, and we could see the difference.
    That would be like asking us to show you images taken with different camera models. As mentioned, getting a good scanner (or camera) is just the beginning for good scans (photos), necessary but insufficient. Learning and knowing how to use it *well* is the key, and is non-trivial. I'm sure you will agree as a seasoned photographer. Even those who have mastered the scanning skills would still need to invest a lot of Photoshop post processing to arrive at the final image. So in addition to scanning skills, you also need Photoshop skills.

    Many think of a scanner like a photo copier: put in the original/film, press a button, and out comes a good copy/scan. That is far from true.
    It is not clear whether you want your high quality scans to be for web display only, or for prints as well. For the former, you may want to give PhotoCD a shot, inexpensive and sufficiently good for web.
    Not trying to discourage you from getting a scanner, but want you to be prepared for the amount of scanning efforts involved.
     
  15. A late response from someone who is not an expert:
    I have some experience with the Nikon LS2000 and just got an LS9000 with which I just scanned 1000 Kodachrome dias (The reason I got the LS9000 since I only used Kodachrome) Only a small percentage of scans need to be adjusted: the flare problem mentionned above and some blues which oversaturate and look fluorescent... (I have not yet found a recipe for those...)
     
  16. Scanning takes time.

    One can have rolls of 35mm that went through a motor drive in 1989 in 10 seconds.
    One can do a high end scan of each frame on that roll and taken an evening.

    In a way a scanner is like a hand shovel; your dream of the fun of digging a basement by hand; after awhile one finds one has spent more time that when excied about the project.

    Scanning of 35mm here is now 20 years old; we got our first 35mm scanner in 1989. Your want a dedicated computer to do scanning; an older machine often works just fine.

    To scan many hundreds of rolls of film is not a short project Scan the great film images first.

    There is no reason to do high end scans of duds and marginal stuff.

    `Scanners are like exercise machines hawked on late night TV; it all looks easy and takes no time. Also folks sell them used after the honeymoon phase too.
     
  17. OpticFilm 7300 has great reviews price: around $239 PC and MAC
    http://www.plustek.com/product/7300.asp
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=OpticFilm+7300&N=0&InitialSearch=yes
    I will buy it and I will try it
     

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