Trying to decide if I can get by with a V700

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by lee_shively, Jun 24, 2008.

  1. I shoot mostly black and white film and have been printing it in my tiny but adequate home darkroom. Unfortunately,
    I've slowly found myself involved in too many projects to have the time to set things up and do any printing. While I've
    been shooting more and more with a DSLR in the past few months, I still like shooting with my older film cameras. I
    don't suppose I'll stop using them until there are no parts left to repair them. I also have a massive (to me) number of
    negatives on file--some that have never been reviewed or printed--dating back over about 35 years. The vast majority
    is 35mm but also a great deal of 645 and 6x6--also including a significant number of 35mm slides. I also have a bit
    of 4x5--mostly color transparencies.

    I have a budget of about $500 and I would like to buy a scanner that will cover these film formats and do a good job
    mainly for black and white film but also for color transparencies. My intentions are to make prints. I'm pretty sure I
    won't be able to get the same black and white print quality I can get in the wet darkroom or the color results I get
    with the DSLR but I want to make good looking prints. I also need something that is easy to set up and use--I tend
    to get frustrated easily.

    As I stated previously, my home darkroom is tiny so my wet printing is limited to nothing larger than 11x14. In fact,
    most of my prints are full frame on 11x14 paper, so my sizes are closer to 8x10 in image area. I don't expect to print
    anything larger than a 13x19 inch inkjet.

    I've also considered a Coolscan V for 35mm only and a cheap flatbed to muddle along with the medium format and
    4x5 but I would really prefer less clutter of one unit that can do it all. Does the V700 sound like it would fit my
    needs? If not, any other suggestions that won't blow my budget completely?
  2. "Trying to decide if I can get by with a V700"

    Not for 35mm.
  3. An alternative to a scanner would be to take the film negatives to someplace like RITE AID. See if its possible to feed the 35mm strips into their machine that converts 35mm negatives to color JPEG files. Then you just have them burn the resulting set of JPEG files to a single RITE AID picture CD. A picture CD costs $2 or $3. I know they can do this with 35mm film they just developed. All you would have to do is clean the surface of the negative to remove any dust or fingerprints.
  4. "I would like to buy a scanner that will cover these film formats"

    "I would really prefer less clutter of one unit that can do it all"

    It sounds like you're trying to rationalize a decision that's really making you uneasy. I would deal with the 35mm
    separate from the rest. One thing to keep in mind: you will not be adressing either format overnight. It's going to take
    some time getting familiar with scanning. And then, let's say you start with the 35mm have an extensive collection.
    *That* is going to take a fair bit of time: months (minimum, more likely at least a year). By then your bottom line will
    likely have improved, and you will likely have more insight as to what you need for the other formats, scanning,
    software, etc.

    My 2 cents, start with the 35mm, using a dedicated film scanner such as the Nikon V. Maybe get a cheap flatbed if
    you want to try scanning a bit of the other formats, but don't make a big investment.

    My current scanner is the Minolta Scan Elite 5400 (first Gen). I'm very happy with it, it's more-or-less *the* scanner
    for Kodachrome. Unfortunately it's out of production and Minolta has turned their back on it.
  5. Alan,
    I've never tried Rite-Aid, but I find it hard to believe that their 35 mm scans could be any better than those from the new
  6. Ok, L.S., instead of researching previous discussions on the subject in this Forum, U had to open yet another one...

    Read this: "As I've said, I got the Epson for the occasional flat art scan. I wouldn't dream of using it for film. Perhaps for some larger size negs where 2300 dpi should suffice. Other than that I can only repeat that ICE seems to work best with matte prints. Little to not at all with hi gloss. It is supposed to work just fine when scanning film. No guarantee from the house."

    And this:

    Now, if U think "true" 2300 dpi resolution are good enough for Ur negs, go right ahead.
  7. I went down this road also. I ended up getting the V700 and a Minolta/Konica Dual Scan IV. You can still get the Dual Scan IV used, and It is very inexpensive and provides excellent scanning of 35mm slides/negatives(3200dpi). It does not have digital ICE, however, depending on your collection, get them as dust free as possible before scanning and your results will very good. I used both the Minolta software that came with the unit, and Viewscan software. My goal was to preserve my familys historical pictures with some prints up to 11x14.

    I use the V700 for my collection of 6x6 and larger, does an excellent job.

    I took me about a year, to scan my historical stuff, an that was after culling the slides/negatives. This is a huge job to undertake, in terms of shear time, but in the end it was worth it.

    It most likely would be better to start with which ever you have the most media. If slides/negatives 35mm get the 35mm dedicated scanner, then get a larger flatbed for the 6x6 and above, since the requirements for scans are somewhat less.

    Like everything Trade offs vs budget

  8. I've got an older model, the 4870. I understand there is no significant improvment on this scanner to be found in the V700 (especially for negatives). Considering that you're talking x6 or more enlargements from your 35mm well I think your on the fringe. It all depends on how satisfied you were with your enlarger and your printing. It could be (for example) that you have an enlarger which is less than perfect (with say a less than ideal lens) and that you're general darkroom technique was also less than ideal. In that situation you may find that the V700 will do an acceptable job.

    For me, it does OK on 4x5, well enough for 6x9 and good enough for what it is on 35mm. If I want anything better than that I send it to somewhere I trust for scans and use that. If I were using 35mm much anymore I'd get the Nikon LS-V or something like that as well.
  9. "Alan, I've never tried Rite-Aid, but I find it hard to believe that their 35 mm scans could be any better than those from the new Epsons. Scott"

    Have you used an Epson for 35mm? It works, but just barely. A Frontier or Noritsu scanning at higher resolution (which the lab techs at cheap places almost never do except when printing 8x10) should knock the socks off a flatbed.
  10. Well, back in 1996 we had a Nikon LS-1000 at my work, later I bought an LS-20E which I thought to be as sharp (but lacked the bit depth). A friend later bought the LS-2000 which had ICE but we both thought that it wasn't significantly sharper than my LS-20 but got into the darker areas of Provia slides better (but nothing significant on negatives). Later another mate then later aquired the LS-4000 which had spectacular improvements in getting into the darker areas, but again nothing significant in Neg (but some very snazzy bulk scanning bits)
    I then bought the 4870 (to scan 4x5) and found it 'ok' for 35mm too. I could see some differences on screen at 100% but they diminished when reduced to 50%. I wondered how it would translate on a print (where you can't distinguish a black pixel beside a white pixel beside a black pixel. So to answer my personal questions on I specifically made a 40cm print with a scan from Provia done with my Epson 4870 and my just to 'see' how it translated to what I saw on the screen. I printed this image
    To answer another question on this, I posted a segment (scanned at 4800 then down sampled to 2700) on Flickr
    Since we all have different 'subjective' needs I think that viewing this will be better than me trying to tell you if its good enough for you.

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