Two new, ironically priced film scanning products

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by kdghantous, Feb 6, 2016.

  1. This is the FilmToaster. It lets you use your existing camera as the scanner. It costs over US$1,000:
    This is the PlusTek OpticFilm 135 scanner. It's obviously slower than copying film with a camera, but it doesn't require extra hardware, it (apparently) has IR dust removal, and it costs US$399:
    The FilmToaster is quick and handles film up to 4x5. But an Epson v850 is cheaper.
    From what I've seen, most cameras make poor film duplicators. So the FilmToaster seems to be a beautiful idea but priced highly given that you still need to supply a camera. YMMV.
  2. From what I've seen, most cameras make poor film duplicators.

    I'm guessing you've not seen or done much DSLR scanning.
    Tons of ghetto/garage DSLR scanning hacks online, some better than others but all evidence that a 24mp camera and a macro lens can produce better-than-Epson results. The Toaster? I'm dying...
  3. What he said. There are plenty of good reasons to use camera scanning, and quality can be tops if you know what you're doing, but my camera scanning setup cost me $75--$30 for an old Durst enlarger to use for its built-in copy stand, and $45 for a light panel. Mine does up to 5x7 on the baseboard, but this $1700 device doesn't even do 4x5 as it specs--it crops that.
    I bet this device will be aimed at institutions that rubber-stamp purchases, for someone who sees it and thinks it looks cool. Otherwise, it doesn't make much sense.
  4. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    I was copying slides with my DF, relatively satisfied, and fairly fast. I also have a lot of very old photos, so bought the Canoscan 9000F MK2. Once I got the workflow set up, 4 slides at a time or 12 35mm negatives and, to me, quite acceptable results. $169 from B&H. The negative holder is slow to load -- I found another on Ebay, which will solve the slow loading through being able to do it as the previous batch scans. I also have a Nikon Super Coolscan 4000 ED I bought used, if I can get a computer with a firewire card and get it running, I will certainly use that, but only for special "best" slides & negatives. Samples of Negatives and slides from the Canon posted, UK or London for slides, the two bobbies at 10 Downing Street in the UK folder are a sample of camera vs. scanner. NYC in '69 B&W negatives. I really like the scanner.
  5. I am not interested in the Filmtoaster as I can build something like that. What I am interested in is the software plugin to convert from negative to positive.
  6. At least that Opticfilm is motorized. Also it has IR for dust removal and high bit-depth for negative conversion. Keep in mind on pricing that you don't have to factor in the cost of a good flat-field macro lens. Not everyone has one of those and this might actually be cheaper.
  7. BeBu: I think the plugin you want is called ColorPerfect?
  8. I've done a few copies from film to digital and use RawTherapee for the neg/pos change...just a question of switching the graph round and then altering everything you want with the positive. Bear in mind this is only for me and not for exhibiting in the National Gallery.
  9. For color negatives, you need to do gamma correction, and some color balance correction.
    For black and white negatives, and also for slides, it might be nice to be able to do some gamma correction, but mostly it shouldn't be needed.
    Otherwise, you need an appropriate lens and light source.
  10. The film toaster strikes me as a good idea, although they are milking the price, but at least it will always be workable, unlike a film scanner which will probably no longer be working in 10 years time. I wonder whether you can use a FF camera on the film toaster - this is a negative, if you can't.
    I agree with the others, digicopying with a DSLR is the best way to go for most "scanning" and the filmtoaster is nice in that it will allow duplicating a wide range of film formats easily.
  11. From what I've seen, most cameras make poor film duplicators.

    I can't speak for all cameras, but some are up to the task. Using a Sony A7ii or A7Rii to copy slides works very well, as covered in depth in an earlier thread ( I have yet to appy this technique to color negatives, but I see no special barriers to this process. It is simple to invert the colors, followed by adjustments to balance the color. I've done this many times with a flatbed scanner. My film strip holder has taken refuge in a place not easily reached, but soon ..."

    Basically I bought an used 55/2.8 Micro-Nikkor (1:2), a PK-13 extension tube (1:1), and an ES-1 copy attachment, all Nikon. I attach them to a Sony A7 with a Novoflex F to FE adapter. It would be equally easy to adapt the setup to nearly any mirrorless camera, or a Nikon DSLR. The slides (or film strip holder) slip in and out of the ES-1 easily, The entire assembly is rigid, so no special precautions are needed to avoid camera shake. For a light source, I use an LED light bulb in a desk lamp, balanced for 5600K. The spectrum of the bulb is very broad and smooth, closely emulating daylight (unlike fluorescent bulbs).

    There are inexpensive extension tubes which would allow APS-C and M43 cameras to use the same copy setup. A camera with 24 MP resolution (6000x4000) produces a file equivalent to that of a Nikon scanner, in a tiny fraction of the time.
  12. I asked this question at the end of another thread and must have been too late as it was never answered, so I'll try here - Doesn't scanning with a flatbed scanner or a DSLR negate the advantage of using film? I'm interested mainly in color, specifically color gamut, which to my understanding is larger for (some) films than for digital. If you scan with a digital sensor (in scanner or DSLR) aren't you again limited to what digital can do and might as well have taken the photo with a DSLR? Please limit the discussion to color gamut and not get off on tangents of resolution, dynamic range etc. Thanks.
  13. Please limit the discussion to color gamut​
    In case nobody answers I'll give you two semi-useful answers:

    1. Scanners can and probably do have a wider gamut than camera sensors, as they give up speed for other qualities. The Bayer array probably does affect gamut, but modern digital backs with their high resolution and bit depth seem to have film-like gamuts.

    2. Film has a different look/texture to digital, so even if gamut, DR, resolution were not considered, it would still make sense to scan film.
  14. What a joke! Clearly aimed at lay people or film
    newbies if you look at the requiremets which include
    close up filters as a viable scanning option. Who
    comes up with these?!? I feel sorry for anyone who bus this...
  15. Why in the world would I want to scan film with a Bayer interpolated capture device? Not thanks

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