Which 120 negative scanner

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by mark_kaminsky|1, Apr 10, 2004.

  1. Hello, I use medium format 120 (Fuji GSW 690) and I would like to get
    a reasonably priced negative scanner....Which one(s) are
    suggested ?......It would be helpful if it also does 35mm to
    6x9......Thank you...Mark
  2. If you can afford them, the Nikon 9000 and Minolta Multipro dedicated film scanners do a great job. If those are out of your budget, the Epson 4870 and supposedly soon to be released Microtek i900 offer nice features for the money although their raw scans aren’t as sharp as those from a dedicated film scanner. Good scanning skills and Photoshop skills will allow you to produce some very nice end results though. The Epson 3170 is a real bargain if you are on a tight budget and don’t think you will need to ever scan larger than medium format. You could always look for used dedicated film scanners if you were willing to take a bit of a risk.
    Doug’s “MF Film Holder” for batch scanning "strips" of 120/220 medium format film with flatbeds
  3. Mark,

    I have both the gsw 690 and the gw690 and love them. Great choice of camera!

    I use a nikon ls-8000 scanner. It has some flaws, but they can be overcome with
    practice. I tried a minolta in Calumet and found it unacceptable.

    My most important advice to you is, if you buy a film scanner, to buy it new and keep
    it covered at all times when not in use. Dust will degrade the scan quality fast, and
    these scanners are not user friendly to clean.

    I have some examples at the fujirangefinder.com web site at:


    Good luck and keep shooting!

  4. I enjoy using the Microtek ArtixScan 120TF.

    Does a great job, is cheaper than the Nikon and has good rebates from time to time. I got mine for $1,699 plus $200 off.

    --Jeffrey Steinberg, Scarsdale, NY
  5. I would recommend the Nikon LS-9000 ($2000) , but you will need to factor in the extra
    cost of the glass slide carrier which is either $240 or $340 depending on which one you
    choose. It does a great job with 35mm negatives as well as medium format. Version 4 of
    the Nikon Scan software works very well, but I am finding that with some negatives, I get
    better scans using Vuescan ($80 for the full edition which includes calibration).

    Not sure if all of this meets your definition of "reasonably priced". There also are a bunch
    of refurbished LS-8000's on eBay right now - not sure how much improved the LS-9000 is
    over this older model for the type and quantity of negatives you are scanning.
  6. jbq


    With a 690 it would be sad to settle for a flatbed. A 4000dpi dedicated film scanner is what you really want.

    If you have to settle for a flatbed, an Epson 3200 will get you decent 1600dpi scans for a decent price.
  7. I got the original Polaroid 45, a 2000dpi scanner that does up to 4x5. Paid $200 for it. It needs a SCSI2 interface which fortunately my computer has (I use a Pentium I 233mhz, 256MB RAM, WIN 95. Works for me, no reason to upgrade just to make Gates richer).
  8. I have had great results with the epson 3200 scanner and silverfast se supplied software.
    i have never used a real mediumformat negative scanner so I can't compare the differens..
  9. Considering the quality of the camera you're using I would
    recommend to at least take a dedicated film scanner, like the
    Minolta Multi Pro, the Nikon 9000 or the Microtek 120tf. An
    Imacon would be an option too if the price were 'reasonable'.
    Perhaps a used one?

    Maybe nice to know is that I have a Scanhancer PM to suppress
    peppergrain with the Microtek too now. This gives this scanner
    an edge in price compared to the competition. (There already
    was one for the Multi Pro. Just see my home page for more info.)
  10. Mark, see what happens when you neglect to list a budget in your query?
  11. I have & like the Minolta Dimage Scan Multi Pro (4800dpi for 35mm, 3200dpi for 120). It costs over $2000 US, though, so may not be "reasonably priced" (although the Nikon equivalent is even more expensive).
  12. I have a Minolta Multipro and had a Nikon LS8000 early on. I returned the Nikon due to excessive banding and horrifically instable software. It turned out that the software was basically incompatible with a dual processor machine running Win2k (quite a feat from a software engineering standpoint).

    IMO, the Minolta has a better mechanical design especially on the film holders. The non-glass film holder is actually useful for 6x7 because it supports the film on all 4 sides of the frame. It might not work so well for 6x9 though.

    IMO, 3200 is plenty for 6x7 or larger. As for which scanner is sharper, I'd say both are pretty much the same.
  13. You're being offered some pretty expensive solutions. They are good solutions, but perhaps not affordable for the average person. You don't say what you want to do with the scans. If it's for web display, there's no doubt at all in my mind, from past experience, that you can do it very well with a flatbed, and one that can handle medium format film is a very versatile tool. The results you get easily exceed the ability of a computer screen to display it. I found the one I had was even good enough for 35mm film. If what you're looking for is a digital darkroom solution that will take you from a slide or negative to a professional-quality print, then you're looking at more money, probably a lot more, for a medium format film scanner. In terms of a flatbed for web-use, it seems pretty hard to beat the Epson line, from the 2450 if you can still find one, through the 3170 and up to their top-of-the-line 4800. I'm too poor at the moment, but if it were me, I would get a 3170.
  14. I use the Fuji GSW690iii and GW670iii to shoot weddings, group shots, and scenics. Since producing digital images is not a primary concern for me, the reasonably priced (about $400) Canon 9900F flatbed scanner meets my needs.

    With it I can scan black & white or color, negative or positive, 35mm, medium format, and 4x5 inch film at 3200 dpi.
  15. I guess I have a very different approach... One of the good things of 6x9 is you can get away with 2000 dpi for most enlarging needs. One of the Epsons should provide more resolution than your computer can handle, by far. 4000 dpi for a 6x9 neg or slide is overkill, unless you're thinking of covering your apartment's walls with pictures (one picture per wall, obviously).
    If you get a good 3200 scan, you'll be downsampling for most printing needs, that's roughly 11000x7500 pixels, an over 80 megapixels image, or 37x25 at 300 dpi. Not easy to work on, at all.
    Again, I believe you can get quality prints from medium format with cheaper scanners.

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