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05-28-2010, 07:02 AM   #1
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Film scanner suggestions and examples

*Hopefully I haven't re-asked something too common here, if so feel free to let me know...

I am getting to the stage now where I am looking at film scanners. My aim is to hopefully get better results in IQ, save processing costs and of course exhibit manual control over the process. My problem is that I only have quite limited cash at the moment and each option I look at seems to have quite obvious compromises.

At this stage I only shoot 35mm film, however I can see myself getting into MF at some stage, perhaps next year. How much I would shoot with it however, is unknown. So I am tossing up between getting a decent flatbed with transparency unit, or a dedicated 35mm film scanner. From what I have seen, the flatbed would of course be more versatile, but a dedicated 35mm scanner would offer higher quality scans.

Two of my favourite options so far are:
1. Epson V700 flatbad scanner
/ 2300dpi or ~7MP for 135 film
- cost of 750-900AUD new (ouch!)
+ versatile, can scan MF, many 135 frames in one go, scan old prints

2. Minolta Dual Scan IV (thanks to friendly PF member)
+ 3100dpi or ~12MP for 135 film
+ good price second hand
- 5 years old, no longer supported (not sure if this is an issue or not?)
- 35mm film only (unless I am mistaken??)

So I was wondering what you guys think. Also if anyone has some handy, I would love to see some examples with 35mm film from either of these devices. Or anything similar. I would like to keep my budget below the cost of the V700 if at all possible... :/

cheers,
Jason

05-28-2010, 08:14 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by goddo31 Quote
*Hopefully I haven't re-asked something too common here, if so feel free to let me know...

I am getting to the stage now where I am looking at film scanners. My aim is to hopefully get better results in IQ, save processing costs and of course exhibit manual control over the process. My problem is that I only have quite limited cash at the moment and each option I look at seems to have quite obvious compromises.

At this stage I only shoot 35mm film, however I can see myself getting into MF at some stage, perhaps next year. How much I would shoot with it however, is unknown. So I am tossing up between getting a decent flatbed with transparency unit, or a dedicated 35mm film scanner. From what I have seen, the flatbed would of course be more versatile, but a dedicated 35mm scanner would offer higher quality scans.

Two of my favourite options so far are:
1. Epson V700 flatbad scanner
/ 2300dpi or ~7MP for 135 film
- cost of 750-900AUD new (ouch!)
+ versatile, can scan MF, many 135 frames in one go, scan old prints

2. Minolta Dual Scan IV (thanks to friendly PF member)
+ 3100dpi or ~12MP for 135 film
+ good price second hand
- 5 years old, no longer supported (not sure if this is an issue or not?)
- 35mm film only (unless I am mistaken??)

So I was wondering what you guys think. Also if anyone has some handy, I would love to see some examples with 35mm film from either of these devices. Or anything similar. I would like to keep my budget below the cost of the V700 if at all possible... :/

cheers,
Jason
Hello Jason,

You also need to specify what size of print you want to do as for web only both machine would produce similar result. Arguably the resolution between the two scanners #2,000 versus #3100, would show the more the bigger the print.

One aspect also is that the Minolta does not have ICE. I personally never use it because I found that the loss of detail does not justify the gain, and of course it does not work on B&W but again you will find opposite opinions on that subject also.

I have chosen the route of dedicated scanners with Minolta Elite 5400 for my 35mm and Nikon LS-8000 for MF as I value the higher resolution and the dynamic range and I find the V700/V750 too expensive for the resolution offered but other in this group are extremely happy with this machine and will consider it the cheaper alternative to scan both format with one purchase. Of course as soon as you shoot 4*5 then it is the V700.

Cheers,

Luc

Last edited by lbenac; 05-28-2010 at 09:26 AM.
05-28-2010, 08:36 AM   #3
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I have the v700, and I am very happy with it. I shoot MF and 4x5 at times, so it was the best all-round choice. It is expensive, though.
05-28-2010, 08:52 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by goddo31 Quote
*Hopefully I haven't re-asked something too common here, if so feel free to let me know...

I am getting to the stage now where I am looking at film scanners. My aim is to hopefully get better results in IQ, save processing costs and of course exhibit manual control over the process. My problem is that I only have quite limited cash at the moment and each option I look at seems to have quite obvious compromises.

At this stage I only shoot 35mm film, however I can see myself getting into MF at some stage, perhaps next year. How much I would shoot with it however, is unknown. So I am tossing up between getting a decent flatbed with transparency unit, or a dedicated 35mm film scanner. From what I have seen, the flatbed would of course be more versatile, but a dedicated 35mm scanner would offer higher quality scans.

Two of my favourite options so far are:
1. Epson V700 flatbad scanner
/ 2300dpi or ~7MP for 135 film
- cost of 750-900AUD new (ouch!)
+ versatile, can scan MF, many 135 frames in one go, scan old prints

2. Minolta Dual Scan IV (thanks to friendly PF member)
+ 3100dpi or ~12MP for 135 film
+ good price second hand
- 5 years old, no longer supported (not sure if this is an issue or not?)
- 35mm film only (unless I am mistaken??)

So I was wondering what you guys think. Also if anyone has some handy, I would love to see some examples with 35mm film from either of these devices. Or anything similar. I would like to keep my budget below the cost of the V700 if at all possible... :/

cheers,
Jason
I have tried using flat bed scaners and found the quality disappoinging. although I didn't try too hard at it.

I have a Minolta Dimage !! scanner and aside from scanning speed, 1-5 miutes on average per frame, I was impressed with the quality of the shots 2880 DPI, and with the reliability of the scanner.

I pushed 20,000 frames through it over a 5 year period.

Patience is a virtue with the minolta, I suppose later versions (i bought mine in 2000) with USB2 support may be a little faster, but no matter how you cut it, scanning is a time consuming task.

Now that I am done, it is only the opccasional roll of found film that I scan. but not a lot.

05-28-2010, 09:50 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies.

QuoteOriginally posted by lbenac Quote
Hello Jason,

You also need to specify what size of print you want to do as for web only both machine would produce similar result. Arguably the resolution between the two scanners #2,000 versus #3100, would show the more the bigger the print.

One aspect also is that the Minolta does not have ICE. I personally never use it because I found that the loss of detail does not justify the gain, and of course it does not work on B&W but again you will find opposite opinions on that subject also.

I have chosen the route of dedicated scanners with Minolta Elite 5400 for my 35mm and Nikon LS-8000 for MF as I value the higher resolution and the dynamic range and I find the V700/V750 too expensive for the resolution offered but other in this group are extremely happy with this machine and will consider it the cheaper alternative to scan both format with one purchase. Of course as soon as you shoot 4*5 then it is the V700.

Cheers,

Luc
The biggest size I would likely print would be 8x12, anything bigger and I would normally get an optical enlargement at a local lab that I use. At least, this has been my procedure so far.

Perhaps I might not need more resolution than the v700 provides. However dynamic range is of course important; in a sense I would like my 35mm to look as good as reasonably possible.

QuoteOriginally posted by gabriel bc:
I have the v700, and I am very happy with it. I shoot MF and 4x5 at times, so it was the best all-round choice. It is expensive, though.
Gabriel, if you happen to have a scanned 35mm shot with the v700 handy online, I would love to have a look.
In my searching so far I haven't much in the way of sample images.

cheers,
05-28-2010, 10:32 AM   #6
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I also have the V700, very happy with it. However I'm not sure I would buy one at today's price, I snatched one when a local store had had a discount.

If you go to my flickr page you'll find examples. Just about every pic there is scanned with the V700, there's both 35mm and MF. I have one 3200dpi scan at full resolution online here, I could upload another if you are interested.

Regarding the resolution of the V700, you have probably found that figure on this page, and as I have said before I'm sceptical about if they got the most out of the scanner. The plastic feet that keep the film holder elevated makes a ton of difference to image quality, and they have not mentioned them in that review. I feel that I get better results than that.
05-28-2010, 06:11 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jimfear Quote
... I have one 3200dpi scan at full resolution online here, ...
Is that from 35mm?
05-28-2010, 06:42 PM   #8
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I have used the Minolta Dual Scan IV and it is a nice unit.

I own the Nikon Super Coolscan 5000 ED and use it for 35mm film. It does an excellent job and supports an auto-feed adapter for batch scanning. If I had been able to find a Minolta Elite 5400, I would have bought that instead and saved myself a bundle.

I just purchased an Epson V700 to use with 120 roll film and 4x5 sheet film. Its "real world" resolution is only about 2300 dpi, but that is adequate for most uses for the larger formats. For example, I scan 120 at 400 dpi for posting to the Web and still have to down-sample a little. I have not tried 35mm yet on the Epson and cannot comment in regards to quality with that format. I would have bought an Epson 4990 used, if I could have found one.

A few things to consider beyond resolution:
  • Scan speed...yes, it does make a difference
  • Support for digital ICE for scratch/dust removal on color materials
  • Scratches/dust are a pain with any B&W negatives (digital ICE does not work with B&W) due to very bright, highly collimated light sources
  • The Minolta scanners support an aftermarket diffuser that helps with the scratch/dust issue (scanhancer)
  • Wet mounting is an option for B&W on Epson and other flatbed scanners
  • Wet mounting is clumsy at best on dedicated 35mm film scanners
One other thing regarding batch scanning with the V700. The auto-detect for film frame boundaries sort of sucks. Batch scanning requires that you manually outline the scan areas for each frame and then you are good to go.

Steve

05-28-2010, 08:20 PM   #9
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EPSON V700 review

The Epson V700 did well in the above review. I have been tempted to pick up an Epson
for my MF scans, but just have not gotten around to it.

I was able to get my Nikon Coolscan V to work with Vista 64 so I use that now to scan my
35mm. I had a Minolta Dual scan Elite or something like that many years ago and used the heck out of it, but I really liked the Coolscan V much better when I finally bought it.


If you get the V700 show it off so we can see some real world results.


Darrin
05-28-2010, 10:28 PM   #10
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I did a couple of comparison scans with the Nikon 5000 ED vs. the Epson V700. I posted them in the PP, Darkroom, etc forum.

See:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-processing-printing-software-darkroo...on-images.html


Steve
05-29-2010, 12:11 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve Beswick Quote
Is that from 35mm?
Yes that is 35mm Tmax100. MF at that resolution would be huge.
05-29-2010, 06:13 PM   #12
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This is just a follow-up comment regarding the scanner comparison I did between the V700 and the more expensive Nikon 5000 ED at 2400 dpi. I added some additional test images from a flatter negative. The difference was striking.

Original comparison


Second set


Steve
05-29-2010, 10:10 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jimfear Quote
I also have the V700, very happy with it. However I'm not sure I would buy one at today's price, I snatched one when a local store had had a discount.

If you go to my flickr page you'll find examples. Just about every pic there is scanned with the V700, there's both 35mm and MF. I have one 3200dpi scan at full resolution online here, I could upload another if you are interested.

Regarding the resolution of the V700, you have probably found that figure on this page, and as I have said before I'm sceptical about if they got the most out of the scanner. The plastic feet that keep the film holder elevated makes a ton of difference to image quality, and they have not mentioned them in that review. I feel that I get better results than that.
Thanks Jimfear. That's a good point regarding the film holder; I have read in another review that finding the optimum height really makes a difference. I would assume that a similar (big) difference can be found by making sure the negative is completely flat, as shown by stevebrot in his great comparison thread. Thanks for posting the link to your example and Flickr page, some nice shots there.

QuoteOriginally posted by Valder Quote
EPSON V700 review

The Epson V700 did well in the above review. I have been tempted to pick up an Epson for my MF scans, but just have not gotten around to it.

I was able to get my Nikon Coolscan V to work with Vista 64 so I use that now to scan my 35mm. I had a Minolta Dual scan Elite or something like that many years ago and used the heck out of it, but I really liked the Coolscan V much better when I finally bought it.

If you get the V700 show it off so we can see some real world results.

Darrin
Thanks Darrin, I have read through the review you linked and they did seem to like it alot! In terms of real world results, I am grateful to Jimfear and Stevebrot for providing some. I will make sure I post some results from whatever I end up getting.

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
This is just a follow-up comment regarding the scanner comparison I did between the V700 and the more expensive Nikon 5000 ED at 2400 dpi. I added some additional test images from a flatter negative. The difference was striking.

Original comparison


Second set

Steve
Thanks Steve, the difference was indeed striking. I do appreciate the lengths you have gone to to demonstrate the performance of the V700 compared to a dedicated unit. At this stage I'm thinking I should get the V700, however being the 'tight a***' that I am, I still feel the price is very high. However as Luc mentioned earlier, it's a lot cheaper than 2 scanners!

cheers,
Jason
05-29-2010, 10:20 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by goddo31 Quote

Thanks Steve, the difference was indeed striking. I do appreciate the lengths you have gone to to demonstrate the performance of the V700 compared to a dedicated unit. At this stage I'm thinking I should get the V700, however being the 'tight a***' that I am, I still feel the price is very high. However as Luc mentioned earlier, it's a lot cheaper than 2 scanners!
Glad to be of assistance and good to know that there is some benefit in this world to having two scanners! You might want to see if you can find an Epson 4990 used or as new old stock. The 4990 is supposed to be essentially the same as the V700 and would have been my choice if I had been able to find one used at a decent price.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 05-29-2010 at 11:14 PM.
05-29-2010, 10:36 PM   #15
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I hadn't really heard of the 4990 before, but I'll have a look to see if there are any available around the place.

cheers,
Jason
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