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04-15-2018, 01:21 PM   #1
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21st century film photography ... simple and not simple

Hello,

One year of shooting with my father's black Pentax MX with the SMC 50mm 1.4 lens. It is supposed to be a killer combo .. I see it in other people's photographs ... can't see it on mine.

After some discussions with professional photographers in the area i live, I discovered that due to the small market for film photography the simplicity of film photography (aperture, ISO, Shutter speed), is actually a 5-side cube (aperture, iso, shutter speed, film development and scanning).

People developing the film might not have the chemicals needed or they may be expired and the scanners used are crap and they don't really care so pictures come out with too much contrast or grain. Good photo shops charge like 5 euro per good scan (Hasselblad or Nikon machines) ...

So I decided to develop my own B&W and buy a good scanner to have total control of end result, after the learning curve is conquered.

Developing the B&W will start soon ... buy what I would be interested to hear is some opinion for scanners.

Don't want to use a flatbed, since i don't have the space.

I also read some reviews about the Plusteks and it seems that for the same money I could get something used in good order making better scans. I do understand that its the software that makes the scans but hardware is the base.

I shoot B&W, except for summer vacations with family.

So my shortlist is based on preference:


Konica Minolta’s DiMAGE Scan Elite 5400 II (used)
Reflecta Proscan 10t (new)
Nikon Coolscan 5000 (used)
Plustek Opticfilm 8100 (new)


What road did u choose?

Would like to hear from people with hands on experience.

04-15-2018, 01:49 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Iʻve been using a Minolta Dimage Scan Multi Pro for over 10 years and love it. Honestly I would have preferred the Nikon 9000ED, but couldnʻt afford it. I need to scan both 35mm and 120 medium format, thus the upscale models from your choices.

This fall, Iʻll be getting a Plustek Opticfilm 120 film scanner and am keeping my fingers crossed. Iʻve read positive and negative reviews. I am not familiar with the Reflecta brand.

Whatʻs nice about the Plustek is that it comes with Silverfast software. I use VueScan for itʻs simplicity and power, but itʻs not free.

If this is a long term "investment", then Iʻd go with the Plustek because of the warranty and availability for repairs. If your used Minolta or Nikon has issues, youʻre stuck. My Minolta uses a fluorescent tube which will eventually die. Newer scanners use LEDs which have much better longevity and are faster because there is no "warm up" period.
04-15-2018, 02:56 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kupepe Quote
Konica Minolta’s DiMAGE Scan Elite 5400 II (used)
Reflecta Proscan 10t (new)
Nikon Coolscan 5000 (used)
Plustek Opticfilm 8100 (new)
I own the Coolscan 5000 (purchased new), but would get the Reflecta Proscan 10M (aka Pacific Imaging Primefilm XA). For me, the ability to bulk scan an entire roll is worth the extra money over the price of the 10T. Even at low resolution, that roll will take in excess of 45 minutes (probably closer to an hour) of hands-on operation. That gets old fast.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 04-15-2018 at 03:01 PM. Reason: clarity
04-16-2018, 10:51 AM   #4
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I use the Reflecta ProSan 10T for several years now, together with the Silverfast AI suite. For me a combo to get satisfying results. The CyberView-Software delivered with the scanner didn‘t convince me.

You should be aware that scanning film adds significantly to your postprocessing time, and depending on which scanner (and which scan quality setting) you pick the differences can easily add up. I underestimated that factor.

04-16-2018, 12:25 PM   #5
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When I started scanning my own film, I found myself better at it a year or more later. I'll be the first to admit I'm a slow learner though. The scanner you get will help with resolution of your scans and your workflow can make a difference on the tonal scale of your results.
04-16-2018, 08:11 PM   #6
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One disadvantage of older scanners may be the interface. My Nikon 8000 for example uses a firework and some scanners even older methods.
04-16-2018, 08:31 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by redrockcoulee Quote
My Nikon 8000 for example uses a firework and some scanners even older methods.
Firewire? Some use SCSI


Steve
04-16-2018, 10:42 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by redrockcoulee Quote
One disadvantage of older scanners may be the interface. My Nikon 8000 for example uses a firework and some scanners even older methods.
Yes, it can be problematic, but not impossible. I had one Minolta Scan Dual film scanner that had a SCSI parallel and the last supported driver was Mac OS 9.6. Itʻs a brick now....
...BUT Iʻve kept a Minolta Dimage Multi Scan Pro going with a firewire to thunderbolt dongle connected to a thunderbolt to lightning dongle. Eventually it will become a collective history of Appleʻs evolution of ports.

04-17-2018, 08:29 AM   #9
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My favorite is the PrimeFilm XA, for 35mm film, and it also comes with SilverFast.
04-18-2018, 07:34 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Firewire? Some use SCSI


Steve
Yep that is the older method, couldn't remember all the letters in its name. My Nikon CS8000 is hooked up to a computer running Vista. Scanning and loading podcasts is about all I do with that computer, and i guess storing emails.
04-18-2018, 08:53 AM   #11
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Don't Firewire->USB and SCSI->USB adapters exist?
04-18-2018, 09:02 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by redrockcoulee Quote
Yep that is the older method, couldn't remember all the letters in its name. My Nikon CS8000 is hooked up to a computer running Vista. Scanning and loading podcasts is about all I do with that computer, and i guess storing emails.
QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
Don't Firewire->USB and SCSI->USB adapters exist?
I always remembered SCSI because it was called "scuzzy".

I thought SCSI were parallel ports vs. the newer USB or Firewire as serial ports, and therefore there werenʻt SCSI to USB adapters.

Currently out the back of my Minolta Dimage film scanner is SCSI and Firewire400 (aka 4 pin). To get it to work these days I have a Firewire 400 to Firewire 800 (8 pin) cable going into a Firewire 800 to thunderbolt dongle going into a thunderbolt to USB-C dongle.

I imagine in the future young people will be asking us old timers why did we use cables.
04-18-2018, 09:09 AM   #13
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I just did a search and found SCSI->USB and Firewire->USB adapters. I assume they work and come with the drivers for the interface or something
04-18-2018, 09:41 AM   #14
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Scuzzy ... Goddamn this sound ... Once it was the advance port if I remember correctly ....ah the good old days

04-18-2018, 09:44 AM   #15
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SCSI/USB adapters can be flaky. The problem is SCSI was primarily a hard-drive/mass storage connection protocol. It was used for other things including scanners and musical samplers, but the SCSI/USB adapters were primarily tested with hard drives, and likely weren't tested with scanners or other non-mass storage devices. If they were still $30 each, I'd take the chance, but last time I looked, their rarity and driven the price to $150 or more.

I've never seen firewire/USB adapters, so I can't speak to their efficacy. I do have a firewire/thunderbolt dongle that apple sells for their newer laptops that works perfectly.
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