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03-31-2019, 05:07 PM   #1
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Film Scanning - 2019 edition

Rather than post to an old thread, I'd like to resurrect this topic on a new thread. Here is the last discussion I found from a search

For 35mm negative and slide scanning I'm considering these-

Pacific Image 7200 (B&H link)

Pacific Image XAS (B&H link)

I'm curious to see what everyones opinion here is. Personally I would like a high as possible resolution and I don't care about speed. I don't shoot anything but 35mm, so I don't care about other formats.


I see from the B&H comments the software is a huge issue.

03-31-2019, 05:19 PM - 2 Likes   #2
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A DSLR and a good macro lens and light source still seems to be the best way to go for resolution and dynamic range.
03-31-2019, 05:29 PM   #3
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I have a Pacific Image XA. I haven't compared it to the dslr, but the scanner does what I need it to do. I use silver scan with it and I think it's a good combo. According to scandig, it has a higher actual resolution than the Coolscan 8000. The first copy I got wasn't great, so I sent it back to B&H. The second copy has been great.
03-31-2019, 05:53 PM   #4
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I ordered a Pacific Image XA XEs, it arrived broken and got it refunded instead of getting another one. Seemed fine though, but I decided my Epson flatbed will be enough for a while longer.

When I want more than what my cheap Epson flatbed can do, I use my k3ii+100 macro lens + light pad for back lighting. It works well (great color, dynamic range, resolution) but it's very slow, I can't see myself using it as the main method of scanning, but I think it depends on how much film you shoot. edit: see my other comment below about speed, dslr scanning speed also depends significantly on the setup you use.


Last edited by aaacb; 03-31-2019 at 07:59 PM.
03-31-2019, 07:41 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by pres589 Quote
A DSLR and a good macro lens and light source still seems to be the best way to go for resolution and dynamic range.
A recent thread touched on this and found an old scanner was sharper but there were benefits including speed to the direct copy via macro.

Ironically the post above seems to say the opposite. I'm now very confused.
03-31-2019, 07:47 PM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Ironically the post above seems to say the opposite. I'm now very confused.
If you mean my comment about speed, I meant that it's slow because of setup time, but forgot to explain my setup I use a tripod angled down, and the film is flat on the light pad. Getting everything aligned and at the right distance from the film is slow. I know there are better setups, including slide copier attachments, I have no experience with those.
03-31-2019, 08:04 PM   #7
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Link to the recent thread? I'd like to see the setup that got more sharp results out of "an old scanner".
03-31-2019, 09:48 PM   #8
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In 2011 when I was finishing up my studies I tested an imacon scanner against a canon 5d2 with a 100mm macro, the imacon isn't a full noise professional scanner, but it's a massive step up from the epson's and suchlike.

I found that a well set up dslr macro rig could at least match the imacon for 35mm (120 and up the imacon won out by a handy margin) film, these weren't super scientific tests, just comparing details in negatives - I haven't bothered with film scanners since.

While the dslr takes a lot more setup than a scanner for one shot, it quickly becomes far faster in that it doesn't require a lot more set up for 100 shots.

Incidentally for maximum image quality, I found that scanning a well printed darkroom print had more detail than either.

03-31-2019, 11:20 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by pres589 Quote
A DSLR and a good macro lens and light source still seems to be the best way to go for resolution and dynamic range.
QuoteOriginally posted by pres589 Quote
...I'd like to see the setup that got more sharp results out of "an old scanner".
QuoteOriginally posted by pres589 Quote
K-5 II on a DIY copy stand made from a piece of PVC sewer pipe and some other bits and pieces. Processing done with Lightroom and Photoshop Elements. Pretty manual process although I'm getting faster as I do more of it. 24 black and white negatives "converted" and saved as TIFF's takes maybe half an hour or so now. Color is usually a little slower to make sure things are really correct as far as color balance and such.

There's always a bit of cropping and possible rotation required to get things square. My method still seems to get me better quality images than having the negatives scanned by the lab that's been doing my film development.
I know you are pleased with your setup and are confident that your results are better than machine scans from your lab. That aside, I am equally confident that my old scanner purchased about a decade ago will match your quality (true 4000 dpi?) with the added convenience of small footprint*, speed, Digital ICE, and walk-away batch scanning for single strips.

In reference to the OP's question, the Pacific Image XAs super edition would be my first choice of current offerings. The XAs is capable of walk-away operation for full uncut rolls at a true resolution of 4300 dpi (scan at 5000 dpi). The XA model will also work.

Reflecta RPS 10M extensive test report: image quality, resolution and scanning speed (The Reflecta RPS 10M is the same scanner as the PI XAs only for the European market.)


Steve

* 12" x 4" x 7" (L x W x H)

Last edited by stevebrot; 03-31-2019 at 11:37 PM.
03-31-2019, 11:32 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by sqrrl Quote
In 2011 when I was finishing up my studies I tested an imacon scanner against a canon 5d2 with a 100mm macro, the imacon isn't a full noise professional scanner, but it's a massive step up from the epson's and suchlike.

I found that a well set up dslr macro rig could at least match the imacon for 35mm...

That is not surprising since most 35mm negatives don't have the detail to take advantage of the 6000 - 8000 dpi offered by the Imacon (depends on model). With high resolution film, top-shelf lenses, and excellent technique, the resulting negative may allow the Imacon may pull away from the 21 Mpx Canon.
04-01-2019, 12:11 AM   #11
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Yeah, I wasn't shooting test charts. It was the x5 I was using.

I did see an advantage from the imacon when I was shooting tech pan at 25iso using the canon 100 macro, frankly there wasn't enough of an advantage there for me, especially given that it takes a couple of minutes to scan using the imacon.

I usually shoot 100iso film and hand held, so I decided that macro dslr was good enough for me. especially given the cost of an imacon - they make a K1 look cheap, even with a good macro lens.
04-01-2019, 01:12 AM   #12
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Those two scanners a sold under the brand of "Reflecta" in germany. There is a scanner shop, which tested those two thoroughly.

I am a bit confused about the 7200 of the PrimeFilm, as the latest version sold here has 10 MP.
Ausführliche Scanner-Testberichte über Filmscanner Diascanner: Scanner-Vergleich, Marktübersicht Scanner

Test results in (very) short.

The XAs super has a been tested with an effective solution of 4300 dpi. Which is the best of the available 35 mm scanners.
Speed is ok. And it is strongly recommended to use Silverfast Software.

The Prime Film 7200 has a tested resolution of 3250 dpi. It is strongly recommended to use Silverfast Software.


Both are quite capable scanners. The main differences are:
1. the XAs super is mainly for scanning film rolls (or ffilm strips) or single framed slides, while the prime film has holders for 6 negatives or 5 slides.
2. The XAs can batch scan, while the prime film can not.

Both scanner will probably give you better images, then the macro equipment solution. But I think the advantage in speed of the later makes up for the IQ of the film scanners.
Luckyly I have no time to digitize my slides, so I do not have to decide which method tu use.
04-01-2019, 07:37 AM   #13
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I've rescanned negatives that I had scanned previously by the lab that had developed film for me in the past. My copies were slightly sharper & more clear. My setup is fiddly, for lack of a better word, but the IQ is comparatively quite good. I did a lot of online searching for a good solution between scanners and then if my K-5II would suffice and it seems like this works quite well. I'd like to get something where the negative and the camera/lens are all mounted more solidly together for copying. That's really academic vs. the point I was trying to make; if you have plenty of time, and can rationalize a bit more space and maybe a lens you wouldn't otherwise own, I'd go with the DSLR.
04-01-2019, 08:12 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by pres589 Quote
Link to the recent thread? I'd like to see the setup that got more sharp results out of "an old scanner".
Digitising slide and negative collection quickly - PentaxForums.com

See reply number 53 - this is where the OP explains their results.
04-01-2019, 08:22 AM   #15
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stevebrot brings up some good points. Some scanners out there boast high resolutions but those numbers are from interpolated scans and don't represent the native resolution of the scanner, so be wary.

I still defer to my Nikon scanner which has a true 4000 dpi rating and offers the advantage of cleaning up some negative defects (dust, etc) by using a fourth infrared scan (in addition to the RGB) to detect anomalies which are patched. That can't practically be done with DLSR methods but if you have 100 slides to scan, DSLR scanning is a LOT faster once set up, and the K-1 with a good lens can equal the Nikon's resolution. I haven't done that but want to for a comparison of dynamic range and overall quality. Sometimes it's more important to have speed (when scanning a lot of material) and then deal with individual scans later relative to retouching needs.
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