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06-13-2015, 09:36 AM   #16

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QuoteOriginally posted by ColColt Quote
I could be wrong but I don't think they make a MF dedicated scanner.
The Plustek OpticFilm 120 is a MF dedicated scanner. I use one but there are some bugs in its operation.
Some of the best scanning results I have seen were from a Heidelberg Topaz flatbed. The newer version called the Nexscan F 4200 is also good but big, heavy and rare.

06-13-2015, 10:51 AM   #17
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Hmmm...a lot of information here and some conflicting. I have a couple of scanners and experience with 120 (6x7) on a quality flatbed. My observations go like this:
  • Lab scans may be a hit or miss proposition. High pixel resolution or size of the final files is not an indication of quality. 50 million pixels of garbage is still garbage.*
  • A quality lab scan will cost money...generally more than you would want to spend just for posting to the Web
  • True drum scans are the gold standard, not so much because of dpi resolution, but because of dynamic range
  • Virtual drum scans (Flextight) are the next step down from a drum scan
  • There are dedicated 120 film scanners with many enthusiastic owners. Real world scan resolutions for models available new range from 3200 dpi to 3500 dpi for conventional units with the two Flextight models able to deliver 3200 dpi.**
  • Dynamic range for scanners can not be generalized by scanner type (flatbed vs. all others). There is some overlap between dedicated film scanners and flatbed models with the better flatbeds having better dynamic range (V700 dMax = 4.0) than mid-level dedicated models.
  • Scan resolution (real world dpi) for non-commercial units is roughly a matter of price
  • Real world dpi (the limit for actual capture detail) is often quite different than the numbers on the spec sheet
  • The better non-commercial flatbed scanners have a real world scan resolution no better than about 2400 dpi. Mid-level flatbed scanners are somewhat lower. Scan Dig includes both resolution and dynamic range testing and is a good resource for comparison. ScanDig Scanner Reviews
  • Aftermarket negative holders can significantly improve flatbed scanner results by allowing fine tuning of height, less sag, and adding the option of wet mount to glass
  • A quality optical path along with negative flatness are the two key requisites for good scan results. If either is compromised, poor results follow.
  • The better flatbed scanners can product perfectly acceptable results for medium format due to the size of the negatives
The last point comes home when you actually start doing scans. A modest scan resolution goes a long way when the negative is large. Consider 1200 dpi with a 6x7 negative:
7 x 0.39 x 1200 = 3276 pixels
6 x 0.39 x 1200 = 2808 pixels
That is a fairly nice size (9.2 megapickles) for many purposes including fine quality prints to 8x10 at 300 dpi. Downsample 1/3 and you have a nice size to post to the Web. Bump the the scan resolution up to 2400 and you get 38 megapickles. That is high enough for government work, I'd say and good enough for 16x20 print. Yes, I know...A 6x7 negative is good for a print much larger than that, but who owns a printer able to handle the big paper. For larger stuff, a custom scan and print are more cost-effective.

For a 645 negative, the numbers are not quite so good, but you can still get very serviceable scans at a modest price point using a flatbed. Moving up, a 4x5 negative with a 2400 dpi scan is over 110 megapickles.***

Summary: A modestly-priced flatbed will probably work fine for hobby work. For a few hundred more dollare, one of the top-end Epson models will make you happy for most hybrid workflows.


* It was the poor quality of minilab scans that drove me to buy my first scanner. Oh, and do not be deceived regarding even pro lab scans. The owner of one of local pro labs told me that they fulfill scan requests for 35mm at the Walgreens down the street and 120 stuff with a guy they know who does them on an Epson V700.

** The Flextight values are based on tests done at ScanDig. While the resolution values are in the same neighborhood as models from Plustek and Pacific Imaging (Reflecta), the advantage of the Flextight is in dynamic range (dMax = 4.6/4.9 vs. 3.6/4.0).

*** For completeness, I should mention that the price point for used drum scanners is competitive to a dedicated 120 film scanner. If you have the space (they are not compact) and the patience of Job (the work flow is fiddly and time consuming) and don't mind cobbing together a computer to support the beast (SCSI interface and old software requiring old operating system) a drum might fit the bill.

Last edited by stevebrot; 06-13-2015 at 11:45 AM.
06-15-2015, 11:58 AM   #18
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The V600 arrived today and looks good. No instructions as to how to use it, however; so, I went to Epson's website to download a copy. Looks like they could have included a user's manual with it without having to resort to a download. With over some 150+ pages looks like it may be a couple days before I can use it. I'm a stickler for reading instructions first. You natural instincts say go ahead and do it but I've learned that's not always the best attempt.

It looks like I'm going to have to resort to using it upstairs with the Windows 7 computer as the one I use the most, an old Vista computer, is downstairs and no room on the desk to raise the lid.
06-15-2015, 04:52 PM   #19
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i managed to get one photo scanned of a bride I did her formals of about ten years ago...still working on figuring things out with the software..


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