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Author Topic: Digital scanner for MF slides / negs  (Read 6412 times)
Chairman Bill
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« on: February 24, 2010, 02:37:40 PM »
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One of my sons ended my involvement in MF many years ago, by dropping my kit & breaking beyond repair  -  Price has been the deterrent against getting back to MF ever since, but now I have the opportunity of some A1 condition Bronica kit at very reasonable cost. Before diving in & lightening my wallet, I'm wondering about the creation of digital files from 120 film. I have no wet darkroom, & no prospect of getting one, so digital files for Aperture are going to be necessary. So I need to factor in the cost of scanning. I've heard some good things about recent Epson flat-beds, but it's something I know nothing about.

Can anyone help with advice about making digi files from 120 film, choice of scanner etc? Funds aren't unlimited, but I see no point in MF over my DSLR (D700) if the scans don't do it justice.

Thanks in advance for your comments.
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michele
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« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2010, 02:55:49 PM »
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The big question is, what are you going to do with your medium format film camera? Landscape, portrait? I guess it's not for job but for passion. Now, a flatbed scanner can be good,  but it really depends on wich are your needs. Actually, i don't think a bronica will be a dream... add the cost of film, develop and a good scanner... well, i'm a digital guy  Are you going to print your photographs, or you want just see them in aperture?
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DanielStone
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« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2010, 03:04:28 PM »
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hey Bill,

sounds like you're getting back into it! Great!!! Just so you know(you probably already do), M/F film cameras are pretty cheap price-wise now, with digital taking over most things these days! So for people who shoot/like film, its great!

regarding scanners, will you ONLY be scanning film? If the answer is yes, then you'll probably want to look at dedicated film scanners, say ones from Nikon or Minolta(not sure about service for these though if you ever need it). If you THINK you'll need to scan something OTHER than film only(say documents or prints), then a flatbed might be your best bet. Epson has some fine scanners, most notably the V700 and V750 models, both handle film nicely.

if you are only going to scan film, the coolscan 8000(disc)/9000ed(current model) are probably the BEST out of the lot, in fact, I think they're the only DEDICATED film scanners that can handle MF film these days that are still sold new, and are serviced(able to be serviced actually).

if budget is a concern, many people have found great results in the Epson offerings. I'd suggest doing some reading up on the V700/750 and the Coolscan 9000ed, comparing the capabilities and limitings of each.

lastly, will you be printing? If you're going to gallery sizes or want the VERY BEST out of your film, go with a dedicated film-only scanner. This way you can maximize getting the MOST information out of your film.

best of luck!

-Dan
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Frank Doorhof
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« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2010, 04:08:44 PM »
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Personally I love the Epson V700 which I use for scanning.
It's no drum scanner but it's still very good.
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RAMulford
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« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2010, 04:17:01 PM »
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Hello Bill,

There is always the option of hiring an IMACON scanner at the Procentre (for those high quality MF Film scans) http://www.procentre.co.uk/

Wish ya all the best  
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revaaron
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« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2010, 04:19:09 PM »
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I have threads in here about it.. but my epson v500 sucked and I hated it.
I ended up buying a nikon coolscan 9000 and I'm in love with it.

here's the "best" I could do with my epson v500 on a very dark slide. This took me a bunch of work to get like this


this was me just willie-nillie tossing a slide in the nikon 9000


Then I adjusted a bunch of the settings






« Last Edit: February 24, 2010, 04:21:48 PM by revaaron » Logged

bigalbest
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« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2010, 04:33:24 PM »
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I like my Epson V750, works great and if I need something scanned for a large print I will send out to a lab.

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stevesanacore
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« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2010, 06:13:27 PM »
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Quote from: Chairman Bill
One of my sons ended my involvement in MF many years ago, by dropping my kit & breaking beyond repair  -  Price has been the deterrent against getting back to MF ever since, but now I have the opportunity of some A1 condition Bronica kit at very reasonable cost. Before diving in & lightening my wallet, I'm wondering about the creation of digital files from 120 film. I have no wet darkroom, & no prospect of getting one, so digital files for Aperture are going to be necessary. So I need to factor in the cost of scanning. I've heard some good things about recent Epson flat-beds, but it's something I know nothing about.

Can anyone help with advice about making digi files from 120 film, choice of scanner etc? Funds aren't unlimited, but I see no point in MF over my DSLR (D700) if the scans don't do it justice.

Thanks in advance for your comments.

Is there something i am missing here? Why in the world you go through the trouble of shooting film in a MF camera only to have to scan it later? I think the image quality from a Canon or Nikon DSLR would be superior with much less trouble. I made my living shooting film in MF cameras for over 10 years and scanned most of it myself so I've been there, done that - and it does not compare to what i get from my 1Ds or D3s.  Even my b&w is better than I ever got from the wet darkroom.

Just my 2 cents.
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ShaunMerrigan
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« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2010, 08:03:52 PM »
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Quote from: Chairman Bill
One of my sons ended my involvement in MF many years ago, by dropping my kit & breaking beyond repair  -  Price has been the deterrent against getting back to MF ever since, but now I have the opportunity of some A1 condition Bronica kit at very reasonable cost. Before diving in & lightening my wallet, I'm wondering about the creation of digital files from 120 film. I have no wet darkroom, & no prospect of getting one, so digital files for Aperture are going to be necessary. So I need to factor in the cost of scanning. I've heard some good things about recent Epson flat-beds, but it's something I know nothing about.

Can anyone help with advice about making digi files from 120 film, choice of scanner etc? Funds aren't unlimited, but I see no point in MF over my DSLR (D700) if the scans don't do it justice.

Thanks in advance for your comments.


I have been using the Nikon 9000ED for about 18 months and I am very happy with it.  The primary use here is for MF, very high resolution, slow speed B&W film like Rollei ATP 1.1, Agfa APX 25, and Panatomic-X.  The Nikon 9000ED and Vuescan Pro are a great combination for this type of film.  I am just starting to experiment with fluid mounting and the results look promising.  See attached for an example of a scan from ATP 1.1 (downsized of course).

Shaun M
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MichaelEzra
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« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2010, 08:38:42 PM »
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Good scanner with bad software is not a good scanner. They key is to get a very good software. VueScan Pro is probably the best, with lifetime upgrades included in price of just $80 total. I use it with Nikon LS-8000 to create DNG files and further develop them in ACR, where user presets (curves, etc) can be saved to be used for various films, etc.

You should, however, consider, that medium format film will require flattening for sharp focus during scanning. Newton rings can become nightmare, even with anti-newton ring carrier. You should consider that the scanner of your choice shoul allow the possibility of wet scanning.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2010, 08:44:25 PM by MichaelEzra » Logged

ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2010, 11:51:52 PM »
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Hi,

I have done a write up on some tests I have made with Pentax 67 and Sony A900. Scans for theses tests were done on a Minolta Dimage Scan Multi Pro.


http://echophoto.dnsalias.net/ekr/index.ph...-sony-alpha-900

Regardless of the conclusions in the article the Pentax & Minolta Dimage Scan Multi Pro could produce stunning 70x100 cm prints (printed on Durst Lambda by a pro lab).

My testing was done with Velvia 50, your mileage may vary. Some negative BW films like T-MAX 100 are much sharper than Velvia, for instance.

Best regards
Erik


Quote from: Chairman Bill
One of my sons ended my involvement in MF many years ago, by dropping my kit & breaking beyond repair  -  Price has been the deterrent against getting back to MF ever since, but now I have the opportunity of some A1 condition Bronica kit at very reasonable cost. Before diving in & lightening my wallet, I'm wondering about the creation of digital files from 120 film. I have no wet darkroom, & no prospect of getting one, so digital files for Aperture are going to be necessary. So I need to factor in the cost of scanning. I've heard some good things about recent Epson flat-beds, but it's something I know nothing about.

Can anyone help with advice about making digi files from 120 film, choice of scanner etc? Funds aren't unlimited, but I see no point in MF over my DSLR (D700) if the scans don't do it justice.

Thanks in advance for your comments.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2010, 11:54:36 PM by ErikKaffehr » Logged

LiamStrain
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« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2010, 10:18:31 AM »
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High to low:
10k+
Hasslebad/Imacon are the best of the easy to use (non-wet mount drum) scanners out there - but they are expensive.
or
Drum scanner

1k-10k
A second hand drum scanner - but you need space and knowledge (and a bargain)
or
A second hand Imacon (848/646 etc)
or
A second hand high end flatbed like a Saphir or one of the big Fuji's
or
The Nikon 9000 is awesome for the price ($1500 ish). You have to spend alot of money to get better than that. <--  my reco

<1k
The Epson V750 is the best of the sub 1k flatbeds out there, and offers the option of wet mounting.

<300
The Epson 4990

If you get any of the epsons - look at getting ANR inserts and holders from betterscanning.com (and Vuescan)
« Last Edit: February 25, 2010, 10:23:06 AM by LiamStrain » Logged

fredjeang
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« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2010, 10:44:35 AM »
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Quote from: LiamStrain
High to low:
10k+
Hasslebad/Imacon are the best of the easy to use (non-wet mount drum) scanners out there - but they are expensive.
or
Drum scanner

1k-10k
A second hand drum scanner - but you need space and knowledge (and a bargain)
or
A second hand Imacon (848/646 etc)
or
A second hand high end flatbed like a Saphir or one of the big Fuji's
or
The Nikon 9000 is awesome for the price ($1500 ish). You have to spend alot of money to get better than that. <--  my reco

<1k
The Epson V750 is the best of the sub 1k flatbeds out there, and offers the option of wet mounting.

<300
The Epson 4990

If you get any of the epsons - look at getting ANR inserts and holders from betterscanning.com (and Vuescan)
Hi Liam,
According to you, the Nikon 9000 would be a better choice than the Epson V750? If so, what are the advantages of the Nikon?
I'm asking this question because about to buy the Epson V750 Pro.

Also, in the Epson V750 they say: DIGITAL ICE TECHNOLOGY is NOT compatible with traditional B&W films and Kodachrome.
I'm not sure I understand this point clearly.

Fred.


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LiamStrain
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« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2010, 11:24:18 AM »
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Quote from: fredjeang
Hi Liam,
According to you, the Nikon 9000 would be a better choice than the Epson V750? If so, what are the advantages of the Nikon?
I'm asking this question because about to buy the Epson V750 Pro.

Also, in the Epson V750 they say: DIGITAL ICE TECHNOLOGY is NOT compatible with traditional B&W films and Kodachrome.
I'm not sure I understand this point clearly.

Fred.

From an entry on photonet:
ICE uses an infra red scan to detect solid objects on the film like dust and scratches - as black and white film contains silver halide particles the infra red picks these up and doesn't work properly. E6 and C41 film only has dye left after the processing stage and ICE can seperate out the solids from the dye image by comparing the infrared with the RGB visible scan. Kodachrome is essentially a built of layers of those same halides, so it has the same structure (from the infra-red standpoint) as traditional BW film.


I do think the Nikon 9000 is a better scanner than the V750 - the lack of flatbed glass, better sensor tracking, and other improvements have show it to be consistently sharper and able to pull detail out of shadows (slide) and highlights (negative) where the flatbeds just cannot penetrate.

However, IF you need to do 4x5 and 8x10 in addition to 120 - the V750 is a GREAT solution to do both, without stepping up to an Imacon. My opinion anyway, based on my own comparison scans. Whether is is twice the price better... is a judgement call I cannot make for you.

For my own needs, If I didn't shoot large format, the Nikon 9000 would be my go to "budget" scanner for my own work.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2010, 11:25:56 AM by LiamStrain » Logged

TMARK
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« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2010, 11:59:45 AM »
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I have the Nikon 9000 for 35mm and MF, and the V750 for 4x5 and reflective media.  The 9000 is fantastic.  Its much better than my previous Microtek 120tf.  For MF and smaller film the 9000 is heads and shoulders above the v750.   The v750 does a good job on 4x5.

I think the IQ differences between the 9000 and the Imacons is marginal.  The real difference comes down to film flatness and the speed at which you can get a really good, flat scan.  I am way faster on an Imacon 646 than on my Nikon.  The Nikon requires masks on c41 and E6 film if using it with the glass carriers.  I think B&W is too matt and thick on the emulsion side to produce Newtons rings, but its hit or miss with C41 and E6, thus you need masks.

Software is important.  I like Nikon Scan, but use Vuescan when Nikon Scan can't get it right.  I also use Vuescan on the v750, which works well.

Good luck with this.

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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2010, 12:07:05 PM »
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Hi,

Conventional wisdom says that a special purpose slide scanner is better than a flatbed. I have not seen any evidence confirming that but it sort of makes sense.

My guess would be that the Nikon resolves higher and may have better DR (Dynamic Range).

On the other hand, I'm a bit skeptical about going the MF film route anyway. I have seen little or no advantage with MF and Velvia in my limited testing. To put it bluntly, it is my guess that a majority of photographers would be more satisfied with the results of using a "Full Frame" DSLR than scanning MF film. My experience is with slide film and mostly Velvia which is hard to scan, but your mileage may vary.

For my testing I spent four rolls of 120-film and spent about 100$ on film and development. On digital I essentially made a single exposure. Convenience and learning curve are definitively an advantage of digital.

That said, excellent results can be achieved with scanned MF film. I have been there and done that.

Best regards
Erik Kaffehr



Quote from: fredjeang
Hi Liam,
According to you, the Nikon 9000 would be a better choice than the Epson V750? If so, what are the advantages of the Nikon?
I'm asking this question because about to buy the Epson V750 Pro.

Also, in the Epson V750 they say: DIGITAL ICE TECHNOLOGY is NOT compatible with traditional B&W films and Kodachrome.
I'm not sure I understand this point clearly.

Fred.
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Chairman Bill
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« Reply #16 on: February 25, 2010, 01:24:03 PM »
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Thanks for the comments - useful stuff I'm sure, but now I'm wondering whether I will actually get better results from scanned 120 than from my D700 or not!
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #17 on: February 25, 2010, 01:34:19 PM »
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Hi!

My guess is:

1) Much more work
2) Slightly more detail
3) More noise and less DR
4) Tonality may be different, you like it or you don't

Best regards
Erik


Quote from: Chairman Bill
Thanks for the comments - useful stuff I'm sure, but now I'm wondering whether I will actually get better results from scanned 120 than from my D700 or not!
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TMARK
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« Reply #18 on: February 25, 2010, 04:07:42 PM »
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Most digital looks like E6. Too sharp, too contrasy. The only digital that gets a film look without hours of post is the Leaf Aptus series of backs. And for b&w, film rules.  

That being said, scanning is a huge time suck.  

Quote from: Chairman Bill
Thanks for the comments - useful stuff I'm sure, but now I'm wondering whether I will actually get better results from scanned 120 than from my D700 or not!
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bcooter
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« Reply #19 on: February 25, 2010, 04:35:08 PM »
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Quote from: TMARK
That being said, scanning is a huge time suck.


Call Nancy Scans, cut a deal with John, let them do the color and duting and wa-la, Ready to go.

In other words, let the pros handle it.

IMO

BC
« Last Edit: February 25, 2010, 04:36:51 PM by bcooter » Logged
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