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Author Topic: Recommended film scanner?  (Read 11871 times)
whimgrinder
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« on: April 29, 2013, 04:33:28 PM »
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Here's the story: I would like to acquire a good film scanner that is capable of scanning negatives generated with home-made pinhole cameras, so that I can make prints on my Pixma Pro-1. I'm hoping someone here can recommend a piece of hardware that will do respectable scans of negatives for this purpose. Thanks!

Paul
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2013, 08:08:59 PM »
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What is the size of the said negatives?

Cheers,
Bernard
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keithrsmith
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« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2013, 02:11:03 AM »
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you could just backlight the negs and use a digital camera to capture them.  Probably as good as a cheap scanner, maybe not as good as drum scanner - but a lot cheaper

keith
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whimgrinder
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« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2013, 07:58:16 AM »
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Negs will be 4x5 and various lengths of 120 roll film.

I'm uninterested in simply re-photographing the negs by "backlighting", I'm looking for a tool that does the job right. Thanks.
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Chris_Brown
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« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2013, 08:44:18 AM »
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I've had both an Imacon Flextight and a Howtek HR8000 and can say that, without a doubt, a drum scanner gives far superior results. Most people wave off the idea of a drum scanner, but once it's mastered it's worth the effort.

The Imacon struggled a bit with higher density regions on color negs. Since the blue channel is compressed, the software generated a bit of noise in that channel.

The Imacon scans also showed an increase in noise in 35mm scans because the window/aperture holding the film reduces the total amount of light passing through the film. 4x5 and 120 scans were much better.

The Imacon software was very good, but its been 15 years or more since used it.

I also demo'd a Nikon 4x5 film scanner but it was too slow and the software was kludgey.

I'd graze eBay for a dedicated film scanner (no flatbeds). Just make sure the software is ICC savvy.
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PeterAit
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« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2013, 09:08:57 AM »
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The Epson V750 pro will fill the bill, and you'll get a top-quality flatbed scanner for other uses, too. With a pinhole camera you do not need to capture super-fine detail, so you do not need the super-performance of a dedicate film scanner.
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Peter
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Doug Fisher
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« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2013, 11:09:00 AM »
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Given your criteria, I second the recommendation for the V7xx series scanner unless you have an unlimited budget for a Nikon 9000 or drum scanner.

Doug
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AFairley
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« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2013, 04:33:37 PM »
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I'm uninterested in simply re-photographing the negs by "backlighting", I'm looking for a tool that does the job right. Thanks.

The quality you can get by "re-photographing the negs" is a world apart what you dismissive comment implies.  It might actually be a better solution for you, given what you want to digitize.  There is a fair amount of discussion on the LL forums if you care to search.
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Steve House
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« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2013, 05:14:56 PM »
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Whether it be a pin-hole camera or a classic MF or sheet-film camera, what the OP is looking for makes a lot of sense to me.  It's what I've come to start calling a 'hybrid workflow' - shooting and processing for a film negative, then digitizing the negative for digital printing to create the final image.  Rephotographing the negative with a digital camera in a copy set up seems to me a step backward.
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EricV
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« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2013, 01:44:46 PM »
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A pinhole camera has such low resolution that it is hard to imagine any solution which would not be adequate.  As a typical example, at a focal distance of 120mm, using an optimum pinhole diameter of 0.4mm, you will be operating at f/300, and a point source will produce a disk at the focal plane with a diameter of 400um.  A flatbed scanner with a resolution of 300 lines/inch would do a decent job of scanning this.
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DanielStone
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« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2013, 02:47:15 AM »
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Here's the story: I would like to acquire a good film scanner that is capable of scanning negatives generated with home-made pinhole cameras, so that I can make prints on my Pixma Pro-1. I'm hoping someone here can recommend a piece of hardware that will do respectable scans of negatives for this purpose. Thanks!

Paul

Hi Paul,

What size negatives will you be scanning?
I ask this because not all scanners are "on the same level" quality-wise.
That said, I have a drum scanner, but less than 10% of my scanned shots(which is about 25% of the quantity of what I shoot. This is after making proofsheets, from both MF and LF negatives/chromes) to assess which ones are "best".
However, because of the time involved, I've been looking into the purchase of a V750 myself(with the wet mount tray from Aztek(see link below) to use as a "proofing" machine to assess which pieces of film will be drum scanned.

Its all about TIME. Quality scans TAKE TIME. Whether its on a flatbed, or on a drum scanner. Time is your most important(and expensive) part of the process.

Sorry for the long-winded answer, but if you don't plan to go over 13x19(I believe this printers max size?), a V750(Epson's top model in their con/prosumers series) scan can definitely "work" for most cases and individuals as their primary machine.

I can personally attest to the fact that wet mounting IS worth the effort and time involved. It is what really MAKES a quality scan.
It certainly ISN'T "necessary", but if you're not after high volume, but the best quality, I'd highly recommend it over dry scanning.
Aztek sells the Kami fluid and mounting supplies(tape/overlay material) required. Kami is the best option for mounting fluid IMO. Period. No mess, no fuss. Takes some getting used to, but if you persist, you'll get it in no time.

PM me if you have any questions, I'd be glad to help out if I can.

Otherwise, you can find out more info on Aztek's website, both regarding their drum scanners, but also the wet mount adapter kit for the V750:
http://www.aztek.com/Epson%20V750%20KAMI%20Kit.html

cheers,
Dan
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keithrsmith
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« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2013, 08:21:40 AM »
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The quality you can get by "re-photographing the negs" is a world apart what you dismissive comment implies.  It might actually be a better solution for you, given what you want to digitize.  There is a fair amount of discussion on the LL forums if you care to search.


Thank You

keith

ps It did occur to me even if the camera could not capture the full tonal range on the neg, an HDR technique would get as much as you could ever want.
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EricV
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« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2013, 02:17:54 PM »
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Using a drum scanner on a pinhole camera negative?   Cheesy
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DanielStone
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« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2013, 12:23:02 AM »
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Using a drum scanner on a pinhole camera negative?   Cheesy

A friend of mine has done it. Ya, they're not as sharp(by a long shot) as a lens-imaged shot, but they have a really interesting quality when everything comes together right.
Also, a drum scanner w/ a good operator at the helm will beat any flatbed, any coolscan or imacon, hands down ANY DAY.

The ability to control the aperture for the scan helps maximize the potential of each frame. Flatbed scanners can't do that, nor an Imacon.

-Dan
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Rhossydd
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« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2013, 02:22:07 AM »
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but they have a really interesting quality when everything comes together right.
I don't think anyone would question that, but do you need extreme high quality scans to reveal that quality ? or will something more affordable and easier to use, like a V750 (no poor performer itself), do a sufficiently good job ?
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whimgrinder
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« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2013, 09:24:48 AM »
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The quality you can get by "re-photographing the negs" is a world apart what you dismissive comment implies.  It might actually be a better solution for you, given what you want to digitize.  There is a fair amount of discussion on the LL forums if you care to search.

I did a search, and sorting through the volume of posts is expensive, time-wise, and is no guarantee you will find an answer tailored to your specific needs, so I asked the question. If my response was "dismissive", I apologize; I did dismiss the option since I couldn't imagine the process could be engineered to be easily reproducible, and the tonality lost would be unacceptable. A pinhole-generated negative is already a "compromised" creature, and further loss of data by the process you described seemed inevitable and undesirable. Perhaps I should try it for myself, rather than judging before investigating the technique. Again, I apologize for my blunt/inappropriate response.

Can you offer any tips for engineering a reliable setup for your technique? I'm sure there are things to avoid ;-)
If there are previously published discussions of the process elsewhere, feel free to point to a link. Thanks.
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John Nollendorfs
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« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2013, 10:52:45 AM »
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Why not just put a quality laser made pinhole body cap on a good digital camera and not worry about developing film and scanning?
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Rhossydd
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« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2013, 11:23:14 AM »
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Why not just put a quality laser made pinhole body cap on a good digital camera and not worry about developing film and scanning?
Ever tried that ? You can spend a lot of time spotting afterwards. A pin hole (or zone plate) reveals every particle of muck on a sensor.
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whimgrinder
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« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2013, 05:17:18 PM »
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Why not just put a quality laser made pinhole body cap on a good digital camera and not worry about developing film and scanning?

Simply because DSLR sensors are too small to record enough detail; images cannot be enlarged much before the result becomes too soft to be of any use. You couldn't make a 13 X 19 inch print unless you were enamored of a VERY soft image. Until a 6 X 12 cm sensor becomes affordable, film is still a better option. Believe me, I would love to just use my D90 with a pinhole lens in the body cap. But that won't cut it.
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EricV
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« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2013, 11:55:33 AM »
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Simply because DSLR sensors are too small to record enough detail; images cannot be enlarged much before the result becomes too soft to be of any use. You couldn't make a 13 X 19 inch print unless you were enamored of a VERY soft image. Until a 6 X 12 cm sensor becomes affordable, film is still a better option. Believe me, I would love to just use my D90 with a pinhole lens in the body cap. But that won't cut it.
Well, you could mount the pinhole on an extender to get the desired focal length.  You would then have the desired resolution, but a small angle of view.  Depending on the subject, you could capture and stitch multiple images to get a wider field of view.  Not really simple anymore, but no film or scanning required.
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